How To Hire A Painter

I have had my business of Decorative Artwork since 1992. Over the course of those years I have worked with many painters from different areas. The majority of the time things went well for the client. And for myself as well. But, I have run across some disasters too. Here are some tips for hiring the right painter for your project.

#1…..Get References! Don’t expect a quote over the phone. And for big projects, hopefully you could actually see some of their work. Here’s an example of what could go wrong. –
I had a client a few years back that needed their 2 story family room painted. It needed some patching and in some areas on the ceiling there needed to be drywall tape replaced. My client got the name of a painter from someone she didn’t know but she told me the guy was excited about the job and didn’t mind working on scaffolding. I finished my decorative painting before the painter and his buddy were done. But I had to go back the next day to be paid. When I went back my client was almost in tears. The painters had “finished” and they had been paid. Well, she brings me in to show me what they had done to her family room ceiling. They had used blue painters tape instead of drywall tape to fix the areas that needed it! And the tape was starting to peel off. She had called the painter to discuss it with him only to find out he had left town.
That is the worst I have seen. Most painters are reputable and trustworthy. But…..
Get References!

#2…..When you do find a painter you can trust, if they say they need a deposit, give it to them. After the economic downturn I’ve known contractors that just don’t want to run a tab at the paint store anymore. Probably holds true for many trades.

#3…..I think this may be as important as #1. Let them do their job. Don’t be underfoot and try to keep children busy with other things.

#4…..Pay promptly. Times are different now.

As I said I have worked with many different painters over the years. And now I only recommend one painter. If it doesn’t work for the client then they are on their own finding one. The painter I recommend is
Rick Wehrman….I have known him for maybe 20 years. I not only recommend him because he is a great painter, ( his son right along with him, and sometimes his daughter as well), but they are great with customers. They go in and do their job and do it well. For me, it is important to have a good rapport with the painter on the job. It makes my life a lot easier.

I finished up a portion of a large project with Rick and crew. Here is an example of how he makes my life easier.
The client wanted their foyer tray ceiling done. If I did it it would mean bringing in scaffolding, hiring someone to put it up and then take it down again. Rick has done bits of faux finishing for me before so I asked him if he would take it on and he said he would. The faux that was to be done in the tray in the foyer was the same one that I had done in the dining room tray ceiling.

Besides having good work done, the foyer tray ceiling was less costly because Rick uses an extension ladder to do them. Saves a great deal of time as well. The photos in this post show the tray ceiling in progress and then finished. Doesn’t it look great?!

I hope you consider this the next time you are looking for a painter. It could save you heartache and money.

Have a great week!
Doris

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“The Chair” Reveal

Remember this chair? This is my Goodwill find. I paid $7.00 for it. Here is what is printed under the seat –

I mentioned in an earlier post about how I was put off by the “gazillion” staples in the blue velvet chair I had come across. I finally caved and decided to tackle it. I loved the process. I love the chair. Of course, there are things I wish I knew before I started. One thing I recommend …….do not try to rush it.

My original plan was to recover it and paint the wood. But seeing as it was going to involve more work anyway, I decided to strip the wood and do a finish on it that I have been wanting to try.The finish is done in layers. This is something I have always found with paint – the wonderful effects you get when you layer paint and glaze and top coats. The first detail photo is one of the wood details. I added a little Warm Silver metallic paint to accent the design.

The arms of the chair have detail too. The design works well with the type of finish I applied.

And……finally…….”the chair” completed –

What do you think? The fabric choice surprised me. I don’t ordinarily lean in this direction, design and color wise. But when I saw this one it just seemed to belong to the chair.

Would I do it again? Right now I say no. But with time passing and if I came across the right piece, who knows? It definitely gave me a new respect for upholsterers.

On another note, I went to the Kane County Flea Market yesterday. Best around in my book. This year I am looking for 2 old screen doors to turn into displays. I will be checking at the Morris Markets as well which run from May to October.

Have a good day everyone!
Doris

#1 Choice of 3 Wood Strippers

Refinishing furniture is messy and odorous, no two ways about it. But the rewards can be many. The look of wood coming into a new life, maybe taking on a totally different look even.

The chair I had mentioned previously is one that in some ways has gone very smoothly and in others has been challenging. The biggest challenge has been dealing with all the staples in it. It is an Ethan Allen chair I came across at Goodwill for $7.00, therefor the quality is high.

The products used are shown here along with other items you will be using. I also picked up some cheap toothbrushes which really come in handy for crevices. The container you use to pour the product into should be nonporous, a tin can works well.

Two of the products I tried, whereas they worked okay, they were slower at the actual removing of the finish (which I believe to be 2-3 coats of varnish). Only one of them, the Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover, actually made the finish bubble up, which in the past was the sign of a great wood stripper. The other one, the 2 Minute Remover, worked about the same without the bubbling. They both had strong odors.

Here is a peak at how the wood looked once stripped. I hope to have the chair completed this week and Reveal it in next week’s post.

Maybe here would be a good place to insert the setup of such a project. Number one is have plenty of ventilation. Make sure the flooring of wherever you are working is covered well with some very protective tarps or papers.
Ideally you will have your own space set up for this task. Unfortunately with my physical condition being what it is I wasn’t able to carry the chair to my workroom.

My #1 product choice is ……….Klean Strip Klean Kutter Refinisher!
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It surprised me really. It is more runny whereas the others were more gel like. The others you brush on, let sit a few minutes, then remove. My choice to remove the finish is steel wool and then old tshirts.

