Custom Fun


Custom Fun: A mish mash of stuff

OK - ya know what? We're just like most of you. Sometimes we forget to take "Before" pictures... or we forget to send them to me - the blogger/graphic designer. But, it's ok. Today, I'm going to show you a mish mash of stuff we've been up to. All of these projects have been completed by our muralist and faux finisher, Peggy Best. She's awesome! Take a look at what she's been up to the past three weeks.

Remember the restoration project we blogged about a few weeks ago (the one with all the smoke damage and Peggy on the high, high, high scaffold)? This is a photo of one of the bathroom vanities she glazed. Isn't the architecture GORGEOUS?!

custom bathroom vanity

The following mural was done in one of the bedrooms in an adult group home.

mural in adult home

Our next featured client wanted a faux niche above this fine furniture. I love how the bricks fade out... she's talented I tell you!

faux brick mural

That same client wanted Peggy to transform this beautiful armoire. Love the unexpected color inside.


custom amoire finish

Here we had a painted fire place surround. The clients wanted it a bit softer. She glazed each brick - looks totally natural!

faux painted brick to look like natural stone

This is a custom painting. The "before" of this picture can be seen in any art store that carries blank canvases. ;)

custom artwork

And this is what it looks like above her mantle! AMAZING!

custom artwork above the mantel

How's that for a mish mash?

  • Artworks NW

Custom Fun: Back Porch Repair

The summertime season is synonymous with porch living. Whether you're rocking in the swing, lounging in a chair sipping lemonade, or chatting on the steps with a neighbor, the porch is the place to both start the day or close it out. It seems great neighborhoods are made around porches.  So we were thrilled to help this family restore their back porch when they came to us. Located in an historic neighborhood, this porch had seen many seasons, summer BBQ's, parties, and lazy days. The four distinct seasons had taken their toll on the concrete steps and walls. It was time for intercession and repair!

Weather and use have left the wall cap and patio floor damaged.

This winding switchback was the perfect way to get the concrete and tools up to the job site.

Once the product and tools were unloaded and the work area set up, John, Paul, and Jake removed the failing cap.

Next, they used a grinder to remove the heaves and smooth the uneven surface.

Larger cracks were repaired and patched with a cement patch.

Once the surface was prepared they moved on to the wall. Forms were built to enclose the bricks that had been protected from the weather.

Forms are built to hold the new concrete.

Once the concrete has been poured, plastic is used to cover the fresh cement to ensure even cure.

With the patio and wall ready for color, the boys began acid staining. The end result will yield years of watching children play, sipping iced tea, and rocking the summer nights away.

finished patio looking out to street
The new surface and beautiful color enhances the view.
This backyard invites the garden enthusiast, afternoon-siesta-taker, and good-book-reader!
finished porch
The newly finished patio is just waiting for the perfect furniture to get back into the swing of summer living.
On to the next one. Summer and outdoor weather are fleeting and not long enough for the homes that need help! Stay tuned for more.
  • Kim Smith

Custom Fun: Pool Surround

It's our busy time of the year for exterior updating.

Here's a recent project we completed. The pool surround had been stained and it was failing miserably. These photos are of the surface prior to ANY prepping.

This is how we found the surface.

The patio color did not match the pool surround color - another opportunity for Artworks to help!

The pool surround.

So we came in and did a new decorative concrete overlay. The results speak for themselves. Nice to have the patio, pool surround and sidewalk match.

The walkway from the front to the back yard.

Don't mind our blue tape... we take surface prep seriously!

The finished pool surround with one cohesive look.

This project, like others, was at the mercy of the weather. We so appreciate customers with patience. The job was finished as quickly as possible while being held off due to rain. Our clients are thrilled with a job well done!

Here's to a summer of sunshine and swimming!

  • Kim Smith

Custom Fun: Historic Restoration

Our Peggy has been working out of the studio for what seems like EVER! She's been deep in a project restoring an historic home. Take a look at this beauty built in the early 1900's.

This home has three stories AND a basement. It consists of four bedrooms, maids quarters (complete with separate stairway for "the help"), a sitting room off of the master bedroom, and a ballroom. There is a grand entrance, circular dining room, and breakfast room. These people knew what they were doing when they built this beautiful home so long ago.

