Doing a Faux finish is always fun. No two are ever alike, which makes it fun, but boy can they be draining, especially when they are on the ceiling.

This ceiling was rather large so it took two days to complete. It had many nooks and crannies. Bending backwards really did a number on my back, but the good thing was it was low enough that I didn’t have to use a ladder.

The ceiling already had a base coat of Ralph Lauren River Rock paint (Garden Wall RL RR51), which was pretty fresh, so the customer decided to just do the suede treatment right over that. So, we took Ralph Lauren Suede paint (Plaza Blanca SU51) and brushed it on with a 6” brush.

We worked in small sections, blending our large “X” marks as we went. We were careful not to completely cover the entire base coat though, because leaving small areas of the under coat (tan) exposed, creates the crushed suede look.

The ceiling treatment complimented the suede treatment that was already on the walls; Ralph Lauren (Yellowstone SU84 & Ranch SU85).

For more fabulous colors and ideas visit the Ralph Lauren website:


From Paper to Stripes

Way back in the 80’s when “big hair” was in, “Take on Me” by Ah-ha blared across the radio and MC Hammer pants were a must have, wallpaper was all the rage.

Maggie and I enter into many homes where people say, “What was I thinking!” But back then, wallpaper was in. Now, 20 years later we’re getting many calls to, “PLEASE! COME TAKE IT DOWN!”

Customers will often ask us, “Do you like taking paper down?” Our answer, “Yes!” I know, I know, we’re crazy right, but it really is the one of our favorite (job related) things to do.

We have run into paper that takes days to remove. Little tiny pieces, one by one, painstakingly removed by hand! Okay, so those jobs aren’t much fun, but others come down in whole sheets, just like butter and those are a blast. But about 75% of wallpaper removal jobs we do fall somewhere in the middle. Medium sheets are peeled off, usually taking a couple hours to a day to remove.

Maggie and I usual race each other, seeing which one can get the paper off first, and if I had to be honest, she usually wins. She’s much more patient then I. And you know, that’s our secret weapon in wallpaper removal.

Over the years we have heard about and tried A LOT of recipes, concoctions, and techniques to remove paper. Some we’ve made from scratch and some we bought at the hardware store, but nothing has worked better than a whole lot of patience (and some water).

Maggie has become a master at prep work too. Let’s face it, most of the time people put the paper up because the walls looked terrible in the first place! Plus, no matter how good you are at taking paper down, there is always going to be “stuff”, that’s why the prep work is so important.

As you can see from the after pictures, Maggie does a fantastic job at masking all the imperfections.

Wendy opted for stripes in her dining room, looking for a way to join her family room (blue) and living room (green). We removed the paper, prepped the walls, and painted a base coat of Pittsburg: Dove White, and let it dry over night. The next morning we made 5” stripes using Frog Tape and then painted the stripes with a small chubby roller using Smoke 2122-40 by Pittsburg Paint (

A very classy end result I think.

We also redid her upstairs bathroom.  Again, the paper had been up for years. This paper took a little more time to come down.  Usually that's the case in a bathroom anyway, because the steam and moisture causes the paper and glue to contract and react. She used the Smoke in this room as well.


A Buffalo Bills Room For Jack!

Recently, an old friend of Maggie’s, whom she had reconnected with via Face Book, asked us to redo her son’s room. She knew she wanted something fun and something that would grow with him. She also wanted COLOR!!!!

After talking it over with Jack (who is just the cutest lil’ thing) they decided they would like to do a room with Buffalo Bill colors. Maggie was all over it! Even though she is a die- hard Dolphins fan, you can still find her cheering for the Bills on any given Sunday. Plus, most of the time we get the task of redoing a girls rooms (which I totally am all over)so when she had the opportunity to do “boy stuff” she was pumped!

After showing us a picture from a painting brochure, we all agreed that a stripe would be the way to go for this redo. Coupled with the color choices, it was masculine, versatile, and a complete transformation.

Now, even though we opted for just a lighter shade of grey on the ceiling and wall, because we didn’t want the room to become too dark, the red and blue were dead on to the colors in a Buffalo Bill uniform.

