Tag Archives: Monahan Papers

One of My Personal Favorites – Aged Papers…

You might be able to tell from our online selection of nearly 300 unique paper designs,  I’m a sucker for these Aged Papers

There are many ways to use these pretty, hand dripped, 10×17 papers…    A simple frame


Or adding a painted or textural finish as a blended border…

Forget the frame and just mount them to something – a canvas, a star…

This was a popular specialty workshop I enjoyed teaching, and it will be one that you’ll see back on my smaller scale workshop calendar  –

I have an online video on my process, applying the aged papers onto furniture/accessories with our paints, textural plasters and colored waxes – you can find that here

I start on a painted base, and apply the paper with our Matte or Satin Sealer

My “GO TO” plaster for paper finishes, Caromal Colour’s Perfect Plaster – it’s whippy, gritty, kindof see through, but not…

it’s best applied with our Whizz roller, and a chip brush…

You can create dimensional layers with this plaster, using a scraper as it dries… you can scrape or roll in more plaster, or mix in a couple drops of a paint color or two, to add even more depth…

My goal in the end is to have the paper blend right into the textural finish created – the edges lost in focus-

Once your plaster/paint finish is dried, you can color it up with glazes, or my favorite – a blend of American Paint Wax colors.  I like to rely on their Clear Wax, and I tint a multitude of color and shimmer waxes using our Mica Powder and Stone Pigments.

Personalize a gift with your favorite print –

A few years ago I posted about painting my laundry cabinets

If you’re like me, you’ll find there are too many Botanical prints to choose from,  but using them to decorate a wall like I did in my laundry room was the perfect way to not have to CHOOSE favorites…

Super simple, the walls were already painted, right?  I just took our Matte Sealer, brushed on a section at a time, stuck the paper, brushed over it again with Sealer and then scraped out the bubbles…

Good place and perfect color  for that old frame from the store-

I especially enjoy getting the papers blown up, and incorporating them into my furniture finishes –

I’ll post more extensively on several of these pieces later,  this read is long enough 🙂

Find our full lines of paints, sundries and accessories in our online store,  we’ve  shipped all over the world    –     fabfinisher.com

Are you local to the old store, and would like to save on shipping?  We offer local pickup,  just order what you need online, and we can have it ready for pickup within 12-24 hrs (even sooner if possible).  We are near 25 Mile and Van Dyke.

Have a blessed week

love and miss you Bella! x o x o





Aged Paper, Plaster and Canvas Workshop

This week we hosted an Aged Paper, Plaster and Canvas Workshop dealing with mounting papers on canvas, building and blending a border to mask the image edge using paint, plaster and wax.

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The Aged Papers are addicting, we stock  a huge assortment, which makes choosing difficult…

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The papers are 11×17,  and can be used in a variety of ways.   You could

  • slip them in a frame as is
  • line a drawer
  • create a focal wall
  • decorate larger furniture surfaces, like inside a china cabinet fabulous-finishes-studio-inspiration-painted-furniture-workshops-metro-detroit-diy-paints-shop-online0243
  • dressing up backs of furniture that will show in a roomfabulous_finishes_online_store_aged_papers (5)
  • adding a design element to furniture panelsfabulous_finishes_studio_chalk_clay_chest_paris_wood

aged papers, fabulous finishes, fairy







  • create a piece of art
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Our current Aged Paper Workshop creates art on canvas.

We begin by painting the canvas with a base color we choose, then we dry.  The paper’s edges are scored, and then the mounting process begins, using our Durable Matte Sealer with a squirt of glue mixed in.

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We work to smooth out wrinkles and bubbles, then once our art-in-process is dry we begin layering a combination of plaster and paint – a little here, a little there, some scraping, blending, fiddling, some more plaster or more paint, blend and fiddle some more…

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This is the longest stretch of the workshop – it relies on each person’s own eye, deciding ‘where’ they want or need more color or dimension, it’s not an exact science,  it’s just a feelie kindof thing,  and it’s cool to watch 🙂

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Once the fiddling is complete,  our canvas art is dried, and then a wax color (or colors) is selected, to finish off our piece.   I love American Paint Company’s Vintage Waxes – I rave about them a lot, and for good reason – they are simply the best!

