Or maybe not?
My Mom is always good at getting fun and unusual things for our stockings (yes, I still put up one as does Bruce, and our dogs). In this spirit, here are some recommendations for stocking stuffers for the decorative artist in your life or to share with the loved one that wants to "stuff your stocking."
Artist's Loft Brushes. Michael's. Under $5 for a pack of 3. I love these brushes and use them in all of my cabinet classes. The soft bristles are perfect for brushing wiping stains and concentrate colors. The dense square shape make them a great choice for detailing and tipping raised panels and decorative elements of furniture. Look for them in brushes located in the Artist Supply section of Michael's and not the Craft section.
Airbrush cleaning brushes. Under $5. Harbor Freight. We carry these in the studio for our finishers and they are a necessity for cleaning HVLP guns. The tiniest brush is perfect to unclog the small hole in the aircap that often gets forgotten.
Spray Texture Touch-up gun. Under $15. Hardware Stores. These pump guns used to touch-up textured walls/ceilings are hard to find so buy a few. Usually locally owned hardware stores or Ace Hardware will have them. These are perfect for blowing the glitter or beads that you purchased into your finishes-especially over your head.
Handy Paint Pail Covers. Under $4 for 2 pack. Paint Stores. Little Shower caps for your paint containers! Great for when you mix custom glazes on the fly in whatever bucket you have handy. I seem to have the empty container but never the right lid. Fits tighter then cling wrap.
Japan Blades. Set of 4. Under $20. Faux Finishing Retail Studios including ours. Actually made in Germany, these are a staple for the Decorative Artist. The flexible blade is great for tight back fills of plasters and the square shape lends itself to shaping products. The perfect tool for cleaning or buttering a larger trowel. Plus they are useful for scrapping product off your sample surface area when cleaning.
Motsenbocker's Liftoff Hand Cleaner and Conditioner. 14 fl oz. Under $5. Home Improvement Box Stores. We also carry it at Surfaces. Speaking of cleaning! You can either give the gift of latex gloves or this hand cleaner. Made by the same people that brought you Latex Lift-off Level 5, this product cleans your hands really well (including Stain & Seal) without drying them out thanks to Lanolin, Vitamin E, and Aloe. It is also a nice cleanser for stencil brushes-it has orange pumice in it. Added bonus-it does a great job of getting rings all sparkly.
Rubber Application Triangle. Under $30. Faux Finishing Supply Studios including ours. This is a nice little tool that many finishers do not have. The perfect size, shape, and material for troweling in sinks, around columns, and over stencils. The rubber is also a nice choice for very light plasters where you don't want any carbon marks.
As I said in the beginning: some of the best gifts come in a stocking.