One-woman business adds bling to walls

She specializes in decorative paint and plaster wall finishes, including hand-painted wallpaper desi

When it comes to decorating walls, Donna Mock is a trendsetter. The textures, patterns and colors she creates are unique and cutting-edge.

“Almost every one is individually created. People come to me for the extraordinary,” the Greenfield Center resident says.

In the 16 years since she started Classic Wall Finishes, a one-woman business, Mock has worked in hundreds of homes in Florida and across New York state.

Today she specializes in decorative paint and plaster wall finishes, including hand-painted wallpaper designs and stenciling, and no longer does “the old stuff,” like sponge painting, glazing and ragging.

“The trend is doing a little more contemporary, metallic and sparkle. People want something shiny and bling-y in their dining rooms and powder rooms,” she says.

“And plaster has been around for thousands of years. It’s never gone out of style.”

A member of the International Decorative Artisans League, Mock takes classes every year “to see what new products are out there, what’s trending.”

A few miles north of Saratoga Springs, her own contemporary home is a showcase of her talents, from the grand handpainted front door to a kitchen with walls in a deep shade of eggplant.

Her dining room walls are an antique platinum color, stenciled in a rich-looking damask pattern. While one can’t actually see the glass beads in the material, the elegant finish reflects light.

Antique platinum is “a cross between gold and silver. This is a very current color trend,” Mock says.

The textures of her wall surfaces can range from very rough and textured to a very subtle feel. “Many of my plasters can appear very textured but are quite smooth to the touch,” she says.

“There are many, many different kinds of plasters. And they can be any color.”

Mock, who grew up in Burnt Hills and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Syracuse University, started the business in 2000 in southern Florida. In 2007, she moved back up north and settled in Saratoga County.

“Styles change from one area of the country to another, and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that my clients here really appreciated a sophisticated palette and design,” she says.

Most of her clients are home-

owners in the Capital Region and Adirondacks who have already seen her work. She often works with designers.

“Seventy percent of my work is word of mouth,” she says. “At least half of my work is dining rooms. But I can do a powder room up to a 10,000 square foot house.”

A single dining room can take three or four days. Big jobs take three or four months.

Mock’s business is very physical, as it involves carrying 50-pound buckets of plaster and hauling scaffolding, ladders and tools.

“I use different kinds of trowels. I use clay tools, wallpaper brushes, scrubbies. And there are a lot of new rollers out there.”

Mock is a member of the Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association and has been showing her decorated walls in their annual Parade of Homes since 2008.

She smiles nonstop when she talks about Classic Wall Finishes.

“I love my work. It’s fun. It’s very satisfying. You can mix so many different mediums and come up with different finishes. It’s very creative.”

For more information on Classic Wall Finishes, go to

Reach Gazette reporter Karen Bjornland at 395-3197, [email protected] or on Twitter @bjorngazette.

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