Tag Archives: how to instructions

Accenting Painted Furniture Finishes with Grit and Mica – Part I

I love decorating my painted pieces beyond just paint and wax – stencils, glazes, washes, textured relief, and almost always a sparkly embellishment –





DSC_0441 [1280x768]


So  I’m excited to introduce the new Mica Powders offered by American Paint Company –


They are available in five colors –  Metallic Gold, Metallic Copper, Metallic, Silver, Metallic Pewter, and Black.   The 4 ounce jars are by weight, not volume – measuring one ounce will get you about 6-7 tablespoons.



Mica Powders, ultrafine powders made from mica and pigment, are non-tarnishing. They can be mixed into waxes, topcoats, glazes, varnishes, polys, lacquers, epoxy to create a a final metallic sheen effect and enhance detailed areas



The effect will be subtle with a mix of 1 part mica to 5 parts wax.

The effect is more apparent with a mix of 1 part mica to 3 parts wax.



For a rich metallic finish,  you can use them to Flash Gild –  dip your brush into the powder and dust over a sized surface (coat surface with water or oil based adhesive)  While still wet to tack, dust the mica onto the surface .  On raised areas it even works using a little water to dampen the surface, and then rubbing the mica on with your finger –



Don’t mix them with your paints, they will just disappear.

Black has no metallic effect –



I took an old textured board and painted over it with APC Wild Horses (brown), then taped it off to demo the effects of these powders –


The bottom smallest square will represent a ‘flash gilding’  , where I rub on a little water, let it soak in a few seconds, then rub the powder over it



Black Mica Powder flash gild




Pewter Mica Powder flash gild


Black, Pewter, Silver, Gold, and Copper Mica Powders, flash gilded

Then 1 part mica to 3 parts clear wax-



The whole board is complete, AND, turned upside down, so now the flash gild is the top row,  the  1 : 3 ratio is the  middle row, and the 1:5 ratio is the bottom row


Copper, Gold, Silver, Pewter, Black


Copper, Gold, Silver, Pewter, Black

The copper, gold, and pewter act alot alike – if you use a heavier concentration it will really take over and change your paint color.

I prefer the less is more method,  otherwise if you aren’t careful it can really look blotchy and gleeny…



The silver is more like a sparkly accent – reminds me of glitter, and I find it a little odd over dark colors – I think over lighter colors it would be a lovely touch, or even added in with one of the other mica colors –





Here I’m adding Copper Mica to clear wax, 1 : 5 ratio

DSC_5769 DSC_5771

and brushing it on Freedom Road, a charcoal gray







Also debuting from American Paint Company is American Grit,  a fine powdered abrasive grit (looks like the remains in your fire pit, all mashed up), ideal for producing an aged dusty look to your freshly waxed painted finish



Apply wax to your painted finish (we like our whippy all natural waxes 🙂 ), lightly wipe away the excess, then apply the Grit with a soft natural bristle brush, brushing and dusting your wet wax finish.   The grit will slightly dull the surface of your finish, especially where theres detail and crevices,  creating the perfect balance of shine and depth. 4 oz.

Let’s demo the Grit – remember the Freedom Road mirror with Copper Mica Wax?   I scrubbed some Grit into the detailed areas


DSC_5791 DSC_5792 DSC_5794 DSC_5795

It really likes to settle in to detail and textures –


Here’s another good visual reference to both the Mica’s and the Grit over raw chalk/clay paint –  I took an old piece off art that I didn’t want anymore, and painted it APC Dawn’s Early Light


Second layer I tried to add some light texture by introducing a burlap imprint


I mixed up a mica wax-  a green gold mica with clear wax. Not an APC mica color, but so don’t let this confuse you  –  my mica’s from APC hadn’t arrived yet so I grabbed a color from my own personal ‘faux finishing days’ stash –


I’m just going to scrub that into the painted surface-


then softly wipe the excess off –


then I took the American Grit and scrubbed that over the whole surface-


and softly wiped that back…



I mixed the black powder with the clear wax and scrubbed that on the frame


then wiped it back –


I since have jazzed up the center w/some stenciling and bling, but I must not have photo’d it – if you look back you’ll see how much this color changed –


I say the more options the better – I love to change things up, try new combos, see what works and what doesnt – I’m not a fan of the Dawn’s Early Light on its own, but I  really like  it used these ways –


I’ve made this Accenting Painted Furniture Finishes with Grit and Mica a  Part I and Part II because I have one more big chunk of photos to share, and I don’t want this post to slow anyone’s machine from being too big to load.