I use  APC’s Vintage Clear Wax to create colored waxes by adding pigment tints – like one canvas used a blue wax in the final pass – I’ll add our mica powders to create various shimmer wax colors as well.   I create each color or shimmer into it’s own snap-deli container, so it’s an easy go-to-grab when I need it.

We used a variety of wax colors to finish off the canvas’s –  APC’s Dark Wax, which gives an umber vintage effect, and APC Wax custom tinted to Brass, Aged Gold, Pearl, Pewter, Shimmered Silver, Blue, and Black.

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Pretty fun night – thank you ladies!!

The plaster we use, to blend and layer the edges is Caromal’s Perfect Plaster


It’s unlike any of our other plasters – it’s whippy, think paint folded with whipped crème, then sprinkle in some seeds or specks of little things that bust open when you scrape them.   I wont’ apply the paper’s without it.

It’s also cool as a wall finish, which is it’s original intent (LOL)



I forgot to add a link to my videos page,  here  , if you check out video #5 it’s a short Shelby TV segment on this paper type application on a small stool.

Have a fabulous Spring Weekend!

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.






Catching Up, and a Pink Chalk/Clay Painted Child Rocker

Goodness, where does one start when they’ve been away too long and there’s too much to talk about?  Do I share workshop wares?  What customers are doing?  Shop happenings?   Or all the project files, piling up with dust on them?

It  doesn’t help, abandoning ship for almost a month…  There was prom


and graduation from High School – it took my full attention, the 45 minutes before the ceremony started, to watch the jumbo-tron so I could catch her picture…


The last of High School soccer wrapped, a disappointing end, but thankfully for us we will still be able to watch her continue on at the collegiate level


All day orientations, family birthdays, Father’s Day,  and great news,  my hubby accepted a position with a different company and started his new journey a couple weeks ago.

Our son is home from college for the summer, I’ve been busy trying to get him familiar with our new web stuff, so he can do some work for us with  link corrections.  Our new shopping cart is up and running, but anytime you switch to new, you end up with old links that dead end when you click on them.   We have to work on redirecting  all of those dead links to live links, otherwise no one will be able to find us!   If you hit a dead link,  please be patient and know that we are working on it.

There will be another round of changes in the next week…. it’s the last phase, and time to move this blog over and merge it with our main store website.   I was told today by our web man that I will need to hold back on blogging while WordPress boxes up the life of my blog and zips it up in a traveling suitcase.  It will then make the move over to our new site, and unzip itself, setting up once again – the end goal being life continues on, and  you not noticing much change.   We’ve probably got a day or two before WordPress starts, so I need to get a few posts UP before they do.  No sure how long it will take them to transition my site – might be a couple days, maybe a week….

In the mean time, I need to  get a few posts together ASAP, and posted, before Word press starts to pack it up…

I’m sharing this cute little rocker that I painted pink a while back –  a PINK post in honor of my daughter growing up –  from child rocker to college dorm!


The pink is American Paint Company’s Powder Room, one first coat painted on the whole rocker.


Then the second coat was a mere wash of Powder Room, but also some American Paint Company Uncle Sam, their brightest white, watered down and brushed lightly over the top.


When everything was dry I gave it a light sanding, and then brushed on a coating of American Paint’s Topcoat Finish.   Topcoat Finish is APC’s alternative to wax, and offers harder protection for your painted finish – perfect for tots.


Lastly,  I used one of our Monahan Aged Papers,  ripped it into manageable sizes, and applied them to the back rails of the chair using Caromal’s Reclaim Sealer as my bonding agent –


Sweet, simple rocker.    It didn’t take long to find a new home  🙂


If you haven’t tried our the Aged Papers you must give them a go –  we’ve got over 200 papers available to chose from!   If you check out the site, we find it easiest to sort the papers by name – have fun looking!


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.








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Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am – 5pm

Thursday 10am – 7pm

Saturday 10am – 3pm

This Saturday, July 4th, is a holiday and we will be closed.

