Imagine a fourteen-foot ceiling, with elaborate plaster moldings in high relief. Imagine hand-rubbed gilt over burnished glazed walls, and a mural custom-designed for one client, one home. All this and more is the work of Glenn and Joanna Williams, professionally trained decorative painters, with years of experience designing and applying faux finishes, architectural coatings including Venetian plaster, and permanent or removable wall murals.
“I’m a lucky guy,” says Glenn. My business has evolved into exactly what I envisioned. My wife, Joanna, shares my passion for our work and is my partner in every way, and we create each project together in a manner that combines age-old techniques with 21st century technology and products.”
The Williams started the business on the gulf coast, making it their home. Glenn grew up in North Carolina, and Joanna is originally from South Georgia. “Joanna had family in Destin and grew up visiting here,” says Glenn. “All it took was a single visit for me to know this was where I wanted to be, and we moved here together in 1999 to open Williams Finishes, which specializes in faux painting, custom plaster finishes, and unique murals and frescoes.”
Glenn and Joanna are passionate about the visual arts, and they usually – but not always – have some idea of how they want the end product to look. “We usually work with an architect or interior designer as well as the homeowner,” Glenn says, “And we have the ability to execute projects to their specifications. But we’re also able to help the clients find the particular finishes and coatings that work best for their space.”
Because they give the client a one-of-a kind product, custom murals and frescoes, which Glenn particularly enjoys because of the fine art aspect, are an important segment of the business. “I have two approaches to murals. I can apply directly to the wall, or I can paint the mural on canvas in my studio and install it as if it were wallpaper,” says Glenn. “This technique is known as Marouflage. The advantage is that the client will be able to remove the mural and take it to another home, or have it framed and display it as a painting.”
Although much of their work takes place along the Panhandle, Glenn and Joanna have been involved in projects throughout the country. They’re currently working on a new construction project on the south side of Atlanta. “The upscale home there features high-end finishes focused on accent ceilings,” says Glenn. “The finishes range from gold and silver leaf custom-scaled decorative patterns applied over glazes and plasters, to highly polished metallic Venetian plaster with inlaid patterns. This comes close to a ‘dream job,’ but so do many others. To see a project from inception to completion, with decorative finishes in every room, is always special. Knowing we were able to please a client in every aspect of their home is extremely rewarding.”
The couple takes pride in their reputation and work ethic, and are able to point to many homes along the gulf coast that feature their work. “We are particularly proud that all of our products are made in the USA and are environmentally friendly. We use water-based mediums in order to safeguard our own health and that of our clients.”
GLENN WILLIAMS FINISHES LLC