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All Aboard That’s Fauxing Aboard!

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All Aboard That’s Fauxing Aboard!
(100-Foot Yacht Project)

As seen in Faux Effects World XXII

I was approached by cabinet maker and finisher extraordinaire Randy Baker, who asked if I could help him on an interesting project. His firm was asked to strip and re-stain the wood work on a 100-foot yacht docked at the Naples Yacht Club on the Southwest coast of Florida. Areas throughout the interior of the boat, which are mahogany, were becoming cloudy and milky. They tried every stripping material and method available but could not seem to break the barrier of the finish. Randy asked me if it would be possible to basecoat and woodgrain the clouded mahogany to look exactly like the existing mahogany. I knew this was in my bag of tricks and was very excited for the challenge. We visited the project and went right to work making samples and planning our strategy. Randy Baker and his team would handle the prep work, including base coating and top coating, and Spiegel’s Decorative Finishing Studio would handle the three-layer graining process. These were tight quarters and a difficult working environment, considering we had to spray the work in order to obtain that high-end manufacturer mahogany glass-like boat finish.

All systems went according to plan. Randy Baker’s team did a superb job. This was their first time using Faux Effects coatings. It did not take them long to get comfortable with the products and admired how amazing these products were! These “good ole boys” were all used to spraying lacquers and conversion varnishes. They set up a Jet HEPA air filtration system and a dehumidifier that sucked in the overspray and blew out clean air. Faux Effects Camel SetCoat was wet sanded to a beautiful satin, furniture grade finish. Many people do not realize how wonderful SetCoat wet sands out. My team and I started taping out all the panels and proceeded with the flogging process. Next, we laid in the main graining figures followed by a third toning layer to adjust the color to a perfect match with all the existing wood.

Once all the graining in the dining room area was completed, Randy Baker and his team came in and applied the Faux Effects topcoats–ColorSeal followed by three coats of Satin Varnish Plus. It’s a nice experience working on the yacht–the fresh smell of the salt air, the water, the company of the dolphins and the sound of the waves make for a very nice day to faux the world a little more beautiful.

We never saw the owner of the yacht during the whole process, but its crew was first-class all the way. They helped out with anything we could possibly want and more. We cleaned up and packed up our drop cloth, and a few days later, they were off to sea. We finally got word back that the owner loved the job. He wanted us to complete different sections of the yacht, planned on when it was back in Naples Harbor. In fact, we are back on the yacht at the writing of this article.

Repeat Customers

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Our Goal is to Make Every New Customer a Repeat Customer in Naples, Florida
As seen in Faux Effects World Volume XXII

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.
-Walt Disney, Founder of Disney

One of the best feelings is when you get that phone call, “Hello Eric, you did our home ten years ago–do you remember us, and are you still in business? I have a new home that I would like you to come take a look at.” I reply, “Well, of course I remember you. I am still in business, and I can even come over in about an hour? Would that work for you?” “Come on over,” she says.

We had completed some extensive work in their previous home. Pictured here is the entryway with a gold leafed ceiling and creme-colored Venetian plaster with antiqued trim work. Also, pictured is the master bath from their previous home with faux marble columns and SandStone and PlasterTex glazed walls with antiqued trim.

With the call, I knew this would be another interesting project, which indeed it was. We knew we had a hard act to follow with her master bathroom. Pictured is the master bath from the previous residence that we completed some ten years ago.

This time around, she chose a beautiful wallpaper for all the walls. Wallpaper? No problem– there were still plenty of opportunities to seize upon. You cannot give our clients too much color! For starters, we applied a beautiful custom-mixed magenta LusterStone finish to the ceiling. But, the cabinetry stole the show in this bathroom. It was very plain to begin with, but had very interesting applied appliques and ornamentation.

We base coated all the cabinets in White Setcoat followed by a beautiful Pearl FauxCreme glaze. We then applied gold leaf to different appliques and hand painted the different ornamentation. We even used a clear mother-of-pearl foil for the inside of the shell ornament to make it look just like the inside of a shell.

We do a good amount of cabinetry work, but this was a real treat. It is not often you come across a set of cabinets so unique with a client who is willing to let you have your way with them.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

With A Little Help from My Friends in Naples Fl.

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With a Little Help From my Friends
Great art knows no boundaries, especially in Naples, Florida. Like the CMT Crossroads show, I enjoy pairing up with great talent with different skills then me, swapping stories, exchanging licks and seeing what we come up with! The results are always outstanding and we leave with standing ovations!

