Category Archives: The Casual Living Area

If I Could Blink Blog Posts…

Maybe it’s growing up with these TV shows –



but I SOOOOOOO wish I could just blink or twitch my nose, and put my thoughts to printed blog posts….

There isn’t a day that goes by  (14 days since the last post) where I don’t think to myself  “gotta share that!”  or ” great tip”  “great color combo…”     It’s the GET IT DONE part that I’m struggling with… if I could BLINK, or TWITCH,  or nod my head and have a post appear I’d be a happy camper!

Hopefully, if you’re here to find new inspiration, you can instead poke around a bit and read some of the  other posts I have here to inspire you, while I work at getting back on track …

So where was I hiding the last week or so?    At home .

It was time to dedicate a few days to  family life  – we moved a few months ago and really haven’t had any free time to get things in order.  The garage was loaded to the gills,  not a picture hung,  no rooms personalized…   the basement bar was recently completed  but we did it with plywood and stock cabinets, awaiting my finishing touch…

I checked out of  ‘work’ mode and spent 4 days with hubby and kids, getting items checked off the list.

The bar was first –  I used my tried and true Aurastone products for the counters


I get asked alot about the Aurastone/Granicrete epoxy system by homeowners that want to use it – I offer so many DIY options at my studio that folks tend to think everything I do is user friendly.  It’s not considered a DIY finish,  I  cant teach it or sell the products –  Im only an installer, not a distributor.

It’s messy, and I complain every time I use the products, but in the end it makes a nice finish, making it worthwhile –


The colorants, and stains, get shot from squirt bottles…. they clog.  It sucks…   but I get to sprinkle cut glass and mica flakes  onto the surfaces so that makes up for it…


The more I can layer the tints, the more authentic the finish will look…


Then the added prayers  while I ready the epoxy…   if you’re not precise in your measuring and mixing the epoxy won’t cure evenly – resulting in a do-over… I’ve had that happen before, don’t want it to happen again…


The next morning, all looks good –  except a surprise visit, from a fly that died landing in the then wet now dry epoxy…   (we gouged out what we could and called the rest a fossil)


The epoxy really intensifies the colors and adds so much dimension –



With the counters behind me, I focus on the rest of the bar –  I used Caromal Textured Basecoat Pumpkin and brushed out a layer on the  base – to make it look more plumped upDSC_5543

The thicker paint really does a great job at hiding flaws, like unfinished seams… DSC_5545


When the pumpkin dried I brushed a watered down layer of American Paint’s Lincoln’s Hat – it looks grayish here because it’s dry and not sealed,  but Lincoln’s Hat once sealed will be black.    My plan is to sand the black back and let some pumpkin through, and then seal-


The new stock cabinets got a simple straight grain glaze finish using a mixture of Faux Effects Stain and Seal and some glaze.  This isn’t something I recommend for ‘used’ cabinets – stains can be tricky and going over surfaces that have ANY kind of wear – be it from weather elements, human touch, or every day use – can be a challenge, resulting in an uneven finish thats impossible to fix…


Only got 1/2 way, but a good start, right?


I stained the inside cubbies,  and need to Pumpkin/Lincoln’s Hat the edges still…


I think I might seal the finish with a dark Liberon Wax – I have an old Georgian Mahogany color from my wall days, maybe mix that with the dark walnut – that will seal the paint AND antique it at the same time, and I like the idea of antiquing the black.   Liberon Wax can really add a grungy instant age,  this island  could use that –


Are you guys done yet?


With the bar in order, we gutted the garage and sorted every last box.  My car  is in the garage for the first time since we moved –


We hung art, and mirrors,  and got BOTH kids rooms painted – something I really wanted to accomplish before they started back to school…

We went dark olive green on my son’s walls, and hung simple brown side panels to dress up his room darkening shade – DSC_5655

He wanted NOTHING hung on his walls, so I surprised him and hung a tiny wood sign next to his light switch – maybe it will motivate him this ‘last year of high school’….


We used 2 colors of turquoise for my daughter’s room – a lighter for the raised ceiling panels and darker turquoise for the rest.    She’s been waiting to personalize her space for awhile now, so it was nice to knock this one out…


She added a faded stencil – something she plans to do randomly, here and there,  and she’ll finish it off with a few blingy swarovski crystals …

Did you notice I said  “She…” ?   She is planning on finishing the stenciling herself…


A glitzy knob, to update her old ‘Reclaim-Licorice-painted’ furniture…




We readied the nest for a new school year – in Michigan most kids head back after Labor Day –  and the first day of school was smooth.   We didn’t get EVERYTHING checked off our list, but we certainly made a huge dent 🙂

Back at the store I finished this corner piece


I also received our new stash of American Paint MICA POWDERS –  Silver, Gold, Pewter, Copper and Black –


and American Grit, a dirtying agent used with the wax –


Those will all be added to the online store this weekend, if you’re looking for them beforehand just give us a call.

Our fall workshop schedule is posted, but I still need to post photos of the Level II finishes -hopefully I can get those up by the weekend.

