Category Archives: American Paint Company

Raised, Embedded Stencils With Our Newest Texture Plasters

Last post I shared different ways I like to use thicker than paint products.  A favorite of mine is our Texture Plaster, a thick medium like smooth peanut butter, that we offered in BLACK and NEUTRAL .  Earlier this month we added two new colors GREY GOOSE and BROWN BEAR

I created play by play visuals to portray the colors for you.  I basecoated one sample American Paint Company Dollar Bill,  and the other Uncle Sam

Once dry I positioned one of our newer stencil patterns, Florence Damask

I applied the Greygoose Plaster on the Uncle Sam and Brown Bear Plaster on the Dollar Bill.  When I apply thicker dimensional products over a stencil,  I typically use a lightweight plastic card –  used gift cards work great – butter up one edge, and beginning at one side of the stencil glide your buttered edge over the pattern, keep your scraper more parallel to surface so your glide is soft, not choppy and cutting –

Scoop more plaster on the card edge and continue where you left off.  Avoid going back and forth over the pattern as this most often causes the product to bleed underneath resulting in messy edges.  I use my free hand to hold the stencil in place , stencil adhesive and tape are culprits for damaging your newer painted surface underneath.

Its your preference how thick or thin you want to apply your plaster, some areas can be thicker, some thinner.  Leave the excess plaster ON the stencil surface,  don’t try to scrape it off at this point, and once your whole design is covered grab both sides of the stencil and lift directly up 


Be careful, your plaster design is wet and will take awhile to dry.

Lay the stencil on a flat surface –  here I used the cardboard but my favorite is a sheet of plastic or a counter that can be cleaned.   Using your same scraper, scrape harder and firmer now, across the design to retrieve the excess plaster. Save in your container for to reuse again.   If you wait too long to clean it will be much harder to clean the stencil, and your product will get a little clumpy –



Once the product is retrieved, rinse the stencil with warm water, use a soft brush and mild cleaner to get the dried product off.   Again, doing this sooner than later will extend the life of your stencils.

Now check out your raised stencil –

If you have any noticeable areas of bleed/product seep you can try to clean it up a bit – the end of a pencil (eraser) works good, as do mini flat screwdrivers, flat toothpicks etc –      If I am applying thick products onto mirror/glass I typically let the design dry, then clean messy parts using a single razor blade.  If my design is going to be embedded between paint layers then it isn’t as important to have it perfect, but I will remove really bad slops –

Wait until your design is completely dry before moving on. You can attempt to dry with forced heat, but realize you may cause the product to crack.  As you can see in picture below, the design element pointing right was pretty thick, and isn’t completely dried on the inside. I can tell by pushing on it – if its dry it wont move

I decided to continue on anyway, so I could finish the demo.   I got out both paint colors again

and brushed a thinner, watered down version of the paint OVER the whole design –  this embeds the raised stencil between the paint


Avoid covering up the design with too thick of a paint layer. Doing so will cause you to REALLY have to do some heavier sanding to reveal your design –



also note you could brush your color over the design randomly, leaving some of the design showing  – its all personal preference, and I encourage you to play and create many samples, so you can see what works (you like!)  and what doesn’t (yuk)  –



These are covered, 100% and drying.  Won’t take but a couple minutes

Once the surface is dry you can reveal your design.  If you hate sanding you can grab a damp rag and slowly wipe back your finish until you like what you see.  If you use the damp rag method make sure your finish is good and dry, otherwise the paint can wipe off too easily

My preferred method is sand paper (or a mouse sander if your project is big) anywhere from 150-220 grit.  I typically start with 180 grit,  down to 150 if its not releasing fast enough  220 if I have a real sheer paint layer over top.  IF these still aren’t working for you, go as low as 100 but sand slowly, back and forth

Besides revealing shadows of color underneath, sanding the natural chalk/clay of APC paint gives the finish a super soft feel.  When Im satisfied, I’ll take a damp rag and wipe over my finish, to see my result and wipe more in areas that still need to pop –

When you like your result, you’ll want to seal that paint finish.  For these samples I used APC’s all natural Antiquing Wax (clear) and tinted it with our Shimmer Silver Mica Powder.

The Shimmer Silver will add just a hint of grey color to my painted finish, and the light will reflect a shimmery metallic effect.  The more you mix in the stronger your color and shimmer will be.

