Category Archives: American Paint Company

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.

Aged Paper, Plaster and Canvas Workshop

This week we hosted an Aged Paper, Plaster and Canvas Workshop dealing with mounting papers on canvas, building and blending a border to mask the image edge using paint, plaster and wax.

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The Aged Papers are addicting, we stock  a huge assortment, which makes choosing difficult…

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The papers are 11×17,  and can be used in a variety of ways.   You could

  • slip them in a frame as is
  • line a drawer
  • create a focal wall
  • decorate larger furniture surfaces, like inside a china cabinet fabulous-finishes-studio-inspiration-painted-furniture-workshops-metro-detroit-diy-paints-shop-online0243
  • dressing up backs of furniture that will show in a roomfabulous_finishes_online_store_aged_papers (5)
  • adding a design element to furniture panelsfabulous_finishes_studio_chalk_clay_chest_paris_wood

aged papers, fabulous finishes, fairy

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • create a piece of art
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Our current Aged Paper Workshop creates art on canvas.

We begin by painting the canvas with a base color we choose, then we dry.  The paper’s edges are scored, and then the mounting process begins, using our Durable Matte Sealer with a squirt of glue mixed in.

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We work to smooth out wrinkles and bubbles, then once our art-in-process is dry we begin layering a combination of plaster and paint – a little here, a little there, some scraping, blending, fiddling, some more plaster or more paint, blend and fiddle some more…

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This is the longest stretch of the workshop – it relies on each person’s own eye, deciding ‘where’ they want or need more color or dimension, it’s not an exact science,  it’s just a feelie kindof thing,  and it’s cool to watch 🙂

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Once the fiddling is complete,  our canvas art is dried, and then a wax color (or colors) is selected, to finish off our piece.   I love American Paint Company’s Vintage Waxes – I rave about them a lot, and for good reason – they are simply the best!

I use  APC’s Vintage Clear Wax to create colored waxes by adding pigment tints – like one canvas used a blue wax in the final pass – I’ll add our mica powders to create various shimmer wax colors as well.   I create each color or shimmer into it’s own snap-deli container, so it’s an easy go-to-grab when I need it.

We used a variety of wax colors to finish off the canvas’s –  APC’s Dark Wax, which gives an umber vintage effect, and APC Wax custom tinted to Brass, Aged Gold, Pearl, Pewter, Shimmered Silver, Blue, and Black.

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Pretty fun night – thank you ladies!!

The plaster we use, to blend and layer the edges is Caromal’s Perfect Plaster

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It’s unlike any of our other plasters – it’s whippy, think paint folded with whipped crème, then sprinkle in some seeds or specks of little things that bust open when you scrape them.   I wont’ apply the paper’s without it.

It’s also cool as a wall finish, which is it’s original intent (LOL)

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I forgot to add a link to my videos page,  here  , if you check out video #5 it’s a short Shelby TV segment on this paper type application on a small stool.

Have a fabulous Spring 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,   register online or stop in and visit.

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture Painting: Will Shades of Aqua Turquoise Teal Blue Ever Fade?

Can you guess my birthstone?  I’m a March baby…

march birth

Aquamarine it is,  so many variations, shades, grades….


I was never a fan in my younger days, I always wished my birthstone had been an Emerald, or Sapphire….   My 18 year old daughter, on the other hand,  wishes HER birthstone was Aquamarine  – her’s is Emerald and she hates it! 🙂

This past summer when I had more time to create with paint, she suggested (several times) to paint a fade piece in shades of blue.   Finally I took her suggestion with this piece

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I grabbed these colors – American Paint Company’s Shoreline, Liberty and Spacious Skies, and Botanical Paint Aster, another light aqua

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After the first coat I thought an embedded stencil down the front would be pretty-

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I used our Texture Plaster to lay the pattern, and repeated down the drawer fronts

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You can use a small jap trowel, a flat blade, even a plastic gift card to lay the plaster on the stencil, then lift the stencil to reveal your creation.

After the stencil dried I painted one more layer of mixed colors, and when dry I sanded to reveal the pattern.  The drawers were in great condition but too blonde in color – I richened (is that a word?) them up with a mix of a walnut and mahogany stain – and sanded back the top so I could stain it the same way

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To seal up my American Paint chalk clay all natural mineral finish, I used American Paint ‘s Vintage Clear Wax ,

the      O N L Y     WAX    I’ll     use 

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I painted up the hardware a bit,  so it would blend but still stand out

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Was really liking where this piece was going….

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BUT…….

the top was throwing me….

