A Purple Ombre China Cabinet, APC Chalk and Clay Paints

This is the longest dry spell since 2009 when I first started posting…

Transitioning websites is WAY complex. I have held off posting to my blog here,  because anything I do post will not show up on my NEW site when it opens.  I feel like I’m having a new house built, and the completion date keeps getting bumped because of weather or technical issues…


The thought of taking the time to repeat everything has made me not want to post at all, but Jon my web guy just told me (I’m sure to get me off his back) if I post here he’ll do the copying over to the new location when it’s finally usable.

Which then leads to WHERE DO I START?  All the pictures that customers have shared of their projects?  New projects?  New techniques or painted pieces?  Workshop photos?   File folders floating everywhere of pictures waiting to be shared is brain chaos.  I have major brain chaos.

Let’s do PURPLE.   Purple makes me happy.

purple 1

A purple ombre paint finish I created using a variety of American Paint chalk and clay paint colors, and a Cottage Paint base –

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (17)

It started like this

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (6)

My original intent was to play around with some purple shades of Cottage Paint that I’d tinted, trying to get to a royalty-king purple, and see how that paint would work layering and shading it for an ombre effect


Cottage Paint, a clay based paint,  brushes out like melted velvet – it is full bodied but lets you stretch your strokes of paint out while still maintaining lovely coverage.  Our custom tinted “King Purple”  covered amazing, in one lean coat, and took about twenty minutes to dry.

I started layer two,  with the same dark purple, and some black and white to blend shades,  but I found it harder to create the ombre fades that I like to do using American Paint chalk and clay based paint, like these:

DSC_5197s dsc_7599 DSC_4967 fabulous-finishes-studio-inspiration-painted-furniture-workshops-metro-detroit-diy-paints-shop-online0486 DSC_6926 jacobean_buffet_custom_grey_ombre_paint_finish

I’m sure I could have created a lovely finish with my Cottage purple, but when you’ve got a certain idea in your head then you need to be comfortable on the way to getting there.

One huge advantage I have is a full rainbow of types and colors of paints to grab from, if I need to make a swift change up – in this case, I grabbed several American Paint colors to make shades of purple – Shining Seas, a deep violet blue (retired), Bordello, a deep magenta (retired), and Cannonball black.  Using the purple mixed with black, I started painting the bottom section, as I moved up I stayed more with only the purple, or the purple mixed with a little Uncle Sam White.  Its easier when painting with more than one shade to have a bowl of water near by, or a spray bottle of water, so that if your colors start to dry up on you, on the piece, you can get the painting moving again.

I popped the glass in the door and painted the grill with the Cottage Paint King Purple, and the inside of the cabinet a lighter shade of pale pink, using Cottage Paint custom tinted color Angora Pink.   A better choice for the insides, the Cottage will dry to a nice matte finish  whereas the APC will dry more like a piece of chalk –

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (7)

This piece was painted earlier this year and the colors I used have since retired.  American Paint has introduced a new color deck, the Bold and Beautiful, which offers a purple (Purple Rain), a violet blue (Soulful), and a magenta (Vixen) – three great colors to blend for creating bursts of purple.

Once the inside dried, I stenciled a french script using our thick Texture Plaster in neutral –

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (14)

The front, having a taller top, took me a few tries of shadowing in color, to get it where I liked it.  Once the color worked, I sanded to a soft refined finish and then applied my favorite wax, American Paint Vintage Clear Wax

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (8)

I silver leafed the feet and hardware, and added crystal knobs for shoes 🙂

purple_ombre_china_cabinet_silver_leaf_feet_chalk_clay_wax (1)

I used the original hardware – the drawer pulls actually have a round Swarovski Crystal Magnet attached to the front center (the ones on top in the photo below)


Super strong, the magnet alone is keeping it on the hardware,  but I have been known to e6000 these pretties onto other parts of furniture (like my chairs at home) 🙂   Sold in pairs for $20, they are available to order online.