You can mix Mica Powder’s directly into the wax, no need to turn it into a sludge first

They say you can apply waxes with rags, sponges etc,  I prefer using a soft brush

Work some into your brush then brush/scrub it on, making sure 100% of your paint finish is coated.

Below you can see the top 1/2 has wax applied.  I don’t have it on too heavy – after it sits a minute or two the excess will have to be wiped off –

Top half of the Dollar Bill as well –

Store any extra tinted wax in a snap container and label, so you can use when you need that hint of shimmer silver again

Wiping the excess wax off, with a dry cloth -you dont have to wipe hard, just softly give the surface a wipe to remove that slippy feeling.

I give both samples a flash dry then a quick buff with a dry cloth

 

 

 

If you need some pretty allover or main element stencils, please check out our stencils for purchase.  

We are running the gift bag special, with purchases of $110 (before tax/ship)  you will receive a stencil, texture paint and base paint sample, brush and scraper. 

Have a Blessed  Holiday Weekend!

Happy painting!

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Plasters and Stencils to Create Interesting Painted Finishes

I love textural products,  they open up the playing field of creating with paints and finishes…

Quite versatile,  I’ve  rolled, sponged, troweled, stamped to emboss, bladed over stencils for dimensional relief…  thick and thin, layered …

I like to use various textures in my mix when creating art type pieces –  laying on a wet layer of texture, stamping into it, here I used a foam stamp, then stenciling with more texture to add more dimension-

Or starting with paint, stenciling with plaster, painting again, then sanding to reveal that embedded stencil –

If you think about it, old ancient walls aren’t smooth…. they are pitted, worn away, crumbly fossils built up…  layering with various textures help in re-creating an authentic ‘old/reclaimed’ look –

At my old store I used the textural plasters and stencils to create a rug effect on the workroom floor –

I’ve decorated mirrors using texture and stencils-

I prefer the Caromal Textured Basecoats for stenciling on mirrors. Yes, you could use other textures- but I stick to what I trust – Caromal’s thick paint line is meant to stick to anything, I know it stays put on a mirror, even with mild cleaning upkeep. When I’ve tried our thicker plasters (Texture Plaster, Texture Stone) on a mirror surface, I find they aren’t AS strong as Caromal’s Texture Paint on an unsealed surface –


I use common sense – if it is  a surface to be used – like the old glass table that served as the kids coloring table – then I go with Caromal Textured Basecoats.  If its a less used surface like wall art, furniture, etc I’d be open to ALL thicker paints we carry – Texture Plasters, Texture Stone, Texture Metallic Plasters and Stone ….

My favorite way to stencil with texture is on furniture.  On the piece below,  I used our American Paint Company all natural chalk and clay paints – a previous limited edition color yellow as the base layer, then a raised stencil using our Texture Plaster Neutral, over top (when dry) the popular APC color  Shoreline, sanded back(when dry)  to reveal the pretty detail –

On this chest I used Caromal’s Textured Basecoat Putty for the raised stencil dimension

over it (when dry) I used several American Paint Colors – I know there was Gunpowder, Sackcloth and Rushmore,  brushed on covering 100% of the chest

when dry I sanded using my mouse sander, to really get deep enough to reveal the raised design, then  American Paint’s Dark Vintage Wax to finish it up-

Whoop!  Lookie there  that raised texture stencil on the accompanying mirror 🙂 Here I used Caromal Colours Textured Basecoat Chocolate.

Here I stenciled an allover pattern using  our Texture Plaster Black on the front of a vintage chest

I loved this piece –  so much attention to detail… I stripped the top and restained walnut,  silver leaf’d the mirror, sides, legs and hardware ,,, added glass tips as feet-

The paint finish, an OMBRE feel, using American Paint Company 100% natural paints, full bodied with chalk, clay and minerals –  – my  ‘lose myself in time while creating with paint’

APC Cannonball,   Texture Plaster Black,  APC Freedom Road, Plymouth Rock and Uncle Sam , with APC Clear Vintage Wax-

I always look for a way to add those personal touches… for me a piece isn’t complete until I’ve touched on every part of it

Tomorrow I’ll post the photo transition of these

and our new colors of Texture Plaster

Grey Goose

Brown Bear

I encourage you to PLAY.  In all my years of refinishing, I’ve never gone from idea in head to the actual surface -every attempt would first happen on a sample, or two or five…. it’s the only way you’ll understand products – how they handle, how far you can push them, how they act thick, thin…  trust me, that play time wont be wasted time.

