Category Archives: Cottage Paint

Blend Colors of Grey Gray – Reclaim and Cottage Paint

I have been working on uploading photos to our store items online,  and wanted to share them here as well.   Seeing colors stacked next to each other is helpful when deciding color.

These pictures portray various shades of GREY that we offer,  4 boards using Reclaim Paint and 2 boards  Cottage Paint

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It’s obvious,Licorice  a stocked Reclaim color, is BLACK not GREY.  I included it as a reference for the other boards.  Pewter is a stocked Reclaim color as well

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Shadow and Lead are two of our Cottage Paint colors that we custom tint –

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and these last couple boards we call ‘Reclaim Blends‘  – colors we’ve concocted by blending together several or more Reclaim colors, using noted ratios –

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If you like clean and crisp color, your paint project will be easiest,  just pick the paint color and you are ready to roll….  for those that prefer an antiqued effect, or overglaze, you have many options –

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We offer a great selection of glaze colors,  and recently added two NEW glaze colors – a rich WALNUT,  and my favorite, a soft UMBER, the perfect neutral.   I’ll share those pictures next time.   Happy Painting!

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, we ship daily,  offering our full lines of paints, sundries and accessories –

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.




An Exciting Week, Live in the D…

This past week I was honored to make an appearance on Channel 4’s morning show  Live in the D, for their March Madness Makeover on updating furniture.


Michelle Oliver, a video reporter from WDIV, visited our store looking for an easy way to makeover her dresser.  She taped some of her visit,  choosing a paint color and some how to tips.


and went home with everything she needed for her makeover project.   She wanted her dresser painted a soft white, but was interested in dressing up the top, maybe even adding a stencil ….

On the live show we demonstrated how to add a foil element to her dresser top, and adding extra detail with stencils.


I wish we could have had a whole hour to discuss ways to dress up a simple paint finish –  it’s what drives my creativity –

~ the art of embellishing your piece ~

Of course, a simple paint finish is classic,  like this bedroom

and these curios that my client wanted black

(before) Right Cabinet, (after) using Reclaim Licorice

(before) Right Cabinet, (after) using Reclaim Licorice

“Just” paint,  maybe layering colors, and a little sanding/wiping to reveal is another easy makeover,  like this gorgeous Florentina  bed from Habersham Home


or this fun piece

Side table painted in several layered colors APC Chalk & Clay paint, waxed

Side table painted in several layered colors APC Chalk & Clay paint, waxed

Maybe you paint a piece, and a month later you decide you could live with a little more pizazz… what then?

Applying a glaze would be an easy way to add dimension to your painted finish. Glazes can be applied over any non-waxed paint finish that isn’t flat or raw.   We offer many choices of glaze colors, both in store and online


Using a thicker, textured paint like our Caromal Textured Basecoats as a first layer color, and then another paint/color over top will allow you to reveal back, easily, to a real cool worn look


You could also add a thicker stencil, embedded between your color layers like I did on these back panels, using our Textured Plaster or Stone products


and on the front of this piece under a silver metallic finish…


Jazz it up more with some Swarovski shimmer


we offer a great selection of Swarovski colors, both in crystals and pearls




This piece had a lot of adds – the embedded plaster stencil design on the whole front, buried between American Paint Co. Chalk and Clay paint colors,  Swarovski Crystals, and our new Varigated Blue Gilding Leaf, on the top, accents and hardware


The same idea on this chest,  “only the names have been changed to protect the innocent”  –  (just kidding Ö anyone remember Dragnet as a kid?)


Ombre chest, painted with American Paint chalk and clay blacks/greys, our black texture plaster for stencil relief, sides feet and hardware accented with silver leaf

You could add a stencil element, here, there,  or everywhere, with the use of a stencil and another color of paint or glaze.  We offer an excellent selection of durable and reusable stencil designs


American Paint chalk and clay paints in various pink shades, each tier stenciled, shimmered with crystals, feet accented with silver leaf

silver metallic finish custom painted dixie chest triple

One of my all time favorite pieces, silver finish with stencil accents

It’s hard for me NOT to add something somewhere….  it doesn’t always have to be the front and center focus, like this red secretary –  it can be subdued, tucked away off to the side like the silver vanity


Maybe a change to the top would work for your space – FOILS  are  fun

Foiled cheetah top, American Paint chalk and clay Wainscott and APC Wax

Foiled cheetah top, American Paint chalk and clay Wainscott and APC Wax

and there are many color pattern to choose from.  Michelle chose Woodhaven Gold for her dresser top, which we demonstrated on TV

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Or foil just your hardware, or feet, or drawer fronts….