The Klean Strip, however, you apply with the steel wool and start rubbing. It didn’t need a lot of pressure either. I dipped the end of a steel wool pad in the solution being careful of the dripping, I wiped the wood once with the grain, and when I went to wipe again the finish came right off. I was thrilled! So the one I thought I would like the least, actually turned out to be my favorite.

With this project I got a reminder of how much I always enjoyed stripping furniture. Not because of the process by any means, but because of the results. Makes me think of 2 pieces that have been sitting around maybe needing to be refreshed.

It looks to be another good week here in Illinois. Maybe some rain but more badly needed sunshine as well.

Enjoy the day!
Doris

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Great Finds!

Good morning to all of you!

I am so behind here, please bear with me. I was just now able to restore my laptop. If this doesn’t work it is time to hire a techy.

As you will know by the dates listed here the market that I was in was this past weekend in Naperville. What a great experience! It is the first of its kind that I have taken part in many years. And a successful one! Some of the pieces here sold but the chair is still available as are other pieces that I worked on. I will bring the blog current within the next day or two. I have photos of the market itself as well as some of my creative neighbors participating.

So again I thank you for your patience and I hope you gain something from each post that I create.

Originally written on August 28th………Many of you already know I am going to be in a vintage market the weekend of September 6th and 7th. It is called Washington Market in downtown Naperville in the US Bank parking lot on the corner of Washington and Jefferson Streets. It is put on by the store Room 363 in Naperville. (And if you haven’t visited that store you are missing quite the treat!) I will be showcasing small pieces of vintage furniture all hand painted by moi. There will also be cornice boards to purchase and to special order. These are recently made by a carpenter friend.

So lately I have been spending a good amount of time at Goodwill. Oh, I have hit a flea market and an estate sale but I have gotten my best finds at Goodwill. Finds like this standing oval mirror. I painted it a soft distressed pink, perfect for that feminine room.
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And then there is this funky little chair. It is already in the works as well. I can’t wait to see the finished product myself! It will be hard to part with!
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My most recent piece I found yesterday. It is this little table. It is very well made by Ethan Allen. For the life of me I can’t figure out why it is made in this design. I’m thinking that being made by Ethan Allen there might be a story behind it. If anyone knows I would love to hear it. Not sure what I’ll be doing with this one yet. I usually let it gel for a day or two. Then again, sometimes I know instantly what I wanted to do, as with the chair.
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The best part? The mirror and the chair were $9.99 and the small table was $12.99. Now that’s a great base price! Oh, yes, there is some work involved, but if you love it as I do, it can be so worth it.

I will be keeping you posted on the transformation of the chair and table and give you a peek at some of the the other pieces I have acquired for the market.

And if you are looking for that special something, or just enjoy these kind of shows, please join us!

Have a great day!
Doris

It’s A Contest, Cavalcade 2014!

Would you like to own a one-of-a-kind hand painted ladie’s Tshirt? It’s easy! Just come up with the right answer to the question below and post it as a comment!
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The wall shown is going to have a unique traetment on it. Can you guess which room this wall is in?
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This next photo is of the exterior of one of the models. It gives you an idea of the type of stone and brickwork being done. (I saw the bricklayers working hard on the project the other day. So nice to see our friends from B&B Masonry on the job!)
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Notice the fancy stairwell in the background? Most days right now that is the only entrance. It is no place for a girly girl. lol

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Cavalcade 2014

Cavalcade_Marketplace_May_9th

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Ah, yes, parking. It comes back to me now.lol

Lately I have been spending alot of time working up sample boards for the cavalcade models of King’s Court Builders. I can tell you one thing from what I have learned so far. They will be spectacular!
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Took a ride to the site the other day and got a good reminder of a priority for the first day of working on the job site. That is to get a handle on the parking situation. The other subcontractors are really the priority at this point so I give them as much space as they need. Usually, and as is the case this year, parking is only permitted on one side of the street. I hope you can get a feel for the congestion, there are 6 homes going up after all. If not, I plan on going by tomorrow and if it’s not too busy there to do a walk through by myself. It really helps things fall into place for me if I walk it myself with floorplans in hand.
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The photos are of the street views and the front of one of the models. The other model had alot of activity going on so i decided it could wait until another day.

Hope you are enjoying the great weather that we have today! Hoping it is nice out where you are!
Doris

2014 Cavalcade Of Homes

Hello there!

I have been given the good fortune of receiving permission to report here not only my work in the Cavalcade of Homes, but also to follow along with the construction phase of the 2 models that King’s Court Builders is having in the Cavalcade. I just love this. I love being a part of the great team that is pulling all of this together. I walked the models for the first time the other day with Pete Stefani, President of King’s Court Builders, Joelle Tilche, Director of Sales and Marketing, and Maria Hildebrand, Interior Designer on the project. There is just something about the construction phase that inspires me. My hope is to be able to convey not only the excitement of putting cavalcade models together, but also all of the hard work that everyone puts into it. And believe me it takes quite an effort to pull this off. A strong healthy challenge! Not only for myself, but also for the carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, painters and whomever else I have left out. My part physically is secondary to the workings of it all.
http://www.cavalcadeofhomes.com

Weather permitting I will be stopping and taking the first photos today and posting within the next day or two. I also have another friend to introduce you to. And wait until you see her creations!

Have a great day everyone!
Doris