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Featured Shop: Urban Oasis Decor

Mar 11, 2016

by Valerie Rains

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

In her middle school and teenage years, rolling out of bed early on Saturday mornings to paint houses with her dad was not exactly Lue Patterson’s idea of heaven. “My dad and my brother were running the paint gun, and I was painting baseboards and cutting the ceilings,” Lue says. “I was a 12-year-old house painter. It wasn’t my favorite thing at the time.”

Little did Lue know, though, she was actually building, brush stroke by brush stroke, the foundation for her future freedom as a satisfied small business owner. Cut to 2011 — many more weekend mornings (and a full six-year program studying dentistry) later — when Lue found herself disenchanted with her impending dental career and looking for a change. Her answer? Returning to that old, familiar family niche, to become the founder and proprietor of the paint and home accessories shop Urban Oasis Decor.

Today, Lue divides her time between interior and exterior paint jobs in Arizona, where she lives, and mixing up custom batches of chalkboard and chalk-finish paints at her dining room table to send to customers all over the world. And she couldn’t be happier about it.

To learn how Lue transitioned from reluctant junior painter to proud “paint brewer,” read on.

Urban_Oasis_Decor_Lue_Portrait

You’ve been painting practically forever, but when did you decide to start making your own paints? 

It was at a craft show here in Scottsdale, Arizona, where I was first introduced to chalk paint. When I saw that a quart of it was selling for $34, the light bulb went on. I was like, I can make this, and I can make the packaging cuter. I already had an Etsy shop where I was tinkering around with selling vintage home wares, so it was natural for me to start out on this platform.

How did you know that you were going to be able to make your own paint? Did your dad do that, too? Was there much of a learning curve for you?

My dad did not make paint, and I had never made paint before, either. It was just one of those things — I thought, if it can be done, I can figure out how to do it. That evening, I started Googling chalk paint: What makes it chalky? Is it a water base? Then I started mixing stuff. The beginnings were horrible — super lumpy. I was using the wrong product and I wasn’t using a blender yet, so I was mixing the paint with my hands. Looking back on it, it’s hysterical. But I evolved my process, came up with my secret powder blend, and my recipe was born.

urbanoasis-mix-own-kit
Urban_Oasis_Decor-001

Why chalk finish and chalkboard paints, specifically? 

I was drawn to the distressed look of furniture that chalk paint gives you. Not so much the shabby chic look, but I love vintage surf, and the advertisement styles of the ‘20s through the ‘50s — especially alcohol ads. I’ve also always had an interest in beer making, so I basically melded my lifelong interest in beer making with my painting know-how to become the owner and head paint brewer of Urban Oasis Decor.

Where do you do your paint brewing? What’s the most important tool in your workshop?

All I really need to work are a sink and an electrical outlet — and my blenders, of course. Most of my work, I do in what used to be our formal dining room: It’s pretty much been changed into a paint brewery. That’s where I blend the paint, jar it, label it, bubble wrap it, package it, and finish the hand-written letters that I include with every order. Depending on order sizes, it typically takes a minimum of three hours to brew and package a few sales; all my paint is fresh brewed, so it’s not made until the order comes in. But most of my time, in the end, is spent cleaning — blenders, brushes, the sink. So much of painting itself is cleaning, too — cleaning and prep work.

Urban_Oasis_Decor-blender
Urban_Oasis_Decor-bow

What inspires your color choices, and how often do you release a new shade?

When I was creating the color palette that you see in my shop today, I wanted to stay along the lines of primary colors — so I have a red, an orange, a yellow, a green — but they are all more on the bold side. Then you also have to have white, black and brown. I rarely add new colors, but I do offer custom coloring — otherwise I would have 50 million cans of paint, and that is overwhelming for shoppers. So I keep it simple, and if someone wants some crazy color, I can do it.

Is there one color that’s a perennial best-seller?

Definitely my Turquoise Stone. Of course, black, white and gray are always numero uno, but as far as colors go, it’s the turquoise. Turquoise takes the cake.

Urban_Oasis_Decor-lids
urbanoasis-purple-drip

Your packaging and photographs are so beautiful. How did you land on the look your shop has now? 

My Januaries have always been rather slow; last year in January, I decided I was ready to have a cohesive look for the shop and I started searching for ideas. When I saw a magazine ad for coffee that was just a spoon filled with coffee grounds, shot from the front, I was like, “Bingo!” That’s what inspired my paintbrush shot. I spent damn near all of January taking pictures of every single color. I think it ended up being just short of 300 pictures taken, edited and posted.

Now that you’ve nailed your aesthetic, do you have any other big projects in the works? Anything coming up that you’re especially excited about?

Yes, I do. Selling paint can be a small market, so I’m working now to broaden my shop’s horizons. I really want Urban Oasis Decor to become a wall decor resource for business owners, coffee shops, bars, restaurants, boutiques — and even to branch into the home staging industry. Soon I’ll be adding chalkboard painted signs and large-scale, hand-stained and painted wood planks to hang on the wall. And I already have a few new pieces in the shop now, like my hand-painted turquoise serving tray.

urbanoasis-black-group
Urban_Oasis_Decor-lou

Last one: What’s your best tip for painting a perfectly straight line? 

