STIR-IT-UP - Vol. 10

A Little Help From Our Friends
Emily Howard 

I’ve been writing, editing, marketing and cleaning the floors when it’s needed at American Painting Contractor media (we used to just be a magazine) for nearly 13 years. We’ve seen a lot of ups and downs, a lot of challenges and a lot of triumphs, but 2020 has brought more to report on and research than I’ve ever seen during my time here. We saw many contractors shut down for months and some even shut their doors for good. Those who are getting back to work, are taking a good long, hard look at their business practices to determine how they will survive going forward. At APC, we’ve gathered a lot of advice over the past few months from legal experts, consultants, contractors, and professional marketers. Everything from applying for the PPP loans, to quick tips for saving money, to having tough conversations with employees. All of the advice has been fantastic and helpful, but one piece I found to be especially important:

“Use Your Network: Call your network of gutter installers, roofers, window-installers, flooring installers, landscapers and see how they are doing. You’ll probably have a good conversation, maybe get some ideas, and you might even get some referrals.”

This came from our good friend and consultant Brandon Lewis. I love it for a few reasons. 

  1. It’s your community. Not just in the geographical sense either. They are your fellow service providers and they can give you (and you them) better word of mouth to more people than anyone else. 
  2. It’s easy. These are other business owners who are in your community and probably understand what it is like to be in your shoes more than anyone else. During difficult times, sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who understands us and who we understand.
  3. It’s in your backyard. Now that we can all start to get out into the world again, seeing these people does not require a plane ticket or an event. They are close to home and easy to see, which is so much better than a phone call or a zoom call. 

So, go ahead, give your fellow contractor friends a shout. Catch up, learn something new, get some referrals, and just enjoy some time with your other contractor friends.  

Emily Howard: Editor-in-Chief of American Painting Contractor magazine

Stirring it Up with Golden Paintworks
by Jim Rogers

It seems like a year ago since the last Stir-it-up #9, where I addressed Golden Paintworks commitment to enhancing and furthering the decorative painting market.

Our world has gone a bit sideways since the beginning of March and keeping track of time since then has become a real chore. Anyway, while we were all home, sheltered in place, unable to meet with clients, finish any projects or even go to a paint store, it became apparent that this was, in many ways, going to change our business. I’m not talking about the loss of income, which was heady, but how we do business. How we interact with people, how we enter and exit buildings. How we are asked to pay for goods and services with our phones. During the height of this crisis, paint stores were open in most states as essential businesses, but it was really tied to the hardware store variety. “Open” meaning curbside pickup, so items like sundries were held hostage inside the walls of the retailer. Some retailers have e-commerce solutions, which helped move the main listed items in inventory, but again, not really sundries. Our Golden Paintworks team had been working on a “retailer-integrated” e-commerce site with the capability for purchasers to see all our goods, choose a registered retailer for curbside pick-up, or have it shipped to their door. We finished the platform in April and launched the site.

It resides in our main website where you can scan our offering, watch application videos, courtesy of our own Dean Sickler, choose colors and order product. I believe this is a great opportunity to embrace change in our business by making the purchase of decorative products easier and quicker. As we build our dealer network and get them signed up on our site, it will bring the purchasing experience closer to a seamless event. Think Starbucks... order exactly what you want, pay for it, it is blended and waiting for you to pick up in-store, or at the drive-up window. That’s what we’re shooting for. I invite you to visit our site and see what we’re offering. Our e-commerce store allows for those of you outside of our dealer range to access our products. We are confident that you will enjoy working with our goods as you produce the finishes and murals that wow us all.

Jim Rogers, Director of Paintworks Branded Products. Golden Paintworks®, a division of Golden Artist Colors, Inc.

To learn more about what Golden Paintworks has to offer, visit us at I look forward to my continued journey with IDAL and excited about all the opportunities this creative industry has to offer.