When that happens, the feeling wont let up until its fixed, so I took the top translucent light using American Paint’s Plymouth Rock and Uncle Sam, painting over that dark top, sanding back to reveal, and sealing up with American Paint’s Topcoat Finish-

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Did you notice the stencil in the drawer?  I stenciled  a small verse in each drawer –

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The lighter top worked, and indirectly drew to the stencil on the drawers, and the deeper drawers popped on their own –

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Love love loved….

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It sold soon after it hit the floor, and to the loveliest of families 🙂

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I missed the splash of turquoise on the floor,  so this one came next, a chest that I received white,  like this

 

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I’m sure I had some kind of plan for this piece, starting it in pastel colors, but once the turquoise pretty sold,  I saw this chest as another that could look good in blues…   I tipped it on its back and started with an all-over plaster stencil on the drawer fronts –

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I painted over the dried stencil with shades of blue – American Paint Peacock, Shoreline, Surfboard and Uncle Sam , and went light with the top – APC Plymouth Rock and Uncle Sam

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The top was a challenge – there was tannin bleed through the white, so I layed a coat of APC Topcoat Sealer to help block the bleed, when it dried I reapplied the whites, and included a little cannonball for depth –

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If you notice above, originally I painted the whole body blue – front, sides, feet… but I wasn’t thrilled with it like I was with the first piece.   This chest was previously painted white – heck, it may have been previously painted MANY times…  it’s finish was not as perfect and pristine as the lingerie chest, so the  blue finish over the existing ‘previously painted’  finish was weathered/shabby looking, not clean and perfect how I wanted.    I didn’t like it, I didn’t WANT this finish to be distressed, aged etc…  but I knew trying to fit a square peg into a round hole would be a frustrating waste of time.  Instead, I played off the piece, and  went a different direction,  silver leafingthe sides, front corners, and feet…

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I painted and leafed the hardware, then waxed the finish with a mix of American Paint Vintage Clear Wax, and  Clear Wax mixed with  Black Pigment, Grey Pigment, and  Brass Mica Powder to ‘weather’ the paint finish so it would coordinate more perfectly with the silver leafing touches.

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Pigments and Mica Powders are a great way to create wax colors in any shade and shimmer you desire.  I like to use them in our  Fabulous Clear Glaze as well.  I’m not a fan of floating them in the topcoat, though it can be done.  We stock 12 different Pigment colors and 9 Mica Colors  –turquoise_chalk_clay_leaf_raised_stencil_chest

This one sold soon after it hit the floor, just like its big sister, and my daughter hinted that a quick 2 for 2,  she was deserving of commission for pushing the turquoise idea…

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Not.    🙂

This was the third, that came soon after the second sold –

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The top on this one came in pretty raw.   It wasn’t in bad shape, a little beat up, but I needed the color to be darker to start with, so  I used a mix of Reclaim Mocha and Reclaim Licorice, a paint we carry that is usually rolled on, but sometime I use it as a ‘paint stain’ –

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For this to work and be easy, you don’t want to DAWDLE when you’re brushing it on –  just brush it, with a big wide brush, hit the whole surface

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then take a dry or slightly damp cotton rag, and wipe it back – you can use another dry brush to soften any application marks, but you’ll find it colors up the worn wood nicely.   We do this a lot for inside drawers , see the difference it makes?   It’s just a quick and easy option, and dries fast

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The first coat on this piece was mostly American Paint Peacock .  Notice the center medallion pattern that I’m hoping won’t get in the way of my stenciling plan…

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I used a stencil and our Textured Plaster Neutral and stenciled the whole front –

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The second coat was a mix of several APC chalk/clay paint colors – Surboard, Shoreline and more Peacock

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You’d almost think the stencil is gone…

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I Reclaim washed the bottom and added a stencil for fun

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I used APC Limoge, Plymouth Rock and some Cottage Paint custom Wonder White to create a lighter top

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Silver leafed the sides, and accents

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then went to work sanding and refining the body and top

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American Clear Wax, a buffing, and a sprinkling of Swarovskis, and version #3 was rolled out

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I dressed the ‘feet’ up with crystal pumps 🙂

silveR_leaf_legs_painted_furnitureI love the details on this piece

aqua_chest_top_washedand…… then it sold.

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Awesomeness,  that these pieces are moving fast, but part of what I like about creative refinishing is the not knowing what Ill end up with …  I needed to change up the next piece,   and I did,  using shades of grey (I’ll share the detailers later) –  it isn’t priced yet but is in the showroom –

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I have the next perfect piece to ‘take blue’, I’ll be starting it soon, but this time it will be a taller, fatter chest.

Time to go bury my head in tax paperwork!

tax

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.

Our workshops are back in full swing  –  if you’re interested in a paint project, or need to get out for the evening, check out our Workshop Schedule,   register online or stop in and visit.