Highlights From My Day At The Chicago Fine Finishes Institute


Why did I go to Chicago? I wanted to attend an open house celebrating Kathy Carroll’s 20th year in business at the Chicago Fine Finishes Institute.

I wanted to hob nobble with fellow artisans. The decorative finishing industry has quite a network of finishers that communicate on a multitude of talk forums. Its not uncommon to chat or email with a finisher from afar, never having met them in person. Events like this often brings you face to face with people you ‘know’ but have never met.

I wanted to see new finishes, new techniques – its a great way for an artist to get recharged.   And I wanted to see what new products and tools were being featured.  Kathy is a great source for my professional decorative finishing products and tools that I purchase – she carries, or can order, just about any product I desire. In addition, I love the next day delivery to Detroit!


I got to play with Crescent Bronze Chromatone paints. WHOA!!!  I must admit, I have been a Modern Masters fan for a number of years when it comes to metallic paint preference.  I think I may have found a new favorite.  The Chromatone is a line of pre-mixed water based metallic paints and come in 10 colors.  I loved them.  Every color I demo’d, over a white board, covered in one coat.  Very nice….. for more info you can contact Doris Westbrook .


Crescent Bronze Chromatone Paints

Crescent Bronze Chromatone Paints


Stephanie and Doris of Crescent Bronze

Stephanie and Doris of Crescent Bronze

Bella Cera Wax–   I’d seen this product in photos and had heard great things about it, but never saw it in action.   I really liked it-  Jenna and Laurie were helpful explaining the product and then let us play ourselves.  Neat stuff – can mix anything into it.  I’ve actually communicated with Laurie a number of times,  she owns Artistic Touches and offered to help at the open house, so it was nice finally meeting her in person!


Bela Cera Wax Wall Finish

Bela Cera Wax Wall Finish


Jenna and Laurie helping demo Bella Cera Waxes

Jenna and Laurie helping demo Bella Cera Waxes

Bella Sabbia – another cool product –

Bella Sabbia Crackled Column

Bella Sabbia Crackled Column

Putting faces to names – Eric and Brenda Deeter – they own Morningstar Faux and Decorative Finish Studio in Kansas –


Eric and Brenda Deeter at the Golden Booth

Eric and Brenda Deeter at the Golden Booth

Cool samples-






Nice Golden Glass Beads Wall Finish-


Patinated mirror on display-


Wallover Stencils – created by east coast artisan Cynthia Davis,  had some beautiful stencil designs on display.  I wanted to take them all home, but couldn’ t afford it!   I LOVED the Roundabout-


Roundabout $100.00

I did bring home the Organica – YUMMY!!!


Organica $70.00

Maya's Rose  $60.00

Maya's Rose $60.00

Mikala's Tropic $76.00

Mikala's Tropic $76.00

Nice display of antique patinated mirrors- I brought home the kit to start creating these as well!


Kathy receiving a lovely bouquet of roses-


Learning about new products-



A few more faces to names-


Sass, Kathy and Eric

Sass, Kathy and Eric




(back) Sabra and her friend (front) Jen's two friends from WI, Jenny, Kris and Sass (those kids in the background look like mine!!!)

(back) Sabra and her finisher friend (front) Jen's two finisher friends from WI, Jenney, Kris and Sass (those kids in the background look like mine!!!)

(L) Kathleen, Sabra   (R)  (?),  Me and Kris

(L) Kathleen, Sabra (R) (?), Me and Kris




4 responses to “Highlights From My Day At The Chicago Fine Finishes Institute

  1. Patty this looks FANTASTIC!!!! I love the Wallovers too, we bought one the first day we saw them but we haven’t had a chance to sell the finish we created with it, hoping to do a lot more with them though when we open the new studio…just too busy working to sell new finishes, which is a great complaint to have.
    Morey has dyed her hair and is looking Fabulous, I must email her and tell her. Thanks for the sneaky look at the open day.

  2. Patty,

    It was so nice to meet you! The open house was fantastic! Kathy is so giving with information about the finishes she has displayed, her studio is top of the line. I brought 2 finishers with me that are not new to the faux world, just new to the networking that takes place. I think they are hooked!!!! It seems that when you meet a new finisher, its like meeting an old freind.
    Patty I love your blog! I should look into starting one.

    Have a colorful day!


  3. Patty,

    It was great meeting you (& Kathleen). I did buy the Mikala Tropic & loved the Roundabout – but alas, didn’t want to spend that much more. AND, isn’t “Third Day”‘s worship just wonderful!

    MorningStar Studio

    • Cait, Morey did look great – it took me a couple seconds to realize it was her!

      Great to meet you guys too~ Jenney – I can’t believe I didn’t put two and two together!!! Glad to hear you guys made it home safe. Brenda it was really nice meeting you and Eric – Kathleen and I both walked out of that sports bar and commented that we didn’t think we’d be able to work with our husbands, but that you guys were a perfect fit. I think down the road that Roundabout stencili will find its way to my home 🙂

      And, yes I absolutely love Third Day – so many of the Christian artists are fabulous!

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