Team Takes Home Three Awards to Add to Their Teaching Credentials
who began a career in medical research, and Catalanotto, a former
banker and auto franchise manager, are the respective artistic
and administrative geniuses behind Pro Faux, one of the country's
fastest growing decorative painting schools. The partners secret
to prosperity? Merely loving what they do.
like working with my hands," says Frohnapfel, who ironically
started his own contracting company in 1983 to pay for his medical
education. "You can see tangible results at the end of
the day, as opposed to the slow results of research. I truly
enjoy what I'm doing."
honestly think our most enjoyment comes from our students' enthusiasm,"
confesses Frohnapfel. "After years of contracting, it is
refreshing to work with eager students.
Wanting a Bigger
originally left his medical research field to become a paperhanger.
Although his contracting business was lucrative, Frohnapfel
craved a greater challenge. "I didn't feel like I was growing
anymore in my business."
Frohnapfel studied decorative painting under Englishman and
expert faux finisher Leonard Pardon in New York City, and graduated
from the Pardon School of Specialist Decoration.
1990, he tried to promote his business through a trade show.
"I bought a booth trying to generate business.. It turned
out to be more work than I expected. John and I were good friends
and he helped me put the whole thing together. It involved painting
decorative backdrops for the booth. And that's when he really
fell in love with the painting."
naturally fell into the sales and management side of the business.
"As a team, we found out how well we worked together and
how much more enjoyable the team effort would be."
their very first workshop, they had some industry insiders in
attendance - the vice president and product manager of Loew-Cornell
Co., a Teaneck, New Jersey firm that had just acquired the whistler
faux finishing brush line.
always tried to improve each workshop, and have tried to do
something new every time we teach. As a result of student evaluations,
we've learned what students are really looking for, and we are
of the more enjoyable aspects of teaching such a variety of
people is watching the learning process. "Hopefully we
get people over their initial fear of working with paints and
brushes. We expose them to the mixing of glazes and paint, and
try to get them excited. As children, we are not afraid to paint
or draw, but as we get older we get more and more afraid to
expose ourselves creatively, whether in music, writing, or painting."
two continually bone up on a variety of disciplines to add depth
and greater understanding to their art, including: Petrology,
History, Biology, and Fundament Construction.
they both love spending their time working hours teaching, they
still do occasional decorative painting jobs. "Sometimes
it's tough to turn down a unique project. One we couldn't turn
down was for the CEO at Sherwin-Williams. We did a workshop
for them, and they ended up asking us to do some decorative
painting. We painted the CEO's office, the president's complex,
and the corporate reception center."
the fundamentals of paints, of mixing glazes, and using the
proper tools and techniques add up to the right ingredients
for a successful - and enjoyable - career in faux finishing.
It is not uncommon for an experienced faux finisher to command
over $50 an hour. Faux finishers are typically a fraction of
the cost of installing and finishing the real wood or stone
materials. Practicality is a major advantage of faux finishers...
and that puts the skilled decorative painter in high demand.