I don’t like to be given a sales pitch.  I don’t like feeling talked into something. I don’t like being told that I “need” this or that to really have it together.

Anybody else out there with me?

Well, guess what?  I’m about to give you a sales pitch!

Not really . . . At least it’s really not my intention to give you a sales pitch!  Although if you’ve read the title of this post, it probably seems like that’s exactly what I’m about to do.

I honestly had trouble writing this post and coming up with a title, because I don’t want to irk those of you, who like me, don’t like to be sold.

But at the same time, as my husband always like to remind me, the purpose of this blog is to offer helpful information.  Soooooo, in an effort to do just that, I would like to share with you a little about what happened here at my house over the weekend and what I learned from it.

About a month ago, I got an email from a lady in Arizona who was going to be visiting some family in my area and wanted to know if I had any Fusion 101 workshops scheduled.  She was already a faithful Fusion Mineral Paint user, but wanted to bring some of her local family along and help them learn how to paint.

I was teaching workshops regularly, but had taken a break from hosting them since last November–mainly due to lack of a good space to host them.

I told my emailer that I would be glad to host a workshop for she and her family, but it would have to be done in my home.  Would they be ok with that?

Well fast forward to last weekend, as I welcomed this lady, her son, her sister, and her mother all to my home for a Fusion 101 Workshop.

 

workshop setup

 

I was a little skeptical about hosting a workshop in my home, but it really went great!

It was actually much easier than hosting one in a rented space, where I would have to haul all of my stuff there and back. And my guests seemed to feel comfortable and not at all weirded out about being in a total stranger’s kitchen.

 

workshop setup 2

 

Since it’s been awhile since I’ve taught a workshop, I honestly had forgotten how much I enjoy doing them!

I really like the chance to interact with the paint customers and answer all of their questions. I love getting to show them my personal tips and tricks. It’s just a great 2 hours of talking paint.

Another thing I realized though is how valuable attending a paint workshop really can be.

 

 

 

The lady who originally contacted me had already painted and sold several furniture pieces using Fusion products, along with the help of her son.  But even though they have a good bit of experience with the paint, they still had lots of questions and both said they learned several new things.

There are some people out there, myself included, who love teaching themselves how to do things.  They are your consummate DIY’ers.

Then there is another group out there who has decided they just aren’t crafty and painting furniture holds zero interest for them.

And then there’s the middle-ground group, which are the folks who are open to learning something new and think painting looks like a lot of fun, but they are too nervous to try it out on their own. They want someone to help them take the first steps and are open to being taught and guided.

My guess is that the 3rd group is probably most people.

Few of us are super-adventerous DIY’ers, and few of us are completely disinterested in learning something new.  Most of us are open to new things and learning new skills, we just want a little help along the way.

So for those of you middle-grounders out there–those that love the idea of transforming pieces in their home with paint, but who get nervous about messing it up–here are some reasons why I think you should consider attending a paint workshop (and I’m not just talking about mine!)

 

paint workshop why

 

1.  It’s a Place to Have All Your Questions Answered

 

I get several FB messages and emails every week with questions from people who are attempting to paint their first pieces.

They say things like, “Is the paint supposed to dry so quickly?” or “How much should I sand this?”

I do my best to answer each question that I get, but sometimes I don’t get to them in time, or their issue is too hard to understand from a distance. There are just some questions that are best answered with someone who is there right beside you, looking at your project with you.

In a paint workshop, you have the chance to ask every question you may have.  You may also have questions that come up in your mind as your work through the workshop, or you may hear someone else bring up a question you hadn’t yet thought of.

There is no better way to get your questions answered than in a group of real people who are all focused on learning the same skill.

Peppering your workshop teacher with every question you can think of during those 2 hours will save you so much time down the road–no emergency emails or FB messages needed!

 

workshop painting

 

2.  It’s a Chance to Try New Products Before you Buy Them

 

In last weekend’s workshop, none of the participants had ever tried out a round, natural bristle brush. They had seen them for sale and were curious if they really made a difference in the finish of the paint, but the $22 price tag seemed a little steep for something they weren’t sure they were going to like.

So what did we do?  Everybody got the chance to paint with one of my Fusion, round, natural-bristle brushes!

 

paint on brush

 

And guess what–they all loved them!  After getting to play around with them and try them out for themselves, they could see the value in investing the $22–in fact each participant bought a brush to take home with them.

The same story goes for other speciality products, like Antique Glaze, a Wax Block, Metallic paint, etc etc.

What paint products intrigue you? What things would you love to try out, but are afraid you may wind up not liking?

A workshop is the place where you can test-drive all of those things. You can also test out different colors you’ve never used before in a workshop setting.

Two of my participants this past weekend had always wanted to try Prairie Sunset (one of the Fusion yellows), but had been afraid it would be too bright.  The workshop was their chance to test out that color, and they ended up loving it!

 

3.  It Can Feed your Creativity and Spark New Ideas

 

In my Fusion 101 workshop, one of the things I teach is a run-through of 3 different “advanced finishing” techniques.

These are techniques that take you beyond your basic paint-on-one-color-and-slightly-distress level, and help expand your vision for exactly what kind of finishes you can create on your pieces.

 

workshop painting 3

 

2 out of the 3 advanced finishing techniques were new to my experienced painters from this weekend’s workshop!

Even though they have painted a lot of pieces, they still were exposed to completely new ideas in the workshop.

And here’s what’s really fun . . . as we worked through our practice boards, each of the participants started holding up their boards, showing them off and comparing how they turned out.

Then they started imagining all the different color schemes you could try, and the different ways you could use these finishes to make some totally unique looks. There was creative brainstorming going on all over the place!

 

workshop painting 2

 

That’s the thing about gathering together with like-minded people who are wanting to grow and expand their skills–You can get such a creativity boost by interacting with everyone else and hearing the other ideas out there!

Yes, you can read blogs and tutorials of how to achieve this look and that look, and that can be a great source of creativity, but nothing can really substitute being physically together with a creative group of people.

 

workshop final

 

Maybe you’re one of those driven DIY types and nothing about a workshop interests you–heck! You can do it yourself, right? That’s completely ok–to be honest I am one of those people!

Or maybe you have no interest in crafts, arts, furniture, paint, etc and a paint workshop sounds like the worst way you could ever spend 2 hours of your life. That’s ok too!

But if you’re in that middle group, maybe you should consider a paint workshop?

If you don’t have a local Fusion Mineral Paint merchant (which you can look up to see if you do here), try doing a Google search to see if you have any other boutique paint merchants in your area (Annie Sloan, CeCe Caldwell, Country Chic Paint, just to name a few).

I bet if you have a local paint merchant, they teach workshops!

So do you feel like I gave you the hard sell?  I hope not 🙂  I hope you feel like I shared some helpful information with you and that you maybe feel a little more inspired to invest in your creativity and skills.

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