2018 Contest Rules by Category

2018 Design Challenge Contest opens July 18, 2018 with 52 categories, and over 160 prizes from some very supportive sponsors.

2018 Design Challenge Contest starts July 18, 2018.

  • You are not required to use General Finishes products on your entry. You may use any finish(es) of your choice. All manufacturers' finishing products are welcome!

  • All judging is based on merit conducted by independent industry professionals that are not entering the contest.

  • Enter to win prizes in any of our exciting contest category themes for DIY projects and furniture, woodworking and wood turning. 

  • Entries can be submitted July 18, 6:30 P.M. CST, through August 7, Midnight CST.  Merit and popular voting will run from August 4th to August 11th. There will be a pause as we rebuild the site to display th results, which will be announced September 3. Winners will be able to claim prizes from September 7 through no later than September 17.

  • Improve your chances of winning by providing well-lit and staged photography, show any details, and describe how you finished your project. You can upload up to 10 images; we recommend (but do not require) images of at least 1,000 pixels wide to show off your work.

  • Product prizes will vary by category due to shipping requirements.

  • One prize per entrant. Entrants who win in multiple categories or subcategories will be awarded one prize - the top prize available. GF needs to share the fun!

  • Please be advised that Canada was unable to respond to our request for approval in time for the contest. Canadians, please save your projects for the 2019 Design Challenge. We will try to gain approval again next year.

Popular Vote Category - Chalk Up Another One! Show us your best work completed in any chalk style paint.

Rules for Popular Vote:

  1. Voting will be open from August 17-24, 2018.
  2. Use your audience and fans to your advantage. Contact your customers and share your project on your social media channels. The project with the most votes by the end of the contest wins this category. If you mix colors, you must include your "color mix" recipe in the description.
  3. Projects you have entered in a previous GF Design Challenge may not be entered again.
  4. Only one vote per person and per computer will be accepted in the Popular Vote. Do not submit multiple votes using alternative email addresses. Multiple votes from a single IP address will be monitored, so ask friends and family to vote from their own computer.
  5. General Finishes will not accept entries where votes are promoted in exchange for a compensation of any kind. You are encouraged to use all aspects of social media to promote your business with this contest, including paid promotions on Facebook, etc. - just no compensation to voters.
  6. Category entries open to Mainland U.S./UK/Europe/Ireland residents, no isles. European prizes will be shipped through our UK and IE distributors. Other shipping restrictions or delays may occur based on location.
  7. General Finishes product prizes are limited to water-based finishes for international winners.
  8. One prize per entrant. Entrants who win in multiple categories or subcategories will be awarded one prize - the top prize available. GF needs to share the fun!

Upcycling Categories

Rules for Upcycling Categories - Judged by an Independent Panel

  1. All manufacturers' finishing products are welcome
  2. Please describe your finishing technique.
  3. PROJECTS entered in a previous GF Design Challenge Contest may not be entered again.
  4. You may enter all categories with multiple unique entries but may not submit the same PROJECT in multiple categories. For example, you can submit four pieces of furniture in the Creative category, but cannot submit any of those four in another category.
  5. There is no time restriction on when the project you are submitting was created. It could be any year as long as it is your original work.
  6. One prize per entrant. Entrants who win in multiple categories or subcategories will be awarded one prize - the top prize available. GF needs to share the fun!
  7. Category entries open to Mainland U.S./UK/Europe/Ireland residents, no isles. European prizes will be shipped through our UK and IE distributors. Other shipping restrictions or delays may occur based on location.
  8. General Finishes product prizes are limited to water-based finishes for international winners.

Upcycling Categories:

