The Secret to Perfect Faux Wood Paint Projects

Most painters struggle to make money. In contemplating my own experience with striving to improve my bottom line, I had to consider the most effective tools I’ve applied over the years to make sure my faux wood paint projects go smoothly. One person was very influential…

An Exceptional Painting Business

Back in the mid 90’s I was fortunate enough to work with a master painter on some high-end jobs. Dean had a sweet business where he’d do 6 or 8 major paint jobs each spring/summer season, then take the rest of the year off to play jazz drums and take his wife to Hawaii. 

Carefully planning faux wood paint projects can lead to Hawaiian vacations

Many things go into building a great painting business and I don’t want to over-simplify his success. Still, Dean does something I’d never seen any other painter do, and I think it’s a major contributing factor to how well he’s done.

I bet you’re wondering how Dean gets jobs that pay enough to allow him to live like that.

Chin Scratching

Imagine that Dean’s on a job, and the next item on his list is to prep, prime and spray a bedroom. Most painters would plow into the room with tape and plastic, masking machines… “Git-er-done”! goes the saying.

Dean takes a very different approach. 

He walks into the room and takes a good long look at the situation. I’m talking 10 or 15 minutes of just standing in front of a wall, walking around, making mental notes and considering how to approach the job.

Then maybe he’ll step outside and drink some coffee and relax for a couple more minutes.

The Thinker contemplates a faux wood paint project

Sounds crazy, right? Who has time for that? Well, considering that he probably makes more money in less time than any house painter you know, Dean has time for that.

Anyone who’s ever done a professional paint job (or even an amateur one), knows that many things can go wrong with the “simple” task of painting a bedroom.

Podium Worthy Painting

What does all this cogitating and contemplation do for him? In his mind, he not only does the job right, he does it perfectly before he even touches a brush or roll of tape. He’s visualizing each step of the job. 

Know who else uses visualization? Olympic athletes. They stand at the top of the luge run or the diving board and play an internal movie of a medal winning run over and over again. They eliminate missteps and accidents before they even start.

And that’s what Dean’s doing: Seeing even the simplest tasks from beginning to end, making mental notes about how this project is unique or which aspects need special attention. He’s perfecting the ski run in his mind in advance of the actual race.

Gold Medals, Indeed

And here’s the kicker: It saves time. Lots of it. Why? Because the time it takes to prepare carefully for a project is nothing compared to how long it takes to fix mistakes.

Furthermore, his results are awesome. This guy can spray, brush and roll latex, lacquer, oil, whatever, and make it look perfect, pretty much every time. Which is why he keeps getting calls from folks on Mercer Island and Yarrow Point, WA (ya know, where Bill Gates lives). 

Warm up and cautious preparation are powerful and effective tools for masterful projects. Take a little extra time to save yourself hours of frustration and repainting.

Make visualization, warm up and the Parallel Project part of your faux finishing routine. 




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  1. […] up for painting is not only valuable, it’s critical. When I find myself nervous or procrastinating over a new technique, I try to remember that […]

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