What do you want to be when grow up? I was asked that question all throughout my childhood as we all were. (And I don’t remember any of my answers!) I didn’t grow up planning to paint anything but my own homes. My high school guidance didn’t ever mention decorative painting as a career. It simply happened. I’d say that this career picked me. I’ve now been a professional faux finisher and decorative painter for over 20 years.
Let me tell you how it all began…..
You’ve heard the saying that some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Maybe I was born with a paint brush in my hand. My first memory of painting is when I was 8. My dad had built a wood fence and it was my job to help paint it. My next recollection of a paint project was when I was 12, although I’m sure there were more. I wanted to paint my bedroom. Dad took me to the local Co-op (yes, the same place we bought cattle feed) to buy paint. I chose a lovely lavender color. Dad helped me set up, providing me with a drop cloth, ladder, wet rag and a 5″ paint brush. Did you notice what he didn’t give me? I did not get a roller, only the giant brush! And, by gosh, I painted all my room with that brush. Little did I know then what my future would hold.
My first faux finish project began when I found an old magazine in the attic of my second house. In hindsight I wish that I’d kept that magazine. In it was an article that talked about a paint technique called Colorwashing. It sounded easy enough. The technique required three things: paint, water and rags. Paint is inexpensive, I had rags and I had more time than money. I decided to give it a try. Let’s just say that there was learning curve. After starting over three times, I found a method that worked for me. And I was hooked.
That first room led to a second room, which led to a third room. And then to another house. I wasn’t limited to only wall projects either. The “paper bag” floor in the living area of our new home was pretty and popular. Acquaintances brought friends to our house to show them our floor! Honest! (That’s a whole other story!)
But there only so many surfaces in a house that a girl can paint. I was beginning to get bored. (Does that happen to anyone else?) And that was when I discovered that there was a school for faux finishing. It was there that I met Kelly S King and the line of Faux Effects products.
Oh Wow! To say that I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. There was so many products (and many more today). It was also an a-ha moment! The quality of products would make a huge difference in the outcome of my projects! Faux Effects had created one of the first water-based glazes that didn’t dry fast when working with it. The only glaze choice that I had before finding Faux Effects had been oil-based glaze. Ugh!
I learned so much during that first class! (And yet, not enough!) I bought a few products and a special brush. As soon as I got home, I started adding layers of glaze to my already painted walls. It was so much fun!
One of the best things about this class was the size of the sample finishes that I created. They were large impressive poster board size samples! They were beautiful and I showed them to anyone who would look. It was as if I had created sliced bread. No one in my area had ever seen anything like my new faux finishes. And in a few short weeks someone asked me to “paint” a room for them. Oh my gosh – really? (It was like a Sally Field Oscar moment for me.) And just that quickly I was in business…….