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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


Chicago's Decorative Arts: Newsletter for Faux By Kathy faux finishing faux school faux elearning

Faux By Kathy Home Page Archive

Golden Proceed Product conversion chart wit Faux Effects products

Upcoming Courses:
For private classes availability
call 630-653-2400!

BOLD Stone certified training and products

BOLD Stone certified training and products

Kathy Carroll Facebook link

Decortive Artist School Decorative Arts marbling and graining techniques

Decortive Artist School Decorative Arts marbling and graining techniques

The Professional Update Class; Getting Ready for the
Current Season

Does your portfolio need a fresh look? Are some of your samples outdated? The Professional Update Class was created with these issues in mind as well as many others.

Kathy Carroll has created this class based on what many artisans have been saying.

What I’ve been hearing from people is that their samples are beat up, dog eared, and outdated. Several manufactures have had to change products or are now out of business. Or, getting products close enough to the same look that they have had before. The artisans are saying they need to have time to get away from everything they do. That way they can concentrate and get inspired, while using some products that excite them, interior designers, and customers.

Kathy listened and then took action. “With that goal in mind, I decided to put the Professional Update Class together. It’s about putting new samples together with colors in the current color pallet and stencils in the current marketplace. Its not about new techniques, its about using what they have in their inventory, being able to invest the money they have on their shelves and working with it in a different manner, getting their portfolio ready for the new season. People are usually looking for a fresh, new look when the kids go back to school and the holidays are upon us.”

Professional Update Class


How many samples will be created in the class? There will be 14 – 16 new samples created, possibly more, depending on the tempo generated by the students. Kathy is going to cater the class to the students. “If they want to push through late at night, then that’s what will happen.”

As an added treat, Kathy is taking the entire class out for a round table discussion Thursday evening. Each person brings a unique element all their own in terms of experience, style, and knowledge that the group will benefit from. The topic will be the best techniques, sellable finishes, and marketing plans.

Another element that will be present in the class is a wealth of added knowledge Kathy will be bringing back from her trip to New Berlin, New York where Golden Proceed resides. This will take place August 19 – 23. While there she will be training and learning about all the new products Golden Proceed has to offer. They will be doing hands on mixing and matching, tinting and all the different ways of putting things together. In addition, she will be meeting with Golden Proceed distributors across the US sharing techniques, color and ways of marketing. Kathy will be incorporating everything she learned into the Professional Update class.

Come join us for the Professional Update Class for a Fresh New Look for the new season!

Sit Back, Relax and Fergedaboudit

Surrounded by family and ensconced in the family vineyard, Veronica Madsen was easily “coerced” into designing and faux finishing the tasting room at the vineyard in Hanover, Illinois, near the town of Galena. “I am a professional interior designer, who occasionally does faux finishing for clients, friends and family. The theme of the tasting room is that of an old Tuscan villa overlooking our vineyard.” In order to achieve that look many different textures and materials were needed. It was obvious to Veronica that the walls would need to be done in the old world look of Venetian plaster for the main room and Metallic ShimmerStone by Modern Masters would be perfect for the walls in the restroom. “I also knew that I would be the one who would be doing the work. I did not know of anyone that would travel the two and a half hours it takes to get to Hanover. Never having worked with this type of medium or product, I assumed I could just call the local paint store, tell them what I wanted and pick it up that same day. Boy, was I mistaken. I was informed that this was a special order and it would take a week to get it into the store. Not wanting to hold up construction, I decided to shop around.”

Veronica Madsen Faux decorative painting at Fergedaboudit Vineyard in Hanover, IllinoisThis is how I came across the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes and the owner, Kathy Carroll. I called the studio and explained the project to her and the products that I needed to start the work on the restroom walls. Kathy explained to me that ShimmerStone products were very labor intense, a four step process and that if I had never worked with plasters I would not be happy with the outcome. She suggested that I come in and meet with her as she had a similar product that was easier to work with and I would achieve the same look. I was able to meet with Kathy that same morning. Her staff had the paints in hand by that afternoon. While I was there I began telling her about the rest of the project: the main room. This is approximately 770 square feet of wall space that I wanted to Venetian plaster.

