Category Archives: ~ Caromal Colour What If

Amy Asks, What Would You Recommend For Beginners?

Hi Patti, I am so excited to have found your site, I know you’ve heard this before! We are looking to purchase a home that has 12 year old medium oak cabinets, I have searched “hi and low” to find products that I can use to give them a new, updated professional look myself. I want a furniture finish, maybe the wall cabinets in parchment w/toner and a new island we will have built, in a chocolate textured base with toner. I now know the difference between the Reclaim paint (for smoother, easier application, and self-sealing) and then the Textured base coat line (thicker, more work applying and then you would need to add a sealer/protectant at the end).

First, what product would you recommend for a beginner (I do DIY projects a lot, don’t mind hard work and time) and what should I expect as far as drying times inbetween processes (like 4-5 hours or 2-3 days??).

I really want to eliminate most of the heavy oak texture, and I will be adding more moldings, etc. before I refinish. The cabinets are in great shape, hidden hinges and no previous hardware drilled…so it should have a great outcome [if I don’t mess it up!] Thanks so much, can’t wait to order my samples and get going! -Amy

Hi Amy,  nice to meet  you via blog land!  I hope  I can help…

Both the TBC’s (textured basecoats)  and Reclaim are options for DIY’ers –  the TBC’s are very versatile – you can mash them, smoosh them, brush them, thin them down and brush or roll –

Peppercorn TBC

Basically, create ANY look you desire, so all that’s required is that you like what you create.     You say you want a furniture finish –  either line will give you that – I kindof favor the TBC’s, only because you can do more with them – brush thinner, brush thicker, drag other color in… and they are quicker to work with – you can liteally blowdry the TBC and then sand, and brush on toner or glaze- whereas the Reclaim needs to wait a good 3-5 days before applying any kind of glaze on top.   Thats the ADHD in me, too anxious to get to the next step….

I like that the TBC’s are thicker – they will cover your oak grain better than the REclaim

TBC Parchment on left, Reclaim Offwhite on right

With that said,  I’ll find myself painting w/the Reclaim and questioning why I want to use the TBC’s –  the Reclaim application is  easy – brush areas that are tight, then whiz roll the rest…. do a couple coats, then wait 3-5 days and brush on/ wipe off  glaze…     Can’t find a quicker, easier application.

Reclaim with Glaze

If you add more moldings, don’t worry about priming, etc – just paint over those like the rest of your cab’s and you’ll never know the difference –  both lines of Caromal Colour paints can go straight over raw wood – no priming or prep necessary.      Hidden hinges?   Perfect –  their paints bond to metal too –  just paint over them for extra ease – I hate removing doors.

I wish I could give you better advice – like “Use Textured Basecoats”  or “Reclaim is better”  but really it comes down to personal choice.  Both are easy, both are doable, both will result in a lovely finish – but you need to decide which way you want to go.   If you want to see some samples give me a shout 🙂 ,  Patty


Caromal Reclaim Paint And Extra Topcoat…

Lane had first asked me about her tambour appliance garage door- she was worried about how the Caromal paints would work over it.

I had suggested

hmmmm….. what color are you thinking? are you looking for a solid, clean update where you distress no edges etc? im thinking, if you did, say, black, and distressed edges here and there to reveal your (im assuming oak) wood color underneath, how about then on your ‘garage’ just lightly dry brushing? you could even do that with all the other colors as well – keep your brush pretty dry – so that its not loaded with paint and I’d make an effort to keep the paint out of the grooves- -updated to same paint color, but lesser coverage, i think that would look cool – not painted the same like everything else. however, if you ‘re going for a solid painted, clean look, then it might look kindof 1/2 done if you keep its coverage light…..

Last week she came back to visit –

Hi Patty! I received my RECLAIM order and started painting my kitchen cabinets. I’m just GIDDY!! This stuff is AMAZING! I’m surprised I don’t have a sore neck from shaking my head in disbelief. The only thing that’s “hard” about using this product is waiting for it to dry….because you just want to keep going and going!!! I think I’ll actually be bummed when I’m all done! :)

Your suggestions about the tambour door on the appliance garage were spot-on and it looks awesome! 

I have one question about applying a poly top coat. I’ve read your posts suggesting MinWax Rub On Poly, waiting 4 days to apply and doing 3-4 coats, but do I also have to rub the base of the cabinets…or could I get away with just the coating the door and drawer panels?

Thanks for your help….I’ll soon be looking to try more of Caromal Colours products on my ever-growing list of things to paint!

Deb also asks,

Patty,  I know the REclaim has a finisher in it but the dresser I did will need some extra protection.  When can I apply the wipe on poly? It said to avoid water for 3-5 days and let cure for 30 days.  Do I need to wait until it is finished curing?  Thanks Deb

The Reclaim paint has a built in sealer, which gives it durability in itself when it’s cured.   For those jobs where you’d like to add extra protection, you can use any of your favorite topcoats.

