Layered Colors on Shizzle Design’s Paint Displays

We’ve painted our share of paint displays over the past few years to accommodate the growing demand for the paints we carry in our three West Michigan locations.

One of my favorites was re-purposed out of an antique Victrola Cabinet.  I had never seen one like this before but it sure is cool.  All I had to do was remove the doors and build shelving to create a pretty unique display case.

Fireworks Red over Wild Horses with Clear & Dark Wax


Can you see the difference on the bottom?  The left has been waxed, the right is  raw paint.

I loved the wood finish on this piece and felt it would look beautiful refinished so I stained it with a deep espresso stain.  This looked absolutely beautiful until I got sidetracked and forgot to wipe off the excess stain.  OOPS!!  Everything dried to a sticky mess so I had to clean it all off and start over again.  This time, I thought I better stick to what I know best ~ paint!  I chose of one of my all time favorites ~ APC’s Firework’s Red!

 American Paint Company's Sample Pots Shizzle Design Fireworks Red Caledonia, Holland, Hudsonville, Michigan

This red is gorgeous in and of itself, but for this particular display, I wanted more of a vintage feel, so I sealed it with a combination of both Clear and Dark Antiquing Wax.  I sealed the majority of it with the clear and just worked the dark in the detailed areas and corners…

Shizzle Design colors paint chalk clay paints American Paint Company painted Caledonia Vintage Marketplace display case Firework's Red Clear Dark Wax

I love the richness of the color and how silky smooth the waxed finish feels.  That’s a big one with me.  There’s a lot of painted furniture out there but a lot of it doesn’t FEEL nice.


While I was busy painting the display for our APC quarts, my sister Cathy went to town on the sample display using a combination of APC’s Shining Seas and dry-brushed on a little Blue Jeans for subtle highlights.

She also re-purposed a pallet our paint comes in on to make a cool sign.  After Cath finished designing the flag, she painted over everything with a wash of  Tumbleweed to give it a vintage flag appearance.

That display was a piece of cake, then came the Big Kahuna!

We wanted one large display case to hold everything for our Not So Shabby location so we went hunting and found a perfect China Cabinet.  First step was a major de-greasing because on the drive over to check it out, the owner went out of his way to shine it all up with Armor All!  Thank you sir… but you REALLY  REALLY didn’t have to do that ;).



I based everything in one of my favorite combinations by mixing a dark brown and slate gray.   It’s not a rocket science, stop in our give us a call if you’re unsure on colors.

This was a 50/50 mix of Wild Horses & Freedom Road

hand painted china cabinet hutch shizzle design grand rapids michigan display american paint company cece caldwell's 1

Updated Suggestion because Wild Horse has since been retired ~ To recreate this color today, I’d either use APC’s Espresso or Old Town’s Deep Chocolate for the brown portion.  We Still have Freedom Road but Lady Grey from Frenchic would be a fabulous gray to use as well.  

When I applied the paint, I slapped it on in all sorts of different directions to create texture and grab the paint later on down the road.  This was a while ago, but knowing me, I applied two thin coats of this color to build upon.

Now back to the additional space requirement… Since we don’t have the luxury of a hunky carpenter in our workshop, we had to use our imagination and asked ourselves…

What would Carter do?

my favorites Art Prize 2013 Grand Rapids Public Art Museum Shizzle Design photos best pictures Carter Oosterhouse

We love Carter, unfortunately he’s not tucked away in our garage so we had to take our own measurements then off to Home Depot to beef up our display.  Cathy took the bull by the horns for this part.  She’s a measure twice, cut once kind of gal ~ unlike myself who gets sidetracked a thousand times a day as my husband quickly gets my attention by yelling  “Hey squirrel!”

We super-sized the china cabinet by adding 2 x 8’s between the top and bottom halves.  They aren’t truly 8” but they were just wide enough to allow for the bottles which is all we needed.  Then all we had to do is add a new bottom to the top of the cabinet and the painting could begin.

hand painted china cabinet hutch shizzle design grand rapids michigan display american paint company cece caldwell's 3

Before I shot this picture, I had started painting it in Navajo White but when I stuck a can inside to see how it looked in it’s new outfit, it was B O R I N G !!!

hand painted china cabinet hutch shizzle design grand rapids michigan display american paint company cece caldwell's 2

I did what any other painter would do, chose a different color which ended up being a wash of Smoke Signal, again in a “any which way” manner to build more interest to the finish.

APC’s Smoke Signal Wash over Base Coat of Wild Horses/Freedom Road

hand painted china cabinet hutch shizzle design grand rapids michigan display american paint company cece caldwell's 4

Ahh, much better!  I wet distressed everything but still couldn’t leave it alone ~ that would be too easy!  I tend to torture myself and take everything one step farther than necessary.  This time, I created a second watered-down wash using APC’s Dessert Cactus.  This color has since been retired but it was a khaki-gold/green color.

desertcactus #americanpaintcompany #colors #shizzledesign

I added this randomly to both the light and dark areas creating more interest and variation in color and texture.

I sealed the lighter areas in Clear Wax and used APC’s Dark Wax over the Darker sections.  Here’s a close up of the finish.

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This paint display piece is located our Shizzle Design booth within Not So Shabby Antiques and Fine Furniture in Holland, MI.

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Stop in and check it out!

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For more ideas, tips, video tutorials, pictures and inspiration on what we have created using chalk and clay paints, visit the Shizzle Design Portfolio.

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Did you know…

  • It’s just the two of us:  My sister and I own and operate Shizzle Design which originated in my garage.  We have and will continue to work hard providing the best customer service.
  • We specialize in painting furniture and are truly humbled to be known as a leader in the world of chalk and clay paints.  Stop in for paint and we’ll offer you honest and knowledgeable
  • We are blessed to teach people from all over the U.S.  Join us for a super fun hands-on chalk and clay paint workshop in a casual & fun atmosphere.  For a list of current classes, click here.
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  • Our Painted Furniture is offered at: Shizzle Design Paint Studio 2018 Chicago Dr., Jenison, MI 49428 and Not So Shabby at 2975 West Shore Drive in Holland, MI 49424
  • Shop Paint:  Shop our large inventory of chalk and clay paint and supplies on our Online Shizzle Shop and at our West Michigan LOCATIONS.

8 Replies to “Layered Colors on Shizzle Design’s Paint Displays”

  1. You so rock! I LOVE how you move color and change color and add water and add wax and add this or that. You are such a creative girl! Beautiful displays Shelly!

  2. Is there a formula/set guideline you use to price your work if the client provides the piece of furniture? I do these finishes down in Houston, and have recently had several people ask me to do it on their existing pieces and not sure how I should price it. Thanks!

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