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Industry Interview: Chris West of Solution Finish!

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1. Before getting into some questions about Solution Finish, can you tell me a little about yourself personally? What are your interests outside of detailing?

I have lived in Southern California my whole life and raised my five kids here as well. Although I live in “Surf City”, I never surfed! I was always more into hunting and hang gliding, and competed as a bull rider off and on for 13 years. (My grandparents were from Colorado and Montana, so I was more of a redneck then a surfer LOL).

2. Where did you work before Solution Finish?

I’ve only been in this industry for about six years. For 40 years I was in construction and real estate development, building and selling multi-million dollar custom homes. During that time, I also built, owned and operated 6 coin-operated car washes. Throughout those years in the car wash business, people would ask me about what they should do about their plastic and rubber trim oxidizing. So, over a period of time, I developed an idea about that but didn’t do anything with it for close to 20 years. When real estate got slow, I decided it was time to put my idea into action, and spent six months in my garage working on my formula for Solution Finish. And, since I’m not as smart as some guys, I did a tremendous amount of reading on the subject of chemistry and polymers. As you might imagine, I failed miserably for months and spent a lot of time being totally frustrated. My wife and I sacrificed quite a bit to make this a reality. Then the day finally came when I had that “Eureka!” moment, and Solution Finish was born.

3. How did Solution Finish come about/how did the business start?

My beautiful wife Kimi came up with the name. From the start, I decided I was not going to outsource any part of the production process. I proceeded to buy equipment; filling machines, labelers, cappers, etc., and to this day everything is done in-house. Formulating, filling, labeling, and shipping is all done in my facility in Huntington Beach. My dream is still to have this be a family business and handed down in the years to come.

4. For our readers who don’t know about Solution Finish, can you give us a brief overview of the product and why Solution Finish should be in everyone’s detailing arsenal?

Everyone can benefit by having Solution Finish in their detailing kit…Oddly enough, when I first started Solution Finish, nobody had a product that was a true trim restorer; they were all dressings and conditioners, etc. So there are several things that Solution Finish unique, besides the fact that it does not contain any silicone:

  1. First, it dissolves the existing oxidation while you’re applying it.
  2. Then it actually puts the colorant back into the part being treated.
  3. It contains antioxidants and light stabilizers that give it UV protection (it’s like sunscreen for your plastic).

5. Are there any misconceptions about trim restoration or Solution Finish that you could educate us about?

The primary misconception about trim restoration is that silicone is a good thing…Most people don’t realize that, when silicone gases off, it creates a hydroperoxide gas at the surface level of the part, which actually accelerates the oxidation process. And once oxidation starts on rubber, vinyl, or plastic, it cannot be reversed; all you can do is slow it down and try to make it look new. Solution Finish does not contain any silicone; and, because it’s dry to the touch, it doesn’t have that “wet look” shine you get with a silicone-based product (to me, that has always looked unnatural). Also, it doesn’t have that slick slippery feel that is dangerous on running boards and step bumpers, etc.

6. If you had to give anyone one tip on trim restoration or care, what would it be?

Solution Finish is extremely easy to use. You apply it with a microfiber sponge and then buff off all the excess surface oil with a microfiber towel. But here’s where things go wrong: preparation. It’s extremely important for the plastic to be completely dry. It should also be wiped down with 70-90% alcohol to dissolve any silicone-based products that may still be on it, and to flush out the microscopic pores of the plastic. Too many guys try and get fancy with the degreasers and decontaminates, etc. to prep the plastic. Unfortunately, all those products leave a film/particles on the surface that prevents Solution Finish from absorbing. Finally, remember that more is not better! Use small amounts at a time, then completely remove the excess. You want to end up with an even, dry matte finish.

7 comments on Industry Interview: Chris West of Solution Finish!

  1. Chris West says:

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate detailed image support to the Detailing Industry and DIY enthusiasts. Solutionfinish. crew is fortunate to be one of their top vendors… Thank you rai Industry and DIY enthusiasts. Solutionfinish. crew is fortunate to be one of their top vendors… Thank you Reece

    • Chris West says:

      I do not know why it got all jumbled like that when I posted it LOL

      • Reece @ DI Reece @ DI says:

        Chris – Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and to provide our readers with some insight on yourself and Solution Finish!

  2. rlmccarty2000 says:

    Great interview. Love your product. Are you coming out with anything new for the future?

  3. Michael Hinchey says:

    I love solution finish.

  4. Ron Ayotte says:

    I have a client who came to me a little over a year ago. She had a black Chevrolet Avalanche with severe oxidation on the plastics. She tried many different trim restoration products to no avail. She was ready to have all the plastics replaced with painted parts at considerable expense. I told her that I could restore the trim with a product that would last at a mere fraction of what she was going to invest.

    I treated the trim with Solution Finish. She was ecstatic when she saw her truck back to its original look. Idetaill her Avalanche twice a year and the trim still looks brand new.

    Chris West’s product works!

  5. Ron Ayotte says:

    I have a client who came to me a little over a year ago. She had a black Chevrolet Avalanche with severe oxidation on the plastics. She tried many different trim restoration products to no avail. She was ready to have all the plastics replaced with painted parts at considerable expense. I told her that I could restore the trim with a product that would last at a mere fraction of what she was going to invest.

    I treated the trim with Solution Finish. She was ecstatic when she saw her truck back to its original look. I detail her Avalanche twice a year and the trim still looks brand new.

    Chris West’s product works!

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