Head on to   Accenting Painted Furniture Finishes with Grit and Mica – Part II   to see the play by play on these cool moldings –


What are you waiting for?


you can find our Fall schedule  here


We are a full service retailer






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


Caromal Textured Basecoat Putty Basecoat Sample Over Formica…

I put this together for a fellow Michigander on the west side of the state.  Jamie contacted me to get some samples for her kitchen-

She wanted to see Bright White Glazed and Sage Glazed Reclaim color samples for her kitchen cabinets,  Peppercorn Textured Basecoat for her kitchen table/chairs and wanted a suggestion for her countertops and stools…

I suggested doing something fun with the stools and layering the Paprika with the Peppercorn –

and I could see the Putty Textured Basecoat as a nice base color to start with –  would offer enough contrast against her glazed white cabinets, but wouldn’t be too dark…

I set to work, whizz rolling a couple layers of Putty onto a styrene board (similiar to the formica laminate)-

Trying to get close up here so you can see the ever so slight texture that the roller creates.  When your surface dries, before you Toner or Glaze or do anything over it, I like to lightly sand it with a 220 grit sand block.  Doing this will knock out any dirt particles or things that might be floating in the air while its drying.  It also gives the painted surface a nicer feel –

Putty Textured Basecoat, Dry.

Now the fun begins.  Once your Caromal paint is dried on your counter you can decorate it any way you’d like.  Remember when I did this one over Wisteria Textured Basecoat (white)?  (you can read about that here)

Another –  Putty as the basecoat, Toner ,Glaze, and some flecked white watered down paint over top-

For Jamie’s sample I started with a whitish shade of paint off my shelf and added a good bit of water-

then bunched a plastic shopping bag (print on the inside else it will rub off)

dabbed it into the watery paint

and pounced it around on the surface

then took a little Hasbrouck Brown – HC-71, , mixed with water, and brush pounced that here and there

I have no plan – I’m just grabbing old product, trying to figure out what might create a nice blend.  If you want real easy, simply roll on a Caromal Colours Glaze or Toner, and wipe off.   If you play, use any old flat surface you have – even posterboard will work – roll out your Textured Basecoat color, then start playing.

After the brown, I took a tiny dab of Peppercorn (black) Textured Basecoat and really watered it down –

and stippled (bounced) some of that on-

If that felt like alot of work to you, don’t fret – you can add all that color on , wet on wet – so it doesn’t take long at all.  Below is the Putty based board – top blue left box Putty light sanded.   Bottom left Putty light sanded,  right Putty with the couple of colors added in –

Now I brush the Toner on

and softly wipe-

look at the difference the Toner makes – bottom left box is Putty Untoned. You could leave more Toner on for a richer color.

Different light –

If I did this on my counter I’d finish this coloring then let it dry the rest of the day.  Obviously, your surface will require a topcoat-  I don’t like to topcoat the same day I finish painting my surface – I want to make sure its good and dry.

You can start here to read about top coat selections .

And this is a formica painting post worth reading.


When online ordering, using coupon code PattyH in the coupon code area saves you money off shipping, and you pay no tax (outside PA),  and even better,  it will let Caromal Colours know that I helped you!

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


Painting, Wet On Wet, With Caromal Colours…

I got an email from a fellow craftier, asking about the wood finish in this bathroom

(Photo: House of Turquoise)

… I wanted to show you this Rustic Bath and see what you think. Some cool pics on this blog if you have not seen it. Any thoughts on the distressed blues and greens would be HUGE!

I would love to do the bead board in my bath in something like it..

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a room in the house with those big wide planks of distressed wood embracing the walls?  I’d have to get rid of the photo of great great great grandpa though 🙂

That particular day I had all kinds of emails to respond to, posts to create –  and what did I do instead?

played with paint…

I figured I’d need these colors of Caromal Textured Basecoats – my favorite paints that require no priming or sanding or stripping beforehand –

and a little squirt of blue tint –  this one is a Golden Fluid Acrylic in Pthalo Blue (can find the Golden Fluid Acrylic’s at Michael’s)

you don’t need but a drop of tint –  I take a swab of Bayberry and Colonial Blue onto the foam plate and finger mix the two, then add a drop of tint to the Colonial Blue

here’s the first  palette I created, getting a feel for how the Phthalo Blue changed up my colors –

  • top spot is Wisteria with BARELY a touch of blue tint
  • on left a mix of Bayberry and Colonial Blue with a drop of tint added to it
  • middle, a mix of Bayberry and Colonial Blue
  • right, a Wisteria with a drop of blue tint

I took an old piece of stained trim and chip brushed on straight Colonial Blue

then took a mix of Bayberry and Colonial Blue and brushed/smooshed that here and there

Next I added a drop of Phthalo Blue to my plate

and smeared in only the Colonial Blue for a brighter blue-

and added that here and there –

Remember, this is all wet on wet – all done at the same time.  Painting this first layer of mixed colors took me maybe a minute or so?

The important thing to remember is, there are no rules – there is no right or wrong – you can”t really mess it up!  I brushed, I smooshed, I lightly dragged – with no real plan in mind…..    Working on a small piece like this is a perfect way to get a feel for how I’d want to layer my color, say if I was planning on finishing an armoire or plank boards –

I needed a pop of light, so I used the Wisteria with just a hint of tint –

and dragged that on… when all was said and done, I’d wished I’d added more light –

then I let it dry.

I took my palm sander  to it, to rough up some edges – the sanding also knocks down some higher texture and creates awesome dimension –

I angled the nose in good to really get some gouging going on –

ooh – I even like this , could have just left it dull and raw for one look

but I have a personal love affair with the Toner, and it was needed to get a look close to Chris’s photo, so on went the Toner

a quick brush on,  and then a quick wipe off

even another look, dark and dirty – but no,  I want more off

swish swish swish

closer up, love how that toner bites into those raw spots

Love the dimensional texture – does that not look like layers of previous life?

Can you see a piece of furniture done this way?   I think I may have to try this when I refinish my old dining room set – want to do it in blacks and browns and some putty…

It’s not a perfect match, but what it IS is the way to get to this in one layer of paint-

(Photo: House of Turquoise)

Wasn’t that fun?   I did this that way too,  just different Caromal Colour colors, and will be posting the play by play next

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

For Caromal Colour makeovers

To order sample colors


When online ordering, using coupon code PattyH in the coupon code area saves you money off shipping, and you pay no tax (outside PA). ( This code is needed in order for me to receive credit as well –   if you forget to use it I lose, so please use it!)

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


Caromal Colour Painting Oak Cabinet Door Start To Finish…

I get alot of questions about  ‘How To’  apply Caromal Colour’s Textured Basecoats  ‘smoothly’,  or with the least amount of texture, onto cabinets or furniture.  I always make certain to explain that these paints will NOT  look like a sprayed paint finish coat,  but rather have a look all their own  -one that I think offers a lovely updated finish for cabinets and furniture alike.

The following is a photo play-by-play applying  Caromal Colour’s Textured Basecoat Parchment over an older oak stained cabinet door, and how I arrive at a smoother finish coat.   If you click on each photo, it will blow up in even bigger detail.

I started with honey oak stained door and taped off bottom so that it can be exposed at the end-

Product used – Caromal Colours Textured Basecoat  Color  Parchment-

and a simple chip brush

First, apply the first coat –

There you have the first layer.  Yikes,  ugly!  It’s not even…  its not smooth.  Curses, brush marks!  🙂

The first layer, I think, takes the most time to apply.   I also think that the light colors like Parchment and Wisteria, don’t cover as well as the other colors when you apply it thinner and smoother like this application.  Be patient, it will all come together!

It should be nice and dry in a few hours,  but I blew dry mine so we could continue on –

On to the second coat.  Start again,   get enough on your brush,  touch down on the surface, then start pushing it around – push it/smear it (does that explain it?)  –

You aren’t using alot of product.  You’re pushing and smearing around whats there – by doing this its actually helping even out the painted surface – filling in the thinner areas from layer 1 –

As you’re applying that second layer, and pushing and smearing, always do a final pull of your brush – in the same downward direction (the top  and bottom run brush to the left and right) . Doing this will remove that textural look –

If you find the product isn’t smoothing out nicely,   dip the tips of your brush into a little bit of water, shake it off, then glide over your surface again –

and your second layer is done.    Now, depending on how you applied the product,  how thin you brushed it etc ,   you COULD still have areas, here and there,  that don’t look completely covered.  In my sample, below, you can see several areas that still look thin –

