Imaginative and Unique Decorative Coatings
by Miranda Lipton and Jerry Rabushka
Customize! Realize! Revitalize! Fool your eyes (because that’s what faux is supposed to do)! Sure, white walls are useful in plenty of instances, but homeowners, condo dwellers, restaurants, coffee shops, and maybe even the Department of Motor Vehicles often want something unique and memorable. They want that decorated wall that keeps customers coming back, and better yet, coming to you to get materials so they can put their own take on that great look they saw at Aunt Martha’s Halloween Party or at Grounds A-Poppin’ Coffee & Poetry. Here are some decorative coatings you can carry that not only set you apart from your competition, but set your customers apart from each other!
[re]design with Prima
[re]design lets even the “I can’t do that” customer…do that! It’s a collection of high quality home decorating tools and it allows unskilled crafters to accomplish skillful jobs, they tell us. “With these tools, anyone can repurpose their home through any of the hundreds of stencils and moulds that have been predesigned and are ready for customer use,” said Cari Fennell, Home Décor Coordinator with Prima Marketing. “[re]design with Prima is a collection under our main brand, Prima Marketing Inc., which consists of high quality tools for any DIYer interested in repurposing or creating home décor projects to spruce up their living spaces with style—and it’s easy!”
“Easy” is a key word with this brand and will help you move some product—easy! “Our collection gives you the ability to be creative and add beautiful character to your projects…with ease,” said Cari. “What makes it so great is that anyone can use our products, from the beginner to advanced, and achieve a professional look.”
Dress Up Your Wood
You can best display these products by setting them up in such a way as to highlight their cohesiveness, Fennell told us. “Putting everything together in one spot along with samples will tell the customer a story. The sample can show how to use a stencil and add our mould appliques to dress up an ordinary cabinet door or plank of wood.”
Demonstrations can include that ordinary “undressed” cabinet or plank of wood side by side with an “accessorized” twin, to clearly show the customer what they can expect from the product. Plus, adds Fennell, it’ll make it easier for you to sell it once they see just how (here it comes again…) easy it is to use.
She also suggests merchandising it next to other decorative products to make the shopping process more convenient and transparent. That way customers can see all their options—and you can sell more sundries. “Our home decor tools can be used with a variety of products that you already carry, such as paints, glues, paint tools, and more,” said Fennell. “They all go hand in hand. This is where sample boards come in handy because you can show how the other sundries you carry can be used along with the [re]design tools and promote all that you offer. Your customers will appreciate all of the information so that they can go out and make the projects successfully in a one stop shop scenario.”
But wait…is there more? Of course! In addition to walls, [re]design can be used to [re]purpose old furniture and household items. “The sky is the limit on what you can transform to customize your space,” said Fennell. “Our tools can help repurpose old furniture, add decor to your walls, spruce up cabinets, and give your accessories a bit of character.”
If you see a customer hovering over your [re]design display, start asking questions. That will help you help them decide what products in the line will serve them best. “We recommend asking customers where they plan to use the products or what kind of project they are working on. This is great way to open up the conversation and see if they need additional materials or guidance so that they will be successful in accomplishing their project goals.”
Golden Paintworks: Living in Style
Lifestyle Finishes, from Golden Paintworks, offers a convenient way for both DIYers and pro painters to expand their range of finishes, and the company has a wealth of experience behind developing the line. “Golden Paintworks Lifestyle Finishes™ and Golden Pro Finishes are a culmination of more than a decade of manufacturing, research, and servicing the professional decorative painter through studio/training centers, re-imagined for the paint retailer,” said Jim Rogers, the company’s newly appointed director of Paintworks Branded Products. Jim is well known and respected in the faux world, with over 40 years in the biz, so if he’s moving to a new company it certainly says something about his faith in the quality and sales potential of this product line.
The collection includes metallic paints, metallic textures, glazes, clear topcoats, and an array of trowel-applied textures and plasters that can reflect any personal taste from Old World to Modern Chic. “All of the products come in bases that can be tinted in-store to a wide range of colors,” Rogers said. “This allows you to service a wide range of design tastes from a very small retail footprint. You can offer categories such as metallic paints and metallic plasters without the heavy commitment of inventorying several pre-mixed colors. For example,” he continued, “our textures and plasters can be tinted to match Benjamin Moore colors and offered as a ‘feature wall’ option to compliment any decor. Another line from our company, Golden Pro Finishes, consists of traditional faux and decorative products that include glazes, tinting dispersions, slow dry fluid acrylic colors, and clear topcoats.”
