Tag Archives: patty henning

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!

 

 

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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!

We Love When Our Customers Share Their Projects!

It’s always fun to see what our customers are doing, how they tackle projects with our products…

Here are some recent pictures-
This kitchen was shared last time around, but the counters and a few other pretties weren’t complete. The proud owner shared a more recent photo of her updated kitchen – the before

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and the after,  cabinets painted and glazed by the homeowners themselves

Updated, painted oak cabinets, using Reclaim White with Coffee Glaze.

Updated, painted oak cabinets, using Reclaim White with Coffee Glaze.

A pair of fun chairs using several of our chalk and clay paints by American Paint Company.  Using our Fish Fossil Stencil with our Stone Plaster adds a great raised design-

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How about this laminate counter update?

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Formica Counter before

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Formica counter base layer, rolled textured basecoat peppercorn

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Formica counter, middle layer/s – the fun part, where you can roll, scrape, stipple, sponge other colors of textured basecoat paints – this was textured basecoat paprika and textured basecoat hazelnut.

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Formica counter final steps – light sand to remove any grit, richen up the painted finish using our Toner glaze, and then add several coats of our Fabulous sealers.

A workshop attendee completed this chair frame in one of our Paint a Piece workshops

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She used one of our light Cottage Paint colors,  I’m thinking it was Stone with our Less Intense Molasses Glaze cottage_paint_glaze_vintage-chair_fabfinisher (2)

This kitchen update comes all the way from South California 🙂  Suzie’s before

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during

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and almost put back together – She used our Botanical mineral paint color Willow

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Dawn visited her father in Florida, and his several pieces of oak furniture that no longer worked for him.  He wanted a lighter, weathered wood feel, and chose a barnworn finish on the table, and a softer color on the rest.

They used Textured Basecoat colors Putty and Wisteria with our Molasses Glaze.  The remaining pieces were painted with our Cottage Paint Wonder White, and our Less Intense Molasses Glaze.

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Hard to see the table detail, but the finish looked like this

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Rhonda gave her nightstands a nice makeover, adding decorative legs and then painting with our American Paint Company Freedom Road  

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Pretty amazing!

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Dear Patty

Here are some pictures of my Master Bathroom using your Reclaim Off White and your Molasses Less Intense Glaze.    I’m so thankful to have stumbled upon your website and love all of your inspiration and products!  I only wish I lived nearby to check out your store in person.   Adrienne   Monument, Colorado

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Lovely transformation, using Reclaim offwhite and our Less Intense Molasses Glaze, over honey oak cabinets.

This customer updated a pink desk, and an unfinished accompanying chair

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repainting_painted_desk_project_fabfinisher_stenciled (7)using our paints and stencils

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How adorable is this?

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One of our regular customers online, Katherine from Arkansas, shared this headboard project she completed:

Here’s a before and after – The first is the stripped raw wood with a watered down Reclaim Pebble. You can see half of the head board is done.

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The second photo is after the Caromal Colours Toner was brushed on in in direction of the wood grain but not wiped back.  I just brushed until it no longer had streaks.   Toner worked beautifully! Over the weekend I tried different glazes and said to myself ” it just doesn’t have enough bite”  Then I remembered you saying how toner has a great bite to it! Thanks so much! It’s exactly the look I was going for.
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LOVE IT!!

Shannon painted this cabinet using a custom teal Cottage Paint color we tinted for her.   This is a great way to accommodate our customers when they have a specific color in mind they they can’t find with our current line of paints.   She used some of our American Paint colors that she had left over from other projects to paint and stencil the inside –

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Branko completed his kitchen cabinet project, and what a difference , don’t you agree?  They are thrilled!

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Linda shared her project,  a 4′ kitchen cabinet for their cottage in Lexington.  She used our custom tinted Cottage Paint color French Blue, sanded the edges, and finished it with our Durable Satin Sealer –

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Another amazing kitchen,  the before

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The beginning,  probably for many what seems like ‘The Point of No Return”  or even “Oh Shit, Here We Go!”

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You invest the hours – your time and effort,  some even sweat… and then you see finish line ahead

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and you are pumped!   You may have started like this

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but you end, chanting  OH YA!!!!!!

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Awesomeness….   you’re covered here at the Fab – I trust our product lines,  and our sales associates are knowledgeable and here to help you find what you need 🙂

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Lynn’s hutch makeover turned out amazing  –  she used our custom tinted Cottage Paint Color ASH and our Molasses Glaze

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This hope chest started its transformation in one of our Paint a Piece Workshops.  Our customer brought in the chest, minus the top (otherwise the piece would have been too large to complete) and painted it with our Cottage Paint custom color Vanilla.  Over that she used our American Paint Dark Vintage Wax to add that lovely antiquing effect, and a soft sheen and feel as well.

 

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It’s a beautiful chest – she loved it for years in its darker form, but it was time for a lighter version.  I love that she can still appreciate this piece that holds meaning to her.

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No before, but here’s the after on this pretty painted table –

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The customer used Textured Basecoat Parchment (cream) , Botanical Salvia (soft grey), both by Caromal Colours, and then aged it up using our American Paint Company Vintage Dark Wax 

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Here’s a gorgeous piece from one of our lovely customers in Texas – Kaye used a number of our products to customize this hutch, and I absolutely love it’s romantic feel.

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Bathroom oak cabinets, updated using a mix of Reclaim Mocha and Linen 

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painted_bathroom_oak_cabinets_fabfinisherand this bathroom,  both in the same house!