Let your angled brush do the work. A three-inch, all-purpose bristle brush with a wood handle should do the trick.

Keep up with the latest from Urban Oasis Decor on Instagram and Pinterest.  

Portrait by Coleen Hodges; studio and product photos by Lue and Fuzz Patterson.

Shop Urban Oasis Decor

 

Handmade Chalk Paint, Turquoise Bedroom, Chalk Paint Furniture, DIY Chalk Paint, Turquoise Decorations, Turquoise Ideas, Bohemian Bedroom
Handmade Chalk Paint, Turquoise Bedroom, Chalk Paint Furniture, DIY Chalk Paint, Turquoise Decorations, Turquoise Ideas, Bohemian Bedroom
UrbanOasisDecor
$29.00 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, White, White Kitchen, Summer Wreath, White Cabinets, White Floating Shelves, DIY Home Decor, Summer Door Hanger, Paint
Handmade Chalk Paint, White, White Kitchen, Summer Wreath, White Cabinets, White Floating Shelves, DIY Home Decor, Summer Door Hanger, Paint
UrbanOasisDecor
$19.00 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, DIY Home Decor, Chalkboard Sign, Chalkboard Calendar, Chalkboard Background, Chalkboard Art, Chalkboard Menu, DIY
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, DIY Home Decor, Chalkboard Sign, Chalkboard Calendar, Chalkboard Background, Chalkboard Art, Chalkboard Menu, DIY
UrbanOasisDecor
$29.00 USD
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Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Teal, Boho Decor, Modern Wall Art, Adhesive Wall Decor, Cactus, Desert, Southwestern Decor, Boho Wall Decor, DIY
UrbanOasisDecor
$29.00 USD
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Handmade Chalk Paint, Cream Decor, Cream Furniture, Vintage Furniture, Cream Frames, Painted Furniture, Cream Chairs, Farmhouse Table, Wood
UrbanOasisDecor
$29.00 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Gold, Chest of Drawers, Painted Furniture, Trunk Chest, DIY Kit, Coffee Table, Wood Side Table, Side Board, Old Doors
Handmade Chalk Paint, Gold, Chest of Drawers, Painted Furniture, Trunk Chest, DIY Kit, Coffee Table, Wood Side Table, Side Board, Old Doors
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$29.00 USD
Wax Brush, Summer Signs, DIY Kits for Adults, Paint for Furniture, DIY Wedding Decor, Good Vibes Only, Boho Decor Bedroom, DIY Wedding Signs
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UrbanOasisDecor
$12.00 USD
DIY Kit, ChalkBoard Paint, Chalkboard, Chalkboard Sign, Chalkboard Calendar, Baby Chalkboard Sign, Framed Chalkboard, Kitchen Chalkboard, AZ
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UrbanOasisDecor
$6.75 USD
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UrbanOasisDecor
$29.00 USD
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$29.00 USD
Wax Brush, Chalk Paint Brush, Chippy Paint, Boho Wedding, Chalk Paint Furniture, Boho Bedroom, Painted Furniture, Boho Decor, Spring Decor
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$12.00 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Turquoise, DIY Crafts, Turquoise Wedding, Reclaimed Wood, Turquoise Bedroom, Furniture, Turquoise Kitchen, Tables
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Turquoise, DIY Crafts, Turquoise Wedding, Reclaimed Wood, Turquoise Bedroom, Furniture, Turquoise Kitchen, Tables
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$19.00 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, White, White Kitchen, White Kitchen Cabinet, White Bedroom, Painted Furniture, White Furniture, White Decor, DIY Gifts
Handmade Chalk Paint, White, White Kitchen, White Kitchen Cabinet, White Bedroom, Painted Furniture, White Furniture, White Decor, DIY Gifts
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$29.00 USD
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$19.00 USD
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Handmade Chalk Paint, Gold, Painted Furniture, Hand Painted, Upcycled Furniture, Vintage Furniture, Rustic Furniture, Wood, Reclaimed Wood
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$29.00 USD
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$19.00 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gray, Chalkboard, Wall Calendar, Command Center, Chalkboard Calendar, Chalkboard Sign, Birthday Chalkboard, DIY
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gray, Chalkboard, Wall Calendar, Command Center, Chalkboard Calendar, Chalkboard Sign, Birthday Chalkboard, DIY
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$19.00 USD
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$19.00 USD
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$29.00 USD
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$19.00 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Boho Decor, Furniture Paint, Teal, Teal Home Decor, Boho Bedroom, Farmhemian Decor, Boho Living Room, Farmhemian Art
Handmade Chalk Paint, Boho Decor, Furniture Paint, Teal, Teal Home Decor, Boho Bedroom, Farmhemian Decor, Boho Living Room, Farmhemian Art
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$19.00 USD