Display Your Lifestyle
Lifestyle Finishes planograms come with a header card, printed brochures, and a flip chart unit which offers a display of every product in both its natural and tinted state. Application tools are also provided, including Pavan decorative trowels for broad-wall application and small blue-steel blades for detail areas. “Our modular approach to displaying Golden Paintworks products allows you to tailor the line to your customers, be it enthusiastic amateurs or professional decorative painters,” Rogers added.
Faux finishing has been around awhile, so you already have a built-in society ready to roll (or trowel). “Our market is a mature one, so smaller POP displays work well and allow premium shelf space to be utilized for stocking products for resale,” said Rogers. But if you do need help, give a call. “Golden Paintworks offers in-store dealer/customer training by our experienced, professional staff.”
Retique It from Renaissance Furniture Paint
If only you had wood cabinets, the kitchen would be perfect. If only you could afford wood cabinets! “If only” can be right there in your faux products display, thanks to a stainable liquid wood in a can called Retique It, from Renaissance Furniture Paint. And like our other products in this article it’s… (all together now) easy!
The company’s CEO Michelle Corwin introduced us to the concept. “Just paint it, then stain it for a new wood finish,” she said. “Retique it looks and feels like real wood because it is real wood. It is a patented revolutionary new product which makes virtually any hard surface stainable without having to strip off the old finish. It’s a game changer for furniture and house flippers alike—it saves time and money!” And it saves some prep steps, she adds. “Retique It Liquid Wood is the perfect companion to chalk paint because it eliminates the need for sanding and stripping as well, and gives you a high end wood look and feel.”
How easy it is? Three steps: paint it, stain it, seal it. It can also be used in a paint sprayer, said Corwin.
With the right display, you should be able to get your customers’ attention pretty quick. “We have banners and a floor display rack,” said Michelle, “and we also recommend having a video in the store for customers to see.”
Of course! Our question was “what questions do you get?” Here’s her answer, and her questions:
Q. Is Retique It Liquid Wood a paint?
A. No, it is actually a liquid wood coating that is applied just like paint. It comes in a paint can, and in September will also come in a spray can! When it dries, it gives you an unfinished wood surface without heavy sanding or stripping off the old surface layers.
Q. How many shades are there, and which should I use?
A. We have Bleached Wood, Light Wood, Dark Wood, Gray Wood, and Golden Pine. Light wood is the most versatile. Bleached Wood works great with gray stains as well as stains when you don’t want a warm undertone. Dark Wood is great with dark cherry, mahogany or with a graining tool layered over a lighter color of Retique It. Gray Wood is also used for a dark charcoal grain…perfect for duplicating the tiger oak or various heavy grained woods. Golden Pine gives a golden undertone, which works great with most stain colors other than gray.
Q. Does it work with any brand of stain?
A. Yes…just make sure to follow the directions on the can of stain!
Q. What kind of topcoat should I use?
A. Use the appropriate sealer you would for any wood finish, i.e. flooring needs a flooring sealer; furniture and cabinets need a sealer like a polyacrylic or polyurethane. We offer a Retique It polyacrylic as well.
Q. Do I have to use a graining tool to achieve a wood grain?
A. No, you can just apply Retique It Liquid Wood and let it dry for two hours, then apply stain in long even strokes. This will leave a subtle contemporary wood finish. The graining tool will come in handy for a heavy rustic grain or a tiger oak.
Q. Where can I see a demonstration?
A. Check out www.RetiqueIt.tv (We have a graining tool video tutorial there.)
Q. How much does a pint cover?
A. 50 to 80 square feet; about two medium-sized pieces of furniture. A gallon will do an entire kitchen.
Q. How many coats do I need to apply prior to staining?
A. Just one coat will do, but you can apply more if you wish.
Q. Does it work for exterior use?
A. Not yet, but in September we will release a spray can version that will work on exterior surfaces and dry within 30 minutes. Stay tuned!