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This one was finished with Mocha

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Pat brought a couple kitchen cabinet doors to our Painting Cabinet class, and has us walk her through the painting process – she used  a mix of Bright White  and Off White Reclaim.  She brought those same  freshly painted, dried for a week, doors back the following weekend for our Glazing Cabinet class, and glazed them using our Umber Glaze

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A before family piano

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an updated family piano, using Reclaim Nantucket Blue and our Black Glaze

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Another kitchen 🙂

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Erika charmed this cabinet up using our Cottage Paint custom color Tropical with our  Caromal Colours Toner Glaze

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Pretty fun!

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We love our customers, and look forward to seeing what they do with our products…

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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,  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.

 

Widdicomb Chest With European Flavor

Well the tax deadline was earlier this week,  actually because of the business ours was due in March…  fortunately our accountant knows well and automatically submits an extension for us.  I’m almost there, just need to go through a few checklists and drop it off.     How’s YOUR April been?

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Let’s talk painting projects.   Wouldn’t we all love to have a stock of pieces like this beautiful Widdicomb chest?  I know I would,  it’ one of my favorite styles to work with,  and yes, while I can absolutely appreciate it’s original form, it’s finish was in ‘tired state’.   For it to be front and center in a lovely home, it would need anding/stripping/surface repair/staining to restore it’s original finish….

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… or,  I could use our paints and finishes to create a different kind of ‘refinish‘ 🙂

I chose one of the aged papers that we sell (our massive selection can be found here) and had it blown up to 2×3 –

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I envisioned it on the front panel of this chest.  Some kind of lighter finish would work, have it all blend together….  I grabbed several of our chalk clay mineral paints – Lace Doily, a lighter soft yellow,  Limoges a neutral creme, and Sackcloth, a grey beige…

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I blended color as it went on – there is no rhyme or reason,  more just blobs of different color on a plate, and a brush grabbing some of this and some of that…  As I painted I pulled in another taupe color – Crushed Tea

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After the first coat on the drawer fronts, I grabbed APC’s Topcoat Finish,  an all natural sealer, and brushed a coat on to seal up the chalky paint before paper application…

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Now to get that paper ready…  I scored the edges with a ruler and flat screw driver

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widdicomb_chest_fabfinisher_custom_painted_aged_paris_monumentthe image was not large enough to fill the whole space on the drawers, so I’d need to center then age around the edges so it looked ‘built in’…

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To adhere the paper, I used our Matte Sealer with a couple drops of school glue mixed in, and brush a liberal coat ON the drawer fronts.   I love the Matte Sealer because it doesn’t add sheen to the paper, and it’s not a thick consistancy so it doesn’t gunk up the paper. Once the drawers are wet I center and lay the paper down, using my hands to push it down into place.  More Matte Sealer is immediately brushed OVER the paper, then I take a rubber scraper (or plastic gift card works well to) and gently work out any bubbles/ large cracks.

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Once the paper was down I took a boxcutter knife and sliced through the drawer edges, and used my finger to add some to any lifting edges.   Then I let it dry.

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To age the edges I started with our Perfect Plaster, stippling it around the frame, then worked the paint colors into it

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While that was drying I worked to finish the bottom, adding in a stencil or two, something I like to do to my pieces…

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Because the top was in nice condition,  I wanted to work with the existing finish.  I like to use Wood Top/ Gel Stains because they’re thicker, easier to work with than regular stains, and work well OVER an existing wood finish that has been stripped back a little.   Some folks will use them right over the existing finish without prepping but that’s not my favorite method.  I’ve had a few situations  (our old bar cabinets for one) where I stained over an existing finish and it didn’t wear well (yes, it was topcoated).  I recommend to our customers that they either  a) use something like the Citristrip to bite thru the top finish  or b) sand thru it….    not sand all the way to raw, but enough to get some of the top finish off.

On this top I used Citristrip Gel and brushed it over the surface.  You can find it pretty much everywhere, our local Meijer even carries it….  it’s nice and thick so you don’t get a drippy mess as it’s working.

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Let it sit for awhile, then scrape it off.  That’s the worst part, the gunk is gunky, but it is easier and not as messy as sanding IMO.

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I used a mix of Mahogany and Ebony to recolor the top

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and used a little bit on cheesecloth to freshen up inside the drawers

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I added more colors into the top layer of the paint finish.   Once the paper was in place the color I was building wasn’t completely working for me –  I needed some DEPTH, which is why I’d grabbed the Crushed Tea midway, but even that wasn’t doing it for me….  I needed a little bit of GunPowder for the dark in the paper, and Plymouth Rock to balance it out

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When the paint was dry I sanded to refine, and added a soft Umber Glaze to the drawer fronts.   I waxed the paint (and drawer fronts when they were dry) using APC’s Clear Vintage Wax and some of  Dark Vintage Wax .  Here the wax is going on… then the wax is softly wiped to remove the excess.

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I buffed the finish with a Drill Brush to obtain an extra soft feel

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I added a bronze metallic finish  and Swarovski crystals to the ‘feet’

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Testing the hardware color – I like to keep, refinish and use the original hardware when I can…

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We offer several Hardware Refinishing Kits that are handy for giving old hardware new life.

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A stately handcrafted piece of furniture

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A perfect place for sparkle…

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The afternoon sun adds warmth to the color..

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Another piece I would love to keep for myself 🙂

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If you’d like more information on applying the papers, you can watch my How-To Episode #5 – VIDEOS –  for visual instruction.

Honoring Prince so many fond memories, my college days with Prince, Sheila E and Morris Day…..   * sighhhhhhh *

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Have a great 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,  we’ve just added our summer schedule –  register online or stop in and visit.