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Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes
504 East St. Charles Rd,
Carol Stream, IL 60188
Toll Free: 800-797-4305
Phone: 630-653-2400
FAX: 630-653-4671


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The Professional Update Class
with an introduction to
Paint It! and Stain It!

Time is a precious commodity. Time to experiment and invest in new products. Time to create new samples for your portfolio. Time is imperative…for yourself, for your business.

Kathy Carroll recognizes all these factors and so many more. She teaches The Professional Update Class to help artisans reinvest in themselves and their business.

Kathy recently taught the Professional Update Class in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We began the day at eight in the morning and ended between four or five. We did a total of fourteen sample boards including four Paint It! and Stain It! boards.” Kathy said, “It was a fabulous class. People haven’t been taking the time to invest in themselves and update their portfolio. They’re excited about the samples, to show them to their customers, and from there they can make sales. Two have already sold jobs from the samples.”

The Professional Update class inspires, uses new products, new techniques, explores new trends, and breaths life back into your portfolio.

From just a few layers, Kathy has the ability of creating stunning samples. It’s simple, efficient, and cost effective. In the class she introduced the benefits and ease of use of the following products: Crystal Brush, Paint It! and Stain It!, Glitter by FBK, Metallic Texture, Stencil Designs by Kathy, Golden Proceed products which included Smooth Translucent Texture, Smooth Glazing Gel, Rough Gel, Smooth Crackling Glaze, Rough Irregular, and Regular Texture.

Several artisans from the class commented about their experiences from the recent Professional Update class Kathy taught.

What was your impression of the Professional Update class?

“Kathy is vibrant and fun. She is very creative and has a lot of different products. She has a great use of glitter and bling that she brings to a board. It is easy to do. She comes up with these beautiful finishes with not a lot of layers. I’m glad I took the class,” said Diane Beard of Creative Impressions by Diane.

“I have a long history with Kathy. I love how she teaches and how she uses products in a new way. It’s worth investing in yourself, learning new trends, textures, and colors. I’m really glad she offers classes like this,” said Leigh Jones of Leigh Jones Decorative Artisan. 704.488.5358.

“She is excellent. She kept the class in order and explained everything. It was intense and fun. She told you if you did something wrong and praised you if you did it right,” said Shari Fry of Shari Fry Faux Finishes.

“Absolutely loved it. I got to try new products I haven’t used before. Everything she taught was trendy and on-point with what’s popular. Her finishes are relevant. I’ve wasted a lot of money taking classes that the finishes are too far out there and this was not,” said Heidi Cinker of Heidi’s Creative Paint Design.

What were your thoughts regarding the samples you created and the products you used?

“The samples were an amazing addition to my portfolio. They are updated and fresh. They have a lot of shimmer and a wide variety of finishes. I really enjoyed learning more about the Proceed products. They go on smooth and easy. She let us use the Japan Scraper that worked so well with the Proceed line. I liked using the plasters, the glass beads, and I loved the glitter in everything. They were user friendly products,” said Diane.

“Her boards are fantastic. I can sell them immediately. They are a great jumping off place that inspires me and worth every dime,” said Leigh.

“They are beautiful. I can sell them,” said Shari.

“Very saleable. On-point with the trends. Lots of bling, metallic, sparkle, glass beads, all the things that my clients are looking for right now,” said Heidi.

Are you excited to show the new samples to your customers? If you have, what were their reactions?

“Yes, I’m very excited. I’ve had the opportunity to show them to one client and she was very impressed. Last Saturday I showed them to neighbors and they were impressed as well,” said Diane.

“I immediately went out of town on a job, but I was able to use one of the samples on that job. They said do whatever you want. I picked one of Kathy’s samples. My client’s haven’t seen it yet. It’s a vacation house. How could they not love it?” said Leigh.

“I am excited to show them. I have not shown them yet. But I have taken them into my local store and they were very excited about them,” said Shari.

“Kathy is friendly and goes out of her way to be helpful. She’s very creative. Her finishes are among the most saleable finishes in my portfolio. I sold one of her finfishes within two days of finishing her class. It went straight from her class to the client. They said, ‘yes, we love it,’ and that right their paid for the class,” said Heidi.

What are your thoughts about Kathy Carroll as an instructor?

