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

Fresh Ideas


For about the past nine months I have had a lot of time to think about projects, new ventures and the like. I have had this time due to the fact that I have been laid up for a good part of it recuperating from 2 surgeries. The first one was from a torn muscle in my knee. That began on Memorial Day of last year culminating in surgery to repair it in August. I was able to work sporadically during this time. After 6 weeks of recuperation I went back to work full time only to develop an even larger tear (tears) in a muscle in my hip. Surgery was 2 weeks later and I am finishing up a 3-6 month recuperation from that. Hopefully I will be back to full time in a few weeks.

The knee was a relatively easy fix but the hip has been quite an ordeal. It has given me time to re-evaluate some things.

I have missed coming here and sharing thoughts, ideas, projects and recipes. So I am adding that back into my life. I will continue my painting business, allowing it to naturally slow down. Thinking over the past 2 years with design elements changing course the main thrust of the business has been painted furniture and doing faux metallic ceilings. The ceilings, by the way, fit in quite well with the current design trend. There is always a call for murals now and again seeing as they are customized to the needs of a client. I say this knowing that I am in the beginning stages of a large project where creating a Tuscan look in a kitchen is one part of it. Hoping to post on that as the project progresses.

A couple of years ago I picked up knitting in order to keep my hands busy while quitting smoking. It helped tremendously! It will be 4 years this summer. It can be done! The thing with knitting is that for the most part you need to stay focused and there is a lot of counting involved so your mind isn’t dwelling on things.

I have come a long way with the knitting and feel like I am on a journey with it. I started off with the basics….hats, gloves, scarves. I also had some disasters trying projects that I just wasn’t ready for. But like I said, it is a journey. I now sell knitted items in my etsy shop (dcartwork.etsy.com). Also, something that I am a little proud of, I started creating my own patterns and have them for sale as well. They are also on ravelry.com and craftsy.com. The patterns are geared toward beginners for now but I look forward to when I am able to create some more elaborate pieces.

My goal here is to share ideas etc. I do mean share – I would love to see some of what you are up to. I have a few projects in mind to finish and showcase here. Like the velvet chair I started pulling apart in order to recover and update it. It felt daunting at the time when I pulled some fabric off only to find a gazillion (is that even a word) staples. I now have a plan in mind to deal with that.
Here is a before and after shot of dining room chairs that I painted for a client:

I also came up with new recipes to pass along as well. Well, one isn’t really new to us but I think you will love it.

I hope you all have stayed safe with the crazy weather that has been happening across the country. We have been lucky right here but there sure has been issues around us.

Have a good day!
Doris

Brrrrrr…….

Brrrrr…..seems that fall has arrived with a bang!

Thought I would show you all a few of the pieces I brought home with me from the market and the 4 I acquired on Thursday for upcoming shows. (getting inspired as we speak!)

This table is one of my favorite pieces, although I have to admit I say that alot.

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The little black chair will truly be difficult to part with. Hope it finds a good home.
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The rolling table can be considered shabby chic, but I tend to just think of it as pretty!
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The cornice boards are really special. Hand cut by a carpenter friend. I have a few painted in different colors but they can be made to your specifications easily. Not everyone has these exact measurements, I know, but wanted to show you somehting unique could be done.
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And here are 4 new pieces I picked up on Thursday.
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And then yesterday I acquired 3 pieces that I haven’t even unloaded yet. Going to be a busy week!

Oh, I almost forgot, yesterday I went to the Three French Hens Market held in Morris the second Saturday of the month from April to Octocber. If you enjoy these kinds of things it is well worth the trip. Very similar to Washington Market. Next month’s looks to be quite festive and hopefully you will see me there! (Haven’t gotten final approval yet, keep your fingers crossed for me!)

Have a great day everyone!
Doris

Washington Market

Hi there!

This is going to be a followup on the Washington Market that I took part in last weekend. I’m posting it as a precursor to a Holiday Show that they are talking about having. Something new to look forward to!

I found this market to be one of the best shows not just to participate in, but also to attend. The people that were walking through and shopping were constantly complimenting on the variety and the quality of the show. To me it was like a French market except there were no flowers (which, personnally, I think would be a fine addition).

The spaces were 10’x10′ but were more of a rectangle. It worked well with my displaying my pieces along the “walls” so that potential customers could browse easily.
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There were 2 long aisles with an asssortment of vendors. Fine jewelry, clothing (unique and reasonable)decorative items. And after some of investigating, there was a booth of wreaths made out of coffee filters. I had heard of them but had never seen them. They’re beautiful. Led me to watching a tutorial on making a shabby chic one. But that’s a whole nother post!
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Of course, it helped that the weather was such that it would have been difficult to not enjoy oneself!

My neighbor’s were great and we watched each others’ back when it came to needing something. To the left of my booth were 2 that had a variety of vintage and antique peices.
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To my right there was a booth of lovely 2 and 3 tiered dishes hand assembled and cut. Also next to that booth was one of large furniture pieces painted very French-like.
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All in all, it was quite an enjoyable weekend. It had been so long since participating in a show and I really don’t remember such a comfortable surrounding as this.

I hope this post maybe entices you to get out and visit a market this season. If not one that I am in then any one to get into the changing season. (I am sending in an application for a market in Morris in October called The Three French Hens Country Market. It is held every 2nd Saturday from April to October) Wish me luck! I will be posting about a few of the peices I have left from Washington Market and some ofthe new transformations coming up.

Have a great weekend! Bundle up if your in the neighborhood, going to be a chilly one!
Doris

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