Category Archives: The Front Entry

Customer Paint Projects To Share – Round 1

Happy 2016!   I swear the older I’m getting the faster time seems to be flying…

I thought I’d start out this new year cleaning the slate of ‘Customers Projects that Need Sharing’.   It’s the best way to inspire others that might be a little hesitant trying our products.   And a shout out to all our amazing customers that are willing to share their projects – I really appreciate it!!

This customer used our Mocha Reclaim to paint right over her original PAINTED WHITE spindles.  Over one hundred of the,  no less! stairrailsafter1

Instead of investing some serious $$ to replace the white spindles for wrought iron, she thought she’d try painting them instead…


The darker spindles changed the whole feel in her foyer, and she was thrilled.

Tamanna’s first project was this buffet – she acquired it for the great bones, not the color.  Her goal was black with a glossy topcoat.

black before

she used Reclaim Licorice, and a glossy wipe on poly,  and LOVED its ease of use.



She was back in this past weekend, to search for the perfect grey color for her kitchen cabinets.  She asked about painting the granite around two fireplaces, and went home and used one coat of her leftover Reclaim Licorice on both!

fireplace before

How’s this for a simple update?

after fireplace

Another client, came in this past weekend – back to find a color to paint her kitchen island cabinets.   She said,  “Let me show you  – I painted my kitchen with with your paints and love how it turned out…”   and she pulled up photos on her phone:




She used White Reclaim and our Coffee Glaze, and finished the update with new hardware


What a difference!!  CHANGE


She’s going darker on the island to give it a whole different feel –


Leah transformed her armoire using our paints –


which paint, I’m not QUITE sure – maybe American Paint? Cottage Paint? Caromal?


It doesn’t matter- what matters is it looks pretty darn nice on that dark wood floor – she used one of our Stencils and repeated it down the sides, even added a little Swarovski Crystal Bling!


Diane gave this kitchen a great new feel, taking the original cabinets to a Sage Greenreclaim_sage_cabinets

I wish we had the befores for this kitchen,  stained cabinets with a stained floor was probably ALOT of stained wood which,  isn’t a bad thing, but look how lovely this sage is against the floor now?


Hardware was a new addition, as well as the decorative ‘feet’ tucked in next to the toekick…


You can find many varieties online, just search on ‘wood cabinet feet’


LOL,  these are REALLY some feet to add 🙂


Jackie shared two of her projects, both crafted using our Aged Papers and Botanical Paints ….  this one looks like Botanical Iris, and the paper is the blue damask

jackie 2

and this lovely looks to be Textured Basecoat Peppercorn with Botanical Dandelion over it, sanded back for reveal.  The Aged Paper is one of the botanical Sunflower prints.   Our paper order arrives this week, and due in are new Valentine and Easter prints – can’t wait to add those to the store –


Sue shared some of her canvas art, created using Textured Basecoat Peppercorn, The Aged Papers, American Paint Co. chalk and clay paints and American Paint Co. Dark Wax

sue 1

How cool are these?  Love her creativity and play on texture …

sue 2

including the use of Stencils to created raised relief.  We offer a great selection of stencils, and make a point to note which ones are better suited for building relief…

sue 3

Some of our large stencils may seem a little pricey,  but they are worth the investment if you plan on finishing more than one project.  Most of our large ones are thick and extra sturdy, allowing them to be used and cleaned over and over again.  The larger size also means a more extensive pattern, which can be used in many ways – stack them for an allover effect, use the whole design or just a few parts of it –

sue 4

For great tips and step by step on using the Aged Papers, you can head to our DIY Video Page and click on Episode 5 “How To Apply Aged Papers to Furniture”.

I am going to break this into several posts, that way it won’t run on forever, and I can get this part live.   I’ve committed to getting all the shares posted, so Round 2 will be up this week as well.


If you’ve been wondering what’s new, given the LEAN posting these last months:

  • STILL waiting to tie up loose ends with the blog transition
  • new items are regularly being added to our online store, recent add:chalkclayminipack
  • this piece sold to a customer in Texas and moved out this past weekend soldbuffetgoldleafgleaners
  • started this New Year in a new set of wheels~  whoot whoot!IMG_6813 (1) (2)
  • got to spend an amazing four weeks enjoying both kids who were home from school for Christmas break.  Love love love them, and had to bid them adieu today 😦
  • working on finishing this curvy piece, created with a variety of American Paint chalk and clay paints, an enlarged Aged Paper, and a top I took back to original wood, and stained using our new Fabulous Wood Topper product that will be debuting this month 🙂paris_aged_paper_chest_drawers_chalk_clay_paints_fabfinisher


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 –

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



Yes, We Painted That Tile You Just Walked In On… Shout Out To Chalk/Clay Paint Lovers…

When I moved into our new location in February I asked the landlord if I could paint the tiled front entry


He didn’t care what I did  (he probably thought I was nuts to paint it).   If money grew on trees, I’d have ripped the tile AND carpet out, replacing it with wood,  but HELLO,  that was not in the budget 🙂

At the last store I had painted the bathroom laminate floor and it held up awesome.  I used my go-to paint for questionable surfaces – Caromal Colours Textured Basecoats.  It’s the most versatile paint I’ve ever used –  like painting with whippy peanut butter.

Last month I was bouncing all over the place, and in the middle of everything I looked at the floor and decided,  Time to Paint!


