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Workshop colours

Greetings everyone.

I have made some changes to my workshop and now need to repaint.
It has not been painted before just left as a brown colour of

I have my own bench as well as places for 9 others that I teach
as a night class. There is good natural light from windows on two
walls and a small window in front of my bench. Lighting at night
is from florescent tubes over the benches as well as other
florescent lighting.

I would like some suggestions which I know will be as varied as
there are members on the group.

I look forward to your colouerful replys.

Best wishes to all.

Major Boyce @pyramid

I prefer a black bench top over the usual natural wood color.
It makes it much easier on my eyes in locating all the little
pieces of gold or silver wires I deal with.


My personal choice would be high-gloss white enamel. Why?

[1] Reflects light well;
[2] Cleans very easily;
[3] Makes a stark background on which
to hang examples of your students’ work.

My $.02 worth,


Use white, white, white!! It will make you shop seem lighter
without adding more lights. My shop is painted with a good
coverage glossy white paint (no bargain brands). For those of
you saying – “No, not white”, — of course it gets dirty, but
twice a year in June and December/January the shop gets a good
dusting, vacuuming and a quick wipe down of splatters (that’s why
you need GOOD paint, it cleans easily). The rest of the year I
use a fluffy duster when I can’t stand the dust anymore. The
dust/dirt will be there no matter what color you use, even black
or brown, but white is easy to touch up and emotionally it is
clean and uplifting. That’s my 2cents worth.

Merry Holidays!

Bacliff, TX USA


Semigloss light grey
it’s washable and not to bright.

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA

Hey Tom –

Two great minds??? And both for 2 cents!

Although I think Mary Hu’s suggestion of a black top for the
bench is one I’ll incorporate next year.

Merry Holidays!

Bacliff, TX USA

I prefer a black bench top over the usual natural wood color.

And I have a white floor – theoretically so that I can find the
things I drop, … but Mary post makes me think that perhaps it
should be dark: dirt would blend in but the silver and gold would
stand out. Hmmmmm.


I agree that a lighter color (very light cream) has I feel
actually improved interest and this year better sales. I was
using forest green befor and you really can see the difference
with customers standing and looking a cases they used to pass
quickly by. Have a peacful and Merry Hlidays, Ron

White White WHITE ! ! I love white walls. They reflect all
available light and make non-obtrusive backgrounds for all sorts
of things. Particularly in a studio they are excellent to posting
photographs, drawings etc. If you live in a bright hot desert,
maybe not but I live in a mid-western woods and I want all the
light I can get. Marilyn Smith

I agree with Nancy about white. It may seem boring but does
make the space seem larger. And most of us don’t have the luxury
of working in large spaces. I find the color of the floor even
more important. The school where I work a lot has gray floors -
just try finding silver (or even gold) jumprings on that! The
floor of my own studio is brick red and glossy. Everything
shows on that. Gini

While I did not choose the color, the main room in our studio is
painted a sort of adobe color called beach rose. It softens the
afrenoon sun that comes streaming into the studio, and also makes
a good background for the art hanging onthe walls.

Richard D. Hamilton
Martha’s Vineyard
Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

Hi Gini

A red floor. What a great idea. My studio floor is mottled grey
and white. Everything that lands on the floor is lost to the
jewelry jenie forever (or until I drop something else (g). Now we
need to discuss flooring materials that work best.

A wonderful and healthy holiday season to all.


Hey Orchids,

This has been a great topic. Never would have thought that wall
and floor colors would be so much discussed. I hope to move this
spring or summer and this is certainly a timely subject for me.
Mary’s black bench top and Gini’s glossy red brick floor (along
with my glossy white walls) are two things I will incorporate
when I plan my new and BIGGER!!! shop. I’m getting so crowded
in my approx 11 x 9 area the dogs can’t find a spot to lay down
anymore so they lay outside the door with their noses just
inside looking lonely and abandoned.

While we’re on the subject — My shop is arranged in separate
work areas: lapidary bench, soldering bench, polishing bench,
and my work bench which is an inverted “U” shape with me in the
middle. It works and keeps me moving around, but if anyone has
some other suggestions I’d love to hear them, especially ideas
about casting areas/equipment. The “plan” is to start doing this
next year sometime and I want to have a space for it.

Merry Holidays!

Bacliff, TX USA

Very cool suggestion, Mary! Never thought of it, but it seems
such an obvious suggestion, now that you make it! :slight_smile: Thanks
for sharing!


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)

I used a steely teal semi gloss, its good to have some color. I
have lots of natural light, so we can handle a darker color.

Mark P.

For what it’s worth. I don’t like the idea of a black top for a
bench, black absorbs light. I prefer natural varnished wood

Richard W



The red floor sounds likea good idea. Several years ago at a
GIA workshop I found out why they don’t provide you with locking
tweezers. I was using my trusty locking tweezer and IDing a nice
little ruby. I thought the color was rather good for a specimen
for the ID box and I handed it to the instructor for comment. As
he touched the tweezer thestone came loose and flew across the
room. We never did find it. It was pretty, but small, so the
cost was mostly to replace it in the GIA sample set, where it had
to have been graded, etc. Cost me eighty bucks.

Anyway, the instructor promised we would get a vacuum cleaner
and a new bag and thoroughly vac the room and check the bag. You
might try this in your studio to look for lost items. Just don’t
forget to save the dust for the refiner. If anyone has a Kirby,
I have the attachment for demonstrating how dirty your bed is —
have you ever seen the salesman do this? It has a tissue paper
in it rather than a bag — would be great for finding stuff,
but i don’t use a Kirby any more. If you want the thing, E-mail
me. Fits an old Kirby, don’t know about the new.

Funny message for Xmas.
Happy Holidays,

Roy (Jess)

Another good trick for findings that fly is to rubber band a
piece of panty hose across the vac hosed and search. Saves pawing
thru that vac bag.

Sigh…it doesn�t really matter very much what the color of my
bench is. I don�t see much of the surface anyway. I know that
it�s nicer to work on a neat bench but I just can�t seem to
control the clutter. I suppose that could be a New Year�s
resolution but I know I wouldn�t even get started because I would
have to clean the thing off first. Sigh!

Marilyn Smith

Same problem here Marilyn. My bench this time of year looks like
I took everything out of the draws and sprew it evenly over the
surface of top of my bench. It has quite a nice findings texture
with a hint of clipings, gold dust and the occasional candy
wraper just for the festive look. But low the end of the year is
coming and yes I will once again discover the true color of the
bench top. Ron