Dawn's Story

My Entire Life
  I've been featured!
Categories Not ...

Featured Story

Taking the Heat in the Kitchen

Len Vertefeuille was born and raised into a loving family on the East coast. He now lives in North Carolina and he and his wife Lisa have two children who mean the world to Len. He has been working in the Warren Wilson College kitchen since 1989. Len enjoys cooking for and working alongside ...


All Alone at the Sixty-Four World's ...

The backstage of the pavilion was simple with its wooden floors and temporary props. The 1964 World’s Fair of Flushing, NY would come and go and no one would remember the little five year-old girl who played with her Barbies in its grand shadow. While some country stars were just cutting ...


Browse for more stories


Dawn Papandrea-Khan

New York area

View Stories View Vault

Followers: 0  Following: 0  Stories: 1

Written by: Dawn Papandrea-Khan

My name is Dawn Papandrea-Khan. Since I was a little girl, I always loved to create. I had a very active imagination and I was able to express it through drawing, painting, and even sewing. My favorite thing to do in school, instead of paying attention to my teachers, was to doodle away in my notebooks. I came home many times with notes from school stating that I had a hard time paying attention. It could have been due to my tendency towards being a bit ADD, but looking back, I know that I always had a dream to be an artist.

After a few years of not taking life too seriously, I finally got my life together around age 21. I worked in a few different places, but always ended up doing something creative wherever I was. It wasn?t until 2001 that I had this great revelation to start my own painting business. I was having dinner with a good friend of mine and she mentioned that her brother was a faux finisher out of Florida. I was immediately interested and started to do a lot of research on the subject. After a few months and hours of painting sample after sample, my friend and I decided to take our business on the road. The business blossomed and we were on our way. A year later, my friend and her husband decided to move out of state and I was left to take things over on my own. So in 2002, I became the sole owner of Distinctive Surfaces which later was changed to my current business name: Surfaces with Paint.

Within the past several years, I have created beautiful faux finishes and murals in over 100 homes and businesses in the New York area. I absolutely love what I do. It is so rewarding to step back from my work at the end of the day and see the transformation that a little bit of paint can bring. I find so much peace when I pick up a brush or a sponge or a rag and dab that first bit of color onto a plain white wall. Hours later it becomes something magical and exciting ? full of dimension and life.

If I could say what I love to paint the most, it would definitely be children?s rooms and nurseries. I get so excited when a client calls and asks me to create a mural that would make their child?s room come alive. From soft flowers and trees, to a jungle filled with wild animals, to an ocean scene with tiny sailboats, to silly cartoon characters? they all make smile and look forward to the next opportunity to make a child happy.? For this reason, I started a Nursery Murals blog where I share inspirational pictures and ideas for nursery murals and decorating.

I am not only a fulltime muralist and faux finisher, but I am also a fulltime wife and mother. I have three small children under the age of 4.? I also own my own online virtual assistant company called DPK Virtual Assistant Services.?? You can definitely say that I have my hands full.? But these business truly work for me.? I am so blessed to be able to make my own schedule and spend a good amount of time with my family.

I want to end by saying that, I give all the glory to God for giving me the talent that He did. If it wasn’t for Him, I don’t know where I would be.


Dawn Papandrea-Khan


City (most recent)
New York area

Painter, Muralist, Virtual Assistant

Marital Status


Additional Facts