Gaye Goodman….Expert Stainer
Gaye Goodman is the founder of Faux Real LLC, a concrete staining company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since 1995, Gaye and her crew of artists and musicians (yes, they have an innate sense of composition) have stained floors in homes of all kinds from mansions to cabins. Her floors have been part of several award-winning interiors in restaurants, museums, schools and other public spaces.
In the late sixties, Gaye earned a B.A. in Psychology and French from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. While on a break from graduate work in anthropology at UCLA, she journeyed to San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. She spent a year there studying studio art. That became a new passion, so she left graduate school to pursue batik and painting full time.
For seven years she was paid to be a visiting artist in the Houston school system with Texas Institute for the Arts in Education. After a divorce and a relaocation to Albuquerque, she found that there were no paying jobs open to artists in her new city. Fortunately, she was able to get a contractor’s license as a faux painter of decorative walls. The first job she landed was to “paint” the floors of a busy bar in Rio Rancho to resemble marble. Five minutes of research at a concrete supply store led to the discovery of a better system known as acid staining. She memorized the instruction sheet, and the rest was lots of sweat plus a series of lucky breaks. Her twenty-five years of art training and practice gave her a solid grounding with which to design and create floors that got “wow” results from the very first.
The Faux Real motto is: “Artists transforming concrete through acid staining.” Gaye and her crew especially enjoy problem solving – resuscitating messed-up floors left for dead. They feel that art should be a transformative process akin to spinning gold from straw.
About eight years after starting in business, Gaye got tired of talking for hours on the phone with builders and DIY stainers in other cities who had seen her work and wanted to follow suit. She decided to make a 40-minute video to answer all their questions and save time. Her brother’s company, Bridgeworks, Inc. became her publisher (and the online marketer) of her first video called “How to Stain Concrete Floors.” This was during the building boom and the video was the first of its kind. Bridgeworks pushed her to write stainer’s manuals and more DVD’s and sold over 11,000 of them around the world before losing count. This led to a demand for hands-on seminars in Albuquerque and at trade shows.
Gaye recently finished a series articles for Concrete Décor Magazine on the principles of design as they relate to floors, which she called “The Elements of Style for Contractors.” She loves bringing out the inner artist in a group of burly contractors who never thought much before about design and composition. Her blogs and articles are valued in the industry and many will be included on this website. Gaye’s training materials are now being sold through Amazon.com.
Michael Adams has been working with Gaye on Faux Real projects since joining the company in 2010. He was a ‘corporate refugee,’ having worked earlier in several large corporations with heavy travel requirements and many workers to supervise until he felt burnt out and disillusioned by some of the dishonest practices he witnessed. He then sold his cars and houses, deciding that “a life of voluntary poverty” would allow him to explore his many other interests. Mike had some art experience from his younger years painting tiny model figures and his patience with small detail has been a real asset to the company. He quickly absorbed Gaye’s training in color theory and became her first male worker to be able to mix and match background colors when faux painting was called for.
Mike has great physical strength and agility, having trained in martial arts for most of his adult life. He is a born teacher, and opened his own dojo in mixed martial arts in 2012. He has the stamina to work from 7:00 to 4:00 scrubbing floors and loading heavy equipment into the trailer, then rush over to the dojo to clean mats and open the doors for his first class of youngsters at 5:00. He finishes up adult classes at 8:00 before grabbing a bite to eat with friends and beginning an evening of studying history or hosting board games at his home into the night. When our work slackens in the low season, Mike can be found leading groups of MMA friends and his own kids on arduous mountain hikes and backpacking campouts where everyone sleeps in hammocks and learns outdoor survival, including his youngest girl, aged six.
Mike is an avid student of ancient history, philosophy and comparative religion. He has taught himself to play drums, the didgeridoo and harmonica. When traveling in Europe he was able to pay his way by busking in public parks. His ability to solve new problems and experiment has helped our company to widen the range of floor surfaces we work with. He has a dauntless positive attitude which lightens Gaye’s burdens and makes the arduous days of work speed by with ease.
How We Work
We get most of our business from verbal referrals and our Faux Real website. Here are the usual steps to contracting a floor staining job:
- We need to know the job location, the age of your slab and whether the job is for newly stained concrete or for the refurbishment of older stained concrete. We then send to you our Pricing Shedule for Staining or our Floor Preservation Schedule. Both of them are based on the number of square feet to be done. The larger the area, the lower the price per foot. Paint and glue removal as well as hole or crack patching, are priced out extra on a Time and Materials basis.
- We discuss on the phone any worries or problems the client might have. If the client is a builder, we send him/her our “Warnings to Contractors” sheet, so that she can place the best possible slab for acid-staining.
- When the concrete slab is at least 30 days old, we can visit the jobsite to do color samples in a closet or other hidden area. We show our portfolio and discuss the color scheme already chosen for the building. The client selects two or three colors or mixtures which might work. Every slab takes stain differently, so stain samples are vital. We do samples and return the next day to clean off the residue and show them to the client. Sometimes a new set of samples might need to be done to fine tune the decision. Outside of Albuquerque, this might entail a travel charge.
- When the client decides to hire us, we put the job on our calendar and send them a written Proposal, listing every step we will be taking and naming stain colors and brands of sealer. (When working with a builder, we understand hat the start date might need to be postponed a few times.) .
- We like to come in towards the end of new-building projects, but there are always several other trades following us who might damage the floors or track in dirt. We usually put down two coats of a durable solvent-based clear sealer and leave for several weeks. When the building is truly completed and the cleaners have left, we return to dust the floors, faux paint out any scrapes or flaws, and apply two coats of an acrylic final finish. We leave the clients with full written instructions on cleaning and maintenance.
- We have a maintenance service by which we can restore our older stained floors. We can also fix many floors which were improperly done by another stainer!