About Us

Faux By Kathy is a name in the Faux and Decorative Painting industry that has been around for 30+ years. Originally started by Kathy Carroll, the business changed hands in 2020 when she retired.


Liz Balwinski has taken over sole ownership and operations since then. Liz started out working here in 2015 or 2016 as a back of house worker pouring, packing and shipping orders. Soon she transitioned to tinting and mixing and then learned techniques by sample making. With no formal training, Liz is an example that time, practice and effort can teach you so much. 

Faux By Kathy's physical warehouse, Chicago Decorative Worksformerly Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, is located in Carol Stream, IL. We have a classroom with work stations to learn samples and remain one of, if not the only, studios in the country that offers custom classes picked by you in our private one on one classes.

The studio is currently in the midst of a full overhaul and classes have been put on hold until further notice, but individual and group classes are in the works!