Tomorrow I’ll share a post full of recent workshop finishes, to get you motivated – this is the perfect time of year to knock out a piece or two of your own!



you can find our Fall schedule  here


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If you want to place an order, click on the  store button below.

If you live in the Metro Detroit area



A Glass Bead Strie Finish In Copper Metallic…

It started like this

and this

and this…

A designer’s vision for a client, let’s make it happen-

Tape and more tape,  then a raised stencil applied using plaster

Painting everything metallic copper

can see the stencil relief better

Glass beads applied and stried with a wall brush.  These will dry clear

An overglaze, a clean up,  and the result is this

In the Metro Detroit area and looking to customize your interior space?  Stop in and check us out –  we have stacks off custom sample finishes,  idea books and magazines,  all here for you to browse through.    We can help you transform your home!

Fabulous Finishes Studio

49972 Van Dyke Rd

Shelby Twp, Mi 48317

on the east side of Van Dyke, between 22 and 23 Mile Rd

Candi In Texas Refinishes Her Tile Fireplace Surround Easily, With Caromal Colours…

Candi called me late September and asked about refinishing her ceramic tile fireplace surround using Caromal Colours paints-

I would totally love to see a sample of what you think would work for painting the ceramic tile around my fireplace.   (We discussed white and off white.)  The tile doesn’t have a glossy sheen, it’s actually got a little texture already so I’m thinking the toner and/or glaze would pick up nicely.  This same (horrible blue) tile is in my small bathroom and I would LOVE to paint that as well.  I’ve attached a picture of the fireplace and the bathroom.  (The cabinets in the bathroom were originally first on my to-do list.  That’s what started this whole deal!)  Hopefully I can get this all going soon and send you some before and after pictures.   Thank you again and again for taking the time to speak with me and for sharing your wonderful art and ideas with us.  You are truly a DIYer’s dream come true!!  Sincerely,  Candi

Isn’t she nice?) 🙂   Here’s the before

I sent her off a few samples –   Caromal Colours textured basecoat Parchment, adding in a little Krylon Webbing (black) for effect, and the Caromal Toner.

In October I got this

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your help and advice.  I wanted to let you know that I’ve finally finished the fireplace.  As you can see in the before, it was a horrible blue color.  After two coats of Parchment, some chiffon and black webbing spray, and toner, this is what I got.  WE LOVE IT!  And it didn’t cost the over $900 we were expecting when we decided to change the look.  I can’t tell you how many projects I’ve added to my to do list now thanks to you and Caromal Colours.  Now if you could figure out how to help me make the television with ESPN (always) on not be the focal point of our living room, live would be perfect!!  This might take getting rid of the husband so I’ll just admire the fireplace for now!  You’re a dream come true.
Thank you again…and I hope to be sending many more before and after photos.
This is why I love working with Caromal Colours products – they truly empower homeowners to do things they never could have imagined they’d do – and be so excited at the cool stuff they create, with their own efforts!
Now, the reveal
AWESOME transformation!
Cost – one jar of Caromal Colours Parchment $32.50,  Toner $16.50,  a can of Krylon Webbing $8, and some left over paint to water down (she used chifffon color).  You’ll have product left over to use on other projects, and trust me, you’ll find places to use them!
After –   room changer
Thank you Candi, for taking photos along the way, and allowing me to share them with others looking for ideas.  Can’t wait to see more!


Head to my store   SHOP.FABFINISHER.COM   for all of your Caromal needs  – including perfect 8 ounce samplers of the Textured Basecoats – a great way to experiment with color combinations!

Silver Leafed Dome,Crown and Metallics For A Dream Client…

Starting point – lovely foyer entry, and a long hallway leading into a fabulous city living space

Great art, waiting to be showcased…

The transformation begins…

All the walls will receive a custom silver metallic base –

The foyer crown, door and dome are base painted black

Size was applied to the trim work so the leaf would adhere…

Working over head leaves you with a serious neck ache!

That leaf goes E V E R Y W H E R E… I think the client was glad when we got to this point, and we could do a final sweep to get those little fly-aways all cleaned up…

Closer up – still needs to be antiqued…  in this picture you can see the white trim  around the entrance door- we decided that needed to go black as well …

Here the silver leafing is complete, and the walls are starting to get their metallic base –

door trim black

The foyer and hallway walls all received two coats of the metallic base – and then we left it alone, since the color and look was a perfect backdrop for the art

Not so easy to see here, but I also tweeked the chandelier finish which originally was like a soap stone…

Isn’t this just glamorous?

The kitchen and main living area had the custom silver as its basecoat, and then a soft glaze and textural finish over top to warm it up

This was one job I was sad to have come to an end –  I miss the owner, and the big fat cat and the dark slinky cat and the sassy-frass-fraidy-cat cat!

If you live in the Metro Detroit area and are in the market to dress your walls, trimwork or furniture, stop by my showroom for loads of eye candy (and real candy too 🙂  )  You can find me at

Fabulous Finishes

49972 Van Dyke Rd

Shelby Twp, Mi 48317