Welcome to Pierre Finkelstein Institute of Decorative Painting

Please send us an email ( with your inquiries. Sign up for our email list to stay alert to new classes just becoming available.

Pierre Finkelstein has been teaching decorative painting techniques since 1987. He is dedicated to teaching faux finish using the latest mediums and technology available for techniques such as faux marble, woodgraining, trompe l'oeil, stenciling, gilding, patina, stonework, plaster and more.


Current Upcoming Events

Woodgraining Workshop- 3-day intensive


Pierre Finkelstein’s NEW SCHOOL — 211 Bond Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217


November 7 - 9, 2019


$995 - includes free basic brush kit ($150 value)

Pierre Finkelstein Institute is proud to announce his first class in our new space in Brooklyn! Pierre Finkelstein and associates will lecture, demonstrate, and lead students into gaining a greater perspective and comfort level with painting. Students will produce at least 5 wood samples as well as walk away with sketches and plenty of notes. This class will be geared towards comprehension of technique with less emphasis on "portfolio pieces." If you are ready to take your faux woodgraining skills to the next level, this class is for you. From beginner to seasoned veteran, all students will improve skills. This class will fill up very fast. The space is limited to 12 students. The price for the 3-day class is $995, which includes instruction, supplies (basic brush kit), daytime refreshments, and lunch. We require a $300 deposit to lock in your spot. Send us an email at or call 1(718) 855-3535 to reserve your spot.

Students will practice and create a sample board for each of these 5 wood types:

  • "Wood Glazing" (basic)
  • Walnut
  • Mahogany
  • Bird’s Eye Maple (Satinwood)
  • Burl
  • Cerused Oak as a BONUS (if time allows)

  • How students will learn...

  • Mediums: reversible and non reversible, water-based materials.
  • Students will listen to lectures, watch demonstrations, and complete own set of samples in class.
  • Drills on newsprint and sketching
  • Extensive handouts and giftshop
  • Take home all completed samples - portfolio ready!

  • Topics will include:

  • Study of real wood
  • Study of real wood cuts/ grains
  • How to design a wall with woodgraining
  • Selling your samples and pricing
  • Graining a paneled door
  • Graining windows
  • Composition and design
  • Color theory - using a palette
  • Proper preparation and protection
  • Products/paints
  • Brushes/Tools

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    Pierre's classes and teaching procedure

    Pierre Finkelstein teaches the techniques that he uses on his own jobs in his NYC business, Grand Illusion Decorative Painting Inc. He shares his experiences with the students in an open forum and bases his information on real job site situations.

    Pierre, himself, spends up to 80% of his time "on the ladder". He's happy to teach those with limited experience. His teachings are efficiency-based techniques that will make you money. Classes are usually 3-5 days long.

    Marbleing: Don't be afraid of marbleizing! Watch as Pierre simply dissects the most challenging marbles and gets fantastically believable results with fewer steps. Some examples of marbles: Black and Gold, White veined Carrara, Sea Green, Yellow Sienna, Rouge Royal, Napoleon, Yellow Flower, African Breche and Violet Breche. Make money with marble!

    Woodgraining: Can you match this wood? The next time a client asks that question, you will have a better answer after completing Pierre's woodgraining demo/interactive class. See the classics: Maple, pine, mahogany, burl, and more. Don't pine over it - sign up!

    Trompe l'oeil: Trick the eye even faster with Pierre's efficient striping system for faux molding or other linear projects. With the right tools, striping can be a breeze as well as stunningly believable with instruction and practice. Ornamentation is discussed during longer classes.

    Pierre Finkelstein is dedicated to teaching the tradition of fine European decorative painting. His classes are designed to efficiently give a comprehensive explanation of the following elements of decorative painting:

    Standard teaching procedure:

    • Instruction on the correct use of color
    • Correct hand positioning and hand movement with the brushes
    • How to properly hold and use tools
    • An explanation of the characteristics of marble types, wood essence, and all other natural finishes
    • A series of drawings performed as practice exercises
    • Overview of technical information including different types of glazes, (oil vs. water)
    • Preparing your own glaze with any available products, (oil, acrylic, etc.)
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      Call for requests!

      Please send us an email ( with your requests for the specific classes and ideal location. Sign up for our email list to stay alert to new classes just becoming available.