a photos of rooms you like. When you talk with a finisher you can
better express your ideas with photographs of what you like.
Word of mouth can be your best resource for finding
a finisher. Check with friends and neighbors who have hired finishers.
In the alternative, a local designer or decorator will probably
have names of faux finishers that they can recommend. Your local
paint store will also be a good source.
Keep in mind that faux finishing is a profession and an art. The
faux finish artisan should have a Certificate of Completion from
a faux finish school, proving that he or she has had education in
the profession. In lieu of formal education, the artisan should
provide the name of the decorative artisan under whom he or she
served an apprenticeship. The finisher should also be continuing
their training by attending workshops every year or two. The field
of decorative finishing is constantly changing and evolving. Through
workshops the finisher will be aware of the latest trends. (Sponge
painting is so passé.)
the finisher a member of any professional organizations. Professional
Painting Associations, Chamber of Commerce, Interior Design Organizations,
etc all lend professional credibility.
Estimating a faux finish job is extremely difficult without seeing
the room. There are many variables that make the artisan's job easier
or more difficult. For instance, high ceilings require climbing
a ladder or installing scaffolding and will increase the price.
The artisan needs to see the project in order to provide an accurate
price. Beware the faux finisher who rattles off a price over the
telephone. Even if you provide the dimensions of the room, the artisan
needs to see the job site. A price quoted on a job unseen will invariably
increase as the job progresses because of unknown variables.
When the artisan arrives at your home, he or she should maintain
a professional demeanor. The artisan should have a full portfolio
of samples for you to peruse and choose from. The samples should
look professional. If the artisan's samples look sloppy, you can
bet that his or her work will be sloppy as well.
Make sure that you feel completely comfortable with the artisan.
Faux finishing is subjective and a matter of taste. Communication
between you and the artisan must be open and comfortable. The artisan
should listen to your ideas and give you direction without being
pushy. The faux finisher will probably be in your home for several
days, so it is important that you are comfortable with your relationship.
After meeting with the artisan and choosing your faux finish, the
next step is to get an estimate from the artisan. The faux finisher
should return within a few days with a professional bid package.
The bid portfolio should contain the estimate, a scope of work describing
exactly what the bid includes and does not include, information
about the artisan and his or her company, pictures of his or her
work, names and phone numbers of references and a contract.
The faux finisher should provide you with a copy of his or her general
liability insurance. General liability covers any accidents, breakage
or damage while the artisan is working in your home. Before you
hire anyone to work in your home, make sure that they have at least
$500,000.00 worth of insurance coverage. Repairing damage caused
by an accident or negligence is expensive. You can bet that the
artisan working with no liability insurance will disappear, leaving
you to deal with the repairs.
Usually a finisher will have a sample in their portfolio which is
close to what you want but not right on the money. With a signed
contract for the job they should produce a sample board customized
with the color and technique for your job. If you are undecided
about hiring them then for a fee of generally $50 to $150 they will
produce a sample board. It should be a couple of square feet in
size. The sample board allows you to view the finish created especially
for you in your home with your furnishings and lighting.
That sample board remains the finisher’s property to prevent
clients from shopping the finisher’s sample to other finishers.
The finisher has time and money invested in producing that sample
and it is unethical to shop it elsewhere.
One final point to keep in mind is to allow for some slight variation
between the sample and the completed job. It’s one thing to
create a poster board size sample and another to apply it to several
hundred square feet of wall by hand climbing up and down ladders.
Monsarrat is a faux and decorative finisher who works in Knox, Blount
and surrounding counties. He may be reached at (865) 363-2722.