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Learn Faux keeping your portfolio current from your home
Testimonials - eLearning Faux Finishing & Decorative Finishing
Wondering if you can learn new faux and decorative finishes online?  Check out what our customers are saying about their successes with Learn Faux Now’s courses.

Dear Kathy,

I was very impressed with the quick response on my order. Within minutes I had an order confirmation from UPS. Shipment was prompt and correct. You make my life easier when things go right! Less time means more money!

Thank you
Cheryl ~ Decorating Solutions

Dear Kathy,

Thank you so much for making and posting that video on your website....it saved the job for me.  Both the interior designer and her client love the look!  (They even like the walls I did before I studied the video).  I finished 7 of 8 walls, I'll be back on Saturday to finish this project, yippie!!!  (The room is dark, it's an octagon with wood beams between each wall, and a domed ceiling.  The walls are painted a deep gold, and the designer wanted some shimmer with some of the basecoat showing through....voila, Bella Fresco Gold!)

Susan Sidun

Learn Decorative Finishes Bella Fresco Learn Decorative Finish Bella Fresco


Hi Kathy,

I just completed the Old World Textures Class. The video instructions were easy to follow. I just had the laptop next to me and played it as I did the boards. The written instructions are very helpful, too! I most appreciate the written cost list of the product to help with doing the job estimates. THAT WAS AWESOME! I look forward to more classes being offered and will enjoy showing my new boards TODAY at a women's newtworking meeting. It's a great way to complete a class without the travel and to complete at my own time.


Debbie Brown
Distinctive Impressions
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Hi Kathy,

Just completed Old World Textures and it was great! These finishes will be a wonderful addition to my portfolio! I made one change on Tuscan Oasis though. 

After completing one sample using the Liberon waxes, I created another one using Raw Sienna and Umber glaze because the trend is to go Green and I have had clients who wanted no solvents or oils in my finishes. The difference in appearance between the two samples was minimal.

Can't wait for your next class.


Mike Nemetz

Hi Kathy,

Congradulations on 20 years! My how time flies!

Since attending one of your online classes (You got waxed) I can see why you have stayed in the business and have enjoyed a measure of success.

I finished the home theater using the product bella sera and metallics that I bought from you, and followed the new knowledge from the online class.

thanks for your consideration.
Leslie Mitchem


I finished all of my boards for both Learn Faux Now classes, and they turned out beautiful!  It is so great to be able to freshen up your portfolio from home with a few new boards, and to not have to encure class and travel expenses!

It was very easy to follow the instructions, and to have all of the products pre-mixed and labeled and ready to apply was just so convenient!

The interior decorator that I work with has already taken the new boards to show a client. I can't wait for the next class to be ready.

This is an awesome idea.  Thank you!

Nancy Tomaski
Paint My World

Hi Kathy,

I finished the sample boards and love them all!!! I constantly like to update my portfolio to keep up on the competition, especially in these tough economic times. For less than $100 I was able to add three new beautiful wax finishes, which I can use in either an old world finish or a beautiful modern look...and I was able to do it right in my studio! No airfare, no hotel, no travel expenses!

Thank you so much! I look forward to taking more of these classes. I'm hoping you'll do something with Skimstone!!!


Valerie DiBenedetto
Sophisticated Surfaces
Wildomar, Ca.

Just want to let you know that I think your service and products are great.

Hopefully economy gets better so I can come and take classes from you.

Donnie Bristow

I did get the product, it was just fine this time. Finished the samples last night and they turned out beautifully! Took them to a clients home this morning and she is beside herself trying to decide which one to choose! As always an exceptional class, from an exceptional teacher! Cant wait for the next one!
Dianna Steeves

Paint Me Gourmet
Basic Paint & Fantastic Finishes


"I have been a professional faux finisher for 10 years. The "Learn Faux Now" online Classes, offered by Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes and demonstrated by owner Kathy Carroll, were an excellent way for me to learn new finishes without having to travel!

The first class I tried out was the "Old World Textures". The easy to follow instructions were thorough and precise and allowed me to execute the finishes with ease. The first consultation I took my new sample boards to, netted me a "sold" job on the Pompeii Crackle finish. I'm looking forward to more classes and more success!



I just completed a presentation for Reico (major cabinetry/kitchen co) and your boards were part of the sampling I showed.

