Tag Archives: swarovski crystals

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!

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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 –

fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chestfabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_nightstand_lace_plaster_top

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

fabulous_finishes_studio_dixie_french_provencial_chest_painting_vintage_white_bronze_accents (9)

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture Painting: Will Shades of Aqua Turquoise Teal Blue Ever Fade?

Can you guess my birthstone?  I’m a March baby…

march birth

Aquamarine it is,  so many variations, shades, grades….


I was never a fan in my younger days, I always wished my birthstone had been an Emerald, or Sapphire….   My 18 year old daughter, on the other hand,  wishes HER birthstone was Aquamarine  – her’s is Emerald and she hates it! 🙂

This past summer when I had more time to create with paint, she suggested (several times) to paint a fade piece in shades of blue.   Finally I took her suggestion with this piece

tall_chest_to_paint_turquoise_fabfinisher

I grabbed these colors – American Paint Company’s Shoreline, Liberty and Spacious Skies, and Botanical Paint Aster, another light aqua

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After the first coat I thought an embedded stencil down the front would be pretty-

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I used our Texture Plaster to lay the pattern, and repeated down the drawer fronts

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You can use a small jap trowel, a flat blade, even a plastic gift card to lay the plaster on the stencil, then lift the stencil to reveal your creation.

After the stencil dried I painted one more layer of mixed colors, and when dry I sanded to reveal the pattern.  The drawers were in great condition but too blonde in color – I richened (is that a word?) them up with a mix of a walnut and mahogany stain – and sanded back the top so I could stain it the same way

turquoise_painted_linen_chest_raised_plaster_drawers

To seal up my American Paint chalk clay all natural mineral finish, I used American Paint ‘s Vintage Clear Wax ,

the      O N L Y     WAX    I’ll     use 

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I painted up the hardware a bit,  so it would blend but still stand out

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Was really liking where this piece was going….

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BUT…….

the top was throwing me….

When that happens, the feeling wont let up until its fixed, so I took the top translucent light using American Paint’s Plymouth Rock and Uncle Sam, painting over that dark top, sanding back to reveal, and sealing up with American Paint’s Topcoat Finish-

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Did you notice the stencil in the drawer?  I stenciled  a small verse in each drawer –

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The lighter top worked, and indirectly drew to the stencil on the drawers, and the deeper drawers popped on their own –

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Love love loved….

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It sold soon after it hit the floor, and to the loveliest of families 🙂

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I missed the splash of turquoise on the floor,  so this one came next, a chest that I received white,  like this

 

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I’m sure I had some kind of plan for this piece, starting it in pastel colors, but once the turquoise pretty sold,  I saw this chest as another that could look good in blues…   I tipped it on its back and started with an all-over plaster stencil on the drawer fronts –

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I painted over the dried stencil with shades of blue – American Paint Peacock, Shoreline, Surfboard and Uncle Sam , and went light with the top – APC Plymouth Rock and Uncle Sam

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The top was a challenge – there was tannin bleed through the white, so I layed a coat of APC Topcoat Sealer to help block the bleed, when it dried I reapplied the whites, and included a little cannonball for depth –

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If you notice above, originally I painted the whole body blue – front, sides, feet… but I wasn’t thrilled with it like I was with the first piece.   This chest was previously painted white – heck, it may have been previously painted MANY times…  it’s finish was not as perfect and pristine as the lingerie chest, so the  blue finish over the existing ‘previously painted’  finish was weathered/shabby looking, not clean and perfect how I wanted.    I didn’t like it, I didn’t WANT this finish to be distressed, aged etc…  but I knew trying to fit a square peg into a round hole would be a frustrating waste of time.  Instead, I played off the piece, and  went a different direction,  silver leafingthe sides, front corners, and feet…

turq_aqua_chest_silver_leaf_plaster_stencil_Drawers

I painted and leafed the hardware, then waxed the finish with a mix of American Paint Vintage Clear Wax, and  Clear Wax mixed with  Black Pigment, Grey Pigment, and  Brass Mica Powder to ‘weather’ the paint finish so it would coordinate more perfectly with the silver leafing touches.

turquoise_aqua_plaster_stencil_chest_swarovski

Pigments and Mica Powders are a great way to create wax colors in any shade and shimmer you desire.  I like to use them in our  Fabulous Clear Glaze as well.  I’m not a fan of floating them in the topcoat, though it can be done.  We stock 12 different Pigment colors and 9 Mica Colors  –turquoise_chalk_clay_leaf_raised_stencil_chest

This one sold soon after it hit the floor, just like its big sister, and my daughter hinted that a quick 2 for 2,  she was deserving of commission for pushing the turquoise idea…

book

Not.    🙂

This was the third, that came soon after the second sold –

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The top on this one came in pretty raw.   It wasn’t in bad shape, a little beat up, but I needed the color to be darker to start with, so  I used a mix of Reclaim Mocha and Reclaim Licorice, a paint we carry that is usually rolled on, but sometime I use it as a ‘paint stain’ –

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For this to work and be easy, you don’t want to DAWDLE when you’re brushing it on –  just brush it, with a big wide brush, hit the whole surface

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then take a dry or slightly damp cotton rag, and wipe it back – you can use another dry brush to soften any application marks, but you’ll find it colors up the worn wood nicely.   We do this a lot for inside drawers , see the difference it makes?   It’s just a quick and easy option, and dries fast

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The first coat on this piece was mostly American Paint Peacock .  Notice the center medallion pattern that I’m hoping won’t get in the way of my stenciling plan…

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I used a stencil and our Textured Plaster Neutral and stenciled the whole front –

