IDAL Convention in Portland

Last week I attended the International Decorative Artisans League (IDAL) convention in Portland and thought I might pass my thoughts to those interested.

It appears that Portland was not the best location possible as only 275 or so attendees showed up and far fewer vendors than I had expected. In any case it is always beneficial to keep up with the latest in the decorative painting and faux finish industry.

There was nothing earth shattering to be seen and most of the vendor displays were tailored back substantially from last year when the convention was held in Memphis. In spite of this, I still came across several new techniques that I would like to incorporate into my portfolio of faux finish techniques.

The only problem I had was that in order to learn new technique or two, I would have had shell out anywhere between 300 to 375 dollars for a one day class. In these times it is very difficult to justify paying that kind of money to learn a couple new techniques while having to put up with the “filler” stuff these classes invariably have included in them.

So that being said, I did the next best thing. I inspected the sample boards of the techniques I wanted to learn and began what I like to call FAUX FORENSICS. I do this by closely examining the sample from all angles and in different lighting. The back side of a sample always yields telltale signs of what kind of material was used and often in what order as well.

In addition, I perform a scratch test to determine the specific products used and I sniff the sample board for a familiar top coats odor.

The bottom line is that I have had pretty good success in the past deciphering new sample board techniques. So to that end, I will explain how I believe some of these cool looking sample boards were executed. In the mean time here a few photos of some of sample boards I saw at the convention.


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