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'Wall wizard' is ready to roll with fresh decor tips

"Wall Wizard" Brian Santos is emphasizing basic painting skills.
"Wall Wizard" Brian Santos is emphasizing basic painting skills.

Over recent years, Brian Santos has become a crowd favorite at the Deseret Morning News Fall Home Show.

For the past four years, Santos has educated, entertained and empowered his audiences to decorate their homes using a few easy, time-saving, do-it-yourself tips.

This year Santos is back to basics by adding three new clinics: "Painting Secrets — Cool Tools, Quick Tips and Magic," "Extreme Finishes" and "Quiz the Wiz."

With more than 20 years of experience, "The Wall Wizard," so named for his magical ability to create stunning, decorative effects with simple, quick, low-cost techniques, is a seasoned home improvement specialist.

Santos is a fourth-generation decorative artist and contractor from the San Francisco Bay area. He is also the author of Better Homes & Gardens/Ortho Books' popular how-to-book "Painting and Wallpapering."

Santos has appeared on numerous national television shows, including HGTV's "Smart Solutions," ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" show. Santos will be offering painting tips on "Regis and Kelly."

Earlier this year, Santos launched a new book, "Painting Secrets from Brian Santos — The Wall Wizard." The book focuses on learning how to create beautiful rooms with simple painting techniques and finishes.

"This year I am emphasizing basic painting skills," said Santos. "Recently, we have seen a wave of home decorating shows on TV. These shows offer the inspiration of ideas while my seminars provide the perspiration by learning how to achieve the desired style."

The first seminar in the three-part series is "Painting Secrets — Cool Tools, Quick Tips and Magic," which will focus on painting essentials. Attendees will learn how to use new tools that will cut painting time in half. Santos will also focus on new environmentally friendly products such as non-toxic paints and the benefits of using scrubable paints.

The second class in the series is "Extreme Finishes." The Wizard will take his simple ideas and transform ordinary walls into masterpieces by demonstrating beautiful faux finishes that will provide any home with an instant update.

New this year, Santos will show how to make metallic glazes and create the popular "Venetian Plaster" finish.

Finally, audience members will have the chance to bring their painting and home improvement questions and problems to the "Wiz" in the "Quiz the Wiz" seminar. This open forum allows Santos to teach painting solutions through other people's frustrations.

"After attending my seminars, audiences are able to walk into any home improvement store and for a few dollars know which products are the most cost and time effective," said Santos.

"Also, they will be able to look around the house for simple household products. I like things such as plastic wrap, vegetable oil spray, vanilla flavoring, plastic milk cartons, garbage bags and fabric softener. These products allow for professional painting results in half the time."

Seminars will be hosted by Santos throughout the three-day event. Seminar times: Friday at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.