Monday, January 31, 2011

Detroit Rock City 110 !!! and Pierre does Venetian Plaster

Detroit Rock City, Motown Madness, whatever it was... it was Fantastic!

San Francisco Tomorrow and Seattle Wednesday and Thursday

Next Week Baltimore and Modello in San Diego!!
More info at the bottom of this post:

The Detroit sales and field team told me in advance that they were bringing in RECORD numbers of key installers and were going to "make it rain" faux at our Marathon hands-on session last week.  I planned to be busy, but they REALLY BEAT ME UP!
Sample by Heidi Wilt of Creative Finishes llc
See one of her original designs and one of her Modern Masters PTC Patterns below.

We had a great couple of days in the Detroit and South Eastern Michigan market.  I started with a presentation at the Michigan Design Center and then ended up with over 110 decorative artists, plasterers, and contractors at a 3.5 hour faux Megathon! 

Say Hello to the Motown Gang in the video below...

Detroit is Ready:
It is one thing to go into a city and present to designers and then get them interested in Faux Impressions... Then they tell their painters and artists to go talk to the SW staff at their local store and get the necessary information. 

In Detroit, we have the necessary and appropriate district support in place and the store staff is prepared and not overwhelmed by the high level of interest generated by specifier and installer...

Detroit /South Eastern Michigan did it right!! 

See Patrick Noble's Sales team Extraordinaire in the photo below:

Big Buzz:
This excitement had to start somewhere, and of course it started with a design initiative via Patrick and Rebecca Luckhardt, DAE.  Rebecca is pictured below with Patty Mulkiten, the Robert Allen Showroom Manager at the Michigan Design Center. 

I was blown away by the Robert Allen/Beacon Hill Showroom

Rebecca really has a nack for putting together the color, fabric and design trends related to ColorMix 2011.  See her amzingly inspirational boards below:

Magic Carpet Ride:
I had the extreme pleasure of getting to meet and discuss decorative finishes with some of the areas top interior designers and decorative finishers at the Michgan Design Center (MDC)  I went for a walk inadvance of my presentation for a little extra dash of inspiration.  Check out these amazinbg GhiordesKnot custom rugs! 

(It just made me want to hurry back to the studio and get busy!)

More info on the rugs:

Design Excellence Meets Perfect Execution:
Take a look at Heidi Wilt's samples and video explanations below.  Immediately after our interior designer presentation at the MDC, i had the pleasure of seeing her portfolio and getting to better understand exactly how she goes about her designs.  This is not just well executed techniques, but truly magnificent design work.  Detroit is lucky to have her!

In the video below, Heidi talks about a pattern and technique that she learned at a
Modern Masters, PTC class taught ny Tammy LaMay of T&C Decorating.
The finish was designed by Kelly King of Modern Masters.
Beautiful design! 

Contractors Rocking the Big Show:
Take a look at Tim Burkhardt's awesome samples using Quartz Stone, blending wet with Venetian Plaster and over glazed with metallics! 

Tim and his crew made good use of their time with us at the Faux Megathon!

Pierre and Venetian:
The Master Pierre, working with our Venetian Plaster in the video below:

Tree Bark:
I was asked a couple of weeks ago to feature the details rtelated to the Tree Bark samples that many artist were creating at our handson sessions.

They seems to be rolling on the Quartz Stone and ten tapping/ backtrowelling/ creating horizontal Chatter marks.  Then after dry, skim coating on a layer of Metallic glaze.

See what the NTA group in Minneapolis did below:

I particularly liked the next sample which features the Quartz Stone, tinted to Latte applied and then "chopped" or cut through to create an almost tree bark effect.  After a little blow drying, a rolled on and wiped back coat of Metallic tinted to Coconut Husk makes for a fantastic contemporary look. 

 See Below:

Somebody's got a great sample board to present!!

See you next Week!



Information on IDAL at:

SW Faux Tour Bus!

