Tag Archives: painted furniture

The Transition of Fabulous Finishes Store – Updated Rollout Schedule

In my last post (you can find it here) I let the cat out of the bag, that I had decided to close my brick and mortar store on Van Dyke and move it back home.

Since then, we’ve been discounting/marking down all the showroom items – the remaining custom painted pieces I’ve refinished, wall art, home décor, trinkets – all the fun, colorful stuff….

It’s like your house – when you first move in you feel like you have so much space,  years later every inch  is stuffed….  looking around and trying to realize how it will all pack up is a brain kill to say the least.

The best way I’ve found  to avoid finding myself standing in a corner, sucking my thumb, is to write everything down.  Every thought waking me at night, write them all down, then organize them into a timeline –

We’ve been busy at work handing out hand made color charts to our regular customers, and letting everyone know that all of their favorite paints/paint related items will remain available during store hours until the end of February, when they will be moved to the home studio/online store.

After February 24th you can continue to shop, but instead of driving to the store, you’ll surf the web to find my online store –  http://fabfinisher.com .   As an fyi, we pack our orders with suckers, and always try to add a personal touch as well.   Be sure to check this BLOG link periodically, as that will be where you can find highlighted projects, how to’s etc…   There is a wealth of information already in place, but once the dust settles I will be regularly adding new material.

More changes, for me that is.  I start a new job Monday so this, technically, is my last week of working in my Van Dyke store.  Of course I’ll be here working all the Saturdays that remain,  so if you need to find me make it a Saturday.   The new job?  No, not retail or artsy…. well, kind of in a tiny way…    I’m diving back into my old world of logistics/operations.   The tiny artsy part?  One of my accounts creates decorative, colorful cupcakes that ship all over the US!  Perfect right?  (Thank you Lord.)

So why a real job?   Financial stability.  Defined, not continuous 24/7 mind drain.  Weekdays not weekends.

So why did I not hand over my business, Fabulous Finishes,  to another? Because its my baby. I birthed it, I’ve nurtured it for 15 years,  it’s in my blood, it keeps me alive.  It’s that simple.  I started from home, and along the way its molded into various shapes – I look at this next transition as another mold , and I hope to bring many of you along with me.

So…..  on to the most important part:

OUR HOURS OF OPERATION CHANGE AFTER THIS WEEK.

HOURS FOR WEEK OF  01/22/18 – 01/27/18:

  • MONDAY            CLOSED
  • TUESDAY           12PM – 5PM
  • WEDNESDAY   12PM  – 5PM
  • THURSDAY       12PM  – 5PM
  • FRIDAY               12PM – 5PM
  • SATURDAY        10AM – 3PM

HOURS FOR WEEK OF  01/29/18 – 02/03/18:

  • MONDAY            CLOSED
  • TUESDAY           12PM – 5PM
  • WEDNESDAY   12PM  – 5PM
  • THURSDAY       12PM  – 5PM
  • FRIDAY               12PM – 5PM
  • SATURDAY        10AM – 3PM

REMAINING HOURS FOR FEBRUARY 2018:

  • SATURDAY  FEB 10       10AM – 5PM

  • SATURDAY  FEB 17       10AM – 5PM

  • SATURDAY  FEB 24       10AM – 5PM

 

I can’t be thinking about that…. it’s been a good run,  great things are to come…. tears are just a part of it – means we’re alive.

So take note of the new hours, pass them to folks you know that might be interested.  If you know anyone looking for nicely painted great quality furniture have them check us out, the prices are crazy low and crazy good!

 

 

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Life Cycle of Fabulous Finishes, an Artsy Paint Store…

I find my mind wondering WHY I don’t make a better effort to post weekly.

Posting about projects grabs attention from those I want to reach as a retailer, and when I don’t post,  the pictures of  projects/workshops/etc  grows and grows…    over 200 folders of pictures

 

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It’s not about the lack of blogging, that’s just a side effect of something much bigger.