  1. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE: any white finish with or without embellishment. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  2. LITTLE BLACK DRESS: any black finish with or without embellishment. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  3. BLACK AND WHITE: These are the best-selling colors! Show us your best black-and-white COMBO finish, includes really dark grays and softer whites. Wood accents such as tabletops, buffet tops or wood seats are fine. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  4. COASTAL LOVE: Show us those seacoast blues. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  5. LADY IN RED: Any shade of red with or without embellishment. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  6. SILVERADO BENCH SEAT (AND CHAIRS): Chairs & benches with wooden frames, with or without upholstery. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  7. DIY WORLD - DIY HOBBYIST with NO formal resale business. If you are selling anywhere online, you must enter another category. This category was created as a safe space for hobbyists to enter and have a fair playing field to win. Resale entries will be asked to move, or be removed. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  8. DECOUPAGE: (Merit Award via independent judging)
  9. BEST FAUX-LUXE: Show us your best imitation finish. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  10. THE BOHEMIAN GIRL: Calling all boho chics (or guys) - get out your glass of wine, get your bad pants on, grab a spray bottle and paint away. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  11. ROLLERS, STENCILLING & EMBOSSING: Get out your rollers and stencils and show us some texture! (Merit Award via independent judging)
  12. STARRY STARRY NIGHT - MASTERPIECE TRANSFERS: Transfer of printed image onto furniture. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  13. MOLDINGS & APPLIQUES: A piece finished using applied moldings and appliques. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  14. HOTLINE BLING: Gilding takes center stage with the use of lustrous finish adornments of any kind, including gold/silver wax, GF Pearl Effects, gold or silver leaf, copper, etc., or other gilding or metallic finishes. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  15. SOUL KITCHEN: CABINETRY UPCYCLE: PAINT OR STAIN - Kitchens, baths, bars. etc. This can be a refinish of existing cabinets or a new finish on new cabinets. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  16. TWISTIN' IN THE KITCHEN WITH DINAH - NEW CABINETS: A new finish on new wood; kitchen, bath, bars, etc. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  17. COMBINATION: Use a combination of paint and stain to create anything from classic to creative. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  18. SHABBY CHICDistressed, aged, chippy or just plain shabby. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  19. BARNWOOD CHIC: Rustic wood finish. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  20. MODERN LOVE: Mid-century modern makeover. Bring on your best mid-1950s revival. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  21. JAVA JIVE: Show us your best Gel Stain refresh. Paint accents are fine. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  22. ROLL OUT THE BURL-EL: Show us how you bring out the grain, the burl or detailed inset patterns with a dye stain on your entire project, a tabletop or drawer fronts. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  23. WATER BASED STAINS: A finished piece using water-based stain. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  24. SHADES OF GRAY: Enter a project completed mostly in gray - wood or color accents are fine. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  25. THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Open category for entries that do not fit into the other categories. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  26. SECONDARY PURPOSE: Transformation project of furniture repurposed to a new use. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  27. SIGN OF THE TIMES: Painted or stained signs. (Merit Award via independent judging)
  28. UNFINISHED: Best finish using pre-made unfinished wood furniture. To enter this category, your raw-wood piece must have been purchased from a business that sells pre-made unfinished wood furniture. You must submit both "before" and "after" photos to be considered for a prize. (Merit Award via independent judging)

Creative Combos Category For Our Friends Across the Seas

Let inspiration reign! Use a combination of paint and stain to create anything from classic to creative. Stained top or painted frame, stained drawer fronts and painted frame, or any other combo. All manufacturers' finishing products are welcome with no restrictions. (Merit Award via Independent Judging)

This category is a special tribute to our friends across the water, open ONLY to Mainland UK, Mainland Ireland and Mainland Europe residents.

Rules for Combos - Judged by an Independent Panel

  1. You may enter all categories with multiple unique entries but may not submit the same project in multiple categories. For example, you can submit four pieces of furniture in the Coastal Blues category, but cannot submit any of those four in another category.
  2. Entrants must use at least one General Finishes product.
  3. You must describe your finishing technique. The better the back story, the more chances to win; judges love them.
  4. There is no time restriction on when the project you are submitting was created. It could be any year as long as it is your original work.
  5. Projects you have entered in a previous GF Design Challenge may not be entered again.
  6. One prize per entrant. Entrants who win in multiple categories or subcategories will be awarded one prize - the top prize available. GF needs to share the fun!
  7. Category entries open to Mainland UK/Europe/Ireland residents, no isles. European prizes will be shipped through our UK and IE distributors. Other shipping restrictions or delays may occur based on location.
  8. General Finishes product prizes are limited to water-based finishes.