San Francisco
Tuesday, February 1st 1:00PM
320 4th Street
San Francisco Ca 94107

Please have anyone planning to attend, RSVP to my email at:

Wednesday, Feb. 2nd, 1PM-3PM
32818 Pacific Hwy South, Federal Way
Thursday, Feb. 3rd, 8AM-10AM
15242 Aurora Ave. North, Shoreline

Monday, February 7th, 10AM - 1:00PM
Howard County Center for the Arts
8518 High Ridge Rd
Ellicott City, MD

That afternoon at a local SW store for a contractor session, location TBA

Tuesday, February 8th, 7PM- 9PM
At Modello in Chula Vista, CA 91911
RSVP to me in advance

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suede Secret and Brushes & Books...More Time with Pierre

The Faux Impressions Tour Bus is Comin' to your town soon!

Detroit this Wednesday and Thursday

San Francisco and Seattle next week
more details below at the end of the blog...
Suede Secret!!!
When Suede first came out years and years ago, we discovered a way to make it perform properly on clients' walls.  The biggest complaint has always been that the Suede category of products would burnish and mark up from the slightest touch.  Unfortunately, unlike real suede our clients' were not able to brush heir hands over the "nap" of the wall and wipe away the marks.  While other installers gave up on the product, complained and stopped installing it,  we came up with a way to dramatically enhance the washability and durability, while also slightly enhancing the visual effect.

4 parts Suede + 1 part waterbased Poly = Suede Done Right!!!

We simply added 1 quart of Minwax Polycrylic Gloss for every gallon of Suede.  For best resulkts, put it on a shaker at the store and then let it sit overnight.  For most jobs we ended up using 4 gallons of suede + 1 gallon of waterbased Poly in a 5 gallon bucket.  We usually painted the walls with eggshell paint in the same color and then when it was dry, random rolled or random rolled and back brushed the finish.

Quartz Stone Basecoat is Suede, re packaged.
Faux Impressions™ Quartz Stone BasecoatFaux Impressions™ Quartz Stone Basecoat

In most applications the Quartz Stone basecoat is used as a tinted aggregate primer for the Quartz Stone, metallic plaster.  With the addition of the water based polyurethane, add-in, this product performs beautifully as a finish coat.

See photos below:

A generous application of the Quartz Stone Basecoat, (Formerly known as Suede) random rolled with a 1/2" nap microfiber mini roller. Creates a soft, subtle and WASHABLE sueded effect. (Don't forget to add in the waterbased poly!)

 Same idea above, but with a random cross hatched, brushed effect.

Suede is a fast, easy and a Profitable way to dress up a client's room!!! 
Shhh...Thanks to this Secret, now Washable!!!

Chicago Design Center:

Please take a peek at the unsolicited comments from a Chicago interior designer on her blog below, after she attended our Faux Impressions Preview last week at the Robert Allen Showroom in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

“These are not like the faux finishes of the past. Think of this as liquid wall covering…” Karen Carpino
Read more:

Now back to more about Pierre Finkelstein!!

From his Website:

About the Pierre Finkelstein Institute

All you ever wanted to know about the man and the mystery.

Pierre Finkelstein is a 1986 Gold Medal graduate of the Van Der Kellen Painting Institute in Brussels. Four years later, was awarded the very prestigious award as the "best craftsman in France" in 1990 from his native land. His interest and skill brought him to New York City where he has owned Grand Illusion Decorative Painting, Inc. for over 20 years. In that time, he has created faux finishes for internationally acclaimed interior designers and architects worldwide.
Pierre Finkelstein creates photo realistic faux finishes, faux marble and woodgraining, intricate glazing, 18th and 19th century patinas, gilding, handmade plaster finishes, ornamentation, custom-cut stenciling and architectural trompe l'oeil for internationally acclaimed interior designers and architects.
Pierre is the author of the widely sold book, The Art of Faux, which is one of the most comprehensive guides for real decorative painter's in the professional "real" world. He also detailed quality production finishes in his first book; Recipes for Surfaces has given many the confidence to tackle most projects.

Our Mission

"The finest decorative painting brushes and tools to vein and grain."

