John Michaels Decorating - John Michaels
John Michaels says "There is a gap between creating a pretty sample board and a professional installation," when talking about the support he has received from Kathy Carroll at the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes.
"Estimating a job can cost time and money, and I've been to other schools where they wouldn't give out a cell phone number for support. When you take a class from Kathy, she supports you after the class has ended," he says.
John Michaels Decorating (JMD) was initially established in 1989, and John did straight painting and wallpaper hanging. John quickly learned the finer points of the painting business through his association with the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA.)
John discovered the art of faux and decorative painting in the mid-1990’s while working on a showcase house for charity. The showcase was filled with faux and decorative painting. This was the inspiration which began John’s pursuit of decorative arts, and has become a lifelong passion.
When asked about the perfect client, John says "A client who chooses a finish they like and can make a decision," but adds "where my experience comes in is to know which finishes will work or be appropriate for the surface."
In the photo on the right, John demonstrates an example of creating a specialized finish to match a client's sculpture.
"I was at the client's home with another painter doing straight painting work, and she asked to see my portfolio of faux finishes, John explains.
"The client wanted a high quality finish to match the high quality of the sculpture."
John talks about another instance where Kathy Carroll's assistance was valuable in helping him produce great results on a job. "I learned this great leather finish from Kathy and when I got it wrong the first time, Kathy told me how to wash off the wax and start again. The result was great the second time."
"I am getting ready to start the same finish at a restaurant, with a urethane finish -- so it will be scrubbable," John adds.
John invests a number of weeks a year with continuing education and continues to take classes at the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes. He is a member of the Stencil Artisans League (SALI), a group of top faux and decorative painters who share knowledge and skills.
Over the years, John's portfolio has grown to hundreds of finishes and successful faux installations. He describes his typical work as mostly glazed finishes, but "a lot of Lusterstone, a fair amount of old world finishes and some exotic finishes."
"I would like to get more into murals, which seems a more natural progression to fine art," John says.
John Michaels Decorating can be reached at 708-447-9500 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.