Combine foil AND stencils- this table is ‘just’ turquoise, but the top changed it’s whole look


Weathered Copper for this “Clock Table”, created with American Paint chalk and clay paints and wax

This table base is a weathered white, painted in hopes of landing in a summer home.   Adding a stencil to the top makes this side table more functional, using a foil pattern on the top makes it more unique


We offer hundreds of lovely paper designs,  a great way to add interest to furniture

Base -Caromal Parchment with a glaze, Top - American Paint chalk and clay blended shades of green, waxed.

Base -Caromal Parchment with a glaze, Top – American Paint chalk and clay blended shades of green, waxed. Aged paper Botanical print added to drawer front.

You can add a paper clean like above, or weather the edges like these next couple


You can grasp the basic how to’s of this on my video links page – look for Episode 5, How to Apply Aged Papers to Your Surface and Blend the Edges


I also offer a Workshop involving mounting and aging papers – this one is tomorrow but its sold out


A great way to kick up the POW factor is using dimensional patterns, with more creative products like textured plasters, stones, and decorative acrylic waxes.  Our Specialty Finishes Workshop involves layering and creating finish looks with these type of mediums, which you can incorporate to any surface



There are so many ways to play and experiment…. and create




Cottage Paint Black base with a mixed Brass Wax, a textured plaster top with metallic and waxes



Our custom tinted Cottage Paint color Olive, with a mixed Black Wax, inside finish created with plaster, stencil and glaze



A silver metallic finish with decorative raised panel, using tinted textured plaster through lace and a shimmer mica wax over top

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, we ship daily,  offering our full lines of paints, sundries and accessories –

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.








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.

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

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It started like this

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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:

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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 –

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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 –

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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

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

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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.

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


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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-

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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…

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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…

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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


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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 –

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

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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 –

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Of course, the back needs some LOVE too…

purple ombre painted china hutch, painted back, stenciled back

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

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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

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

Cottage Paint Is Here To Stay, Recent Pieces and Colors

I introduced Cottage Paint earlier this year (you can read all the details in this post  Kicking It Up With Cottage Paint) when we rolled out 20 custom colors, tinted specifically for our Studio –


It’s an easy paint to recommend –  it has amazing flow, stays open longer, allowing newbies to learn and fiddle as they go,  and I see great success, not only from our workshop attendees that use Cottage Paint and love it, but also from our customers who’ve tried it and come back excited to share their results.

Cottage Paint Custom Color Lead. with Dark Wax.

Cottage Paint Custom Color Lead. with Dark Wax.

Another huge win for Cottage Paints?  It is formulated off a color base system and able to tint  to 1000’s of shades in paint stores.  No way?  Yes way, and Fabulous Finishes will have the ability to tint that special color for you, as well as offer all their other colors, in the next month or so.

To celebrate, let me share a few of the pieces I’ve created with Cottage Paint –

This  was one heavy little buffet server –


I brushed a first coat of our Cottage Paint custom brown color, Truffle and was amazed at how opaquely well it covered in one lean pass.


LEAN is the key word,   I like to lay my paint on LEAN.  It dries nicer, looks more professional,  and shows less application marks.    I still used a second thin wash coat, but boy the final finish was lovely…


When the paint was dry I used a 400 grit paper on the flat areas, quick and easy, to give it a burnish, and then wiped down the paint finish with a damp rag.  Wiping gets dust off, and even knocks out small imperfections in your paint.   It you wipe with some uummph you’ll even distress/reveal back your under finish.

Lastly, I brushed on our Black Glaze and softly wiped it back with a dry cloth.


I painting the original hardware, and then added a silver bronze metallic finish to it, and used that same metallic to dry brush several detail areas on the piece.

I added a couple new blingy knobs (right up my alley) –



The black glaze was so rich and lovely ….


I  silver leafed the top and drop down sides – the contrast worked well with this rich Truffle color –


You can watch our first DIY TV Episode, where I demo the steps of applying leaf, if you’re interested in doing a top like this.   We sell all the gilding products you’d need as well –  we’ve got you covered!


I stained the drawer and inside, and added an ever so slight stencil inside the drawer


What started as a Brady Bunch buffet,  cleaned up pretty darn nice, don’t you think?  🙂


What to do with this oak chest?


Well, originally I sanded the top to salvage the wood, and painted the base with a coat of American Paint Gunpowder



After the Gunpowder dried, I decided to go lighter with the piece –  I had enough darker pieces for sale on the floor …


I decided to crackle  Cottage Paint over the Gunpowder basecoat, using Cottage Paint’s Easy Crackle, and  paint color Ash (another of our special tint colors).




