The Search for the Perfect Colormatch: Part 2 - Time is Money
Finishing is always the last step in any industry, from automotive to aerospace, and nearly anything architectural. That being said, it's no surprise that finishers are typically faced with tight deadlines and serious consequences for not meeting them.
However, attempting to save a few hours by cutting corners can lead to severe delays when trying to correct the problem after the fact. Believe me, waiting an extra day to get a properly matched color to your previous batch is much easier than finishing your material with the wrong color, then spending the time and labor on sanding a refinishing the job again! Waiting a few hours at the beginning of the job may seem like time wasted, but spending 2 days redoing all your work when the color is off will have much greater impact on your deadlines.
The fastest way isn't usually the best practice. I see this problem every week, from individual finishers, all the way up to massive cabinet suppliers; failure to integrate new material into the current batch. Yes, it is easier to finish a gallon then move onto the next one. However, even the best matched colors will vary from gallon to gallon. Combining, or "boxing" each unit, is essential to dialing in a uniform color across an entire project.
The best practice for maintaining color consistency at the shop or field level is reserving >25% of the current batch to mix in with the next batch you order. This will ensure that the entire job is finished with the smallest amount of variance. Again, following this best practice does take longer and can create slight delays, but in the long run, it is certain to save time and labor as you will be minimizing the risk of applying a color with an unacceptable variance.