Frequently Asked Questions

oak tree faq

What makes The Painted Cork the best paint and sip experience in the area?

The Painted Cork is a fun and lively Art studio where you can let your creative juices flow with a social flair. Come enjoy time out with your friends and family or come as you are and meet new people while you enjoy a painting class! The Painted Cork is surrounded by shops, amazing restaurants and nightlife. Perfect locations to continue your event out on the town after your paint and sip experience.

The Painted Cork Art Studio is fully licensed to allow our guests to bring in their favorite wines and beers to enjoy throughout the classes! This allows our guests to bring in their own flavors without paying for overpriced bar drinks. We also allow food in our studios and our guests commonly bring in food from our fantastic surrounding restaurants or they like to pack picnic baskets full of their favorite treats to bring and enjoy throughout the classes. We also supply paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic cutlery, plastic wine glasses, bottle openers, designated food tables and a full refrigerator for your use. All of these items are complimentary and there are no other hidden fees such as cork fees.

Lastly and most importantly, there are three undeniable elements that make us a favorite among our guests…Experience, Education and Passion. All of the talented artists who teach at The Painted Cork including the owner are all practicing and educated fine artists with a passion for creating art and teaching you how to create your paintings. We also train each of our hired artists how to paint each and every painting prior to the classes so that they are comfortable with the paintings and you as the guest get the best instruction possible. The Painted Cork owner Kimberly has been painting for 35 years and has been teaching for almost 25. Her biggest joy is seeing the finished pieces of the guests who didn’t know that they could paint!

What do I wear?

Aprons are supplied before the class begins, however it is a good idea to wear something that you wouldn’t mind getting some paint on. Please remember that The Painted Cork is a “painting” studio and paint can end up anywhere! Feel free to bring a smock of your own or different shirt to change into if your continuing your night out on the town. Please note that The Painted Cork is not responsible for paint on personal guest items.

Do I need to sign up in advance?

Yes please! Seating is limited and we often sell out, it is recommended that you sign up in advance in order to reserve your seat. You can register and pay online by clicking onto the “Calendar” tab from our website. From the visual calendar you can click onto the class which will bring you to the registration form (scroll down…located under painting) or giving us a call at 831-471-8939.

What time do I show up?

EARLY is great! We highly recommend coming into the studio 25-30 minutes before the class since we try to start painting at the designated time AND seating is first come first serve! This also allows you some extra social time and allows you to get comfortable before the class.

Can we bring food?

Of course! Feel free to bring in any snacks you wish, coordinate a potluck or purchase food from the many restaurants in Midtown Santa Cruz to bring with you. We can also recommend and coordinate local catering for private parties!

What are the prices of a class and what does it include?

The classes range from only $35 for a 2 hour class, $45 for a 3 hour class and $50 for a 4 hour class. See the calendar which has all times and prices listed for each class. The price includes a 2-4 hour class with professional instruction, all supplies (aprons, brushes, easels, canvases, palettes and paint), complete set up and clean up…Oh, and a masterpiece created by you :) Also we are BYOB and we allow you to bring in any beer, wine, beverages and your own snacks which makes the experience even more affordable!

Can I tip the Artist for doing a great job?

Absolutely!! As we all know, tips are generally given for good service. We believe that receiving the service of professional painting instruction at an affordable price is quite a great service indeed! Of course, tips are not mandatory, however if you feel that your artist deserves a tip then by all means please do. There are tip jars located in the studio and our artists are also provided with “square” credit card devices so that they can receive credit card tips. :)

What kind of alcoholic beverages can I bring?

You may bring wine, wine based products and beer. Unfortunately our license does not cover hard alcohol. If you do not drink, have no fear! All Alcohol free drinks are welcome! Please remember, the allowance of food and drinks in our studio is only a fun perk and not mandatory!

Where do I park?

Our studio is located at 1129 Soquel Ave in Santa Cruz. We have a parking lot in the back of our studio with free parking for our guests. If the lot is full, there is another lot located at Soquel Ave and Benito Ave just one block away from our studio.

Do I have to be 21 to join a class?

Our Santa Cruz studio has 2 studios in one location at 1129 Soquel Ave. One of these studios is for ages 21 and up only and is licensed and zoned for the consumption of alcohol so that guests can bring in their own wine and beer to enjoy throughout the class. The second studio at this location is called our “Family Room Studio” and is an alcohol free environment and family friendly studio. Kids, teens and adults are welcome to take classes in this studio and can bring any non-alcoholic beverages and food to enjoy throughout the class. Our Family Room and 21 and up classes are color coded on our events calendar. Please be sure that you are signing up for the appropriate studio if you are bringing an under aged guest.

