My Faux Life – How It All Began

Hi…I’m Stacey Van Gundy, proud owner of Stacey’s Faux Design. I started my own business about 10 years ago after working as a stay at home mom for 15 years. Raising four children on a one-income budget was not always easy. Funds to turn my modest home into the place I envisioned it to be was hard to come by. This was the beginning of my obsession with home improvement shows. Christopher Lowell was my television best friend for years. His “you can do it” motto made me feel like I was capable of anything. My white walls became a thing of the past!

As my kitchen cabinets began to look old and worn and again very little money in the budget, the research began. I removed all the doors and hardware. The doors went downstairs on the ping pong table. I sanded the cabinets, primed with Kilz, painted a blue-green basecoat to coordinate with my blue Formica countertops. Knowing nothing about professional faux products, I headed to my local craft store for crackle. I crackled the cabinets and the doors and top coated with an off-white paint. Not really liking the way they turned out, I hand painted Ivy and Flowers on the cabinet fronts to camouflage my misfortune. Two coats of Polyacrylic later it was complete. I liked it!

The next project was the living room…With my L-shaped living room/dining room combo. I talked my Drywall Hubby into putting in an archway with niches on each side to separate the dining from the living room. I faux finished my living room in green sponge painting (and yes it is still there). I began to long for Pottery Barn furniture. Definitely not in the budget. Twelve yards of off-white canvas, piping, upholstery thread and “how to slipcover furniture” pattern later, I was off. For weeks I sewed and fitted the fabric onto my sofa. I sewed and fitted. Now keep in mind, before this undertaking the only thing I ever sewed was dresses for my two girls. Again, “you can do it” was pressed in my brain. When it was all finished, I had custom tailored sofa and settee slipcovers complete with fitted cushions.
As time went on I continued to redo my home. Until one day…Drywall Hubby comes home from work to tell me how he was busy doing a patch in a house and there just “happened” to be a faux finisher there. This faux finisher “happened” to mention to him how she would like to hire a helper. Someone who was somewhat talented that would catch on quick, but not someone who has taken classes on their own. Someone who could learn and be willing to do things the way she did them. I just stared at Drywall Hubby. I could have kicked him! “What about me?” I said. (Now it’s important for me to say that Drywall Hubby takes FULL credit for this. Drywall Hubby claims that that’s why he mentioned it to me in the first place. Although, his actions did not let onto that at the time). Well, with a few conversations using my hubby as the go between. I went to work. Rag rolling and sponge painting was a thing of the past. My new best friend was named Neon Leon! I learned many things from her. She taught me what “dry edges” were and how to prevent them. She taught me the difference between over-the-counter faux finish glaze and professional glazing medium. She taught me how to prep a surface correctly. I watched everything she did down to how she interacted with the clients. She helped me to fall in love with faux finishing and decorative painting. I’m still in love today (with faux finishing and Drywall Hubby).


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