Of course, you’d want to wait 3-5 days for your paint finish to be nice and dry before applying that topcoat – just like you’d wait to apply a glaze.  You do not have to wait 30 days.  I usually tell people to wait 4-5 days – if you are impatient and want to try at 3 days, try it in an inconspicuous spot. I had a set of doors that I tried to glaze at day 3, and they started to gum up a little.  I stopped and waited a couple days more and they were fine.

As far as applying a Wipe-on Poly to kitchen cabs for extra protection, do you have to wipe it on everything?  I’d say no – not like the bases and trimmings would need extra protection, but you might notice a slight sheen difference.  If thats the case, then I’d apply it to the doors, drawers and side panels – the surfaces you see.   I wouldn’t apply it to the inside of the doors either.

Hope this helps!


 SHOP.FABFINISHER.COM   for all of your Caromal needs  – including perfect 8 ounce samplers of the Textured Basecoats, Reclaim, and Metallic Paints – a great way to experiment with color combinations!

Did You Know Windex Is Like A Paint Remover?

Had this question posed to me by Anne who had used Caromal paints on an end table –

Had a problem recently with the paint.   Windex was spilled on a table I painted after the paint was dried. The windex took the paint right off the table…

Windex has isopropyl alcohol in it –   not a pretty mix with water based paint products.


Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) liquefies the oldest paint. Wet paint thoroughly and cover with plastic to prevent evaporation. Paint will wash off with water after a short time. Latex paint may be removed from clothing by soaking followed by machine washing. The results are gratifying. Remember that alcohol is quite flammable. Detergent and water will remove latex before it dries.

Windex on any paint would have removed it unless you had a barrier to save your surface –  a topcoat.

You can use any of your favorite topcoats with the Caromal Colours paints.   I often recommend the Wipe-On Poly’s because they are quick and easy and don’t leave application marks.   Min-wax has one (I stock)  and so does General Finishes.   We also carry Liberon Furniture Waxes.   Liberon has been around for years and is known for their furniture products.   The Liberon Bison Wax provides a lovely protective finish – against stuff like water etc  (even alchohol!)

A Caromal Question Answered – Reclaiming Oak Kitchen And Killer Knobs…

Hi Patty,

I have just stumbled upon your website and have read most of the posts and I have a few questions.  I am about to paint a lot of oak cabinets in the kitchen and three large built-in oak cabinets in the dining room, living room and entry room.  I was going to do an off white and I just spent a few hours sanding a lot of cabinets. When I saw your paint doesn’t need the cabinet to be sanded I was intrigued. As I’d rather not have to sand anymore!

I’ve attached a few pictures. There are four built-in cases and the kitchen cabinets. I’ve already taken the cabinets off in the kitchen

 The house is a Tudor style with the floors are a dark, large planked oak and the draperies are fall colors (gold, rust, cream).  My idea is to lighten the cabinets with painting and I am hoping the glaze will add a nice, finished, decorator look.

A few questions:

Can the paint go on tile, i.e. the backsplash? If I repaint the cabinets I’d love to repaint the backsplash as well if possible.

Do you think the glaze looks good over the whole cabinet or just around the indented part, where the insert edge is?

What contrasting color looks good on the inside of the cabinets for the built-in ones? Those shelves are either open or show through glass and I thought a contrasting color would add interest

Also, I have these knobs but I don’t know if they are going to go once the painting is done.  I may need just a traditional type knob. The top knob is large for the larger cabinets and the bottom one is small for the smaller cabinets.  There are also coordinating pulls for the drawers.

These colors really match the drapery and wall colors.  I’d love your opinion.

Thank you, Ilene

Hi Ilene,

Sorry you didn’t find this paint before sanding what you did!

The paints will bond to tile – again, make sure your surface is scrubbed clean and grease free.  And of course you’d want to make sure and topcoat with your favorite durable topcoat.

Lovely detail –   I’ve worked on doors like yours.  I’ll tell you those rounded arches on the panel detail are a little more time consuming to paint than straight lined ones….

You ordered the reclaim off white and glaze –  for this type finish

The glaze will add a lovely finish effect to the painted surfaces – but wait at least 3-5 days before applying the glaze.  You can take off as little or as much as you’d like.

You need to glaze the whole cabinet- its impossible to try and glaze only the inner edges, unless you tried to apply it with a straight edge and a thin artist brush …

I LOVE that stained glass detailing on your built ins-  so what color would be a nice compliment?  Well, the paprika would be my first choice, since that color toned would be much like your drapes – and it with the glazed cream is nice – so is the chocolate but that might be too dark for you, especially if your floors are dark…

This is the paprika with 2 layers of toner on  it

Next to Reclaim glazed Off White

You got those knobs????   I love!!  I did a post on that lady –  (Susan Goldstick)  – they are so so lovely……

I think you can pull off these knobs –  to me, they will end up looking quite  vintage on a distressed neutral cab, don’t you think?

For more information about the Caromal Colours textured basecoats,  head here   distressing paints

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