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504 East St. Charles Rd,
Carol Stream, IL 60188
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Phone: 630-653-2400
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Golden Proceed Product conversion chart wit Faux Effects products

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Decortive Artist School Decorative Arts marbling and graining techniques

Decortive Artist School Decorative Arts marbling and graining techniques

M.L. Campbell: Beyond the Kitchen

M.L. Campbell is a name that signifies reliability, durability, and leading edge technology. It is a company that takes their research seriously, and is environmentally conscious. It is a company who works to surpass requirements and provides their customers with cutting edge products. M.L Campbell exceeds expectations with products that go beyond the kitchen.

ML Campbell Wood Finishing Systems

Kathy Carroll says, “It is a wonderful product with a factory finish. For the best application spray it on with an HVLP. The paint dries quickly so you can move onto the next layer. The primer will fill the oak grain so you can do oak cabinetry and you would never know it was oak in the first place.

The products are so versatile they can be used on surfaces other than wood. “You can use it on laminate cabinets and thermal foil cabinets. Always use the correct primer. You do not have to use a top coat.” The possibilities here enable this unique product to go virtually anywhere, whether it is a closet organizer, a bookcase, or a mantle. The only limitations are from the artisan and the client.

ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain
ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain

The durability is outstanding as well. Kathy has used Agualente in her accounting office. “Our black counter in the accounting office has had keys, papers, pens, markers, purses, cans, boxes, tools, all kinds of stuff on it and it has withstood everything without any show of abuse. There is no wear and tear.” It can even withstand stains such as vinegar and ketchup.

ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain
ML Campbell Wood Stain Maple Grain
ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain

Agualente Clear Satin is a favorite of Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes and has many incredible features. It has a low VOC rating and is GREENGUARD Certified. It has a wonderful ease of use with no measuring and low odor. It is also resistant to scratches. For recoating and sanding, it has a quick dry time.

The ASTM and KCMA test methods rate Agualente Clear Satin as follows:

(5= Excellent, 4= Very Good, 3= Good, 2= Fair, 1= Poor)


  • Print Resistance - Excellent
  • Hot and Cold Check Resistance - Excellent
  • Cross Hatch - Excellent
  • Blocking - Excellent
  • Wet Heat Resistance - Very Good
  • Edge Soak - Excellent

Agualente White/Opaque Base is low VOC, GREENGUARD Certified, and a water borne product. This product is designed for interior wood surfaces and has a capacity to be tinted to over 1,000 custom colors.

The ASTM and KCMA test methods rate Agualente White/Opaque Base as follows:


  • Print Resistance - Excellent
  • Hot and Cold Check Resistanc - Excellent
  • Cross Hatch - Excellent
  • Blocking - Very Good
  • Wet Heat Resistance - Excellent
  • Edge Soak - Excellent

Agualente Stain Blocking Primer is highly recommended as it is GREENGUARD Certified, water borne and fast drying. It is specially designed to prevent bleed-through. This primer is excellent on both softwoods and hardwoods alike.

ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain
ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain ML Campbell Wood Stain Oak Grain

M.L. Campbell’s products provide a custom look with an ease of use. We at Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes are here to help with any questions you have. If you have not tried their products yet, give them a try today!

Pride in Workmanship is Evident Throughout the House

Anne Konen and her husband Doug found Faux by Kathy while searching the Internet. Throughout their home building process, they focused on working with smaller companies or family owned businesses. They feel these types of businesses are best because they tend to be personally driven and customer focused. Anne says, “People pursuing their own dreams and passions are passionate about helping others follow their dreams.” Because of this philosophy, the pride in workmanship is evident throughout the house.

With several projects on the horizon, Anne made the call to Faux by Kathy. She knew what she wanted to end up with, but didn’t know how to get there. “The walls are the largest surface in the room and I wanted to create a statement. As I am a true novice, I was having problems figuring out the processes and which materials to use. I was so surprised when it was Kathy Carroll who picked up the phone. She guided me through our projects and gave us the courage to step out of our comfort zone.”

As Anne’s courage grew she rose to new heights in her home. “The great room is the focus of the house and I wanted it to look old and warm and comfortable. We primed, plastered, and embossed the walls with stencils. The stencils we used were freeform grapes and vines. After that, we painted with two coats of metallic paint and applied an antique glaze. Because the ceiling peaks at 16 feet we found ourselves precariously hanging over the scaffolding. It was hard work and I lost five pounds! We went over the walls five times in the process. For the entertainment center we applied a dark brown tinted plaster. These walls were then painted a rust color, sanded down to reveal the lines of the plaster, and then antiqued with glaze. We saved old doors from the old farmhouse we had torn down on the property and mounted them to barn door hardware. The inside walls of the entertainment center are covered in corrugated metal which matches the wall in back of the wood burning stove.”

Now that they had begun transforming their home into the home of their dreams, they became unstoppable. The next project had them tackling their bedroom with a calming, luxurious atmosphere. “We painted the ceilings with a metallic paint and used Soft Silk paint in the master bedroom with a turquoise glaze that matches the tile in the master bath. It is the warmest room you can imagine, and it is a constant reminder of a recent trip to Jamaica.” Anne and Doug now have a bedroom they can simply relax in, where the stress of the day slides away in tranquil waves.