Pierre Finkelstein Institute of Decorative Painting, Inc. strives to provide the best brushes, tools, and instruction for today’s decorative painter. Pierre is devoted to showing his students an efficient and realistic method for limitless decorative painting techniques.
His approach comes from fine schooling, but mostly from years of practice in his own business for 25 years (Grand Illusion Decorative Painting Inc in New York City). The brushes and tools found on this site are selected and designed for Pierre Finkelstein for today’s decorative painter while keeping the integrity of the traditional craft.

Pierre Finkelstein Institute of Decorative Painting
20 West 20th Street, Suite 1009
New York, NY 10011
1-888-FAUX ART (328-9278)

Pierre's Book Collection at:

January 25, 2011
On-Site, Studio Videos:
I am working on getting better at my live, on-site videos.  Sorry about the volume of my voice compared to Pierre's. (I think that I will try to turn and "cough" in the future)

In the First Video, Pierre shows me his "Base Coating Brush" and his "Tipping Brush" (Spalter) as he works and re-works the Duration Home matte finish. 

If you listen closely, he really likes the paint and how it lays out like oil!  I really liked seeing the master paint and learning a new approach to finishing walls and trim with these unique, high performance brushes.  I was not used to this perpendicular approach.

In the Second Video, Pierre, uses his "Tipping Brush" (Spalter) to lay down a cross hatched, striae textural basecoat using a blend of our Venetian Plaster and paint.  Parallel to the wall create a heavier stippple.  Notice the loose and comfortable flow of his wrist, arm and elbow.

In the Third Video, Pierre shows how to bounce and pounce without working hard using his Stippler Brush. (No Pushups!)
I have to say that his stippler is the finest that I have ever used.  The finish turns out so blended and beautiful, with so little effort!

A little more from the master in next weeks entry...

Sherwin-Williams, World Tour Continues!
Wednesday, January 26th 10:00 AM  
Interior Designer Seminar
Michigan Design Center
1700 Stutz Drive                
Troy, MI 48084                

Thursday, January 27th 9:00 AM - Noon
Faux for the Pro 9-12
Shriner's Silver Garden Event Center
24350 Southfield Road
Southfield, MI 4875

San Francisco
Tuesday, February 1st 1:00PM
320 4th Street
San Francisco Ca 94107

Please have anyone planning to attend, RSVP to my email at:

Wednesday, Feb. 2nd, 1PM-3PM
32818 Pacific Hwy South, Federal Way
Thursday, Feb. 3rd, 8AM-10AM
15242 Aurora Ave. North, Shoreline

Check out the new version of Fauxology!!!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Preview of Special Time with Pierre and Chicago At Last!

...Tomorrow, Tuesday 1/18/11, I will be at the Atlanta Design Center at 1:00 PM
at 351 Peachtree Hills Ave NE, Atlanta, GA for a Faux Impressions seminar.

Preview of a Series on "Special Time with Pierre":

Pierre Finklestein and his incredible book, "The Art of Faux"  More info on the visit below! Review (Rather than me try to explain it...)
Aimed at professionals and dedicated amateurs, The Art of Faux is packed with gorgeous examples of faux finishes. Internationally acclaimed, award-winning decorative painter and instructor Pierre Finkelstein covers every aspect of the art form in tremendous detail, beginning with extensive specifics on all tools, materials, supplies, and planning, and including preparation and cleanup considerations. Each of the other 10 chapters concentrates on a wide variety of faux finishes in different categories: marble, semiprecious stone, limestone and sandstone, wood, patinas and textures, metals and gilding, tile, organic materials (such as ivory, leather, and mother-of-pearl), stenciling, and trompe l'oeil. There are even instructions for uncommon faux finishes, such as bamboo, Delft tile, snakeskin, and damask, that are not generally taught in other books on the subject. Every finish is presented as a complete recipe, and the list of ingredients includes not only paints, glazes, and tools, but also difficulty ratings and lists of preparatory exercises for techniques that are part of the complete finish. People seriously involved in any aspect of faux finishing--particularly people considering careers in the field--should invest in the information-packed The Art of Faux.
Product Description
This collection of show-and-tell how-tos includes a marvelous range of surfaces, paints, tools, and procedures. The techniques shown simulate marble, wood, stone, leather, ceramic, and many other fascinating finishes. A basic instructional for beginners; a thorough reference for professionals. 350 color and 250 b&w illustrations.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 
In honor of the Great Patriot, I want to recommend a new personal favorite book, "The Help."