  • Tape
  • Whizz roller and tray
  • 2 1/2 inch  Chip brushes
  • Layer 1&2 – Caromal Colours Textured Basecoat Peppercorn
  • Layer 3 – American Paint Company Freedom Road and Smoke Signal
  • Sandpaper
  • Stencil
  • American Paint Company Navajo White (for stenciling)
  • American Paint Company Topcoat Finish
  • Minwax Wipe-on Poly Satin Finish

I taped off 1/2 the 6×5 entry – the other 1/2 I’d paint later, that way people could still enter and exit the store –


I cleaned the tile up with Simple Green and some liquid dish soap, then grabbed the Caromal Colours Textured Basecoat Peppercorn


for some reason I took a photo of the time, too –  maybe to keep track of how long it took –


Roll the first coat out, with a textured type roller – whizz,  low nap – whatever you’d like to call it-


Just rollin, rollin, rollin….



Rolled out one coat, which covered pretty darn good, but I wanted to be SURE I had a good base so I dried it w/the blowdryer (it dries quick anyway) and then gave it another quick roll-




That took a little over 1/2 hour…


When that dried I switched to one of my chalk/clay paint lines  –  American Paint Company – and grabbed color Freedom Road, a dark charcoal gray.  Using a cheapy chip brush (we sell those too, in all sizes)  I scrubbed the paint onto one tile


Can’t forget the time, right?


Also grabbed American Paint Co’s color Smoke Signal, a lighter gray – I wanted to do a check pattern –


I focused on brushed the tiles, and staying off the grout, just for consistency…


Wonder what time it is…



Love how the chalk/clay paints look when their drying – so Monet like…


Almost there…



When the paint dried, which didn’t take long at all (especially with a blow dry present) I grabbed some 150 sand paper and started sanding the tiles –


Sanding quickly knocks off the very topmost surface of the chalk/clay paint, AND more importantly reaches  down to that yummy black texture and reveals it – I think if you click on this photo below you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about-


When the sanding was complete I grabbed a stencil – one of my big ones (and big price) –  I wanted to dress the tiles up but wanted it to be super quick and easy, the big stencil allowed me to cover a large area.

Fat stencil brush,  some American Paint color Navajo White (a soft white) and some peanut butter and apples for energy – I got busy



One section at a time, until its all covered –


Once everything was dry I rolled on a  coat of American Paint Co Topcoat Finish


When I use the chalk/clay paints and want a nice, hard,  sealed surface I like to use either the Topcoat Finish by APC or the Satin Finish by CeCe Caldwell. Both are brush or roll on and when it dries you’re done.


The Topcoat Finish reminds of  a milky water – its super easy to roll out, even to brush out, and I don’t feel the need to add water to thin it.   It dries with more matte than the Satin Finish does –  and it dries quick.


That first coat over the raw paint is important to me – the paints are so absorbent I don’t like using  topcoats like poly’s over them – at  least not until I FIRST seal it up following their system  aka) Topcoat Finish.   If you try both you’ll see what I’m talking about – using topcoats like poly  over the RAW  chalk/clay paints will want to soak in and disappear – APC’s Topcoat Finish not only soaks in but also stays on top when it’s applied, then dries matte.



Because this is our entry floor I wanted extra protection, so once I got the ‘initial’ coat of sealer aka Topcoat Finish on, and once dry, I used Minwax’s Wipe on Poly (satin oil version) – and wiped on 2 coats of that.  That also allowed the final finish more sheen –




Want to hear a funny?   I think more customers than not don’t even realize the floor when they enter!


So how’s it holding up?  Fabulous of course…   if you getting into painting, and dig the chalk /clay paints, then you GOTTA get your hands on some Caromal Textured Basecoat paint and start playing.

This is a great combo finish for tile, for counters, backsplashes, damaged sections of furniture… it’s a great finish for a whole piece of furniture!

Here are 20 samples that we created using Caromal Colours Textured Basecoats as the first layer and American Paint Company chalk/clay paint colors over top



We’ve done the same with our CeCe Caldwell Chalk/Clay paints as well.  The possibilities are limitless, try it!

If you’re a chalk/clay paint retailer, and are interested in adding these fabulous paints to your line up,  give me a shout (you can find my contact info on my contact page) – there is no required minimums to get started!


If you’re in the Detroit area,  visit our paint studio – we fully stock

American Paint Company  /Chalk/Clay/Mineral paints/finishes

CeCe Caldwell Clay/Chalk/Clay/Mineral paints/finishes

Caromal Colours Artisan Collection and Reclaim Paints

 Specialty Finishing products

metallics, dimensional plasters, waxes, powder pigments, glazes, gilding supplies

One Stop Shopping

brushes, drill brushes, stencil brushes, sandpaper, whizz rollers

Fabulous Finishes Retail Studio

51350 Van Dyke Rd,  Shelby Twp MI 48316

find us online


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linking up to these great blog reads:





1Clever Chicks Blog hop

Decorating A Foyer Medallion…

A before

First a primer base

now make it gold

It looked cool that evening I left

but more to come.  Starting to glaze this pretty thing


Not so fast…  there was this thing called a SEAM…  you can see it here (click it)

I learned a lesson on this job.  I won”t start over an imperfection again – some things we can make go away with paint techniques, but not a structural defect.

The painter repaired the seam, then re-basecoated it for me.  Then I came back and goldened it once again…

then glazed once more.     Beautiful!

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