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$4.75 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Gray, Furniture Paint, Reclaimed Wood Furniture, Painted Furniture, Pallet Furniture, DIY Home Decor, Spring Decor, AZ
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$29.00 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gray Kitchen Cabinets, Chalkboard Wall, Gray Living Room, Chalkboard Ideas, Gray Bedroom, Chalkboard Signs, DIY
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gray Kitchen Cabinets, Chalkboard Wall, Gray Living Room, Chalkboard Ideas, Gray Bedroom, Chalkboard Signs, DIY
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$19.00 USD
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$29.00 USD
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Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gold, DIY Home Decor, Gold Home Decor, Chalkboard Art, Gold Home Accents, Kitchen Chalkboards, Chalkboard Ideas
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$19.00 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Teal, Summer Decor Ideas, Teal Bedroom, Beach House Decor, Summer Vibes, Beach Wall Art, Summer Bucket List, DIY Craft
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$19.00 USD
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$29.00 USD
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$4.75 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gold, Christmas Chalkboard Art, Gold Christmas Tree, Christmas Chalkboard Ideas, Christmas Chalkboard Signs, DIY
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gold, Christmas Chalkboard Art, Gold Christmas Tree, Christmas Chalkboard Ideas, Christmas Chalkboard Signs, DIY
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$29.00 USD
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$19.00 USD
Paint Brushes, Teacher Gifts, DIY Kit, Painted Furniture, Craft Ideas, Summer Bucket List, Crafts for Kids, Crafts for Teens, DIY Home Decor
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$6.50 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Teal Accents, Painted Furniture, Farmhemian Decor, Boho Bedroom, Wanderlust, Lake House Decor, Cabin, To the Lake Sign
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$29.00 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gray, Kitchen Cabinets, Gray Living Room, Gray Bedroom, Gray Bathroom Ideas, Gray Bedroom Ideas, Kitchen Ideas
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$29.00 USD
Handmade ChalkFinish Paint, White, White Kitchen, White Distressed, Hand Painted, French Nordic, White Elephant Gifts, White Christmas Decor
Handmade ChalkFinish Paint, White, White Kitchen, White Distressed, Hand Painted, French Nordic, White Elephant Gifts, White Christmas Decor
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$29.00 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gold, Easter Gifts for Adults, Spring Decor, Spring Signs, Kitchen Chalkboard, Summer Decor, Summer Signs, Wreath
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gold, Easter Gifts for Adults, Spring Decor, Spring Signs, Kitchen Chalkboard, Summer Decor, Summer Signs, Wreath
UrbanOasisDecor
$29.00 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Black Home Decor, Black Home Office, DIY Furniture, Living Room Decor, DIY Home Decor, Dorm Room Ideas, Chippy Paint
Handmade Chalk Paint, Black Home Decor, Black Home Office, DIY Furniture, Living Room Decor, DIY Home Decor, Dorm Room Ideas, Chippy Paint
UrbanOasisDecor
$19.00 USD
DIY Kit, Chalkboard Paint Additive, DIY Gift, Chalkboard Paint Signs, Chalkboards, Chalkboards & Signs, Office Decor, Office Wall Art, Signs
DIY Kit, Chalkboard Paint Additive, DIY Gift, Chalkboard Paint Signs, Chalkboards, Chalkboards & Signs, Office Decor, Office Wall Art, Signs
UrbanOasisDecor
$4.75 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Gray Wall Art, Fabric Paint, Gray Pillow, Painted Furniture, Upcycled Furniture, Reclaimed Wood, Drop Cloth Curtains
Handmade Chalk Paint, Gray Wall Art, Fabric Paint, Gray Pillow, Painted Furniture, Upcycled Furniture, Reclaimed Wood, Drop Cloth Curtains
UrbanOasisDecor
$19.00 USD
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gold, Kids Chalkboard, Kitchen Chalkboard, Chalkboard Wall, Wedding Chalkboard, Chalkboard Ideas, DIY Chalkboards
Handmade ChalkBoard Paint, Gold, Kids Chalkboard, Kitchen Chalkboard, Chalkboard Wall, Wedding Chalkboard, Chalkboard Ideas, DIY Chalkboards
UrbanOasisDecor
$19.00 USD
Chalk Paint Brush, Painted Furniture, Chalk Paint Brushes, Painted Dresser, DIY Kit, Chalk Painted Buffet, Bench, Wood Table, Chalk Painting
Chalk Paint Brush, Painted Furniture, Chalk Paint Brushes, Painted Dresser, DIY Kit, Chalk Painted Buffet, Bench, Wood Table, Chalk Painting
UrbanOasisDecor
$3.75 USD
Handmade Chalk Paint, Turquoise, Painted Dresser, Summer Vibes, Beach House Decor, Coastal Decorating, Beach Wedding Ideas, Beach House, DIY
Handmade Chalk Paint, Turquoise, Painted Dresser, Summer Vibes, Beach House Decor, Coastal Decorating, Beach Wedding Ideas, Beach House, DIY
UrbanOasisDecor
$29.00 USD

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