Welcome to Pierre Finkelstein Institute of Decorative Painting!


Call to requests!

Please send us an email ( with your requests for the specific classes and ideal location. New and upcoming classes will be posted here when they have been scheduled. Sign up for our email list to stay alert to new classes just becoming available.

Current Upcoming Events

The Letterheads Sign Painter’s Event and Workshop


Quebec City, Canada


February 23-25, 2018


Pierre Finkelstein will be giving demos on faux marble, woodgraining, and trompe l’oeil techniques during this fantastic event for sign painters. Pierre is honored to be asked to demonstrate. Come cheer him on and watch many other talented sign painters. For details, go to the Letterheads website


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.)