Back to NYC and my visit with the "Mick Jagger" of Faux...

I had a lot of ground to cover over the last couple of weeks.  I ended up in Puerto Rico with a large customer and then had to do New York and Chicago, all around several SNOW Storms!  Thankfully, the weather and the airlines, cooperated and I made all of my appointments.

One that I was particularly excited about, was a visit to the Manhattan studio of Pierre Finklestein.  I have been a huge fan of Pierre's since I first bought his book, "The Art of Faux."  I would not have guessed upon purchasing the bookyears ago, that I would ever get to spend such quality time with the Maestro himself!
I will just provide a taste about the visit today  in the video below and do a full feature, next week.

We had several goals in mind for my visit with Pierre and his studio manager, Tiff Ziter.  Our plan was to have Pierre test out the Venetian Plaster and our metallics, while showing me some of the unique performance characteristics of his brushes.  I also, was very interested to get a look at his offering of educational/reference books.  (More next week on that as well)

It was a low key, yet extraordinarily productive day with Pierre and Tiff.  In the video above, you may have noticed Pierre showing the loose, bounce of the wrist with an "in and out" elbow motion, while stippling.  That motion was the same that I used for man years as a jazz drummer and percussionist. (I guess good use of the body and physics is universal) More next week...

At Last, Chicago:
It was nice to take my road show/ blitz to Chicago and the suburban metro area this past week; I live there after all. Got to eat dinner at home with the family.      
(By the Way, Go Bears!)

After making it in from NYC, through and around all of the snow storms. I was excited to return to the mother of all design centers, The Merchandise Mart, in downtown Chicago to present to 100 or so interior designers at the Robert Allen, Beacon Hill Showroom, and Sherwin-Williams Color Center. Check out the building.  A full city block x 18 floors! 

(Need comfortable shoes to walk this place)

Suite 633 was a crowded and busy place!!!


Photo above of the presentation and the Venetian Plaster featured installation at the
Vogue International Headquarters in Times Square.

As always the interior designers in Chicago, over-delivered with their sophisticated input and "spot on" questions.  I conducted an hour long session, but we stuck around and discussed the new Faux Impressions line and the "State of Faux" for nearly another 2 hours!
I was thrilled to see some of my old friends, instructors and mentors at the event.  I thanked a few key people, including Suzanne Maviano, ASID.  Take a look at the before and after shots from a project that we did together years ago.  Suzanne, has always been ahead of her time and really has STYLE.


Suzanne Maviano, ASID

This project, Featured on HGTV, "New Spaces", used some fun metallics and Suede and featured digitally printed fabrics on the motorized window treatements.

Next week, I will share my 20 year secret, related to how to make Suede easier to instal and most important DURABLE.  Watch for the How-To video.

Hands-On Sessions:
The 2 days after the interior designer presentation, I had the pleasure of meeting and painting with dozens of artists and painters all around town. 

Below is a list of my upcoming sessions.

Where's Waldo:
I will be in:
Detroit for sessions on 1/26/11 and 1/27/11
San Francisco 2/1/11
Seattle 2/2/11 and 2/3/11
Baltimore 2/7/11
San Diego 2/8/11... 

Email me or watch the blog for more details on times and addresses.

We were very busy and covered a lot of terriotory in 2 days.  Take a look at Audra Lynch Nanay's work at our NW Indian session.  She also brought her part-time assistant and daughter along for the fun!
Check out her work at

The boys from really took to our Quartz Stone quickly.

