Author Archives: Michael Colkett

About Michael Colkett

We have been doing our own preparation, quality base painting and applying decorative finishes since 1985!

Current Project

Current project – Wood table painted  to a faux Breche Violet marble top and Wax resist rubbed antiqued base and legs :


This wood table  has been routed on the edges for a more authentic marble look; Cleaned, full primed in bin ; Troweled in Kalcaustico ( a Venetian Plaster material ) and wet sanded for a supremely smooth surface which also has the cold touch of marble rather than the warmth of wood. The wood base has been prepared for painting in an antiqued rubbed finish which you’ll see towards the end of this series of photos.That finish will be an esspresso coloring with warm red under tones.


Here the top has been wet sanded then base coated in white shellac and  wet sanded again. It is Really smooth! The structure of the Breche Violet marble is laid in. Also the first esspresso top coat is applied but not rubbed yet.

Another view of the structue of the marble
Layers are the key to representing this beautiful marble. This shows another layer
Shows me strengthening the breche ( French for “broken”) segments

Long shot of finished marble top before the varnishing is applied which is going to be five layers of water based poly from Benjamin Moore floor finish, wet sanded between coats. No sense losing that super smooth finish Now!

Another long shot from other end

Finish applied and delivered to home. The smaller chairs are finished in same coloring as the base of table and the arm chairs are finished in a crackled heavily distressed finish.


another shot of finished table top

Showing the pewter accent on the drawers.

Color Trends for 2012

Following is a loose quote on what my friend and colleague wrote in his newsletter. Dean is the author of a respected book on color and has a wonderful training school  near New York, Dundean Studios. I thought you might like to hear about color trends, so…

“Hi Folks,
We hope the season finds us all busy with projects and looking forward to the new year.  All our marketing now should be targeted towards Spring 2012. Trendy colors for 2012 continue to be warm and cool greys from Taupe to Platinum.   Cadmium reds and gray, Sky blue and gray, Light purple and gray…you get the idea. The color prognosticators see warmer blues (towards violet) juxtiposed
with stark whites coming back along with burnt oranges as a wake-up color (think rust).  Golden yellows/browns are out as well as Olive greens.  Of course they also predicted this back in 2001 right before golden yellows became the biggest sellars but
this time I think it is accurate. Natural palette colors will continue to be the easiest sell with soft luster metallics like pearl for a contemporary and elegant flair.  Try a metallic texture in the same color as the walls for a subtle accent. Natural-looking and “green” materials have enjoyed a resurgence as “Old World” finishes have died off.  Weaves and striaes using textures are big sellers but be sure to  keep the millage or thickness to a minimum for easy reversibility.  Damask patterns and harlequin repeats are great for making long hallways more cozy.  They will also dress up an accent wall.  Keep them subtle and faded.  Put a subtle glaze over them or cover them in patches of glass beads for an over-the-top look. I have never found much use for trends and fads in colors but it is always good to sound like you are knowledgable.  The above opinions are my own and are to be  taken with a grain of salt.


FAQ’s of Interior Painting

What do you say to clients who are afraid to put color on their walls?

The question arises “won’t dark colors shrink our room” ? One thing about darker colors is that the boundries of the corners are made more subtle since the shadows do not show the termination as well. If you look at a white wall, the corners are defined by the shadows showing exactly where they end, whereas with dark colors the shadows are much less noticeable. And speaking of whites, when interiors are all white, the room is actually defined in the grey tones of the shadows. You have actually painted in grey, not white! Color make the grey tones dissapate.

What should someone considering getting a few rooms painted know about selecting a professional painter?!

Good question ! And the answer is the preparation. Paint is made to repel dirt. That’s why we use an enamel on doors and trims. However, if an amateur paints over the enamel without cleaning and abrading the surface, it will look good for a while but the adhesion will not take leaving you with the problem of failing, peeling paint down the road. The cost of fixing this will quickly negate the “savings” of hiring an amateur.

Please tell me about some of the current trends in decorative or faux painting.

Ornamental moldings are hot in the decorating of homes. Although the ceiling medallions have been around for quite some time, the more subtle but more detailed use of ornamental composition is being used in the higher end designs now. The ornament is made from among other ingredients of hide glue. We install it by steaming the pieces which activates the glue which then can be attached to ceilings, walls and furniture. These pieces are formed from hand carvings made from the palaces of Europe and date to the late 1800s. We take into consideration the style of your home or office and design patterns which harmonize with the décor and proper time period.

A popular use of ornament is to create a space around a chandelier in which we can apply a faux marble or gilding or even just a contrasting color to the balance of the ceiling.

Also popular is to create wall frames in which murals can be painted or picture frames can be hung.

The detail is unsurpassed and cannot be matched with the stamped moldings in the regular stores today.

To see some of the design on line , a good source is

Another technique being used more frequently is faux wood graining also know as faux boise (pronounced foe bwah). People are still just learning that it is possible for their metal doors to boast the elegance of exotic woods. Code dictates metal doors to be used as a fire wall to the garage which can be grained to match wood doors leading up to the garage. Also, front doors are grained adding opulence to the entrance of the home. The doors are protected in floor quality varnish making them as durable as the floors.( Jacqueline..I will send a photo of this along now)

Why is it important to hire a professional for a faux treatment rather than try to do it yourself?

Generally I find very few non-professional painters who take up the decorative painting in their home and can use the glazes properly. It can be very confusing. There are good products and there are really bad products which are very difficult to use. They come and go so quickly. That along with color sense and how the layering of color glazes work is usually beyond the weekend warrior. There must be a harmony within the colors and the adjacent rooms. This is why we make samples which can be viewed in the changing light of the rooms.