Produces a cracked, aged finish. Apply coat of crackle over Cottage Paint with a brush. A slightly thicker application of crackle will produce larger cracks.A slightly thinner application of crackle will produce smaller cracks. Allow to dry. Quickly apply Cottage Paint over crackle and watch it crack as it dries (about 1 hour). A slightly thicker application of paint will produce larger cracks. A slightly thinner application of paint will produce smaller cracks Do not over brush the surface while it is drying.

I wasn’t sure if it would work over the unsealed APC chalk/clay paint base, but it worked fine.  My Ash color Cottage Paint cracked nicely over the APC Gunpowder


I added new hardware, and stained the top and inside the drawers –


and added a soft all over stencil using Caromal Colours Stencil Creme Snowberry White


A solid, well made little chest, very deserving of a pretty finish




Here’s  another fun little jewel –  playing with some of the Cottage Colors we’d custom mixed –  the far right board is a pale muted pink – we named it Angora Pink –


I brushed on a first coat,  then stenciled a raised harlequin design using a   black textured plaster


When that dried, I brushed the Angora Pink again to cover the whole piece. When it dried, I sanded back the top to reveal the black design


I added another light and airy stencil over the top, using Caromal Colours Stencil Creme Snowberry,  and used some of that to highlight the trim.  When it was good and dry I buffed the piece with our wax drill buffing brush – it brings the Cottage Paint up to a lovely burnished sheen real quick…


You don’t have to have the handy drill buffing brush –   a soft cloth, or even a plastic bag will pop some sheen


In this photo below it is next to a chair painted with Botanical Peony and Lavender


This drop table was used as the how-to demonstration for our DIY Shelby TV Episode 8 where I demonstrate all over stenciling and color washing

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I painted the base with a coat of  Gorgeous Grey, and then applied a wash of color over it, using watered down Grey Linen.   The top was painted Grey Linen with Gorgeous Grey for an allover stencil design.

Both colors are custom tints (remember I mentioned that Cottage Paint can be tinted to almost any color in a paint deck?)   so you won’t find them in the lineup of premixed Cottage Paint colors, but they are available as color options in our store

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Look how lovely that finish polished up, just from buffing….  no wax on that puppy

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Shades of Grey are so popular right now – I hope they stay around forever as a neutral

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This last piece traveled over from my first store… I acquired it in Royal Oak…


Heavy,  solid,  very very long drawers…. and a definite Asian flavor.  I found inspiration in this Cottage Paint sample door I’d created –  the bottom half,  Bold Black cracked over Killer Kakhi, polished with some of our Brass Wax  (APC Clear Wax mixed with Brass Mica)


First coat Kakhi.   But the top?    The top swoops out, like a roof line in Asian architecture


I have nothing against Asian architecture, it’s just that even I painted it pink with purple polka dots, all my eye would still see is a Chinese rooftop.   I decid the top needs to start with texture, so I brush/smoosh/stipple/blade/knock down  a black Textured Plaster.   When dry,  I lightly sand to knock down the picky niblets


Over the texture I use a variety of metallic paste waxes and paints, until I like the color


I top that with a tinted black acrylic wax to give it depth, and  Liberon Walnut wax to antique and polish it up.

I cleaned and used the existing hardware, quite unique


I brushed the paint so lean, that the piece did not require much sanding to refine the finish.  I wet wiped the whole piece  to reveal a few Kakhi edges before scrubbing on the Brass Wax.   Waxing Cottage Paint with an all natural wax like APC’s is amazing – it is effortless.  Simply lightly brush it on, or wipe it on, and buff the excess off.  The Brass Mica stayed behind, giving the black a shimmering presence


I added just a hint of crackling on the upper side panels, and topped it off with a metallic bronze light stencil design, to tie in the top.   A few Swarovskis  for an extra shimmer


I was thrilled with how this piece came together


The drawers are near four feet wide, and in perfect solid wood condition.  We  restained them, inside out




Even the back got a painted wash treatment, jazzed with a stencil design


My pieces may cause some to have sticker shock, but refinishing a piece of furniture, for me, isn’t just schlepping a color on the outside and calling it ‘shabby’ or ‘custom painted’.   My pieces will be refined, inside and out, with attention given to even small detail…


Hopefully this will inspire you to venture out and try Cottage Paint  on one of your next DIY projects!

If you’re in the Metro Detroit area,  come visit!

We offer a number of fun Workshops, and a great varied selection of easy to use DIY friendly paints and finishes.

   Live too far?  No worries –  check out our awesome ONLINE STORE

    Pretty near everything in store is offered online – including a varied selection of  Swarovski crystals that I love to embellish my pieces with.

Happy Painting!