Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Decorative Artist Care Act of 2013

Due to my recent travels in the medical rabbit hole, I imagined what it would be like if our profession, Decorative Finishing, had a system similar to our national health care.

The  Decorative Artist Care Act (DACA)

Today, I propose to you the Decorative Artist Care Act (DACA) affectionately referred to as the FauxUAct of 2013.  This Act will insure that Artists receive the same consideration as other trained white collar professionals.  It provides every American greater access to the Decorative Arts by requiring every American to purchase Decorative Art Services.  Because we know at some point every American needs faux finishing. Plus people that buy Venetian Plaster are already paying for the sponge and rag roll jobs.

Article One:  Before any Decorative Artists visits your home/business, you must fill out a 10 page form either on-line or mailed to you with postage due.   This will let us know of your pre-existing conditions such as wallpaper, over abundant pet hair, or just general bad taste.  We don't discriminate based on your pre-existing conditions although you may have to wait 3 months to see us. Unless your address and occupation indicate that you have money-we will see you next week.

Article Two: When you make it through the paper work, we will schedule a consultation. Our automated voice system will call you late at night to remind you of our visit.  Please be waiting at your site 10 minutes early.  We will arrive sometime between 30 minutes to an hour later then the scheduled time.  Don't ask why-it is because we can.  We suggest while you wait that you read old Highlight or Redbook magazines from 1968.

Article Three:  A Co-pay Consultation fee is due on the day of our visit.  $75 for a regular 20 minute chat and $100 for emergencies (such as your Pet's Birthday Party).  We will look around your place to see if we can really make money on this job.  If not, we will suggest some lifestyle changes that will make you a better candidate for our services in the future.  In doing so, we fulfill our goal of access to our services-we made no promise of actual delivery.

Article Four:  Your procedure will be schedule when it conveniently fits around our golf game, scrap booking sessions, or yoga classes.  We reserve the right to cancel your appointment a day prior to start date.  If you cancel, we will bill you for the missed date and indenture your first born to washing our brushes. 

Please clean your home the night before with anti-bacterial soap paying special attention to crown and base molding.  All valuables should be locked away and please do not claim that the cheap cracked vase from Kirklands is an antique that was broken during the job.  We don't want to see your special creams, pictures, or toys. We support a variety of personal choices-we don't want to know what they are.  

Be prepared for our arrival at 6am. We will show up at 9:00 am.

Article Five:  There are risks involved with every job.  Colors change in different lights.  Hidden surface flaws.  More product. We make no guarantee of the outcome although we will do our professional best and will bill you accordingly.

Article Six. You will be billed separately for every item used including ladders ($200), Drop Cloths ($100 a piece), tape ($75 a roll) and brushes ($65 per brush).  There will be random charges on your bill-please don't ask us what the codes mean. You will receive your bill one week prior to our start date.  We accept all major credit cards, cash, or your home/car as payment.

Article Seven:  We can only perform procedures that are in our "speciality."  Taking off switch plate covers, vents, moving furniture, disconnecting water lines, cleaning ceiling fans, taking out the trash, and baby sitting are no longer in our scope of work.

You are allowed a limited number of questions before you bore us and our assistant pops in to remind you gently that other people are waiting for faux-so wrap it up. 

Article Eight:   In the event that you are unhappy or your home still looks bad, we will schedule a follow-up visit that you will pay for.  At that time we will also present you with any unpaid balance from the procedure you are now complaining about. Our conversation begins when payment is approved.

We will look around and appear concerned. But ultimately it will be determined that it is your problem and not ours. We will give you the name and number of another faux finisher that is in our network as a referral. It is your responsibility to make the calls and start the procedure all over again. 

Plan Funding:  DACA will be subsidize by a 1 cent addition on state sales tax because everyone has to buy something at sometime.  2 cents will be charged to people who call it Fox Finishing. And people that refuse to buy our services and recognize our artistic contribution by claiming, "it doesn't look that hard" will pay a penalty on their income tax. Or be shipped to Canada where you have to wait years to get faux finishing - or so we've been told.

Since you no longer pay 100% directly for our services and are required by law to purchase quality faux finishing, you may no longer arbitrarily deny us payment, ask for freebies, and threaten to replace us with cheaper labor.  We now have a minimum reimbursement for any service we delivery. 

With time and compounded interest, our reserves will grow until we can provide unlimited faux to the group that is subsidized needs decorative painting the most-the elderly.  Because nothing makes Assisted Living sparkle more then a bling finish. And when we prop granny up and she gasps, "where am I ? The pearly gates?" we will know that our billed hours were justified. 

The greatest triumph of the DACA is the minimum services that every citizen must purchase and that every faux finishing plan must offer. Those of you offering junk plans will no longer be able to undercut the market  (and pretend on Facebook that you are awesome).  Your client is only satisfied with your services because they haven't needed really good decorative painting yet.

You will be given a 3 month opportunity to actually attend a class, work with good products, and budget to pay your workers a competitive wage. If you fail to make these changes you may no longer call yourself a decorative artist but a DIY'er with a fan page.

Citizens will now be required to purchase Faux Finishing Plans that cover proper preparation, adequate dry times, at least 3 trips around the room, professional scaffolds, patterns, foils, glitter, and topcoats.

Even if you fall under the poverty level -you will get faux too.  Following the habitat model, you will be required to assist us in cleaning, taping, base rolling, and clean-up.  And in return you will enjoy the benefits of faux finishing that lead to a longer healthier life. Plus our tromp skills can make a single wide easily appear to be a double wide.

Plans will be offered through Facebook or Amazon. Because let's face it. We can land a jeep on Mars but can't design a working website.


This was meant to be a humorous post about a very real problem.  Most finishers are self-employed and responsible for buying our own health care.  We also work a job with physical requirements so at some point you will need services.  Plus wages have stagnated the last 20 years while healthcare costs have increased 40%.  This not only effect us but the disposable income of our potential future clients.

The US spends more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia. And compared to these countries our health outcomes in most major indicators are worse.