This projects crossroad: Queens meets Brooklyn! My pal the great Sean Crosby

Sean & I met in a class many moons ago at The Finishing School in Floral Park NY. We had both been taking classes previously with Ina Marx, but this class was led by her son Robert Marx, a great craftsman and a great guy. Sean and I new many common finishers in the Tri-State area. One was the legendary Howard Zucker, an old-time union painter known for his decorative finishes. We both have roots working with the painters unions, so there are plenty of laughs and stories to go around. Sean is world renowned for his graining and marbling, and a world class portrait & mural artist to boot, a true Rock Star in this industry! Sean came down for a week to do some Trompe-l’oeil on a huge fireplace mantel (featured below). He knocked it out of the park for us and we exchanged some graining licks on our breaks, as well.

Another Rock Star friend, Tim Davis has been a hired gun with Spiegel’s for many years as well. Thou he is an accomplished faux finisher, he is another amazing Trompe-l’oeil artist. One other bond we have is music. Tim and I have collaborated on a few songs. He is also a graduate of the recording engineering school Full Sail University. He is an accomplished pianist, producer and engineer and can be heard on some of our latest original music tracks.

Tim Davis

Come Sail Away! This bathroom is one of my favorite collaborations with Tim Davis.

The drapes, shelf and nautical instruments are all painted to fool the eye, the art of Trompe-l’oeil

Another favorite was this master bathroom we did together. I faux marbled the walls and Tim painted the beautiful mural in the tub niche.

If I had more time, I could talk about many more friends I have collaborated with throughout the years, but this short list would not be complete without my good friend Jeff Fessenden of Jeff Fessenden Studio’s. Jeff is another very musical guy. He is an amazing guitarist and vocalist. I am sure we will be laying down some music tracks one of these days, after all the painting is done of course!

While we were busy working on the ceiling and walls, Jeff came in and painted this beautiful ribbon to put the icing on the cake, I mean room!

These were a few examples of how we collaborate with fellow artisans. Sometimes it’s nice “to get by with a little help from my friends.”
To view more projects and collaborations of Spiegel’s Decorative Finishing Studio, click here.

Matchmaker Matchmaker Make Me a Match!

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Due to water damage in a beautiful palace in Port Royal, Florida, we were asked if we could match the existing wallpaper and complete about 30% of the room. This was no little touch-up! Along with my friend Tim Davis we put our two faux heads together and off we went!

The existing wallpaper was a beautiful oversized damask pattern over an antiqued silver background. The first mission was to make a sample! Before we submerged in this undertaking of a match, Tim Davis and myself, worked out the colors, patterns and plan of attack.

Once approved by the homeowner, but in this case a house manager, off we went. One of our favorite sayings at Spiegel’s Decorative Finishing Studio is “there are no problems only solutions”. This was the perfect example of that statement. If the paper couldn’t be matched perfectly, it would look very bad. Also, if that was the case, they would have to remove all the paper and start with a new look. All the furnishings, draperies etc. were based around this paper, so it was an important problem to solve.

The original wallpaper has an antiqued silver background as seen here. To achieve this we started with a silverleaf base. It might seem too bright, but watch what happens.

Second step we put a raw umber glaze on, followed by the webbing effect.

Tim Davis created a stencil using the existing wallpaper and clear acetate. To achieve this effect, we used two overlays.

It was very nerve racking for us. We were concerned about the adhesive pulling the silver leaf off. Even though we made a sample, we were crossing our fingers this was going to work.

It’s working . . .

Patience, Patience, Patience

It worked! Throughout this project, for some odd reason, I could not get the song from Fiddler on the roof out of my head. Match, Matchmaker Make Me a Match, and find me the perfect match. . .

This was a challenging, yet rewarding project. I love these types of jobs, just not every day! LOL
To view more completed projects click here.

Dr. Faux’s Prescriptions for Living a Colorful Life in Naples Fl

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Dr. Faux’s Prescriptions for Living a Colorful Life in Naples Fl

Dr. Faux says, Stop being afraid of color!
ertain colors, when used properly and under a doctor’s care, are known to have many healing properties with virtually NO side effects! What a wonderful color to be wrapped around by at night, to restore us back to a sense of well being.

Did you know that green is an emotionally positive color, giving us the ability to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally? Green is also the color of growth, the color of spring, of renewal and rebirth. It renews and restores depleted energy. It is the sanctuary away from the stresses of modern living. This is why there is so much of this relaxing color on the earth, and why we need to keep it that way!

Don’t think those accent touches of magenta are there for just decoration! No, no the color magenta is a color of cheerfulness, happiness, contentment and appreciation for what you have acquired and achieved. Most people feel more optimistic when in the company of magenta.

There is magic . . .in the deep-jewel-colored room, warm and mysterious, where you discover its many beauties as you sit, seduced slowly.
– Billy Baldwin

Dr. Faux’s Prescription for a Wonderful Evening:
Relax and have a glass of wine with someone you love, in this jewel-toned room. The magical healing powers of the scarlet red walls will stimulate passion, sexual energy and love. Possible side effects include uncontrollable desire for one another, possible birthday of your next child and increase of appetite! (Ever wonder why, so many restaurants use the color red? It stimulates your appetite) If you’re dieting, only stay in this room for short intervals!