purple_ombre_china_cabinet_silver_leaf_feet_chalk_clay_wax (2)

A dainty door pull , silver leafed and a few small Swarovskis attached. We’ve got those available online as well –


purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (11)

A side view, with the drawer out, revealing another raised stencil design, this one I embedded in between the paint layers, then sanded and wet wiped back to reveal, before sealing it off with APC Wax-

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (13)

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (12)

Some closer ups, showing better detail of why I use our APC paints for this style of painting.  It’s so raw and natural it can be applied in thin layers and revealed through by sanding/wiping – taken back to a thin wafer of color, which then plays off the other colors around it.

It’s kinda hard to explain in words, but its like looking into it and seeing INTO it, seeing depth and dimension, thinking it MUST be texture-y and stroke-y, but then you touch it and its smooth…

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (3)

When I tried to layer/blend several colors of the Cottage Paint, I found it full bodied, more solid in its coverage, like heavier but not meaning ‘brushstroke’ heavy – just that each color wanted to lay down and COVER, and the only way i could sheer it down was by adding water onto my brush, but then the paint got too wet and the colors started to blend together, changing to a color I wasn’t wishing for…

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (24)

That’s when I knew to switch over to what I was used to.  Interestingly enough, I LOVE using the Cottage Paints as a ‘wash’ over a first color.  I add about 50-60% water to color #2, brush it over color 1, then soften back with a dry rag and brush.  It’s the easiest paint I have EVER worked with for ‘washing’ color on (we do it alot in our Paint a Piece Workshops), and it looks totally cool, like on this leg I demo’d in Shelby DIY TV Episode 8


purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (26)

Customers will ask all the time, ‘Which is your favorite paint?”  and I answer honestly, saying I love them all – each one does something better than the other, making them unique, and serving of many paint opportunities –

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (2)

Here you can see the raised stencil better on the inside back wall –

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (5)

I didn’t put the glass insert back , though it will be sold with the piece ,  I just like the rawness of it being open.   My mom thinks I should put the glass in.   That, and she hates when I do the purple pieces.  Lol,  double banger –

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (18)

Of course, the back needs some LOVE too…

purple ombre painted china hutch, painted back, stenciled back

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (21)

When this piece sells I’ll find another to create – purples are one of my favorites –

purple_ombre_china_cupboard_chalk_clay_wax (1)

Are you local to the Detroit area and interested in possibly updating your OWN tired furniture?  If so,  come visit us – we’re located at the corner of 23 Mile and Van Dyke in Shelby Township,  48316.    Don’t come Sunday or Monday, because we’re not open, but T,W, F  our hours are 10am-5pm  Th 10am-6pm and Sat 10am-3pm.

If you live too far away, that’s ok,  we ship daily,  offering our full lines of paints, sundries and accessories –  find us at store.fabfinisher.com.

If you’re interested in painting your own piece, check out our Workshop Schedule,  you can even register online.

3 responses to “A Purple Ombre China Cabinet, APC Chalk and Clay Paints

  1. This is the site I was telling you about. Maybe we could go there together while you are on break. Their times are listed at the end of this article. What do you think?

    Patty Wise


  2. I was delighted to open the email this morning with your latest project.

    The purple colors &the pulls reminded me of my own project that has been waiting to enter a more modern era.. I have a not so ornate pie cupboard with two punched tin inserts on each door front. I’ve been dragging my feet, as haven’t found hardware for it. The hinges & pulls are ugly Early American & most likely it will need new hardware holes. Did the hardware come with this cabinet, or do you carry pulls & hinges? These particular ones are near perfect. Thanks, Judy Waskow Eagle, Idaho

    • Hi Judy, That is original hardware. We do try to save the original hardware as they can be painted ( which is usually easier to do than to try & replace). There are many hardware sites on line. Good luck! 🙂

      On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Fabulously Finished wrote:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s