If you need some pretty allover or main element stencils, please check out our stencils for purchase.  

We are running the gift bag special, with purchases of $110 (before tax/ship)  you will receive a stencil, texture paint and base paint sample, brush and scraper. 

Have a Blessed Weekend!

Back From the Land of StickYourHeadInAHole

Gads, I don’t even want to look at the date of my last post – I get it, I’m way overdue.  What can I say?

Life gets in the way sometimes.

So without further ado,  lets share some projects!

I didn’t manage a picture at the very start, but this desk had a typical wood stained, varnished finish on top.  I used the Citristrip stuff to clean off the first layer.   Then I grabbed Caromal’s Textured Basecoats, in the Putty color –

painted_desk_black_apc_chalk_texture_wax_fabfinisher-6and brushed a thin coat on the base-

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While the base was drying, I got out the American Paint Company all natural Antiquing Wax, in a pretinted ‘dark’ color, and scrubbed that on the rawer wood –

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This is my favorite wax, by far,  over painted finishes, but I hadn’t really used it in this manner –  O M G…….

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How beautiful is that wood turning?   Just scrub it on,  and I mean SCRUB –  don’t daintily paint it on, because you’ll waste a bunch, good for me cuz you’ll come back to buy more, but that’s silly, and wasteful – scrub it on – I prefer a natural bristle brush to get it deep and gritty,  and get your whole surface covered.  Let it seep in for a couple minutes, then wipe off with a soft cloth.

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You NEED to wipe that excess off, or your surface will forever feel sticky.  Once the excess is off, let your surface dry out for a few hours, then buff it with another soft cloth.     So easy, and feels amazing.

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When the Putty was dry, I took the middle drawer, and a stencil, and the Putty, and stenciled a thicker relief stencil.  No photo, but you can see the stencil in the picture below where I brushed APC Cannonball over the Putty and stencil, let it dry, then sanded to reveal the Putty texture and relief –

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I finished covering the base with American Paint Cannonball (you can thin it a little to get it to glide even better)

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The APC Chalk/Clay paints dry pretty fast,  once the black was dry I used a 180 sandpaper and gave the whole surface a light sanding .  Twofold,  the sanding breaks through the top color, revealing the dimensional texture below, and it also gives the painted surface a nice soft feel.

I used that same American Paint Vintage Dark Wax, to seal of the paint finish, and buffed it to a pretty sheen when it was dry.

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I cleaned and refinished the hardware using the same paints, a sealer, and a few Swarovski crystals, and added some stenciling inside the drawers –

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Are you local to the Detroit area and interested in updating your OWN tired furniture or cabinets?   Come visit – we’re located at the corner of 23 Mile and Van Dyke in Shelby Township,  48316.   Check our home page for hours of operation, as they vary per season and holidays.

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

If you’re interested in a paint project, or need to get out for the evening, check out our Workshop Schedule,  our fall schedule is posted in store and we are in the process of adding the dates online –  register online or stop in and visit.

HAPPY PAINTING!

Widdicomb Chest With European Flavor

Well the tax deadline was earlier this week,  actually because of the business ours was due in March…  fortunately our accountant knows well and automatically submits an extension for us.  I’m almost there, just need to go through a few checklists and drop it off.     How’s YOUR April been?

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Let’s talk painting projects.   Wouldn’t we all love to have a stock of pieces like this beautiful Widdicomb chest?  I know I would,  it’ one of my favorite styles to work with,  and yes, while I can absolutely appreciate it’s original form, it’s finish was in ‘tired state’.   For it to be front and center in a lovely home, it would need anding/stripping/surface repair/staining to restore it’s original finish….