Purple or for those that prefer a more glamorous term Aubergine, is a color for Royalties’. It stands for luxury, wealth and sophistication

Dr. Faux says, if you can’t afford a Bentley or Rolls Royce in your life, yet yearn for that feeling of luxury around you. My prescription is two coats of a wonderful Purple, Eggplant or Aubergine on a accent wall or niche, and call me in the morning!

That concludes our show/faux this week. There are many people suffering out there, to tired and distressed walls that need my help. So it’s off to make a few house calls. We will pick up this conversation again soon. Faux you later!

Till then “Keep it Colorful”!
Fauxing it Forward,
Dr. Faux (a.k.a. Spiegel’s Decorative Finishing Studio)
For more ideas on color view our portfolio section here.

Decorative Finishing

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Decorative Finishing: Where Elegant Interiors Begin

Decorative finishing is the key to cultivating a tone of opulence and luxury in your Naples, Florida home. Transform sheetrock into mahogany, camouflage plastic switchplates with a marble finish, highlight your room’s architecture with gold leaf or silver leaf ; the opportunities for interior innovation are endless

Venetian Plaster

Sleek polished Venetian Plaster is as versatile as it is gorgeous. This polished decorative finish is ideal for various interior decorating styles ranging from traditional to transitional and modern.

Glamorous in entryways, bathroom and kitchen design, Spiegel’s Decorative Finishing Studio customizes your Venetian Plaster decorative finish to your liking.

Faux Stone Finishing

Whether you’re restoring, remodeling or renovating your beautiful Florida residence, faux stone decorative finishes are smart and classic.

Transform your mantel, update your kitchen design or refresh your patio with faux stone finishing. View faux stone and marble finishes here.


If you love the architecture of your furniture but need to give it an update, consider a graining decorative finish from Spiegel’s Decorative Finishes! Graining is a decorative finish which replicates the appearance of gorgeous wood; this finish is ideal for cabinetry, furniture, doors and doorframes and more! View our past graining projects here.

Switchplate Finishes in Naples Florida

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Switchplate Finishes in Naples Florida: Plug into some awesome interior design details

One of my favorite sayings “Details make the difference”! So many clients have beautiful backsplashes of granite, marble, onyx, glass tile, etc. and then have these plain white switchplate covers on them!

Well I will let the pictures do the talking! “No problems, only solutions” is one of our favorite sayings at Spiegel’s Decorative Finishing Studios. So many of our clients don’t realize that there is a solution to these plain switchplates that ruin the whole aesthetic feel of what you’re trying to achieve with a decorative finish. When a client goes out to the granite factory to select a beautiful flowing piece of onyx or granite, they don’t realize until it’s installed that there will be all of these receptacle covers breaking up the organic flow of the beautiful stone or marble they selected.

Concealing the floor receptacle in the floor. I know, I know, WHAT RECEPTACLE! LOL

Never underestimate the power of a small switch plate.

Years ago, I gained a new-found respect for the “Power of the Switchplate”. I was very busy working on a big project in Port Royal of Naples, Florida with a ten-man crew, and was swamped! I received a call from a builder to go look at one switchplate in a home down the street. In those days, I didn’t have time to blow my nose, let alone go look at one switchplate. Well, I remembered one of my old slogans when I started out in the business: No job is too big or too small! So I went over and looked at the job; it was a metal switchplate in a freshly installed Oak floor. They asked if I could make it disappear. I politely told them, though I am not a magician I have performed some magic in my days. I went to the truck, got my brushes and away I went. I figured let’s just get this out of the way rather than make another trip just for one plate!

Well it went very well and they were extremely pleased with the results. So pleased that I wound up working in their home for about seven months, applying decorative finishes throughout the house and then throughout the entire exterior of the house (this is a whole separate blog topic to discuss. “exterior decorative finishes”). Moral of the story . . .never underestimate the power of just one switchplate.
To see more of our switchplates and other decorative finishes click here.

Thirty years and thousands of clients later I am left with an artistic and creative sense and sensibility to create a custom decorative finish ideal for furnishing your design.
Think of us as your wall designer.
– Eric Spiegel

Everybody Must Get Stoned

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Everybody Must Get Stoned: Creating Stone Looks in Naples Fl. Interiors

Does your Naples, Florida interior need an upgrade? Decorative finish expert, Eric Spiegel of Speigel’s Decorative Finishes explains why everybody must get stoned with faux stone finishes!

Creating stone block finishes with paint and plaster go back to the beginnings of Faux. This organic form of design has withstood all the trends in design, from Old World to New World.