Stencil is Alive and Well!
by Cat Rinn, CSA

Nobody wants to read another article in which the very first word or the very first sentence is “COVID-19.“

That being said, COVID-19 may have a lot of us down, delaying events or canceling things all together; but our creativity marches on.

Our annual convention got pushed off… That’s OK!  It just gives us all more time to focus on projects we may have been putting off.  All of our IDAL Stenciling Certification applicants now have the luxury of more time to develop their projects!

IDAL members who have been toying with the idea of applying for Stenciling Certification, and joining their colleagues as stewards of stenciling history, now have the perfect opportunity to jump on board!  This is your sign from the universe to apply and become a part of that history of SALI and IDAL. 

Here’s how it works: There are levels. Levels make it easier.

CS - Often called the beginner level and the most attainable requiring the “least amount of work and commitment level.”  Select one category from your choice of wood, fabric, or walls. Use any stencil you want and complete a project on your chosen surface. Also cut an easy single layer stencil. Easy Peasy.

CSA - Our artisan level is four categories at the same time so it is considered intermediate. Wood, fabric, walls, and stencil cutting. This is the “design a room” level in which the stenciled projects all must coordinate.

CMS - In the master level, there are four categories but each category can be completed one at a time, or all together if that’s your preference. This is the level in which the craftsmanship displayed is truly elevated example of artistry in stenciling.

CST - Our stenciling instructor level is for amazing stuff for those who are not only expert stencilers but excel in the field of educating others and promoting stenciling excellence. 

So what is a steward of stenciling history? 

A “keeper” or a “manager on behalf of another.” Certainly there are other more serious aspects of stewardship responsibilities in our world, so this small aspect of preserving and protecting our stenciling roots is an easy ask for us as members of IDAL.

Now is your chance to become a part of our organization’s history.

Let’s do it! 

Cathy Rinn, CSA, is a professional decorative painter and Stenciler in the Washington DC area. A member of SALI/IDAL since 2005, Cathy assumed the role of Chairperson of the Stenciling Certification program for the organization in 2012.

Email for any questions and lots of answers to stencil certification questions.

From Her Trash to Her Treasure..Again
by Tracie Weir

The first Monday of every month we have bulk pickup in our neighborhood. You can throw out anything from yard trash, appliances (big and small), to furniture. Oh the furniture! I just can’t believe what people throw away! The pile can be no bigger than a Volkswagen Bug, so the city states on our monthly bill.

The Saturday and Sunday before bulk pick-up day are fun days for me. I make my rounds through the neighborhood in my empty Suburban. On this particular weekend, I found only one decent dresser. I decided to go out again Sunday afternoon to make one more run. There was nothing good for the taking.

On my way back home, I noticed my neighbor had thrown out this cute, little nightstand. I was so excited. I parked and jumped out to take a look. It was perfect, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

The nightstand was originally finished with a glaze, painted flowers, and some gold trim … pretty old looking too! I removed the broken handles and sanded it smooth. I primed and painted the unit with an off-white color.  

Then, I hand painted a palm tree on the front of the drawers with a slightly darker tone. I replaced the handles with crystal knobs. I loved it.

I took before and after photos.  I decided to send a photo to my neighbor Christi, who had thrown it away. She immediately responded and said “OMG I’ll buy it from you!”

I wasn’t expecting that but I said “OK!’ I dropped it off and the look on Christi’s face said it all. She was so happy. She told me it had been given to her by her grandmother and she felt horrible throwing it away. She continued to explain that It was outdated and she had no place for it anymore. Additionally, she had decided it was time to purge and update her home. I was happy to hear that it had renewed and sentimental value. She saw it as a treasure and had a place for it in her home.

Christi will be able to enjoy her trash that turned to treasure for years to come.

Tracie Weir
IDAL President

415 S. Sharon Amity Rd, Suite B
Charlotte, NC  28211
Phone: (407) 618-3272

International Decorative Artisans League (IDAL)
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