What to do?  Simple.   Wait till it dries,  which won’t take as long as layer one, because it wasn’t applied very thick,  then simply get your brush out and paint JUST those areas that are bothering you –

No, it doesn’t take long, and it barely uses any product.  Not all doors will need finesssing.  You might not finesse anything,  I might do a couple spots on each door,  Sally might spend five minutes on each door, detailing every bit of the surface.  The point is, theres no right or wrong.  Its all about what look YOU want…. and, how much time YOU want to put into it.   I purposely don’t spend alot of detail time on my cabinet samples.   I want to see how simple and easy I can make something – and with that attitude, what look it will deliver me –

This is a good photo where you can see the thinner areas. This last little brush around will cover it –

All dry, and reading for a finish sanding –

Can’t beat a palm/mouse sander.  Under $40 at Home Depot/Lowes,  or you can use sand paper (150-220 grit) –

You give the surface a quick sand because it makes it FEEL much nicer.  I spent maybe 10 seconds on this door, if that.   I didn’t sand inside the groove areas.  If I did I’d have used sand paper for that.  Could I have/Should I have?  It depends on what look you are going for.  In my case,  I am okey with a more distressed look.  You can see I buzzed the edges with my sander (simply angle the sander and apply a little pressure) to reveal the wood underneath –

I’m done sanding.   I dry rag wipe off any dust, then break out the Toner.  The Toner is a great staining type glaze that warms up your painted surface.   It comes in one color only, and depending on how much you wipe off, will change the color of of your finish. For the Parchment/Wisteria color basecoats I also like what it looks like to use Caromal Colours Coffee or Tea Glaze instead of Toner.

I taped this door off, and here, on the top, I am brushing on the Toner –

and wiped it off with a damp rag  (and pulled the tape off) –

I tape the panel again,  to split it into two sections,  and pull out the Caromal Colours Coffee Glaze  and Tea Glaze-

Tea Glaze –

and Coffee Glaze.   The Caromal Colours Wall Glazes were created for walls.  They are very translucent, which means the color left behind, when you wipe it away, is very subtle – it won’t bite into the finish as much as the Toner-

You only need a dry rag to wipe off the glaze .  Could have applied a little pressure and wiped off even more –

In Review,   an oak door refinished using Caromal Colours Parchment Textured Basecoat.  2 brushed layers, a few spots touched after that,  about a 10 second  sanding applied to the flat surfaces, and then Toner and Glazes brushed on and wiped off –

Once dry (give it 24 hours before topcoating),  apply a topcoat to your cabinet finish, and move on to your next project.    But…   let’s say you want it less distressed looking –

How can I apply the textured paints so that the surface is the smoothest?

See the photo below?  It’s very close up.  See the middle panel?  I got out the mouse sander and sanded a little more, and then re-brushed on the Toner and damp ragged it off.    Do you see how, by doing that it made it much smoother?

Here, I’ll re-sand that whole panel –

So, yes, you can get a pretty smooth, consistent final finish coat, but it will require more sanding than the quick and easy 5-10 seconds I did. You will also risk sanding down so much that you start to get thin areas.  See above?  I could have used a piece of sand paper and easily sanded out some of those ridges in the inner groves.  Or that globby that I see on the little molded piece.

Let’s reapply the Toner –

Wipe off with rag, and then a quick pull down with a dry brush-

Done.   The outer edges were lightly sanded.  The inner areas weren’t sanded at all, and the front panel was sanded more.  Pardon my sloppy looking glaze around that front panel, its because I brushed over that outer edge twice, and now its heavier.  I could have prevented that my taping first –

My favorite look is  a blend of these two –  I could have spent a little more time mouse sanding the flat surfaces.  Had I spent, maybe 20 seconds on the door,  I’d have had a less distressed finish.  However, I am one that DOES like a little bit of those brush tracks – to me it adds to a more wood looking finish.  Almost like a grain.  I also could have spent a minute with a piece of sand paper, knocking out a couple heavier areas that I left inside the groove area.    But that’s just me.

So…………..Tell me,   what do you think?  Remember, here is the before –


Head to my store below (click icon) and be sure to use my code, PattyH in the coupon code area.   It will save you $2 off shipping,  or if you’re order is $75 or more use my PattyH5 for $5 off shipping.