I got a very good response on the WAX samples, from all who attended. Some said it looked like a work of art (of course).
I recieved some product from a friend, called Jewelstone. Would you have any information on the application process? Is it similar to Lusterstone?
Thank you again for such a brilliant idea on online classes!  So many times, it's hard to keep up on spending $$$ and time to get to know about products with week long classes.  This is a good incentive to keep that knowledge flowing. I've been at this for 2 years, and reailze how different each national school is - one way to get a feel for what is happening is your idea with online classes.
Eventually, another week long class will happen - and the next time it will be in your neck of the woods!
Keep those online classes coming!


You Got Waxed was wonderful and worth every cent. Your format is easy to follow and execute for decorative painters of all levels. The step by step pictures and videos make it easy enough for a beginner, while the finishes are desirable portfolio builders for the seasoned decorative painter. 
You thought of everything, from reminders to clean your trowel to conveying how much to mist the surface. The last page of the download, containing the product list and price per square foot was "the icing on the cake".   
Thank you for putting together a great class. Can't wait to see the finishes featured on future classes. 
Bruni Figueroa
Legal Secretary


The finishes have added something totally different to my portfolio! I love the sheen. I very much like this format. Ordering the class on-line is something I would definitely do again. The only thing I had a little trouble with was applying the wax too generously on the first sample. The video class was well done, I just missed that and it slumped a little. The raku is so pretty and I have a client who will just love it but needs to find a place to put it. I very much appreciate the sf cost estimates at the end.

Thanks again..
Cheryl VanOrt

Hi, Kathy!
I have finished the 3 "you got waxed" fauxs and was very happy with every aspect of the course.  The instructions were well written and they explained clearly what I needed to do.  You supplied a generous amount of materials, so I can actually make a sample on the larger sample boards I traditionally use or try out variations.  I enjoyed and found very useful that one video clip that had sound and you were explaining a point while working the faux. As well, I am extremely happy with the pdf documents you included; these are invaluable. All in all, you have created an excellent eLearning product that is very useful and enjoyable in expanding my portfolio... and at a reasonable price too!

The videos were also very useful, but most had no sound.  Oddly enough, I find it more 'informative' to hear you applying the material.  The sound helps identify the way you are scraping, spanking etc. the material and if it is a long steady application or light skimming and so on.  So, simply recording the sound as you work would be very informative even if you don't say anything.

The only other thing I think would be nice is a larger higher res. picture of the final faux along with a close-up to show texture if it has any.  But of course these are all not necessary.  What you have supplied is
already extremely helpful and I eagerly look forward to your next course.
On a personal note, I was extremely surprised at how lovely the fauxs are.  The Village Sand was really the only one that appealed to me, but after doing the other two, I saw how beautiful they were and could see how they could easily be incorporated into many settings.  Pictures can only tell you so much about a faux, but seeing them in real life, they were impressive. I love working with waxes and Venetian plaster to get texture and the melting of the colors into beautiful works of art so this first class was right up my ally.  I'm very happy you came up with such a great idea.  Though it wont replace classroom style instruction, I think it will greatly enhance anyone's skills and repertoire.  Thank you.
Darryl Grant,
The Artisans Fine Painting Ltd.

Good Morning Kathy
I did love it!

Due to the area I live in (Northern Iowa) High End Decorative Finishes are a hard sell, price for a finish due to product cost etc. However, I love to try out new product (ones I haven't worked with yet) and because of all of this going to Chicago or anywhere else for (a class) that matter isn't cost effective for my business. Doing it on line is a brilliant idea! I can do it on my own time, it gives me a chance to play (because you send enough to do other samples!!!) and I am not out a ton of money if I cant sell the finish, but keeps the creative juices flowing. I know that this is probably an introductory price (?) but I am already waiting in line for the next class sign me up!

