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Expert Tips on Decorative Paint Finishes: An Interview with Michael J. Kramer of Michael J. Kramer, Ornemaniste

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We are full-service decorative-painting company known for faux finishes, kitchens, Venetian plaster and murals. Unlike most companies, there is only one employee: myself! I am a perfectionist and find that people are more comfortable working with one face, rather than a swarm of messy contractors.

Can you briefly talk about what decorative paint finishes are and where they can be used?

A skilled artist can manipulate paint to make spaces appear more "custom" or luxurious. We can make a kitchen appear antique, paint a child's name on furniture, or customize bathrooms and nurseries.

What are some of the most popular decorative faux finishes and/or designer treatments that people in Connecticut are requesting?

People love to show off their kitchens, and it's never necessary to spend a lot of money on ripping out your old cabinets. I have saved individual clients thousands of dollars simply by painting their existing cabinetry in a custom finish. (I have several examples on my website.) Custom finishes are always significantly better looking than the factory-made options and are less expensive than refacing your kitchen.

How is the price/cost usually determined for different painting projects?

Most people in Connecticut have never interacted with a custom painter and are unsure of what to expect. I provide a free consultation and offer several price options. I always work within each person's budget and guarantee that price for three months.

What are some of the benefits of having decorative painting in your home?

The "wow" factor is what draws many people to decorative painting. You also have unlimited options for customization, which pre-made and wallpaper sources can't offer.

What advice do you have for a homeowner who is thinking of going with a "regular" painter or DIY for decorative finishes?

I do NOT hire outside labor. This means that there will never be a swarm of hired labor in your house, disrupting your privacy and often damaging your belongings. Decorative finishes require a certain amount of patience and consistency. You can always tell when a paint job has been completed by a group of people who do not care about what they're doing.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The best way for a curious person to reach me is through my email: or my cell-phone (203-278-0301). I guarantee a reply within 24 hours.

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