Faux Finishing Business Success: Part 2 of 4

Part one is here. It’s all about understanding the costs of running a faux finishing business, and getting paid for your efforts. 

A quality portfolio of samples for faux finishing business success

4 color glaze sample panel for faux finish business success

A four color glaze sample measuring 32″ square. A consistent money maker, my portfolio includes three different color and intensity variations of this finish.

A Faux Finish Sample Panel is a physical, painted example of a decorative finish meant to display your work to potential clients, usually applied to rigid material. 

Your sample panels will be among your most powerful marketing tools.

In fact, they can be the deciding factor in landing the most profitable jobs.

Physical panels, vs digital or printed, are the true face of your business. 

This is not to say that your physical samples won’t end up on your web site, they likely will… but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll write about building a web presence later. 

A matter of size

Ever bought a gallon (or five!) of fresh paint based on a small color chip, only to find it too bright (dull, dark, shiny, intense…) after rolling it on the wall?

Why does this happen? Because the human eye needs to see a color over an area of at least 3 square feet before its impact can be felt. Paint company color samples are too small to achieve this. read more

Free Faux Maple Grain Tutorial with Lapis Lazuli Inlay

The following is an excerpt from the Free Faux Maple Grain Tutorial with Lapis Lazuli Inlay eBook.

Get your copy of the eBook. Details at the bottom of this post. 

Faux Maple Wood Grain Gift Box


Why “D.E.P.”?
Greetings, and thanks for joining me for this tutorial.

I love transforming ordinary, everyday items into something beautiful and, with some planning and luck, maybe even extraordinary.

I was inspired to do this box when I realized that my mother (her initials are D.E.P.) needed a pencil box to reduce clutter on her desk… Click to Get the free ebook

Faux Walnut Woodgrain Restoration Project

A Great Old House (a great big challenge)

I received a call from Mark, a real estate investor in Seattle, who said he had a house that needed some faux walnut restored. 

Damaged faux walnut woodgrain ready for restoration.

Faux Walnut, beaten and worn by decades of abuse

The house is a 2 story, 1913 Craftsman. Judging by the deferred maintenance and quality of repairs overall, it had been a rental for at least 20 years, probably much longer. 

This project offered some very unique challenges. The biggest tasks would be damage repair, and developing an approach to matching the original artists style and colors. 

There were lots of small nicks and scratches in the dark faux woodgrain, revealing the very light fir wood underneath.

There were also several larger gauges and chunks from… who knows what, but this damage had to be filled, sanded, primed and base coated before it could be blended in to the surrounding faux walnut. 

The original project was pretty big, including several doors and casings, 8″ baseboards, 3 built-in cabinet sections, many window casings, a mantel and a stairway handrail with matching pickets. 

Home Owner’s Pride

It’s impossible to date the original faux paint work but based on the effort it took, it was done during a period of very proud ownership. 

I believe that, due to color and graining technique variations throughout, it was an amateur effort that took quite a while to complete.  read more

Hudson Hornet Woodgrain Project

This is a project I did in August, 2014 for a fella based in New England. He saw this site and sent me a note through my Service Inquiry form. 

The car is a 1952 Hudson Hornet. A legend of auto racing, cherished by collectors and NASCAR history enthusiasts. 

After we agreed on a price, he sent me some seat fabric samples and images of the car so I could create a grain unique to his car.

We decided that Birdseye Maple with a reddish tone, to harmonize with the red plaid upholstery, was the way to go. I created a few samples and emailed him photos for approval. 

A sample for tone and simple grain. The color is right, but we decided on a less active grain. 

Hudson Hornet faux wood grain Sample

I sent images and communicated progress through each stage of the project. I’ve found this to be one of the most important aspects of my service. People want to know how the job is going. For this reason, silence is bad. Customers want to be updated, so I stay in touch through each stage. 

Some pieces base coated and curing (the base color was more yellow than this shot shows due to sun light). 

Huson Hornet Trim Base Coated

read more

Wood Faux Finish Super-Powers: 10 reasons to get them.

Wood Faux Finish Super-Powers, Part 1 of 3.  Part TwoPart Three

Why Wood Faux Finish Skills?

Why take the time to learn to Wood Faux Finish? Why not use real wood? Or how about that wallpaper that looks kinda like wood?

Oak Wood Faux Finish Panel

Two Oaks Panel with Trompe L’Oeil Oak frame. I created this using techniques from the Perfect Wood Grain Oak Mastery Course.

Why not a wood grain sticker kit for your car project? What about wood-like vinyl?  Here are just a few very good reasons.

1. People love it

There are thousands of wood faux finish products: Wall paper, flooring, vinyl, paneling, auto interiors and rims, furniture, doors… Why? Finished wood is nature’s gift of decoration.

Because wood is natural, it offers a calming effect. People respond positively to it. Therefore, the look of wood is desirable and offers value.

Unfortunately, most faux wood isn’t very attractive. Just walk down the flooring or wall covering aisle of any home store and you’ll see piles of vinyl sheet and tile that look pretty bad. Here’s an example of unattractive wood faux finish.

The good news is that you can learn to paint wood grain that’s every bit as convincing and beautiful as the real thing. No machine can or will ever be able to do that. read more