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Do-It-Yourselfer Brings Paint Nights To Downtown
Old Becomes New
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A popular spot for the paint and DIY enthusiast is the Secret Garden of Lisa McDaniel-Norriss family farm. The east Oakdale resident began expanding her A Touch of Classs by Lisa offerings to Paint Nights earlier this year. Teresa Hammond/The Leader


Earlier this year, Lisa McDaniel-Norris was literally waiting for the next big thing.

The interior designer/DIYer (Do-it-Yourselfer) knew there was a niche in Oakdale just waiting to be filled.

With a proclaimed affinity for DIY/trash to treasure projects, the former boutique owner shared she began there. She initially offered DIY classes for individuals looking to give a fresh look to a tired piece of furniture or create home décor.

It was a simple thought spawned while driving, however, that has proven to keep the once stay-at-home mom the most busy, as McDaniel-Norris is becoming commonly known around town as the ‘Paint Night Lady.’

“It came to me while I was driving,” the mother of four said. “I was thinking what was Oakdale missing?”

By mid-May of this year, while maintaining her DIY classes, she began promoting Paint Nights via social media. Much to her pleasant surprise the classes quickly took off.

“It’s just been Facebook,” she said of promoting her classes. “It’s just been unreal.”

The creative enthusiast offers classes at her Oakdale family farm in East Oakdale, as well as at other venues and home parties. Earlier this month she secured a partnership with the owners of Rivi’s Wine Bar in Oakdale. Her first class will be hosted there on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The $45 fee for the Rivi’s Paint Night includes a glass of wine, small plate of food and the ‘masterpiece.’ Space for the class is limited, so McDaniel-Norris encourages those interested in pre-registering to contact her through private message on her Facebook page, A Touch of Class’s By Lisa or calling her directly at 209-701-9644.

The Paint Night Director shared part of what makes her classes and ‘masterpieces’ unique is the material used for the art to be applied to. She enjoys directing her classes in varying art pieces being painted onto reclaimed wood, fence boards or windows.

“They just show up,” she said of her classes. “They get to walk out with a unique piece of art, completed by them.”

The unique pieces the class members utilize makes the experience all the more interesting.

“I wanted to do something different from the traditional paint night,” she said of not using an actual canvas.

McDaniel-Norris attributes her talent for creating and seeing beauty in basic pieces as a gift, not something learned through traditional study, noting her passion as something that mostly brings her joy and is now reaping reward as a business.

“The need for it and the response has just been overwhelming,” she said. “Watching the ladies have fun; just brings me so much joy. Seeing them make mistakes and not caring. I tell them not to even think about it. It’s not about being artistic and to just have fun.

“No one is going to mess up,” she continued. “It’s just fun. I don’t want anyone to be intimidated, this is about fun.”

A Touch of Class’s by Lisa receives interest from varying groups including: girlfriends, bridal parties, baby showers and birthday parties.

“I always include food and beverage with the fee,” she said, adding paint nights can range as low as $20 per person and up. “I don’t want to be greedy, I just want to keep doing what I love.”