Dianna Steeves
Paint Me Gourmet
Gourmet Paint and Plaster

Hi Kathy:
First let me say how much I enjoyed your steppin 12 class.  It was fantastic!!!  I had my boards shipped back home and they haven't arrived yet and I'm so anxious to get them and drool over them again.  Seriously, you were an EXCELLENT teacher.  One of the best I have ever had!!!
I do have a question for you.  The gentleman that came in to show us the Oikos product that had 24K gold in the plaster...how do we go about getting that product and where do I go to look for the color selections they have in that product.  I actually have a client that is interested in doing an entire room in it.!!! It would be beautiful but I don't know where to go or what colors they come in.  Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.  I would love to purchase from you if you are carrying it.
Thanks again for the AWESOME class and hopefully I can get to Chicago to take some more classes from you.
Jann Krone
Artisan Stuidio

Hi Kathy,

It's Jennifer Serrano.  I live in Huntersville, NC and I took your Professional Wall Finishes class last March.  I was QUITE overwhelmed then because of so many different products, brand names, and techniques that I
had never heard of.  But since then, I've learned a lot more about many of the products and techniques, and am gaining confidence.  After your class, I had a brief mental set-back about starting up my business in the NC area. But I'm back!  I decided at the beginning of the year to really focus on getting Jennifer's Creative Painting up and running, and the jobs have been coming to ME...in large part because of the beautiful sample boards and knowledge I was able to get from your class. I have just landed a HUGE job for a custom home in the area that is more than 12,000sq.ft!!!!!  She wants finishes for nearly every room on the main level.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me!!
I just saw your "Learn Faux Now" class, and I am SO excited!  I couldn't wait to order it and try it out!   I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks again,
Jennifer Serrano
Jennifer's Creative Painting

Just wanted to let you know how happy I am with your Learn Faux Now program. The materials came quickly.  Your instructions were easy to follow.  I now have three new sample boards that I've very excited to show to clients.

faux finishing classes

I'm looking forward to the next lesson in the series.
Keith Wheatley
Artisan Painting


You were one of the best teachers that I have ever had, you did everything well, and thank you for the prompt notes to the class.

I would like to do a crazy marble table, when I get home I will measure it and then ask you how much of each material I will need.

It will be a great sample to show people, I can't wait to get started on it.

It was truly  a pleasure taking your class and I have been recommending it to everyone I speak to.

Thanks again.

Dear Kathy,

I am enjoying the class very much. I initially had trouble with the Black and Tan finish coming out to my liking, but found if I let the first gold coat dry before proceeding, it came out beautifully.

For those of us with crummy printers, you might consider a text only (no pictures) instruction download (also saves paper and ink). I was able to type the instructions onto one page, download the first,last & one or two photo pages per finish.

The most important thing that would be needed is more information about the wax. Is there a sheet detailing the properties of the wax? Is it a true wax or a heavy- bodied glaze? Does it have a melting point (does a heat
source or direct sunlight effect it)? Can it be painted over? How do you remove the texture (scrape or skimcoat)? Customers always seem to want to know how to change these things even before you apply them. Is it washable?

I would greatly appreciate any info you can give me on the wax. I look forward to future classes, great concept and wish you well with it.
Michael Nemetz

Dear Kathy,

I just received my package for the You Got Waxed class. As per your instructions I am e-mailing you so you can send me my log on info.

I am so excited to be a part of this, it is something I have been looking for for some time now. I am unable to travel to take classes, so this is perfect for me. I am a friend of another lady that has signed up for your classes here in Lubbock and I know she feels the same way I do. As a matter of fact we are going to do this together in order to help each other out. Kind of feed off of each other and give each other support. Her name is Gwynn and we have become the best of friends. This kind of stuff excites the heck out of us. We plan on taking as many of your classes as possible. The one class we would love for you to offer is clouds and skies. We are the kind of people that if we could watch someone do it we would have a better idea of how it is suppose to work. Everything we have seen so far isn't as step-by-step as we would like. Thank you for all you have offered so far. I am so looking forward to the coming classes. I haven't  been this excited about learning in a long time. Thanks again for giving us Big Girls something fun to do.

All my best and continued success,
Peggy Vasquez

Hi Kathy:
Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how much I enjoyed taking the new web class - You Got Waxed.  The class was well done and since you had a couple of weeks to take the class I was able to work at my own pace. 

With a schedule as busy as mine, working full time for a cancer center and also running a full time faux finishing business this class was a blessing by allowing me to keep up with current trends and not having to take time off of work.  Keep up the good work.
Toni Z.
P.S.  I would love to see you do a class on foils.

What do I need?

  • Web Browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari

  • Current Adobe Flash Plug-in which can be downloaded here.

Standard tools for most classes include:

  • Stainless steel trowel:
  • Sponge:
  • Japan Scrapers:
  • Water spray bottle:
  • Chip Brushes:
Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes
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