Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Technical Tuesday Episode #293: Our Top Tech Tuesday Picks

July 26th, 2016

Tech Tuesday greetings, wine cellar buddies! Because we’re nearly at the end of our mid-year mark, we decided to do this short but sweet recap on our favorite Tech Tuesday projects for the first half of 2016. We’re definitely pumped up with new and exciting features starting this August, but a stroll down memory lane should refresh us of these gorgeous wine rooms that left our clients 100% satisfied:

Technical Tuesday Episode #264: Platinum Series x Black Walnut Knockout Combo

Let’s get the ball (or bottle!) rolling with this early January project we completed for a client in Collier, FL. It features the Platinum Series wine racks in beautiful Black Walnut wood. But what is really memorable about this Tech Tuesday spotlight is the fact that it’s the very first one to showcase WCI’s “blended stains.” Our “blended” stain options essentially comprise of our combining two of our stock stains, like Dark Walnut or Midnight Black, for example, and blend them together to create darker shades. The bolder hues make the wine racks really stand out against the walls and floors, like in this project:

Beautiful Platinum Series wine racks
Technical Tuesday Episode #271: Rocking The Vintage View Series

Next up is this stunner of a wine cellar that showcases the minimalist beauty of the Vintage View metal wine racks to perfection. It’s definitely one of our biggest favorites because it really has everything you could ask for in a “compact” wine cellar project: ample bottle storage, space-efficiency, and understated elegance to top it all off. Note that the Vintage View metal wine racks are designed to be installed in two ways: either attached to a wall or displayed floor to ceiling with the help of a Floor to Ceiling Frame which can be purchased separately. This helps the racks achieve a so-called “floating” look which is not only an amazing space-saver, but very eye-catching as well.

The Vintage View Series
Technical Tuesday Episode #290: Showcasing Our Vintner Commercial Racking Series

Last but certainly not the least, we are quite proud of our very first Tech Tuesday featuring our newly launched Vintner Commercial Racking Series. This project illustrates perfectly just how versatile our Vintner Series wine rack kits are, especially now that we expanded into the commercial wine cellar game as well. Keep in mind that the Vintner Commercial line also offers a bevy of stain and finish options to further customize the look of your wine store. Plus, you can dress up your racking assembly with custom accents such as center trim and moldings and the Vinyl Base with platform that helps raise your racks a good few inches off the floor. *Cheers*


Oil Versus Water-Based Stains: What You Need To Know

July 25th, 2016

We love stains and finishes on wine racks just as much as the next wine cellar fan. While the natural colors of wood are indeed beautiful, dressing up your wine racks in custom stains and finishes lets you play around with the style factor. You can create the mood you want for your wine cellar by staining your racks, whether you want to go simple and classy, bold and luxurious, timeworn and vintage, and so on.

Go for water-based stains and finishes!

A little knowledge goes a long way…

But while stains and finishes are real game changers for your wine cellar project, we should also be aware of the fact that they are not exactly the safest products out there. This is particularly the case for oil-based ones. Indeed, oil-based stains are ironically the more well-known products despite so many disadvantages to using them. These disadvantages have mostly to do with the health and environmental effects of these products. Let’s discuss them in better detail.

First off, it should be noted that stains in general contain VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs typically combine with nitrogen oxides in the air to form ozone. Some of these VOCs are carcinogenic or neurotoxic. The health effects of exposure to VOCs vary greatly by the type of chemical and the concentration. For example, exposure to high levels of VOCs, especially those that are neurotoxic, can cause headaches, nausea, tremors or seizures, difficulty of breathing, or even death in humans. Oil-based stains usually have 6 times the VOCs of water-based ones.

In addition, oil-based stains dry or cure really slowly. Plus,  they are actually fire hazards. Cleaning them up is also a very tedious task because there are actually laws governing how they should be disposed to avoid their toxic effects from spreading. That’s because you generally need paint thinner or other similar potent solvent to remove these stains.

This now brings us to the “other” type of stain – the water-based one. Because the actual finish is suspended in the water and not “thinned” by it, this type of stain has limited VOC. That means it’s  a lot safer health and environment-wise and there is very low or virtually no fire hazard. Water-borne products are largely composed of water so their dry time is a fraction of that of oil-based products. Basically, multiple coats can be applied in the same time it would take a single coat of oil-base product to dry. It also helps a lot that water-based stains are odor-free and their clean-up is a breeze: just use soap and water!