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… or,  I could use our paints and finishes to create a different kind of ‘refinish‘ 🙂

I chose one of the aged papers that we sell (our massive selection can be found here) and had it blown up to 2×3 –

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I envisioned it on the front panel of this chest.  Some kind of lighter finish would work, have it all blend together….  I grabbed several of our chalk clay mineral paints – Lace Doily, a lighter soft yellow,  Limoges a neutral creme, and Sackcloth, a grey beige…

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I blended color as it went on – there is no rhyme or reason,  more just blobs of different color on a plate, and a brush grabbing some of this and some of that…  As I painted I pulled in another taupe color – Crushed Tea

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After the first coat on the drawer fronts, I grabbed APC’s Topcoat Finish,  an all natural sealer, and brushed a coat on to seal up the chalky paint before paper application…

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Now to get that paper ready…  I scored the edges with a ruler and flat screw driver

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widdicomb_chest_fabfinisher_custom_painted_aged_paris_monumentthe image was not large enough to fill the whole space on the drawers, so I’d need to center then age around the edges so it looked ‘built in’…

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To adhere the paper, I used our Matte Sealer with a couple drops of school glue mixed in, and brush a liberal coat ON the drawer fronts.   I love the Matte Sealer because it doesn’t add sheen to the paper, and it’s not a thick consistancy so it doesn’t gunk up the paper. Once the drawers are wet I center and lay the paper down, using my hands to push it down into place.  More Matte Sealer is immediately brushed OVER the paper, then I take a rubber scraper (or plastic gift card works well to) and gently work out any bubbles/ large cracks.

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Once the paper was down I took a boxcutter knife and sliced through the drawer edges, and used my finger to add some to any lifting edges.   Then I let it dry.

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To age the edges I started with our Perfect Plaster, stippling it around the frame, then worked the paint colors into it

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While that was drying I worked to finish the bottom, adding in a stencil or two, something I like to do to my pieces…

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Because the top was in nice condition,  I wanted to work with the existing finish.  I like to use Wood Top/ Gel Stains because they’re thicker, easier to work with than regular stains, and work well OVER an existing wood finish that has been stripped back a little.   Some folks will use them right over the existing finish without prepping but that’s not my favorite method.  I’ve had a few situations  (our old bar cabinets for one) where I stained over an existing finish and it didn’t wear well (yes, it was topcoated).  I recommend to our customers that they either  a) use something like the Citristrip to bite thru the top finish  or b) sand thru it….    not sand all the way to raw, but enough to get some of the top finish off.

On this top I used Citristrip Gel and brushed it over the surface.  You can find it pretty much everywhere, our local Meijer even carries it….  it’s nice and thick so you don’t get a drippy mess as it’s working.

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Let it sit for awhile, then scrape it off.  That’s the worst part, the gunk is gunky, but it is easier and not as messy as sanding IMO.

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I used a mix of Mahogany and Ebony to recolor the top

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and used a little bit on cheesecloth to freshen up inside the drawers

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I added more colors into the top layer of the paint finish.   Once the paper was in place the color I was building wasn’t completely working for me –  I needed some DEPTH, which is why I’d grabbed the Crushed Tea midway, but even that wasn’t doing it for me….  I needed a little bit of GunPowder for the dark in the paper, and Plymouth Rock to balance it out

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When the paint was dry I sanded to refine, and added a soft Umber Glaze to the drawer fronts.   I waxed the paint (and drawer fronts when they were dry) using APC’s Clear Vintage Wax and some of  Dark Vintage Wax .  Here the wax is going on… then the wax is softly wiped to remove the excess.

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I buffed the finish with a Drill Brush to obtain an extra soft feel

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I added a bronze metallic finish  and Swarovski crystals to the ‘feet’

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Testing the hardware color – I like to keep, refinish and use the original hardware when I can…

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We offer several Hardware Refinishing Kits that are handy for giving old hardware new life.

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A stately handcrafted piece of furniture

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A perfect place for sparkle…

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The afternoon sun adds warmth to the color..

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Another piece I would love to keep for myself 🙂

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If you’d like more information on applying the papers, you can watch my How-To Episode #5 – VIDEOS –  for visual instruction.

Honoring Prince so many fond memories, my college days with Prince, Sheila E and Morris Day…..   * sighhhhhhh *

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Have a great weekend!

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  Thursday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.  During holidays our hours do change, you can find updates on our website.

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

If you’re interested in a paint project, or need to get out for the evening, check out our Workshop Schedule,  we’ve just added our summer schedule –  register online or stop in and visit.