Finally, with Kathy’s help, they refinished kitchen chairs from a set used by Anne’s family when she was a child. A little sanding, painting, glazing and stenciling transformed the tired chairs while preserving a timeworn look and the memories created from family suppers many years ago.

Throughout their projects and with the anticipation of the upcoming ones, Kathy’s excellent customer support has left a lasting impression. Anne is amazed at the level of assistance they have received. The results in their house speak for itself. “I really appreciate that I can call a company and have someone that will speak directly to me. I felt really confident that Kathy is an expert, not just a sales person. I would love to go to a class of hers.”

With so many successes already under their belts and future projects coming to fruition, we are looking forward to hearing about more incredible accomplishments from Anne and Doug. With Anne’s determination, we just may see her in one of Kathy’s classes yet!


Additional Photos of the Konen Family House

IDAL 27th Annual Convention & Exposition is Almost Here!

Anticipation is at a peak as the 27th Annual International Decorative Artisans League Convention and Exposition draws near. This year it will be held in Reno, Nevada, July 24 – 28 at the beautiful Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. There will be every opportunity to network with follow artisans, take outstanding workshops from any number of masters, soak up lectures, get inspired in the exhibition hall and peruse the incredible demos available to your hearts content. The opportunities are boundless. Visit www.decorativeartisans.org to check out the 25 workshops taught by master artisans from around the world!

Ed Mattingly, who developed the Faux Impressions line for Sherwin-Williams and is listed as, the “Nationally Supporting Faux Impressions for Sherwin-Williams,” in addition to being on the board for IDAL, comments about the extensive classes available at the convention. “I wish I could take all the classes. Everyone’s honing in on what’s relevant to the artists and to the business.” Ed spoke highly of many masters attending, however, he noted one that was missing in the lineup. “We are sad that Kathy Carroll is not teaching this year. Last year people were signing up for her class after it was sold out. We are missing her this year.”

Of the many masters present this year, here are a few to wet your appetite. Melanie Royal’s Global Carpet Collage will promote creativity to a whole new level. This workshop will utilize different texture patterns, distressing, metallic foils, and over-dying with translucent stains to create a one of a kind 30” x 48” “carpet” wall hanging on Roc-lon canvas.

Pierre Finkelstein’s workshop Classical Italian Panel Ornament in Trompe L’Oeil focuses on shadow and highlights creating a classical 3-D ornament. Mastering techniques and utilization of six specialty tools in Gary Lord’s Specialty Tools Class is sure to aid in precision and marketability. Multi-patterned foils, metallic paints, glaze, and stencils will be used in this class to create exciting finishes. Fire and Ice, taught by Kelly S. King, will result in your portfolio bursting with hot new finishes full of fire, radiance, or a look so sultry they simmer! The list is incredible this year, be sure to go on line and check it out.

With 23 years experience behind him in the finishing industry, Ed is excited about teaching a class with his friend and peer, Pat Ganino. The workshop is called Portfolio & Networking in 2012. It focuses on closing the deal with your clients through both social media as well as on the client site through a powerful workshop. Ed puts it best as he explains in greater detail, “It will be a four hour class that will take art and show you why you aren’t selling job after job.” In addition, they will go into detail showing variations of boards and how to present them to clients, lessoning the impact and intimidation, resulting in increased sales and profit margins. “I will handle the physical design piece while Pat handles the social media portion. I am really excited to teach the class, especially with Pat, who is the Editor and Creator of Faux Forum. It was the first successful social media communications piece for local artists. It was Facebook before we knew what Facebook was.” With two experts who are successful and passionate about what they do, it is bound to be a sold out workshop, be sure to sign up in advance!

On July 27th at 3:00, Jackie Jordan, Director of Color Marketing for Sherwin-Williams Company and Creative Director of STIR Magazine will present ColorMix 2013 on the main stage in the IDAL Expo Hall. ColorMix is a world class, multimedia presentation that is not to be missed. Ed expects a huge turnout of design representatives, as the presentation is a huge success wherever it is held. “When Jackie does ColorMix in Dallas, she has 400 to 500 interior designers and architects show up and it is standing room only. The color and design trends are outstanding. She spends a lot of time in Paris, Milan and Germany. She has a team like nobody in the Industry. On that day there may be 50 to 100 design representatives and they will discover IDAL. I am very excited about the awareness this will bring to IDAL.”

For those who are not yet IDAL members, there is no time like the present to join. Four levels of membership are available with benefits to suit your needs: Student, Individual, Professional and Business. The many advantages of becoming a member include:

  • Joining a local chapter. IDAL chapters have mini classes as well as chapter meetings and provide fellowship with like-minded artisans.
  • Full access to all of the great content in the industry’s leading online magazine, Artisphere, featuring articles by leaders in the business, along with new techniques, how-to’s and product info.
  • Special pricing for advertising in the newsletter and the online magazine Artisphere.
  • Great rates on health and liability insurance for qualifying members.
  • Discounts at Office Depot
  • Unprecedented discounts at Sherwin Williams.
  • Networking opportunities and resource guide listings.

Now is the time to register! The IDAL Convention and Expo is the place to be. Come join fellow artisans for a fabulous time of learning, sharing techniques, building your portfolio and networking. We look forward to a wonderful time with you!

Faux by Kathy Quick Inspirtations
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Quick Inspirations

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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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