WCI is very proud to let everyone know that we’ve always used water-based stains and finishes in all our racking products. We have proactively worked in conjunction with the EPA to eliminate all solvent based stains and finishes in our manufacturing processes. ^_^

Professional Wine Room At Less Cost With The Designer Series

July 21st, 2016

It’s no secret that we totally love closet transformations! But what’s even better is that more and more of our customers are embracing this wine cellar concept as well. Let’s check out this latest testimonial courtesy of our client Tom. He purchased our Designer Series wine racks and had them installed in a closet-turned-wine room:

Designer Series wine racks

Now first off, it should be noted that “closet transformations” are not exclusively about not having enough space in your home for a formal wine cellar. This concept is also one of the best ways of utilizing unused or seemingly wasted space in your home. Today’s feature is a terrific example of this. The closet was actually remodeled since it was already an extra space in the client’s home. They had it converted to a wine room to hold their collection. They sent in for Individual Bottle Columns, Curved Corner Racks, and Open Diamond Bins from the Designer Series. A contractor was hired to assemble the racks and the end result was nothing short of satisfying. The client ended up with enough home wine storage for about 35 cases of wine and presently, you can see that they’re just starting to fill up that wine closet:

Wine cellar closet

Perhaps the best part about the whole project is the way the resulting wine racking assembly looked like it cost a small fortune but didn’t. That’s the beauty of utilizing wine rack kits like the Designer Series. You are able to turn out a professional looking wine cellar with all the trimmings sans the impractical expenses. The Designer Series, in particular, is a very popular choice especially among first-time wine cellar builders. There is so much variety in bottle storage options as well as a full selection for your wood, stains and finishes. This wine rack kit had been a total hit last year with a lot of our customers and it’s game is only getting stronger. We highly recommend watching this short video review of the Designer Series to know more about it!

“We remodeled and converted a closet to a wine room. I gave Issis the dimensions of the room and she designed it to my specs. We have room now for about 35 cases of wine and we could not be more pleased. We did find the “erector set” type of shipment a little daunting to assemble – we had our contractor do it and he even remarked that it was pretty intricate. The end result is that we have a professional grade wine room for a reasonable cost.”

~Tom L.~

Wine Cellar Inspirations: Choosing Your Stain And Finish Option (Part 2)

July 20th, 2016

Aaaand we’re back! Heads up, wine cellar fans! It’s the second installment of our stain and finish option post. But before we go down to the nitty gritty, you might want to check out the first part of this series if you’ve missed out on it or for a little memory refresher. So last time, we talked about how different types of stains can change up the look and/or mood of your wine cellar project. Today, we’re picking up from where we left off – this time, with the various wood finish options:

Stain and Finish Options

Dusty Weathered Finish

For those of you who desire to achieve a timeworn look for your wine racks, the Dusty Weathered Finish is the way to go. This type of finish option will make your wood take on a weathered appearance that’s so authentic it really screams “vintage” from the first glance. The process in creating this look is also quite intricate. First off, the wood is run through a proprietary process that strips intergrain material down below the grain in the same fashion that outside exposure striates barn siding over 50-70 years. Then, a custom topcoat is applied and the color plays on the grayish-brown hues to complete the weathered appearance to the wood. Note that this type of stain works particularly well with Pine, Redwood and Oak.

Dark Weathered Finish

Next up is the Dark Weathered Finish. While it involves the same process as the Dusty Weathered Finish, the end result will yield a bolder color of the wood. That’s because the topcoat applied is darker and of a more solid color for a more dramatic effect. This finish is unmatched by others and allows each project to be highly unique.

Distressed Finish

This is one finish option that entails quite an amount of work to achieve the desired results, owing to its unique properties. Essentially, the wood is strategically gouged, dented and scratched to give it the character of old, used pieces of furniture. Next, a dark coats is wiped onto the wood to fill in the gouges, dents and scratches in order to highlight them. Lastly, a medium-dark background coat is applied, completed with a lacquer finish. As a result, the wood takes on a very “antique” appearance, reminiscent of “old-country charm.”

Whitewash Finish

For those who desire to have a more modern and vibrant appeal to their wine cellars, the Whitewash Finish is the option to go for. This finish literally gives a whitish cast to the wood, making it appear bright, clean, and airy. In general, Whitewash is a versatile finish that complements the clean, open themes of modern décor as well as the seaside appeal of old New England.

Lacquer Finish

Last but certainly not the least, we have the Lacquer Finish option. Lacquer is a clever choice if you want to give your wine racks a smooth, gleaming finish that speaks “elegance” every which way. Lacquer finishes can also take a lot of time to complete, with multiple applications of a clear coat sealant accompanied by intricate hand-sanding treatments between finishes.


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