Jessica Letchford, DAE was responsible for getting the 100+ designers and 150+ painters out for all of our sessions.  For information on color tools or how to get to the design center showroom, contact her at

Great work Jessica!

Thanks for all of your kinds words and thoughts regarding my grandfather.

I look forward to sharing more of Pierre and some Videos next week!!!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Hero Gone and the Best Visits of 2010 and...

Starting 2011 Sad...
Personal Hero Gone:
As I write this blog, I am sorry to say that my grandfather, Edward Pieracci at the age of 94, died on New Year's Day.  I am happy to say that I was with him when he passed. I am not certain that I should share something so personal, but the reason that I paint... the reason that I "Make work my Favorite" ... is because of my "Pop.

I was lucky enough to have 2 fathers growing up.  My Dad and my Pop.   We lived in the same 2-flat and I was little Eddie, his biggest fan.  I loved to get his tools and help fold drop cloths, clean brushes, watch him custom mix wood putty, etc. and occassionally get to paint. 

As a teenager, working summers on my grandfather's painting crew, it was hard to keep up with the "old guy."  He taught me how to eat lunch with my left hand and paint with my right. He taught me that getting to the jobsite at sunrise was the best time to set up a job and start your work.  He taught me to lead a crew by example. He really new how to move a brush!!

First Faux Lesson:
One really hot summer afternoon, he took mercy on me and showed me how to woodgrain a metal door to match the existing oak stained trim. We were using diesel fuel, oil stain and I am not sure what else. He didn't call it faux painting.  He didn't call it anything.  My Grandfather was NOT a big talker, but he taught me how to do things by showing me and then letting me have a try. (Same way he taught me to catch and hit a curve ball, just by throwing it at me)

He was one of the Great Ones and will be sorely missed.  I can't thank him enough and could go on, but per his example, I will get back to work...

Best of 2010:
Per my daughters' and my combined opinion, the best performer of the year was Rihanna.

The best drama was Lost.

Best new Show was Modern Family.

And my new Favorite discovery was The Colbert Report. (Thanks to my youngest)

My new favorite Internet discovery was Fauxology

Best of my Visits and Favorite Moments:
60 cities in 22 weeks!!! ...
Thanks to all of you, It was a fantastic ride these past several months.  As I reviewed my files and past Blog entries, I was reminded of how lucky i am to get to meet and work with such talented artists. I also realized that to keep the entries short and readable, that I had to omit a lot of great stuff.

The "And..." from the title:
I am excited to say that in 2011, I will be able to share more detailed information in the new online version of  the Artisphere magazine from IDAL!!!  Look for it early this year.  I will keep you posted.

 It is hard to pick actual favorite visits, but I will list a few memorable moments for your review.

Strike a Pose:
Our visit to Vogue International headquarters for a Faux Impressions, Venetian Plaster Installation!  Thanks to SW Sales Rep Extraordinairre, Rob Luciano!!!

I added a few photos and a link to an article in the Huffington Post about the Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour. 
(I assume that it is okay to add to or edit a past blog post??  Blog police, let me know)

Attack of the MAG...
St. Louis' tenacious IDAL chapter event at Wood Icing! (Amber and Mark and the blow dryers, could barely keep up with them)

Kathy Carroll's puppy, Bella.
The Chicago Artisan's were pretty good too...

Sheri Hoeger Time
The visit to Sheri's studio was worth the drive!

Busy in Phoenix:
Ran out of boards in Phoenix and used my rental car as a drying rack. (Sorry Mr. Shatner)

Kansas City 70!
Before the storm...

Boston Design Center, Color Studio
Cindy Sampson and local artists work

ColorMix 2011:

Pat Ganino of the Faux Forum, winning the portrait contest in Golden:

New York City and Venetian Plaster U
In this entry you will see the most amazing Venetian Plaster Library at Evergreene Studios!!

Circling NYC via Long Island...
Favorite How-To at the end of the entry:
I look forward to seeing and hearing from many of you in this new and exciting year. 
Thanks for all that you do and let's all get better in 2011!


Information on IDAL at: