Tag Archives: Botanical Paint

One Of My Favorite Dixie Chests …a Reclaim Test

I acquired this Dixie furniture when I was at my first store,  four years ago.  The picture cuts off the dresser on the left is actually a triple, and around the corner were two narrow bookcase units


I don’t usually buy up full sets of furniture, but I loved the style and the condition was mint.   The pair of nightstands and armoire chest moved on to my current store, and this past Spring I decided they would be perfect for my next paint project –


I decided to try a mix of our Reclaim paint and Botanical paint.  Reclaim is a waterbased low voc paint that bonds to near any surface, and unlike the other paint lines we carry, it also has a sealer in it. But Reclaim is not a ‘brush on’ type paint like our other paints – it functions best as a rolled on paint . If you brush Reclaim it will show application marks  aka brush strokes, especially the heavier you apply the paint.  We tell our customers if they have to brush the Reclaim , say parts of a chair or areas that are hard to roll, then apply the paint in light layers and try to keep your application strokes the same.


The Botanical paint, also created by Caromal Colours,  is more like a chalky type paint, low voc’s, and most often is applied by brush.  It actually brushes out lovely, and doesn’t HAVE to have a finish coat over it to stay put, but it dries out to a flat chalky feel.  Colorwise, the lightest neutral of Botanical is Gardenia, an offwhite (top left).

I mixed part Botanical Gardenia, Part Off White Reclaim and part Bright White Reclaim, and started applying, thin, by brush


After one coat, I realized this wasn’t going to be a 2-coat finish.  I tried to find the right balance of paint to leave behind, without it looking too stroky…  what worked best was almost dry brushing the paint,  slow and steady

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My plan for the chest was to add stencil designs on the two front door panels, but I didn’t want it to complete with the neutral finish of the piece, so I used our Textured Plaster and tinted it darker, using several of our Powder Pigments, to resemble the hardware that I planned to use –

fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_raised_plaster_damask_door_panels (2)

and bladed it through one of our thicker stencils

fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_raised_plaster_damask_door_panels (3)

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The original hardware would be refinished to a brass/bronze color, but I wanted something special on the top drawer.   I used several decorative backs, added a metal whispy knob, painted it to a pretty brass/bronze color, and added Swarovski crystals to complete the look


You can see in this photo how the paint is in various stages of coverage, the upper section still showing it’s original yellowy colorfabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_raised_plaster_damask_door_panels (5)

I let both panels dry, the went back to dry brushing, to get the finish even and solid, including completely covering the plastered stencil relief

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After that I went to work dressing up the piece, giving it those added touches that I love, to make it a one of a kind special…   I stenciled the inner drawer fronts,  and gave the inside and out of each drawer a freshening up of colorfabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_bronze_accents (6)

The top, originally that pear yellow color formica, needed to go deeper, I envisioned a pecan color to coordinate with the hardware, so I started to layer to achieve that result –fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_bronze_accents (7)fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_bronze_accents (1)

It took me a good six passes to get an even finish with this application method.  Typically, our brush on paints (APC, Cottage) can be applied not-too-thick-not-too-thin, then a second coat thinned with water that pulls it all together.  With this blend of Reclaim/Botanical, wetting of the paint, or thinning it down and applying it, more often than not caused the under layer to reactivate and lift off…  thus more layers of very thin paint applied was the best way I found to reach total coverage.  When it all dried, I light sanded the flat panels with a 400 grit, and sanded the door panel relief with a 200 grit sandpaper to pop the design –fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_bronze_accents (2)

The remainder of the hardware was refinished to the brass/bronze color, sealed and embellished with Swarovskis’s to complete the look


Once the paint finish and top were complete, I mixed our two sealers- Durable Waterbased Satin Sealer and  Durable Waterbased Matte Sealer, to create a 50/50 blend of satin/matte, and applied that to the whole chest.  Even though the Reclaim has that built in sealer, I recommend adding an extra topcoat if

  • its going to be a high use piece
  • if its for youth
  • if its a light color (think hard to keep clean) finish
  • if I desire more (or less) of a sheen than what my paint dried to
fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_bronze_accents (5)
fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_bronze_accents (4)
 I’m really pleased with the top
fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white-wood_grained_top (1)
Of course, the feet had to be glammed up
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and the back 🙂

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Definitely one of my favorite chests, not just for how it ended up looking, but for the whole package – the lovely design and furniture quality

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Look at all that storage!dixie_chest_custom_painted_chalk_wood_grainWhen it came time for the petite nightstands, I finished them pretty much the same way except for the tops.   The tall chest had that  ‘fantasy/faux’ wood grain finish,  where I tried to get to that color tone that I saw in my head. In those cases I have no recipe to follow, I just trial and error until it works.   I  would have a miserable time trying to recreate an exact match.   Plus the nightstands were lower and I felt a darker top would weigh the pieces down…..

I decided to use the tinted plaster again, but this time blade it through a pretty patterned lace.  In the picture below, you can see the tops are a caramel color – it’s the lace patterned tinted plaster drying


Here, in the photo below, I’ve already painted over the dried plaster lace on the tops

fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_nightstands (2)

Yay!  I sanded tops and the tinted pattern popped through, leave just enough to dress up the tops.  I sealed these pieces with my 50/50 mix as well

fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_nightstands (3)

The pieces coordinated well with each other, and just last week a customer put a claim on the trio

fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_nightstands (4)

These pieces drew an awful lot of interest in the store, as the ‘I want that type finish’ to paint on my own piece.  What we show them, instead, is an application method of rolling thin layers of the Reclaim paint on, like we do for the cabinet finishes we show, or rolling a Reclaim/Botanical mix on.  This way in 2-3 passes you should have solid coverage, and with that little bit of 400 grit paper, your finish result will be a lot like this set.  I even have a video visual, from one of the local TV shows we did, showing that application – you can catch it here – Episode 12 offwhite_custom_painted_french_provencial_chest_standThis winter weather has been amazingly mild for Michigan, and already I’m starting to get itchy for Spring…  here’s to another great week!

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.




























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 –  store.fabfinisher.com.

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


Painted Cabinet, (Country)Barn Red and Vintage (Velvet) Yellow

American Paint Company, our all natural chalk and clay paint line, offers a main line of colors, available in samples (4 ounce) and quarts

new apc fall 2014

Along with the main deck, they have a Limited Edition collection of twelve  ‘test the market colors’.  Those are offered in samples (4 ounce) and pints.  Later on, it will be determined which colors were popular/unpopular, and they’ll absorb the ‘YAY’ colors into the main deck, and say goodbye to the ‘NAY’ colors that pooped out…


I felt an instant love for the Country Barn and Vintage Velvet, two colors I’ve had available in our other paint lines, but not in chalk/clay paint form.  I wanted to use them first.  The perfect piece –


I used APC Country Barn, APC Vintage Velvet, and some APC Shag Carpet (orange) , all dumped on the same plateapc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0002

and applied a first coat



On the two oval door front panels I used our Aged Papers design sps303 and sps304 and adhered them with Reclaim Sealer,    When they dried I blurred the hard edge using Perfect Plaster – then painted the whole piece  with APC Vintage Velvet,  and a little bit of APC Waistcoat blended in.

If you want to learn more about how I like to use Aged Papers, head over to the VIDEOS page and watch our TV Episode #5 .

apc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0008.jpg SPS304 is available in our online store, sps303 has not been added yet, but we’re working on it.  We’ve got about 1/3 left of the papers to catalog online


sps303 Aged Paper Music Sheets


sps304 Aged Paper Music Sheet

apc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0009.jpgI painted the inside a soft pale buttery yellow – a color  I arrived at by mixing Botanical Gardenia (soft creme) and Botanical Dandelion


I prefer using Reclaim or Botanical or Cottage Paints INSIDE things, because it can be left as is once dry.   If I used chalk/clay paint I’d be inclined to properly topcoat before moving on….

Once the inside got a soft coating of color, I worked on the mutton bars.  They were based with Reclaim, then painted with a shimmery creamy metallic finish (achieved by mixing several colors together) , and topped off with fine glitter powder, blown on,  for extra shimmer.  It’s subtle, but you can catch a glimpse of shimmer through the glass –


I sanded to refine the outer finish, revealing pops of that pretty Country Barn red underneath…  When I was satisfied, I applied American Paint’s Vintage Clear Wax (fab fab fabulous!!) to seal up the paint.  In this photo you can see the one side that isn’t waxed…apc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0010

If you haven’t used American Paint Company’s Wax,  you are missing out.   I think  I’ve used most waxes out there – Paste wax, A Sloan wax,  Beeswax,  Fiddes, Liberon…    APC’s is soft, light, free of any smells or solvents, glides on with ease, dries fast, and buffs to a lovely sheen.   While it doesn’t offer a super rock hard finish, it does offer the protection of a waxed furniture finish-apc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0011 apc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0012

Inside the cupboard –  so soft like sweet butter, compliments the eye-catching color on the outside – a perfect marriage.



I gave the inside drawers and cabinet a fresh coat of stain…


I love this original hardware – pretty left as is..


Because I can’t help myself, I did add a few Swarovki to the handles 🙂


Stained the back, not a necessity, but I like to completely finish my pieces –


Amazing, how much depth there is in the finish – it’s what I love about APC’s products…


apc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0026 apc_country_barn_vintage_velvet_chalk_clay_wax_aged_papers0027

That color warrants attention, don’t you think?


If I had room at home….


We are a full service retailer competitively priced

We realize that people that WANT to create don’t have our cool paints offered in their neck of the woods – if this describes you, please do us a favor and check out our online store – we strive to offer everything we can that will make your creating an easy and fun process. Our customers from a far are just as important as our local customers – when you shop with us we will be committed to helping you every step of the way.

 Closed Sundays and Mondays
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday   10am – 5pm
Thursday   10am – 7pm
Saturday 10am – 3pm

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


Botanical Paints Have Arrived – One Coat Matte Chalky Luster

Remember when I posted about the Botanical Home Decor Paints, Caromal Colours newest line of  user friendly paints, that were due end of October?



Sample boards, a frame to paint and hang on the ‘color deck wall’ , Avery Label sheet for color charts – all anxiously awaiting C O L O R


Botanical Home Decor Paint DALHIA

We were well prepared  – 14 sets of blanks were spread out on our tables…  Our first priority was getting the paint ON  so customers could see the colors for real


Botanical Home Decor Paint DALHIA

As I found with the test paint I’d played with,  the paint glided out like silk. Regardless  of what I was brushing – paper sticker sheet/glass and plastic frame/primed bead board –  the paint flowed out even and consistent


Botanical Home Decor Paint DALHIA

I prefer brushing,  and those that know me know that I like my layers thin – typically one lean first coat, followed by a ‘washed’ on coat (some water in the mix).   If you are used to brushing really thin layers, you’ll find that 1/2 the colors will still cover in 1 pass:  Salvia, Cattail, Lavender, Iris, Moss, Boxwood, Mulberry.

I think had I used a little more paint in that first pass I’d have had nice coverage with Peony, and Hydrangea.     Gardenia, Willow, Dandelion and Dahlia (I think) will be lighter one coats, unless you are going over a similar base color.


Botanical Home Decor Paint DALHIA

Painting out the darkest color –  amazing one coat coverage


Botanical Home Decor Paint MULBERRY


Botanical Home Decor Paint MULBERRY

I walked away from a 1/2 brushed sample and, not thinking, left my brush right where I’d painted.  A few minutes later I came back to what I was doing and thought ‘dum dum, why’d you do that?‘   I picked the brush back up and brushed through the ‘splotch mark’  and it fell right back in line with the rest of the board!

In other words,  you’ll find that you have way more time to move the paint, before it starts to dry up –


Botanical Home Decor Paint BOXWOOD


Botanical Home Decor Paint BOXWOOD

Disregard that floating shadow dot that appears on the photos – it’s a camera issue that I need to  get fixed-


Botanical Home Decor Paint DANDELION

Dandelion got a second light coat-


Botanical Home Decor Paint DANDELION

We brushed all the samples and  rolled the backs of the boards as well.   Rolling does dry with a light consistent textured feel.  You can get artsy with this paint and wash or wipe it on with a rag as well …


Botanical Home Decor Paint DANDELION

Gardenia is the neutral – no yellow in it, but definitely not marshmallow white.  Here, you can see it compared to the Reclaim and Textured Basecoat colors.

darker than Bright White and Wisteria

lighter than Parchment and Off White

not the creamy hint of yellow that Off White has

more like Parchment  but lighter



Botanical Home Decor Paint GARDENIA

I did give Gardenia a second light coat –


Botanical Home Decor Paint GARDENIA


Botanical Home Decor Paint PEONY

Peony,  a soft pale pink …  not dirty, not bright…  reminds me of the background of this



Botanical Home Decor Paint GARDENIA & PEONY

Iris covers crazy amazing…


Botanical Home Decor Paint IRIS


Botanical Home Decor Paint IRIS


Botanical Home Decor Paint HYDRANGEA

A little paint goes a long way…


Botanical Home Decor Paint HYDRANGEA


Botanical Home Decor Paint MOSS


Botanical MOSS and DAHLIA


Botanical Home Decor Paint CATTAIL


Botanical Home Decor Paint ASTER


Botanical Home Decor Paint CATTAIL & ASTER


Botanical Home Decor Paint LAVENDER


Botanical Home Decor Paint LAVENDER


Botanical Home Decor Paint LAVENDER


Botanical Home Decor Paint SALVIA


Botanical Home Decor Paint SALVIA


Botanical Home Decor Paint WILLOW


Botanical Home Decor Paint WILLOW


When it came time to clean that stuffed bucket of dirty brushes, we found the paint cleans up like magic.  With a simple rinse of hands, any trace of paint disappears,  and cleaning the brushes was no different.  LOVED that part!

We make these color charts for all the paints we carry – they aren’t FREE but we will be including these in our online orders with any Botanical order and all of our frequent flyer customers will  receive one as well.

Botanical Home Decor Paint Collection, Color Chart

Botanical Home Decor Paint Collection, Color Chart

Once the main boards were created,  I started work on the ‘Glazed/Waxed’ samples –


Botanical Home Decor Paints – Glazing and Waxing Color Boards – Lavender

This way customers can see what a paint color looks like if a glaze or wax is applied.  I have close up photos of each board that I will share in my next post


Botanical Home Decor Paints – Glazing and Waxing Color Boards – Gardenia

Botanical Home Decor Paint summary-

-14 colors and a new Black Brown Toning Glaze.   The packaging is lovely.

– low VOC, water clean up, non-toxic.

-glides on when you brush it –  the coverage is excellent.

-I brushed it on, and when it dried I didn’t feel my brush strokes, and really didn’t see any either.

-can re-coat, as desired –  allow 3-4 hours in between layers.

-If you want to layer colors you need to brush or roll on a coat of Chipping Creme in between, otherwise you’ll have a hard time sanding through color one to color two.

– I found my need for sanding to ‘refine’ or soften my finish was very minimal.  It wasn’t to knock out brush marks, was more just a quick whoosh whoosh to burnish the finish.  400 grit was fabulous.  You’ll notice less powder residue from sanding.

– You can glaze directly over the paint once it’s dry.

-the paint dries to a very matte, chalky finish.  It does not require a wax or topcoat.  However,  a high quality topcoat or wax of your choice will

  • add a sheen
  • add water/stain protection
  • provide added durability.

-waxing will add a soft glow to your finish but it will not result in the same wax finish that you get when you wax and buff a chalk paint.

– I found the Wipe-on Poly’s, that I love as a quick ‘go-to’ with Caromal’s paints just fizzled out, much like it does over our natural American Paint Co Chalk/ Clay paints.  I found the Reclaim Sealer (a low luster water based finish) to work really nice – it was easy, dries to a nice soft sheen, and really kicks up the durability of the finish.

-allow item to cure overnight before use.

 If you’re in the Metro Detroit stop by and visit-

we’ve got a great variety of paints to fit your EVERY need!


need paint?

We realize that people that WANT to create don’t have our cool paints offered in their neck of the woods – if this describes you, please do us a favor and check out our online store – we strive to offer everything we can that will make your creating an easy and fun process. Our customers from afar are just as important as our local customers – when you shop with us we will be committed to helping you every step of the way.


We are a full service retailer competitively priced





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


the remaining WORKSHOPS of this year are almost sold out – if you want to tackle your  paint project before christmas find the remaining details here Workshops.   We will be posting 2015 workshop dates by mid-november.

come learn with us
be inspired with us

If you’re looking to paint with guidance, learn new products and techniques, or just looking for a great night out with friends or hubbies, check us out – I promise, you will not be disappointed!