French Provincial Buffet Refinished with American Paint Company’s Chalk & Clay Paints & Black Mica Powder

I know, I know, I know… It’s been forever since I’ve posted any furniture renovations.  For everyone who’s been asking, I didn’t fall off the edge of the earth, though I did fall a hundred times last month while portaging canoes through steep, rocky portages in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota.  I’ll share much more on that trip soon.

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Ever since school’s let out, it’s been a whirl wind of activities at the Andrade ohana, everything from VBS to Mission Trips to a much needed family vacation in northern Michigan.  I’ve got a ton of projects to share with you, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get them all posted.  Having sacrificed so much valuable time with my family over the past four years, I’ve vowed to straighten out my priorities and put my family first this summer.  I’ve also been dealing with excruciating pain which is limiting how much I can get done each day.  Sorry if I’ve disappointing anyone but these posts take me hours to put together and I  need to focus my free time on my kids before they’re grown up and out of the house.

 Gooseberry Falls State Park, MN10390061_10203050989853298_5471104755129025687_n

I’m back to work now trying to re-adjust to reality after being completely unplugged for a week.  It’s tough, but I’m slowly re-adjusting.  I seriously could be a permanent vacationer.  It’s what I do best!  If I could figure out a way to roll vacation into my job I would so if any of you have ideas for me, please let me know!!

So back to furniture…  It dawned on me when I watched this buffet walk out the door last week that I had never written a blog post on how I painted it.  It’s been a while now, so I’ll do the best I can to remember the details of how I did it.


It was a beautiful Basset piece in excellent condition when I picked it up.  I paid a little more money to get it but I knew it would be a winner with such great lines.


before picture Shizzle Design French Provincial buffet hand painted american paint company chalk clay paints Shizzle Design Grand Rapids MI


Make sure your piece is thoroughly cleaned and de-greased


It is a crucial step for a quality finish on any type of paint job


For as long as I remember, I’ve used TSP to clean things prior to painting.  It works great but Tri-Sodium phosphate is a strong chemical. It can cause problems if you accidentally swallow, breathe in, or spill large amounts of it on your skin. While I’ve cleared out other toxins from my work environment, I still continued to use TSP in our cabinet until recently when I discovered how awesome American Paint Company’s all natural cleaner worked.

Cathy tried APC’s Surface Prep Cleaner before I did and she was blown away with how great works.  She also has Lupus and must be very careful of what she exposes her hands to.  American Paint Company’s Surface Prep / Brush Cleaner is sold in concentrate so you only need a tiny bit of it to make a whole pail of cleaner.  It’s a fantastic de-greaser, will remove years of oils, residue and furniture polish and is all natural!  It also works miracles on cleaning brushes, cups and any other paint supplies.  I can’t get over how such a small amount of cleaner in a pail of water can clean so many brushes after a workshop.  It’s a pretty cool product and I’m ashamed it’s taken me so long to try it.

American Paint Company’s Surface Prep / Brush Cleaner
American Paint Company Brush cleaner and furniture prep cleaner buy find it Shizzle Design

Ok, enough about cleaning ~ lets get to the fun part.  For the base, I mixed American Paint Company’s Freedom Road with Wild Horses to create my own color; no guys ~ I didn’t measure.  I don’t think I ever have.  I paint like I cook, ‘cuz that’s how I roll.  It’s easy like that.  Doesn’t have to be perfection, just go with what you like.  Sometimes I used Lincoln’s Hat, Sometimes Freedom Road, Sometimes a little bit of both.

Freedom Road + Wild Horses

French Provincial Buffet

The top had some marks and dark spots so I decided to some texture on the top.


Since I love the contrast of a darker, more textured top with a silky smooth base, I used a 4″ wide short bristled brush and stippled a custom mix of Lincoln’s Hat and Wild Horses in random directions.  I love that American Paint Company Paints can be manipulated in so many different ways.  The clay in their chalk and clay paint allows for so many different possibilities.  I sealed the top with American Paint Company’s Dark Wax, the best dark wax EVA!!!  I can’t find the picture that I shot of it and this buffet has already sold, but it was pretty much the same as the top I did on a recent set of French provincial dressers here.

I created the same type of textured finish on the top of this Set of French Provincial Dressers

French Provencial dresser painted in gray, white, layered chalk, clay paints Shizzle Design furniture during chalk clay painted furniture ideas

I honestly can’t remember which colors I painted the insides of the cabinet and side panels, but I think it was a random mix of Home Plate, Rushmore and Smoke Signal.  Knowing me, I most likely did a wash of Desert Cactus over it and I do remember pouncing American Grit into the clear wax while it was still wet on those lighter areas.  For the rest of the base, I pounced black mica into the clear wax while it was wet.  To be honest, it was a bit tricky to see how much black I was applying.  You know how the wax makes the paint appear darker when it’s wet?  Well, when my gray paint was darker, the black mica was really hard to detect.  I had to wait until it dried overnight to see exactly how it turned out.