I should backup to 2011, when I transitioned my home based business to a retail storefront.   I was running a small finishing business from home, working  around my young kids in school.  Life was pretty much by the book comfortable, with no real ‘upsets’.  Never saw a job loss on the horizon…

Now I look back at that time in our lives –  husband seeking employment, wife opening  a retail store  (zero knowledge of how-to),  smack in the middle of a depressed economy – and realize HOW massive a life experience it was.

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God was HUGE at that time.

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If your faith is in the good Lord, you can carry ANTHING life throws at you, and come out in a better place.  My parents preached that to us kids, but I never REALLY understood until it was put into action.

That first store was a learning curve, everything moved forward and business was a success.    These statements, below, ring true to that time in my life…

b39f8c3e0ceb68a4a03cbd8864a36432--quotes-about-working-moms-quotes-about-being-a-parent589128475b448a942467077b81365f68-inspirational-prayers-scripture-quotes-about-strength.jpgSixteen months later I was busting at the seams and eager to expand.  We found the perfect location, a mere 1/2 mile up the road, and in February 2013 we celebrated a grand opening.  Pictures remind me of its bare bones

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Wow, my third child has grown up!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and this was fun for me.  Taking that passion for creating, and living it every day at work.   How blessed was I?  Honestly, when I ponder my life a few years ago, I see a big monster blob, rolling and wig wagging in all directions, bouncing off walls, ideas and creativity trapped inside that wanted to come out.

Creative hearts will understand.  Your brain doesn’t shut down.  It keeps talking to you,  new things to try, new ideas to market, change this, update that,  on and on…  Can’t tell you how many times new ideas and color combinations would wake me at night – I’d jot them down for later,  those seemed to be my best ideas 🙂

When you work for yourself,  there are no limits, unless YOU put them into place and enforce them.   I’ll admit, a limit setter I was not.

Maybe, it was that voice in my head

I’ll never quit. I’ll never fail

that drove me.

Maybe it was easy 

because the kids grew up and out, entering college a year apart

 to let work take over my life.

Maybe daily work life became life 

obligations became 24/7

because that’s what owning a business requires.

Regardless, over time, it can suck the life out of your days, and I got to admit, this last year I’ve been feeling that suck

The thing is,  I love so much about what I’ve been able to do.   The power to inspire others,  the relationships I’ve experienced, the “GOD” moments, so many I can’t count…  For me, I really believe that’s what carried me. Sounds corny, and I’ll lose many of you at this point,  but honestly,  as I’ve grown in my Godwalk I believe He has a purpose for us, and where He puts us is where He has a use for us.

If doing what I do was just the creating and inspiring, I could remain in heaven on earth.  But business ownership brings the ugly requirements like accounting, marketing, purchasing, advertising, social media…

It’s those facets of ownership that….. sucked for me.    If money was no object I’d hire all that out, regardless of the negative impact on a bottom line.   But I couldn’t, so I didn’t.

daily work life became life 

obligations became 24/7

  Earlier this year I took the steps to update my resume.  I’m not ‘retiring’ from the workplace,  but I yearn for more focus, more structure,  less retail.

 It’s been a REAL change year for me, my personal relationships, my family life….  I’m feeling older, wiser, and I yearn for balance.  I want to spend quality time with my loved ones….

I’ve decided to slow roll my business to an end.   I’ve been working diligently to refinish the pieces I’ve had in inventory – it’s always been a goal of mine, and I’m closing in on it.    The furniture I’ve completed on the floor, and pieces remaining in back will be the last I offer.   I do have commissioned pieces I owe, which will not be affected.

Yup, feeling that…   But,  you never know, someone may reach out with interest in creating their own version of  a ‘Artsy Paint Store’ at our awesome location, which could allow a good portion of our paint lines to carry forward for our dedicated customers.    I’m not going to sweat the details,  God’s got a way of working things out in the end

Given the unknowns ( will some of the business transition to another owner, or will it be a ‘store closing’ sale)  I can’t yet offer specifics, but thinking by Spring there will be change.