So, what brings Artworks to such a lovely home as this? Fire. They experienced a very slow burning electrical fire that mainly caused lots of smoke damage. In fact the fire was such a low smolder no water was needed to extinguish it - however IT WAS HOT! The paint was melting off the walls and the combination of that and smoke damage caused the wall to look like a sepia toned mural of the mountains. The homeowners are so fortunate to have caught it in time. A home like this is a true treasure!

To restore it to it's original glory Peggy has been working with Marcea Seimears, the lead designer. There are notebooks dedicated to each floor categorized by room. Peggy has been working on the main entry (over 14,000 square feet of walls), all the doors (20), all the woodwork, and the stair risers. She is also glazing in the dining room.

Comfortable with heights... good thing!

The finished stairway.

Over 20 doors coming off the entry way.

Customized radiator coverings with decorative relief.

Peggy is also glazing the circular dining room. These walls get a bit of a different finish - a strie in the light antiqued glaze.

The columns have decorative relief embellishments.

Once all of this is finished she will move on to a mural in the entry powder room as well as glazing the cabinetry for most of the bathrooms.

We'll keep you posted as this project ensues.

  • Kim Smith

Custom Fun: Curb Appeal

Take a look at this recent custom concrete overlay job we finished.

The homeowners had a previous overlay job done with a stamped rock finish. After several years of freezing, thawing, and "ice-melt", the overlay began delaminating and failing. In an effort to repair and beautify once again, the couple contacted us to fix it.

Here are the before pictures:

Above is a close up of the effected area.

Another view of the front porch.

Our guys patched the problem area to bring it back up to level. There was still sealer around the outer edges of the porch, so they prepped that concrete with a special bonding product and proceeded to cover the entire porch with another overlay. This time, rather than stamping the concrete, John hand carved stones in the finish. They then colored the concrete and sealed it.

Below is the finished product!

The finished product. There is no comparison!

A close up of the color and stone shapes.

Another set of satisfied customers! Now, on to the next outdoor job! The season is too short for all the concrete that needs attention!! Until next time, prepare to be inspired.

  • Kim Smith

Custom Fun: Cabinet Updates

Cabinets... the most popular interior custom job we have right now. Currently we have five on the leader board and more in the works!

Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint is allowing people to see the cost advantage to updating your existing cabinets rather than tearing them out and replacing with new. In most cases our clients spend a quarter of what it would cost to start over! That's significant in this economy. It is good stewardship, green, and opens limitless possibilities for design and color options.

We thought it would be fun to share some before and after photos of our kitchen projects.

These cabinets received a custom color - a combination of Paris Grey and Old White. They also have clear wax followed by dark wax for that subtle antique effect.

You can see the awesome transformation in this kitchen. A pass through was created. The island has a new poured and polished concrete countertop. The cabinets got crown molding and a coat of Old White. Updated hardware gives the modern feel the homeowners were after. We also did a concrete overlay on the outlying countertops with a coordinating concrete overlay back splash.

A close up of the Old White cabinets, hardware upgrade, concrete countertop (overlay), and back splash.

Yep... She went RED!! A total update with Emperor's Silk and minimal distressing. The hardware simply received a coat of paint.

A close up of the red cabinets.

Another set of Oak cabinets with a facelift of a custom Graphite blend.

Close up detail of the custom Graphite blend - with light distressing.

These cabinets got some extra love! Old White covers the Golden Oak and Provence was used to embellish the detail of the doors. The PERFECT hardware was found and installed to complete the look. Although you can't see it - the island was done in the contrasting fashion. The base is Provence.

I told you! This hardware was practically MADE for these cabinets. Sometimes the perfect find seems almost custom!

Here's a "peek" at some of the upcoming kitchens we have in the works:

  • Burgundy base cabinets with Grey uppers
  • Black door and drawer fronts with a combination French Linen and Pure White base
  • Custom Green base with Color Wash uppers

Some fun stuff coming up! We'll be sure to feature our future kitchens as well! Until then... what could you do in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room?


  • Kim Smith