About Kathy

Kathy Carroll - Master Decorative Faux Artist

Faux finishing is Kathy Carroll's passion. As owner of The Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, Kathy enjoys teaching a variety of specialty finishes for walls, floors and furniture. She also finds that her students appreciate her knowledge of the large range of products available to decorative finishers, including “Green Products.”

After the opening of her eStore in March, 2005, Kathy experienced a considerable expansion of her faux finishing supply store. Presently there are over 5,000 items from a variety of manufacturers to choose from. You will often hear her say that “One Manufacturer is Not the Answer to All."

Kathy has been a visionary in the business of decorative painting, beginning her career in teaching as one of the “Big 8 Schools” for Faux Effects. In 2001 decisions were made that changed the course of the Chicago Institute of Decorative Finishing to its present charter: The Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes. While changing the name of the Institute was easy, acquiring new products and alternatives to the ones used in the past was challenging. Looking back over the last nine years has proven that things really do work out for the best and that this change now allows The Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes to offer its customers and students “The Best of The Best.”

Because her store is independent of any one manufacturer, Kathy is able to offer products found here and in Europe alike. In the past year, she has developed several products of her own under the “Bella” label, including Bella Fresco™ and Bella Sabbia. Along with the actual paints, plasters and decorative finishing products, Kathy also offers a variety of faux and decorative painting tools for the artisan.

With over 20 years in the decorative arts and interior design business, in addition to her talent in creating unique faux finishes, Kathy’s background is worth sharing with other faux artisans, muralists and decorative painters. Kathy counts among her students a number of individuals who have started schools of their own.

In spite of her expertise, Kathy realizes that to bring the best to her students, she must continue be a student herself. Her skills are constantly evolving as she learns new faux finishes, takes classes from other artisans and then passes along her newly acquired techniques to her own clients and students. Kathy's vivacious enthusiasm as an instructor is second only to her artistry and knowledge of the decorative painting industry.

The relationship between Kathy and her faux finishing students does not end upon completion of a course. Taking a class from Kathy is like becoming a member of the family. Kathy prides herself on helping others begin their own faux finishing careers. and her philosophy has always been “Your Success ... is Our Success.”

Kathy Carroll
800-797-4305 outside IL
630-653-2400 studio