Let me list a few things to clarify –

  • Paints will be available – I’m still ordering and restocking as needed.
  • Remaining Paint a Piece Workshops for 2017 are booked.
  • I will not be posting a 2018 Workshop schedule, though depending on timing I may add one or two if its workable.
  • I will still offer a couple Saturday dates in Jan, maybe Feb, for the Basic Painting Cabinet/ Glazing Cabinet Workshop , if you  have been considering a cabinet project.
  • I’ve decided it’s best to NOT offer gift certificates for holiday purchasing this year.
  • Our online store   fabfinisher.com    will remain.  We have had known issues the last couple months with the hosting company BlueHost, I swear there were a couple times it was down more than it was up.  It is presently being moved over to GoDaddy, with hopes that the disruptions will seize.
  • As always, if you have any questions,  give us a call or email us at    support  (at sign)  fabfinisher.com

WE HAVE NEW WINTER HOURS

STARTING DECEMBER 1ST:

MONDAYS  10 AM – 2 PM

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY  10 AM – 5 PM

THURSDAY  12 PM – 5 PM

SATURDAY 10 AM – 3 PM

Yes, it will be both.   And, hey, to bring it back full circle,  I may get to finally blog those photo files after all!

 

 

Back From the Land of StickYourHeadInAHole

Gads, I don’t even want to look at the date of my last post – I get it, I’m way overdue.  What can I say?

Life gets in the way sometimes.

So without further ado,  lets share some projects!

I didn’t manage a picture at the very start, but this desk had a typical wood stained, varnished finish on top.  I used the Citristrip stuff to clean off the first layer.   Then I grabbed Caromal’s Textured Basecoats, in the Putty color –

painted_desk_black_apc_chalk_texture_wax_fabfinisher-6and brushed a thin coat on the base-

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While the base was drying, I got out the American Paint Company all natural Antiquing Wax, in a pretinted ‘dark’ color, and scrubbed that on the rawer wood –

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This is my favorite wax, by far,  over painted finishes, but I hadn’t really used it in this manner –  O M G…….

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How beautiful is that wood turning?   Just scrub it on,  and I mean SCRUB –  don’t daintily paint it on, because you’ll waste a bunch, good for me cuz you’ll come back to buy more, but that’s silly, and wasteful – scrub it on – I prefer a natural bristle brush to get it deep and gritty,  and get your whole surface covered.  Let it seep in for a couple minutes, then wipe off with a soft cloth.

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You NEED to wipe that excess off, or your surface will forever feel sticky.  Once the excess is off, let your surface dry out for a few hours, then buff it with another soft cloth.     So easy, and feels amazing.

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When the Putty was dry, I took the middle drawer, and a stencil, and the Putty, and stenciled a thicker relief stencil.  No photo, but you can see the stencil in the picture below where I brushed APC Cannonball over the Putty and stencil, let it dry, then sanded to reveal the Putty texture and relief –

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I finished covering the base with American Paint Cannonball (you can thin it a little to get it to glide even better)

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The APC Chalk/Clay paints dry pretty fast,  once the black was dry I used a 180 sandpaper and gave the whole surface a light sanding .  Twofold,  the sanding breaks through the top color, revealing the dimensional texture below, and it also gives the painted surface a nice soft feel.

I used that same American Paint Vintage Dark Wax, to seal of the paint finish, and buffed it to a pretty sheen when it was dry.

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I cleaned and refinished the hardware using the same paints, a sealer, and a few Swarovski crystals, and added some stenciling inside the drawers –

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Are you local to the Detroit area and interested in updating your OWN tired furniture or cabinets?   Come visit – we’re located at the corner of 23 Mile and Van Dyke in Shelby Township,  48316.   Check our home page for hours of operation, as they vary per season and holidays.

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,  our fall schedule is posted in store and we are in the process of adding the dates online –  register online or stop in and visit.

HAPPY PAINTING!

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

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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 –

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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.

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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

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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 –

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and bladed it through one of our thicker stencils

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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

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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

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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
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 I’m really pleased with the top
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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

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

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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

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

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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.