Susan "Swooz" Hudson, Black Dog Salvage's furniture paint expert

Meet Swooz Hudson, Painter Extraordinaire

When Woodcraft teamed up with Black Dog Salvage to create a new paint line, co-owners Mike Whiteside and Robert Kulp had a secret weapon – Susan “Swooz” Hudson. A former public school art teacher for 22 years and resident painting techniques expert at Black Dog, Swooz often appears on the Salvage Dawgs DIY television show with Mike and Robert. She was instrumental in the development of the new Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint and Guard Dog Topcoat Paint Protector and had very strong ideas on what she wanted to achieve with the formulation.

Karen and Swooz pose in front of a color wheel display of Black Dog Salvage furniture paint“This isn’t just something we slapped the Black Dog label on,” Swooz said. “I use this paint every day so I needed it to meet strict criteria in order to perform the way I wanted it to.” She personally works on many of the custom builds in the Black Dog shop, as well as teaching classes in her on-site art studio at the Roanoke, Virginia, architectural salvage company. One of Swooz’s requirements for the Black Dog paint line was a mixable palette of pure, true colors. “With these products, you can truly mix your own custom colors,” she explained. “This is not something available with other paints on the market. Our Clean Canvas is a pure white, and the Black Dog color is pure black. Add in any of the 15 other colors, and you can tint and shade for unlimited combinations to bring your project to life.”

The water-based, low VOC, quick-drying formula makes Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint easy to use and easy to clean up. The ultra matte finish is self-leveling so it goes on smooth and feels great to the touch with no brush marks. These were all important factors to Swooz in helping to create a product that met her stringent expectations.

a can of Black Dog Salvage Guard Dog Top CoatSince Black Dog works primarily on salvaged items, Swooz needed the paint to adhere to a variety of finishes and surfaces. “Most of the time we get things in here with old paint, varnish or wax,” she said. “The formulation of the new furniture paint had to work with finished and unfinished surfaces, woodwork, metal, glass. Generally one coat with minimal prep – and no priming – is all it takes to transform a project.”

Black Dog Salvage Top Coat Paint Protector was also created in satin and matte finish to protect and enhance your work. It can be applied once without having to reapply every few months to maintain the finish. It was designed to be used with Black Dog Furniture paint, but it can also go over a vintage piece to maintain the distressed or aged patina.

On a recent visit to see the Black Dog team, Woodcraft filmed several helpful tips and tricks videos featuring Swooz as she explained painting techniques like dry brushing, distressing, faux finishing, using multiple layers of paint and cleanup. Stacks of all 16 fun colors of Black Dog Furniture Paint, brushes of various sizes and shapes and a large canvas work surface showing residual paint from many projects of the past tell you Swooz’s classroom is a well-used space for refinishing and painting many of the items that the “Dawgs” bring back from their adventures.