Thursday, 31 December 2015

Saving money and the planet, using old world recipes to make furniture paint from scratch

As the earth is warming and governments are scrambling to retain greenhouse gas emissions, I walk around smiling, safe in the knowledge that I am doing my bit - and so can you!

So here is how you can relax and enjoy this year!

Break The Pattern

Waste is one of the biggest culprits killing the earth. And it's not just the value of the product that lands in a rubbish skip, it is the accumulated cost of getting it there from manufacturing to end user. It's the labour, the electricity, the transport, the storage - all added together over the product's lifetime. 

So a product may only cost a few dollars but these accumulated costs can run into hundreds, even thousands. How do you stop this wastage? Keep things in circulation, keep them from being replaced, increase their value.

Recycle vs. Up-cycle

By adding value to a piece that you're recycling, you are up-cycling. Most furniture painters are recyclers. You see scores of pictures on Pinterest and in magazines. Entire TV programs are devoted to recycling. "Here is a quick and easy way to save some money", usually slapping on a coat of paint and adding a cushion. 

There is nothing wrong with this, we all do it. But I would like to think my work permanently saves furniture from the rubbish skip and not just temporarily. And for that, you need to put in a little more effort. It may not be the quick and easy way, but is it really that much more effort? 

Waste Not, Want Not.

Words I so often heard my grandfather utter when I was a child. He lived through the Great Depression and his frugal ways made a huge impression on me. He was a recycler and up-cycler long before these words existed to me and not because he had to, but because he found it challenging. I believe he instilled in me an urge to see the potential in a discarded object, to create something out of nothing and to value simple things.

I used to paint furniture with modern paint. I used to have a storeroom filled with tins from previous jobs. Most of it ended up being thrown away. It was either the wrong colour or the wrong odour. This bothered me to no end. Every time I tossed another tin of hardened paint in the bin, I could hear my grandfather: "Waste not, want not." 

Since I've started making my own paint, things have changed - a lot. These days I have a cupboard with dry materials and a fridge with wet supplies. Leftovers are mixed together to make dark base coats. Or I use them on odd small pieces that need several coats of different colours. I have less than 3% wastage. I'm sure my grandfather would have approved. 

I now also have access to any colour imaginable, not just the ones on the colour chart. I can create colours in the middle of the night on a public holiday and any other time when the store is not open. The transport cost of making paint is almost nothing. So is the storage. And if I only need a small bit in a specific colour, I only make a small bit. I buy my raw materials locally - I don't have them flown in if I can get them down the road. 

So, am I doing enough for the environment? Yes, I am. I don't have sleepless nights about saving the planet. I do what I can and that’s the end of it. Then I relax and enjoy myself. I suggest you do the same. 

May 2016 be the absolute best-est, best-est year of your life!

Happy New Year
Happy Painting!


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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas

♫ 'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la-la la la, la-la la la.

I love, Love, LOVE Christmas! It's my absolute favourite time of 
the year.

I really like my job and I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to do it. But I cannot do it without your support. For that, I would like to sincerely thank you. We appreciate it very much and will never take it for granted.

May your Christmas be filled with love, happiness and peace!

From our family to yours ~ Have a Very Merry Christmas!


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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

FARRAGOZ has a new course!

It's called the FARRAGOZ Patina FINISHES Course and it consists of 24 26 finishes with step-by-step instructions.

Reproducing Antique Finishes

How often do you see a beautiful painted antique in a magazine and you so badly want to be able to recreate that finish, but you have no idea where to start? You can't even work out which colours to use. And what's the process?

Suitable For Beginners

These finishes look very difficult, right? And they can be.  For the past year, we have been painting and planning to come up with a process that will teach even a beginner how to do this online in a very user-friendly way. Finally, we compiled this new online course in which we have broken up every technique into small steps that explain in detail, by way of videos and text, how to do each step. 

How It Works

We believe learning should be fun and easy. That's why we follow a very logical and teachable process that starts with analysing the finish and ends with a finished sample board. With every step you finish, you just click "complete" and you will always know where you left off when next you return to continue. There is no way to get lost.

We take you through the process 24 26 times. Every time you make a different sample board and with every sample board, you gain more confidence. Soon you will be able to take a magazine and reproduce any finish by yourself.

Mixing Paint

The FARRAGOZ Patina FINISHES Course focuses on how to achieve various finishes on wood, using homemade primer, paints and sealers. 

We often get this question: "Isn't mixing your own paint very difficult?". Well, there is nothing as easy as opening a can of modern paint that is ready to use. The same goes for dried pasta, for instance. But can you really compare handmade fresh pasta with dried mass produced pasta? Of course not. Same with handmade paint. That is the way it was done hundreds of years ago and if you want an authentic look, that is the only way. 

So how difficult is it? It is not difficult at all. There is an easy process to follow. The difficulty only exists in your mind. Anything we are not familiar with always seems challenging. Anyone can learn to make pasta. It's flour and water, cut into strips. Nothing more. Same with paint. Before the very recent invention of modern paint in cans, mixing your own paint was as common as making pancakes - everyone could do it. If they could, so can you.

Who should do the course?

The Patina FINISHES Course is directed at furniture painters who wish to achieve a rich patina on wood that looks authentically old. This course goes beyond the application of paint. There are sections on how to set up a small studio space in your home, how to set goals, how to avoid chaos, how to do presentations for clients and much more. The Patina FINISHES Course is for both the hobby furniture up-cycler as well as the more professional furniture paint artists wanting to set themselves apart.

Already a FARRAGOZ student?

The Patina FINISHES Course can be taken in addition to the Patina PROJECTS Course, together or separately and in any order.

We've had such raving revues from students taking the Patina PROJECTS Course. Thank you very much for that. We hope this new course will exceed your expectations.

Happy Painting!


P.S. Two bonus finishes have been added to the initial 24 finishes since the launch of this course.

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