Applying Black Mica Powder to the Clear Wax

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I could tell where I had started and where I had ended because it gradually got darker and darker.  All I had to do to blend it in was take some clear wax with a clean brush and work some of it away.   This method re-activates the wax so that you can manipulate it, in my case, I wanted to remove some of the black.  You can also do this if you ever end up with too much dark wax in an area.  After evening it all out, I painted the inside with Home Plate, sealing the inside of the cabinet with Topcoat.  In the midst of everything else going on, I lost all my edited pictures on my computer so I’m using what I could find.

Finished Buffet

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Hope you enjoyed this transformation.  If you’d like to do a similar finish, here’s what you’ll want to pick up.  You won’t use the whole quart for a piece this size, but I listed a quart if I felt you would need more than a sample size pot.  Use your judgement based on the size of piece you’re going to paint.


Our buffet has been featured by Karen at Redoux Interiors!  Check out all the other awesome transformations at The Handmade Hangout

Thanks for featuring Shizzle Design!!

Want to learn how to paint like this?  

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Join us for an upcoming Shizzle Style Workshop HERE.

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A hui hou ~ Shelly

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16 Replies to “French Provincial Buffet Refinished with American Paint Company’s Chalk & Clay Paints & Black Mica Powder”

  1. I love the movement of the paint on this piece. Great job. Love your posts. But, you have to enjoy your family as much as painting, if that means less posts, I’m ok with that. 😉

  2. I too am so happy to hear you are enjoying some family time. Work will always be there but, children grow up to fast. I just told someone the other day I would give anything to have my “little” boys back. Your peeps will understand:)

    1. I have to start taking care of myself. I’m in so much pain, I can barely get through the days. I’ll be no good to anyone if I can’t get my pain under control; it just keeps getting worse the older I get. We had the time of our lives this past week. Wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!!

      1. Ok you perhaps we need to have a conversation. Might be something I can recommend to help but, I would need more details privately.

    1. It was definitely an adventure of a lifetime. I’m so lucky to have had that opportunity. My husband’s group apparently took a much easier route than we did. I can’t believe the difference in terrain from one area to another.

  3. Shelly, Shelly, I’ve ordered from you, we’ve spoken several times this year….and I open this post after dinner in Castle Danger at Gooseberry Falls….there was YOUR photo of my family haunts. If you traveled from Michigan to Northern Minnesota, you passed my house! How I would love to have bought you lunch, chatted girl/paint talk, and met my guru lady in person! You must have dined at the Rustic Inn, or at the Grand Superior Lodge, land of which was sold to each business by extended family here. I am a native Duluthian, living in northern Wi with a VIEW of Gooseberry Falls area of Minnesota! Last week was in the Boundary Waters! Never regret your time off to come here, and I promise never to pass Michigan without stopping in to meet my most beloved GURU! Be well, oh, wise and talented one! Saundra

    1. No way really? I LOVED it up there!!! What a beautiful drive along the Lake Superior coast! I would have loved to stop!! We had an amazing week on Boundary Waters; definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Our 2nd portage was 478 rods during pouring down rain on very rocky and steep terrain. I feel blessed that I didn’t break an ankle or have a heart attack.

  4. Hi Shelly! I always think of summer as a time to relax but in reality I am a taxi driver shuttling my daughters all over the place. 🙂 We’re off for some R&R soon too which will be nice. Thanks for the tip on the cleaner – I’m also a TSP user. I’ll have to give it a try. I hope you are feeling better soon! — Pauline

    1. My sister loves using it because it doesn’t irritate the skin on her hands and we’re tickled pink to watch not only the brushes but the buckets wash clean with very little effort. We’re humored easily like that ~ lol! I’ve been battling pain for over 20 years; it’s just one of those things. Just wish someone could find a way to relieve it; it’s taking it’s toll in my old age.

  5. Just a note, I sometimes use vinegar and lemon juice and water to clean up a piece of furniture, this can get a stinky old piece to smell fresh and then I leave some lavender inside for a few days.

    Just a gorgeous job on this one!

  6. I thought you got lost in the woods this summer and decided to not come back!!! Girl, we need to do some catching up! This is GORGEOUS and I am sharing at my link party tonight. So sorry you are dealing with the chronic pain. That stinks! You need to move to California where the climate is much milder and you can work and be a permanent vacationer!

    1. Wahoo!!! So nice to hear from you too Karen!! I’m about ready to fly the coop; can’t get enough down time (I know you know what that’s like). Miss you girl friend!! Thanks for sharing!!

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