Will Faux-Finishing Rebound in 2011?

l The French Connection, Gibbs Publishing, using Crescent Bronze Platinum #877.

The French Connection, Gibbs Publishing, using Crescent Bronze Platinum #877.

Posted by: Diane Capuano
The faux-finishing industry has weathered the economic storm and now looks poised for some modest growth in 2011. PDR magazine asked for the thoughts of key executives from major faux and decorative painting product manufacturers recently, and here is what they had to say about the outlook for the current calendar year: Kelly S. King, Director of Education and Product Development, Modern Masters Inc.: “It appears that the decorative finish market is starting to see an uptick. The gauge we use is our 36 Platinum Training Centers across the U.S. and the thousands of students I have trained nationally over the years. Though it is not a scientific measurement, communication with past students and current training centers enables me to keep my fingers on the pulse of the decorative painting project starts. The reports are that decorative finishers are seeing continual increase in projects sales and also they are becoming more steady. This should result in sales of decorative painting products that fit a more competitive marketplace such as our Metallic Plasters, which goes further and can be accomplished in less layers. It also has the ability to achieve many different production finishing techniques enabling decorative finishers to be more competitive if needed and sell more jobs.” Ray Sandor, Founder & President, Faux Effects International Inc.: “Given the current state of the overall economy, it’s anyone’s guess!  We do see signs of progress albeit slow and conservative. The trend of ‘Home Sweet Home’ is prevailing, which is good for the decorative finishing marketplace.  With home entertaining being popular, so will be the desire to ‘re-decorate’ to make a comfortable, new environment.” Jeff Krapfl, Operations Manager, Crescent Bronze: “The outlook for 2011 is surprisingly good. Metallics continue to be hot items and sales are expected to increase. More people have started purchasing homes again, so renovation and remodeling projects have been more prevalent, especially since metallic paints are a cost-effective way to take what you have and maximize its appearance.” Jerry Russo, President, Roman Architectural Finishes: “After reviewing many forecasts of the major paint companies and home centers, growth of the decorative painting industry will probably be minimal, at 1-2½ percent.  It is disappointing to have to say, but faux finishing may most likely be on the lower end of that spectrum.” Paul Muto, Owner, Star Scenic, Orlando, Fla.: “It has been a long and tough year, but we weathered quite well. A slow and steady increase seems to be the course that we are following. The summer ended with final touches for Harry Potter at Universal Studios, start of Legoland of Florida and the Holyland expansion. New venues seem to keep popping up across the country. Decorative products are still needed and wanted.” Gaia Calcaterra, Owner, ARCHITEXTURE: “I think most consumers have experienced frustration in the last year having spent a lot of time window-shopping, unable or hesitant to commit. 2011 appears more optimistic, but key to that decision trigger is a tremendous emotional desire for the new, the now, that instant personal gratification. Translating into a look that they can understand so less detail in the design and something they can very much visualize completed. The ‘now’ is a more contemporary feel regardless of color, texture, price point or the specific style. The ‘instant’ becomes a smaller stand-alone application bringing a focal point or feature wall to the top of the list. The decorative painter can provide that look on less square footage in hundreds of ways. This type of install may result in referrals becoming more commonplace based not only on the visual ‘wow’ reaction but also the price tag for that ‘wow.’ ”

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