Of course we had to prime the red, yet it still took 5 coats of paint to get the finale finish! REDS DRIVE ME CRAZY! They look spectacular when they are finished, but man, are they a pain in the butt to do. And the reason why is this; because there is so much dye used in red tones there is less paint in the can. So, it takes many more coats to achieve the final product. When we were done painting red, we then brought the gray down to meet it. It wasn’t an even split either, we had to bring the red up higher and you’ll see why.

The center line was going to be the navy blue, with thinner red stripes, so in order to achieve that look and save ourselves time; we painted the red up higher, taped off the lines (using Frog Tape) and painted the rest in blue. When the tape was pulled off it revealed two smaller red lines. Painting the base coat of red higher made it easier for us because we didn’t have to try to go back and paint within the lines.

I found with acrylic painting you always have to work from the bottom up. You really have to think through your design and plan it before you start; otherwise you’re going to create a lot of extra painting for yourself.

This is what Jack had to say about his room, “Give me a minute…AWESOME!!!!!” We are so glad he was happy; we had a great time creating it!


Kids Rooms Rock!

It’s always thrilling to be part of a home make-over, especially when it’s a couple’s first home. The joy of picking out colors and decorating is heightened and it brings extra pleasure to our job. Over the next week or so, we are going to be taking a walk through “Jamie’s” home (we painted the whole inside). Today, we are going to show you before and after pics of the daughter’s bedroom and bathroom makeover.
Jamie was a very enthusiastic homeowner and new exactly what she wanted. She had a particular vision for her entire home and had it all mapped out for us. She had shopped around for the exact colors and home décor to create the precise style she wanted to convey. Although, I love helping a customer with color choices, I get equally as excited when they know exactly what they want.

This was not more self evident then when it came to her daughter’s room. Her face beamed as she told us all about her color choices and themes for the bedroom and the daughter’s adjoining bathroom. She wanted it bright, fun and whimsical. She chose a bright apple for the bedroom. I’m not sure if her husband was crazy about the green at first, but after she moved in all the furniture and pulled in the pick accessories, I think his opinion may have altered a little. Her daughter…LOVED IT!

Next up, her daughter's bathroom.  Jamie chose a deep, yet bright, aqua color for the walls. She had made a great choice by picking the shower curtain first, then pulling a color from it.  Most places can color match a item that you bring in, but if not, do it the old fashioned way, pick up a bunch of colors and try to match it to the item (shower curtain, pillow, bed cover, etc...) that is going to be your main focal point. The end result is fabulous!!! What child wouldn't love spending bath time in this great room!

Overhaulin' in Tully

Whenever we go on a wallpaper removal job, people often ask us, "Do you really like taking wallpaper down?" To which we simply reply, "Yep!" It’s crazy, I know, but we really do. I think because it’s a challenge, that and we are always curious about what lies behind it.
We have found covered doorways, which once led to other rooms, we have found windows (or the box of one) that have long since been spackled and sheet rocked over.
Some paper comes down like butter, some we pick at for hours only to remove one tiny piece, so removing wallpaper presents us with a new challenge every time. It isn't as predictable as painting and you can’t mess it up. To make us seem even crazier...Maggie, actually likes prep work! I mean who likes prep work? "Maggie!" She takes great pride in spackling, sanding and finishing off a wall, so that when the paint goes back on, it looks like new.

Maggie must have been in heaven then on our job in Tully. Not only did we have to do A LOT of wallpaper removing, she had to do A LOT of prep! Each room was covered in (some rooms many) layers of vintage paper. Although wallpaper was all the rage back in the day, more often than not people put up wallpaper to cover unsightly walls. That said there usually is a lot of prep work lying underneath the paper. On this job, that reasoning applied. Armed with her trusty putty knife and bucket of spackle, like Michelangelo, she carefully slathers the wall. Personally, I hate the feeling of sandpaper and sheet rock, it freaks me out, but not Maggie, she'll sand for however long it takes to get that patch looking like the actual wall.

This project was so big...I will have to do it in two separate while your anxiously waiting for the sequel check out the work we did in the two bedrooms, office and downstairs hallway!