Stone block walls can make the perfect accent wall or entry hallway for any style interior design.

Before: Here is the before shot of the wall and mantle. Originally the client had just wanted me to do something with the mantle only. They asked me my thoughts, which can be dangerous sometimes!

My mind started racing and the ideas started coming. I thought it would be more of an impact to have a “focal wall” rather than a focal mantle. Especially with that nice screen TV, calling out for something strong and elegant to hang its beautiful self on.

While we’re at it lets invite those sad looking side cabinets to our party!

The Rendering: With the help of one of my crew members, we sketched out the plan.

They approved it, we applied it, now they enjoy it! “That’s how we roll at Spiegel’s Decorative Finishes Inc.”

So if you need a new look for your Home

Everybody Must Get Stoned!

To see more stone and marble finishes: click here!

Decorative Painting on Metal Elevator Doors in Naples Fl.

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“I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.”

― Elizabeth Taylor

Entry doors are the first and last visual impression upon entering and exiting your home. Why not make it a lasting impression!

In single family homes our clients go through great lengths and expense to have beautiful entryway doors. For the clients that live in high rise condominiums, in many their entry, is an Elevator door.

These doors are usually factory painted and not very attractive. They give one a feeling of a more industrial or commercial space, not a luxurious residence. Also, most clients don’t realize that this is not a “dead end street/door” ? and there are so many decorative possibilities for these metal doors.

At Spiegel’s Decorative Finishes Inc., we have a popular saying around here, “There are No Problems only Solutions”

This is a typical elevator entryway. I will let the picture speak for itself.

Once we properly prepare and prime the door, it literally becomes a blank canvas for a world of decorative opportunities. As in a case like the picture above we decided to extend the look of the silk wallpaper. It is a very small space that is cut up by a few doors already. By blending the door into the wallpaper, we made the space bigger and less broken up. Leaving room for perhaps a mirror or artwork to steal the show.

The photos below are just a few of the many elevator doors we have created.

This Renaissance stencil design over an antiqued patina’d door with Silky Venetian Plaster walls, set the stage for this 11,000sq ft. Penthouse overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Lusterstone Harlequin patterned doors with faux painted Travertine marble casings give this lobby a classic and timeless look.

Lusterstone walls and doors with a continuing wave/ribbon unite this contemporary Elevator lobby and set the stage, for a very interesting living space.

This Faux Woodgrained metal door with painted inlays of Walnut Travertine, Black Granite, and Ornate Stencils along with Rich Coco Venetian Plaster walls leaves a lasting impression to whomever walk in and out of these doors!
Make your Elevator door an extension of your design!

When Mica Meets Cabinetry in Naples Florida

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When Mica Meets Cabinetry in Naples Florida

I was recently on a project for a repeat customer. Last year we had applied Lusterstone & Silver leaf to a few of their tray ceilings. This year, we came back to apply Venetian plaster to the walls and Faux Onyx to some columns in the entry foyer. (I will share that project with you in an upcoming blog) The first day of the project the clients told me they might have a few more items for me to paint. We had developed a very good relationship from our first project and gained their trust. The clients showed me the built-in cabinetry in the living room and asked “what do you think Eric”.

I usually have twenty finishes that just roll off my tongue, but this time I was at a loss for words (this was very rare for me, ask my wife she will testify to this).

Here’s what happened . . .sometimes I get bored doing the obvious. I could have antiqued them, woodgrained them or painted them in an accent color all day long, “been there, done that” Sometimes I just have a need, as I say “To Faux Where No Man’s Gone Before”.

I don’t usually do this, but I asked if I could sit on her couch in the space for a while and meditate on a concept. She even offered me a glass of wine, but at 9:00am it’s a little too early for that. Bottled water was all I needed. So, I prayed to the Faux Gods and within 20/30 minutes they actually answered me. While I was admiring all the different vases and artwork in the space, I noticed a common theme of abalone & mother of pearl inlays in many of their beautiful pieces. So what came to mind was one of the latest trends in decorative finishes, Mica! I just love this material. It’s organic, its blingy and it has a very chameleon like quality, due to the translucent nature of this material. It will take on the colors of what you put under it, over it and next to it.


Okay, what to do with this epiphany of an idea! Well those ideas were flowing like Niagara Falls. I came up with Faux Wood Graining the outer areas of the doors and trim in a rich faux dark Mahogany finish to correspond with the existing furniture. We then applied a beautiful Mica inlay to the inset door panels. WA LA! A match made in heaven.

Well, the 30 minutes of quite meditative time paid off. The client was thrilled with the results! Even better, I have a new Winning Combination Finish! Since this project was completed, we have created two more unique mica/combo finishes and many more Spiegel Signature Finishes to come! To see more Mica finishes click here.