Can I bring my baby or infant to a 21 and up class?

No. Unfortunately our 21 and up “adult” classes are licensed and zoned for alcohol and no on under the age of 21 is allowed (even babies) in the studio while these classes are taking place. Please understand that we know your toddler isn’t going to try to sneak a cold one, and that is not the case. It is an Alcohol Beverage Control rule and a California State Law and we must comply with the rules.

Do I have to have a PAYPAL account to pay online?

No! PayPal is our credit card carrier, however, you do not need a PayPal account to use your card. When paying for a class PayPal will ask you if you have an account. For those who are not familiar with PayPal, it is one of the top secure payment companies.

I don't drink...can I still attend a class?

Absolutely! Feel free to bring any non-alcoholic beverages and any snacks that you wish! The option to bring wine, beer and snacks is not mandatory, just a very fun perk. Many guests opt for bringing in coffee or water! We have an Alhambra water dispenser in studio. :)

What is your cancellation policy?

Because our classes are limited seating, we request that you cancel at least 48 hours before a class which gives us the opportunity to fill the class. If you can cancel at least 48 hours to the class start time, we will give you a full refund. If something happens where you need to cancel after the 48 hours is up or even the day of the class, simply give us a call or send us an email and we will put your name and full payment onto our “reschedule” list to use for a future class. We do not reschedule or refund “no-shows”. You may cancel by phone (831) 471-8939 or by email at

I can't even draw a stick figure! Are you sure I can do this?

OF COURSE! You need NO experience or art background necessary to attend. Every step is taught by an educated and talented art instructor with many breaks throughout the class. You can follow along with the instructor or branch off from the instruction and create your own individualized masterpiece! Our intention is to take the fear out of painting through guided and simple steps. Painting is fun and that’s exactly what the point of these classes are.

Does The Painted Cork provide alcohol?

We do not provide alcohol, however you may bring in your favorite bottle of wine or beer to enjoy throughout the class! We are a BYOB Art Studio! You may also bring any non-alcoholic beverages and snacks of your choice.

What do I do if I'm late to a class?

We highly recommend that you get to the class early because we start painting when the class begins. For example, if the class is from 6pm-9pm, we will start painting at 6pm. Every minute that you are late, you are missing important information about the painting. Not to mention it is a disturbance to the other guests who have come on time and are already painting. Even if you have some skill in painting and don’t think that you need instruction, please respect the rest of the class and show up on time. If you are 30 minutes late, we will reschedule your payment for another class. We do not reschedule “no shows”.

Is there a refrigerator available to keep beverages cold?

YES! Our studio has a standard fridge for our guests to use. We do have a freezer too, but unfortunately we do not have an ice machine. We also now have a microwave!

Is there glassware available?

We provide plastic cups and plastic wine glasses, however if you wish, you may also bring in your own glassware! We also supply complimentary paper plates, napkins, bottle openers, designated food tables and a refrigerator and microwave for your use.

Can I reschedule if I don't show up to the class?

Sorry, we do not reschedule guests who are “No-shows”. We have a very tolerant cancellation policy and ask only 48 hour notice before the class to receive a full refund. If you have to cancel after the 48 hours or even the day of the class, as long as we receive notice via phone or email, we will add your name and full payment to our “reschedule list” to use for a future class. Please call us if you can’t make it to the class as we may have a wait list and we (and the guests waiting) would really like to fill the empty seat. :)

Is there a place that we can purchase wine in midtown Santa Cruz?

YES! We recommend Wholefoods which is just 2 blocks away from our studio on Soquel Ave heading toward Ocean Ave. Or Safeway which is just 2 blocks the opposite direction on the corner of Morrissey Ave. Both Safeway and Whole Foods has a great selection of drinks and food to bring along!

My friends are in a class. Can I hang out with them and not paint?

Unfortunately no. We have allowed guests to hang out in the past and we have come to realize that this can be a disturbance to the other guests in the class. Sorry, if you come to the class, you will be expected to pay for your seat. If we are sold out, there unfortunately won’t be a seat left to sit in anyway.

Is there a wine opener on the premises and is there a cork fee?

Yes there is a wine opener and NO there isn’t a cork fee. :)

What's The Painted Cork's policy on Lost and Found?

We understand that things get left behind and we will try our best to keep items long enough for guests to recover them. After a 2 month hold, we will have to recycle any unclaimed items. The Painted Cork is not responsible for any items left behind by our guests and this includes paintings that are left behind.

Can I leave my painting at the studio to pick up later?

No. Unfortunately The Painted Cork is not responsible for any paintings left behind. We paint with acrylic paints in our classes and the paintings should be dry in approximately 10 minutes and ready to transport right after the class.