“I think she is amazing because she is always trying different things and she does so much experimentation. She can help guide you with what goes together, different layers, and colors. She is invaluable. Not only with Proceed, but all the other products, and how to use them all together. She caries so many multiple lines that instead of having to call different places I can call her. It’s really great,” said Diane.

“She is a fantastic teacher. She never makes you feel inadequate or that you don’t have the skills. You can ask any question or call her at any time. I took my first class ten years ago. I picked her because she taught more than one product line. I had been in the business about five years at the time. She was the only one that offered more than one product during a class. I learned so much. I can call her for anything, no matter what. Even if she doesn’t carry the product, she’s always there. It’s just amazing for a business owner to be there no matter what for her clients,” said Leigh.

“She is very knowledgeable and a good teacher. She teaches new techniques with tools that I haven’t used before and new products. She has new ways to use old tools,” said Shari.

“She’s very knowledgeable and creative. She’s innovative in her combination of products, textures, and options in the industry,” said Heidi.

Would you recommend this class to fellow artisans?

“Oh yes, definitely,” said Diane.

“Highly. Take the classes, go to her school, and go to her conventions. Do not miss it,” said Leigh.

“Yes,” said Shari.

“Already have,” said Heidi.

The productivity level was high, inspiration and creativity flowed, and new products and techniques were welcomed with high praise. Among the new products were Paint It! and Stain It!.

Paint it! offers a breakthrough in cost effective measures that eliminates time consuming steps. Paint It! can be applied directly over any surface.

With this furniture and décor paint there is no sanding, no priming, and no bonder required. Paint It! lays on flat, has no chalky feeling, great adhesion, beautiful colors, and incredible cost savings.

Stain It! enhances or darkens the paint depending on the color. Applied without a primer or sanding, a wax-like sheen is achieved in one coat with Stain It!.

Paint It! and Stain It! are user friendly, cost effective, and in high demand by both professional and DIYers alike.

From the same class, two of the artisans were interviewed on their experience with Paint It! and Stain It!. Their responses are below:

How easy was it to use Paint It! and Stain It!?

“Seems like a great product. I plan on using it to redo my kitchen table this summer. They glide on really smooth. They have beautiful colors too, a huge variety of warm colors and cool colors. They have come up with a great product line,” said Diane.

“Very easy,” said Shari.

What are the benefits of Paint It! and Stain it!?

“It adheres really well. There’s less preparation for the painted surface and not as much sanding and cleaning. The glaze is really open. It doesn’t lock down right away so there’s more time to work with the product,” said Diane.

“No surface preparation. Paint it on, finish it, and you’re done,” said Shari.

Do you see yourself using Paint It! and Stain It! for your clients?

“Yes, I would use the product,” said Diane.

“Yes, I do with the economy the way it was and could go back to. With people doing home remodeling it will be a valuable item in my portfolio,” said Shari.

Would you recommend Paint It! and Stain It! to fellow artisans?

“Yes,” said Diane and Shari.

In a relaxed atmosphere, colleagues joined together to explore designs, new products, and techniques sure to captivate clients and designers alike. Kathy stays current with trends, accessible to her clients and students, and shares her knowledge inside and outside the classroom. The Professional Update class is about reinvesting back into your portfolio, your business. What could be more important? If you have any questions, we at Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes are happy to answer them.

Faux by Kathy Quick Inspirtations, Quick creative, and simple finishes to improve Decorative Arts portfolio
Click Here to purchase
Quick Inspirations

Quick Inspirations

January Sample Pack
Keep your portfolio up to date with high quality boards sent right to your door each month!  Each Quick Inspirations sample pack includes a 9 x 10 sample with a recipe for the finish as well as three 3 x 3 color waves.  What an amazing addition to your portfolio without the demands on your time!

Try our sample pack for only $27.50.  For the most cost effective savings order a 12 month supply at only $260 and receive a new Quick Inspirations sample pack delivered to your door each month.  Call now, we look forward to hearing from you!

Click Here to purchase Quick Inspirations >

Would You Like to Be Artisan of the Month?Faux By Kathy Decorative Artisan of the Month

Have you ever wanted to be featured as an Artisan of the Month on our website?  Now’s your chance!  All you have to do to be considered is contact our office.  If you are selected, you will need to be available for a 30 to 45 minute phone interview and provide us with at least 10 pictures of your work, and a picture of yourself to be featured with your article. 

The increased visibility alone is worth it!  What have you got to lose?  Contact us today!

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