Kathy’s response to me was that if I never did plaster work before and if I did not have help I should consider another technique. This led me to ask if she had something else in mind. She proceeded to show me sample boards of another technique and product. With that she handed me a smock, a Japanese towel and three cans of paint. And so began, my lessons in acrylic plastering. What I thought would be a quick run into the studio became a two-hour stay. Kathy and the staff were so helpful. I left there with my problem solved and the metallic plaster that I needed to complete the restroom wall. After I started painting I ran short on a color and called Kathy again, not knowing that the person who mixes the paints is only in on certain days and it was her day off. Kathy told me she would see if Margaret would be able to come in and mix if for me so I could continue to work on the project. Lucky for me she came in. The restroom is now complete and is stunning.

How did this all come about? The key is family. It binds them together. From a simple hobby a dream has grown into something much bigger for the whole family to enjoy together. Veronica’s dad, Rosario Bruno, is Italian. Growing up she remembers her father’s favorite hobby: making wine. “We used to siphon it from hoses outside in the driveway down into oak barrels in the dug out crawl space that we called the wine cellar. The wine cellar was not a finished room. It had a gravel floor so we could wash out the barrels in the fall and dump the dirty water right on the gravel floor. The room also had unfinished cement walls, spider webs and a mouse or two every once in awhile. It was a very creepy room. My dad would send me down there as a little girl to get wine. He stopped doing that when I left the spigot open and the barrel completely emptied onto the gravel floor. After that he sent my sister down to get the wine. That’s how it all began.”

Rosario’s hobby was more than that; it was a passion. With the consent of his wife, they purchased 47 acres of farmland and woods to begin growinDecorative painting in the bathroom by Veronica Madsen Faux decorative painting at Fergedaboudit Vineyard in Hanover, Illinoisg grapes for a vineyard. “In 2000, we established Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery. Over the last twelve years we have slowly built it up to where we are today. For the past twelve years this has been a hobby, but if this is going to stay in the family for the grandchildren to enjoy we had to make the decision to turn it into a business. It took two years to get our state and federal liquor licenses and once that was done we moved onto building the tasting room. Last September we broke ground and got the building under roof. Then we stopped for the winter months. This past spring we resumed construction and while not yet totally completed, we are open for tastings.”

Veronica will be working on the final touches for the tasting room, working closely with Kathy. We are anxious to see pictures and to hear about the choices she makes along the way.

Take a trip to Hanover, enjoy a taste of Marechal Foch, a glass of Rosario Private Reserve or take home a bottle of your favorite Vino Di Poppi. While you are there, make sure to sneak a peak at the excellent work Veronica has done on the walls in the bathroom.

Definitely plan a visit to Hanover, Illinois, and while you are there, sit back, relax and Fergedaboudit.

For more information about Fergedaboudit Vineyard and Winery please visit www.fergedaboudit.com


At Your Fingertips!

Faux By Kathy Home Page Archive
Click on the button on the Left Column to access the FBK home page
archive page.

Wanting to ensure easy access to all past articles, Kathy Carroll has had an index created. The archive is now at your fingertips in an even more accessible manner than before.

Hundreds of articles are indexed for easy reference. “We have an average of 17,000 people on the site per month. With all these people in mind we have created an index for easy access of major homepage articles about products and other helpful tips,” says Kathy Carroll.

For example, if you are looking for more information about concrete floors, select April 2012. Or if you would like information on stencil thickness, go to the December 2011 archive. The archive is located on the right hand side of the website for your convenience.

Decorative Artisan Speak!
How Kathy has helped customers in a pinch!

Hi Kathy,

i had the opportunity to use the large magic palette today. i needed an eggplant color. i didnt have any purple on my shelves. so i looked at the magic palette to locate the color that i needed. i then mixed this bright fuscia color with black and came up with a great eggplant color. so i am up and running, without having to go to the store and buy more products!

Marti Mathes
walls that talk


Faux by Kathy Quick Inspirtations
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Quick Inspirations

Quick Inspirations

July's 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!

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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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