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Finish of the Month About Kathy Contact Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes

Artisan of the Month
AOTM Archived
August 2006 Sharon Taglienti
August 2006 Martin Riding
August 2006 Tomas Kyrgiakos /
Iowanna Azar
August 2006

Jenna DeFalco

August 2006 Alissa Murnane
August 2006 Rhonda Barber
August 2006 Laura Ross
August 2006 Nancy Schnell
August 2006 John Michaels
August 2006 Debi Vaninger
August 2006 Marsh Danner
August 2006 Beth Haynes
August 2006 Cassy Weddel
August 2006 Bruce Thalman
August 2006 Melanie & Stuart Kershner
August 2006 Lorie Wolff
Doug Diekman
Lori Tselikis
Joanne Voll
Linda Wetsch

Jennifer Rongaus

Natalie White
Dan Gangler
Sharon Damisch
Kay Reyes
Mary Johnson
Ed Hartfiel
Estelle Leptich
Laurie Ebert

John Michaels Decorating - John Michaels

faux finish courtyard

John Michaels says "There is a gap between creating a pretty sample board and a professional installation," when talking about the support he has received from Kathy Carroll at the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes.

"Estimating a job can cost time and money, and I've been to other schools where they wouldn't give out a cell phone number for support. When you take a class from Kathy, she supports you after the class has ended," he says.

John Michaels Decorating (JMD) was initially established in 1989, and John did straight painting and wallpaper hanging.  John quickly learned the finer points of the painting business through his association with the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA.)

artwork wall

John discovered the art of faux and decorative painting in the mid-1990’s while working on a showcase house for charity.  The showcase was filled with faux and decorative painting.  This was the inspiration which began John’s pursuit of decorative arts, and has become a lifelong passion.


When asked about the perfect client, John says "A client who chooses a finish they like and can make a decision," but adds "where my experience comes in is to know which finishes will work or be appropriate for the surface."

In the photo on the right, John demonstrates an example of creating a specialized finish to match a client's sculpture.

"I was at the client's home with another painter doing straight painting work, and she asked to see my portfolio of faux finishes, John explains. "The client wanted a high quality finish to match the high quality of the sculpture."

fireplace wall

John talks about another instance where Kathy Carroll's assistance was valuable in helping him produce great results on a job. "I learned this great leather finish from Kathy and when I got it wrong the first time, Kathy told me how to wash off the wax and start again. The result was great the second time."

"I am getting ready to start the same finish at a restaurant, with a urethane finish -- so it will be scrubbable," John adds.

John invests a number of weeks a year with continuing education and continues to take classes at the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes.   He is a member of the Stencil Artisans League (SALI), a group of top faux and decorative painters who share knowledge and skills. 

John Michaels Decorating

Over the years, John's portfolio has grown to hundreds of finishes and successful faux installations.  He describes his typical work as mostly glazed finishes, but "a lot of Lusterstone, a fair amount of old world finishes and some exotic finishes."

"I would like to get more into murals, which seems a more natural progression to fine art," John says.

John Michaels Decorating can be reached at 708-447-9500 or via email at jmdecorating@sbcglobal.net.


Faux by Kathy ©2003-2007
All Rights Reserved.