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

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Taste of My Week, A Camera Trail…

Last night, out with friends, I noticed my girlfriend had over 2500 images on her Iphone.  Think about that,  2500 pictures!   Every day we have customers pulling out their phones or Ipads,   showing us a project they completed using our products


a photo of our customers recent island re-do using Caromal Colours Textured Basecoat Cobblestone, and Toner

or photos of inspiration

I want my kitchen cabinets to look like this…


and the classic

I want to paint this …


Often, they can’t find the photo they want to show us – they swipe, and swipe, and swipe through all these tiny images – a rewind into their past


That’s how I felt this weekend, loading up my camera SD card – it was a pictorial rewind of my week

We got our display of new bath bombs set up


I rolled this piece out to the floor


Cottage Paint Awesome Ash over APC Gunpowder, crackled. Top, sanded, stained.

Created some accessories…




I really liked the color of this metal container – it was black to start with and I drybrushed several greens and neutrals over it – might have to try that on something bigger…

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A green glossy ceramic pot (I changed the finish to a white and grey glazed crackle)  in need of a fresh plant that I didn’t have (nor want, because anything alive won’t last around me)…  how do you stage it?   I found that this container fit it just right –  it’s priced separately…


Rolled this one out to the floor as well  – I used Caromal Colours Reclaim Offwhite, brushed on in thin layers, and then glazed it.  I started with Caromal’s Black Brown Glaze and a custom mix of a green glaze – didn’t like that, so I added in Molasses glaze and some Toner and got rid of the green glaze – that was better, but still not quite right, so I waxed it with a little APC Dark Wax and a little APC Clear Wax mixed with black pigment.   Waxing over Reclaim is much more subtle – think of it like polishing a piece of furniture that’s already been sealed –


The inside was backed with our lovely aged Botanical papers (coming to our online shopping cart soon!)


The insides of the upper and lower cabinets and drawers were stained to bring them back to life, but the sides of the drawers got a splash of color – actually   I used three of our new Cottage Paint colors   – Groovy Green, Killer Khaki and Trendy Truffle (coming to our online shopping cart soon!), and stenciled randomly, using black and white stencil creme


I freshened up  the original hardware using Reclaim Mocha, a darkened bronze, and black licorice glaze


I always find a way to add a touch of Swarovski (coming soon to our online store)


We hung a few hearts


and when I take that picture, I find myself taking another, of the piece it sits on  – I  just love this hardware….


Ate WAY too many of these this week.  They were tasteless yet addicting…


I took another round of store photos, to send to our ad agent –


We run an ad in a magazine mailer every couple months, and I like to change out a few of the photos, to keep it fresh and engaging.  Sometimes a close up works,


but I  like the pictures that are on overload-



I stenciled these tall lamps that arrived –




unboxed a few others


I love this one…


Put these out


I finally priced a number of pieces that I finished recently.  I hate this part and wish it was easier for me.   It depends on the quality of the piece, the condition, the size, the depth of the finish- how many layers,  how detailed , the techniques applied…

and if its one of my favorites, then it’s even harder to put a number to.  Like this one – I want to keep but have no where to put it….


I took pictures of some grey paints that we have, for one of my customers  from afar.  She emailed me with questions, and it was easier for me to shoot her back visuals –



I painted this oak door panel with Cottage Paint Killer Khaki and Bold Black.  The top half I glazed with Black Glaze, the bottom was the black crackled over the khaki.  For a shimmer I added APC wax with Brass Mica (coming soon to our online store).

I loved the bottom combination and wanted to try it on something bigger…


So i dug out this chest, actually acquired when I was back at my first store, over two years ago!   I’ll keep track of the progress…


Saturday morning started with a 9am Creating Art with Botanical Papers Workshop.  We start with a glass framed piece of art, and using our paints and finishes, create a new work of art 🙂


Out of hundreds of aged papers, two of our peeps chose the same one!  I love how they turned out…


Finally painting the phone booth I acquired from an estate sale last summer… Originally red, we’re taking it blue


in honor of WHO?       I had no clue who Dr. Who was, but several suggested, after seeing the phone booth, that if we painted it  blue they would buy it…


Lastly,  these decorative resin/stone finals got dressed up with some new variegated leaf that I was trying out –


Aren’t they pretty?  The plan is to hang them from pretty ribbons…



My goal this week – taxes.

Ba   hahhahahahahhaaaaaaa….


Enjoy your week!

if you’re in the Metro Detroit stop by and visit- we’ve got a great variety to fit your EVERY need!


need paint?

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.






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