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The second coat was a mix of several APC chalk/clay paint colors – Surboard, Shoreline and more Peacock

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You’d almost think the stencil is gone…

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I Reclaim washed the bottom and added a stencil for fun

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I used APC Limoge, Plymouth Rock and some Cottage Paint custom Wonder White to create a lighter top

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Silver leafed the sides, and accents

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then went to work sanding and refining the body and top

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American Clear Wax, a buffing, and a sprinkling of Swarovskis, and version #3 was rolled out

turquoise_aqua_painted_chestchalk_clay_painted_chest_turquoise_stencil

I dressed the ‘feet’ up with crystal pumps 🙂

silveR_leaf_legs_painted_furnitureI love the details on this piece

aqua_chest_top_washedand…… then it sold.

believe

Awesomeness,  that these pieces are moving fast, but part of what I like about creative refinishing is the not knowing what Ill end up with …  I needed to change up the next piece,   and I did,  using shades of grey (I’ll share the detailers later) –  it isn’t priced yet but is in the showroom –

fabulous_finishes_ombre_grey_chalk_clay_paint_chest

I have the next perfect piece to ‘take blue’, I’ll be starting it soon, but this time it will be a taller, fatter chest.

Time to go bury my head in tax paperwork!

tax

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.

Our workshops are back in full swing  –  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.

 

 

 

Jacobean Buffet, Dressed in Chalk Clay Paints of Grey

Several years ago I refinished this buffet, with our all natural chalk/clay paints, and a particular client had a serious eye for it…

buffet_chalk_clay_paint_apc_antique_white_stencil

One time she came in, and it was gone.   I told her I’d keep my eye out for buffets – one could always be customized for her.

This large buffet became available, and I claimed it, with intentions of refinishing is similar to the last one…

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The first coat got about this far, and then it sat….

jacobean_buffet_refinishing_before_fabfinisher

for almost two years.    The customer wasn’t in hot pursuit for it, in fact I didn’t see them for a long stretch, so that made it easy to leave unattended.  And,  I’ve come to realize some pieces can’t be started until there is a vision for it.   I think what happened for me was my vision for that piece wasn’t the same one I’d done previously…

A few months ago I pulled this piece out from the pack, and started again, in a different direction

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The basecoat was a blend of American Paint Gunpowder, Tarnished Platter and Smoke Signal

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The top had imperfections and wasn’t a candidate for keeping the original wood finish, so I started with a couple thin layers of Caromal Colours Textured Basecoats Parchment and a little bit of Putty to help hide the rough spots.  Maybe create a warm, weathered looking wood tone, like this

blog.wilsonkelseydesign.com

blog.wilsonkelseydesign.com

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I sanded and glazed the top

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and using the same  American Paint base colors, I went around again, shadowing and blending more color , this time popping the inner panels to a lighter tone using APC Uncle Sam.  When that dried I added a soft,  allover damask stencil to the door panels.

The warm top wasn’t doing it for me,  so I decided to take it brighter than the rest of the piece.   I used Caromal’s Textured Basecoat Wisteria , and then add a coat of Uncle Sam over that.  I gave it a very light sand,  to pop the wisteria through the chalky clay paint.

The condition of the top forced the paint finish to be more rustic, and with the top being so long, I still wasn’t 100% sold on it…

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It needed a glaze –   I don’t like glazing over  raw chalk/clay paint, just my preference – the control is better if it’s sealed up first, so I brushed on a coat of APC Topcoat to seal the paint, when it was dry I glazed the top with a mix of our Light Grey and Dark Grey Glazes.

I worked on the rest of the piece,  fine sanding and refining the paint finish, and then waxed it with APC’s Vintage Clear Wax.   If you haven’t tried this wax you need to – it’s my favorite wax around.   You can see below I’m still working my way across the front –

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I prefer dolling up original hardware but some of it was missing so I had to come up with another plan.  I chose larger resin knobs, painted, weathered and sealed them, then added a backing and some embellishments… They complimented the piece and the stencil

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Big fat legs….

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I was finally rounding the bend on this buffet, and thought iI was done…

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I took a few pictures when I was done , this one exposed  the drawers that I’d cleaned up using  some of my FE Stain and Seal colors –

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A raised sliding tray was treated with a botanical paper

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It was so rich looking… I wished the top would have been solid wood instead of veneer – then I could have salvaged it.   I liked this color combo, but one thing that you can’t see here, that I was struggling with was, the top was still kind of beat up looking.   For such a big, custom statement piece, I needed the top to be tops….

So I sanded the whole darn thing down to the start, patched and evened out the veneer spots that were worn, and then went to work creating a ‘faux’ wood grain top –painted_chalk_clay_jacobean_chest_wood_grained_top (4)

Wood graining is a technique I learned earlier in my ‘faux finish’ days,  and for me it’s a fiddler’s dream – tweeking and playing until you get close enough to you hope.  In this case I was already starting with a color (drawers), I needed to get it close to the same –

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I was very thankful that I got close…  maybe God figured I’d had enough go-arounds with this top and it was time to call this piece done?

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It was nice to roll this one out  –

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It didn’t last very long, and went home with the loveliest of clients

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I held back on embellishing the stencil design,  but if you look close, the wrap around band of trim sparkles with pretty twinkling crystals.   (Did I mention we now offer Swarovski Crystal packs, in varying colors/sizes for purchase in store and online? )

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When I started into my journey of finishing and furniture, Jacobean style was one of my favorite finds –  this piece was a joy to breathe new life into

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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 painting your own piece, check out our Workshop Schedule,  you can even register online.19