Woodworking Categories

Hand-crafted projects and furniture using the wood finishes of your choice, from any manufacturer. These pieces will be judged on the design and craftsmanship required to execute them. (Merit Award via Independent Judging)

Rules for Woodworking - Judged by an Independent Panel

  1. Projects entered in a previous GF Design Challenge may not be entered again.
  2. You may use the finish(es) of your choice.
  3. Please describe your project process and finishing techniques.
  4. There is no time restriction on when the project you are submitting was created. It could be any year as long as it is your original work.
  5. One prize per entrant. Entrants who win in multiple categories or subcategories will be awarded one prize - the top prize available. GF needs to share the fun!
  6. Category entries open to Mainland U.S./UK/Europe/Ireland residents, no isles. European prizes will be shipped through our UK and IE distributors. Other shipping restrictions or delays may occur based on location.
  7. General Finishes product prizes are limited to water-based finishes for international winners.

Woodworking Categories:

  1. TABLES
  2. CHAIRS & BENCHES
  3. STORAGE (Cabinets, Chests, Boxes, Dressers)
  4. INSTRUMENTS
  5. WOOD CARVINGS & SCULPTURE
  6. YOUTH OR STUDENT WOODWORKING (25 Years Old and Under)
  7. OTHER

Wood Turning Categories

Wood turning is one of the most demanding and beautiful art forms. This category is for hand-turned projects finished using the wood finishes of your choice, from any manufacturer. (Merit Award via independent judging)

Rules Wood Turning - Judged by an Independent Panel

  1. Projects entered in a previous GF Design Challenge Contest may not be entered again.
  2. You may use the finish(es) of your choice. 
  3. Please describe your project process and finishing techniques.
  4. There is no time restriction on when the project you are submitting was created. It could be any year as long as it is your original work.
  5. One prize per entrant. Entrants who win in multiple categories or subcategories will be awarded one prize - the top prize available. GF needs to share the fun!
  6. Category entries open to Mainland U.S./UK/Europe/Ireland residents, no isles. European prizes will be shipped through our UK and IE distributors. Other shipping restrictions or delays may occur based on location.
  7. General Finishes product prizes are limited to water-based finishes for international winners.

Wood Turning Categories 

  1. TURNED & CARVED SURFACE
  2. DECORATED & EMBELLISHED SURFACE
  3. CONVENTIONAL NATURAL EDGE BOWLS
  4. CONVENTIONAL FINISHED EDGE BOWLS
  5. HOLLOW VESSELS WITH OR WITHOUT LIDS OR FINIALS
  6. PENS
  7. LIDDED BOXES
  8. SMALL TURNINGS: Toys, Ornaments, Functional, etc.
  9. TURNED, CARVED & EMBELLISHED SPINDLES & LEGS
  10. CONVENTIONAL SPINDLE & LEGS
  11. SEGMENTED WOOD TURNINGS
  12. CREATIVE FINISH COLOR
  13. YOUTH OR STUDENT WOOD TURNER (25 Years and Under)
  14. BEGINNING WOOD TURNERS (With less than one year of experience. Any age is welcome, but cannot have postings or resales of work older than 12 months from the start of the contest.) 

RULES FOR STAGING PRIZES

Four staging winners to receive an assortment of staging accessories valued at approximately $125 - each assortment will vary. Judging will be based on the size and beauty of the image, quality of lighting, and accessorizing. Preference will be given to images that are at least 1,000 pixels wide - the standard for most social media channels. 


Judges may not enter the Design Challenge

 

Dates

Contest Entries--
July 18, 6:30 PM. CST - Aug 7, 12 AM CST
Voting--
Aug 17, 12 PM CST - Aug 24, 12 AM CST
Winners announced- Sept 3rd
Claim Prizes Online Sept 7th-17th

Contest Categories

Popular Vote
28 Upcycling Categories
Creative Combos-Europe/UK/IE
Staging Contest
7 Woodworking Categories
14 Wood Turning Categories
 

GF is advocating a fair playing field--
Votes for the Chalk It Up Popular Vote category should be based on the beauty of the color and the natural following of their friends. General Finishes will not accept entries where votes are promoted in exchange for compensation of any kind.

Due to shipping costs, contest prizes will be awarded only in Mainland U.S./Canada (Pending approval from the Candian Competition Bureau and excluding Quebec) and Mainland UK/Ireland/Europe. No isles.

Any manufacturers' products are welcome. Entrants will be asked to provide a photo of their project and list the products and colors used.