How to Add Depth & Dimension to Painted Furniture

The fact that I love creating unique finishes on my painted furniture is not a secret.  With so many people in West Michigan painting furniture, I really strive to create pieces that stand out.  I’ve never really followed the beaten path anyway.

antique drum table with hand painted clock face Shizzle Design Michigan cece caldwell's smoky mountain vintage white grit

One of the things I love American Paint Company is that their products can be used in so many different applications.  They have some of the neatest things to help DIY’ers develop There are so many fun products that my creativity is on fire.


Here’s a picture of the table before the applying the grit.

Before-dark-wax-and-american-grit-shizzle design-on-vintage-drum-table-w-clock-face

A friend of mine brought over a cool drum table she had painted and asked me to do my magic on finishing it ~ lol!  She’s too funny ~ she’s the artist.  She can paint… pictures ~ I just do the easy part.  Laurie had painted a really cool clock face on the table top and I wanted to add a little more depth to create a more vintage feel.  If you like this table, you can re-create it using: Dollar Bill, Home Plate and Gun Powder.

antique drum table hand painted clock before aging wax is applied shizzle design cece caldwell's paints

I lightly pounced my brush into some American Grit and then knocked off the excess by tapping on the edge of the jar.

small wax brush

American Grit adds another level of depth to a waxed finish.  Make sure your wax is still wet so the dust has something to grab onto.

For this table, I used American Paint Company’s Dark Wax.   It’s a great wax.  Straight out of the can, APC’s Dark Wax will change the final color of your paint so do a test area on a scrap piece of wood…

I use it straight out of the container when I’m painting with dark and highly pigmented colors.  Absolutely LOVE it!  On medium colors, I prefer to mix it with Clear Wax.  Why you ask?  I do this so I have better control over how dramatic the color change is.  The more Clear Wax added, the more sheer the antiquing will be.  Does that make sense?  I personally stick with Clear Wax when painting pastels or whites.


Laurie had already sealed it the paint with a clear coat but we noticed a few areas where the original mahogany stain had bled through the finish.  Feathering in some dark wax is a great solution to the problem.

Create this kind of dimension with American Paint Company’s Dark Wax & American Grit

antique drum table with hand painted clock face Shizzle Design Michigan cece caldwell's smoky mountain vintage white grit

antique drum table with hand painted clock face Shizzle Design Michigan cece caldwell's smoky mountain vintage white aging dust wax side shot

I applied a thin coat of Dark Wax feathering it out so it was smooth and even then pounced on American Grit, working it in to various locations until it looked the way I wanted.

clock face hand painted on antique drum table Shizzle Design Grand Rapids Michigan for sale aging dust cece caldwells smoky mountain vintage white

To apply American Grit, pounce it around and work it into the wax.  It’s such a fine make-up grade quality that it essentially becomes part of the wax.

I LOVE how it gets into all the texture!

antique drum table with hand painted clock face Shizzle Design Michigan cece caldwell's smoky mountain vintage white aging dust american grit

Isn’t it cool how it picks up so many variations?

antique drum table with hand painted clock face Shizzle Design Michigan cece caldwell's smoky mountain vintage white aging dust dark wax top shot colors dimension

Thanks for stopping by!  

Feel free to share, pin, like and comment below


A hui hou ~ Shelly

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I’m linking up to my favorite parties!!

Domestically Speaking – The Power of Paint Party
Miss Mustardseed – Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk Interiors – Saturday Night Special

Linking up at these great parties:

Domestically Speaking – The Power of Paint Party
The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday
Miss Mustardseed – Furniture Feature Friday
Redoux – Friday Link Up Party
Homespun Happenings – Rustic Restorations Weekend
Funky Junk Interiors – Saturday Night Special
Silver Pennies – Silver Pennies Sundays
Knick of Time Interiors – Knick of Time Tuesday

a hui hou!


25 Replies to “How to Add Depth & Dimension to Painted Furniture”

  1. Shelly, thank you for working your “magic”, you are the true Artist.
    Love the transformation. The once shy, drab Clock Table now has personality, she just needed your touch!

  2. Hi Shelly!! That new crazy Aging Dust added just what the finish needed! I’ll put that on my next order for sure! I have two drum tables and they’re just sitting, waiting for me to decide what they shall become. The clock design is darling….it won’t be in your store long! Is your trip out West getting closer?

    Fondley, June

  3. Well, this is the first I’ve heard of this gorgeous product and I can’t wait to get my hands on it and start putting on my pretties. However, I did a search on the product looking for more examples of it on furniture and discovered something that looks like it comes in three colors. Gold, silver and copper. What color is this you used on the clock table?

  4. You are the magic fairy of paint and now aging dust!! I can’t wait to try mine. It is all shrink wrapped from the factory still. Don’t know why, but I am nervous! I will probably open it, sneeze, and the whole container will go all over everything in my garage. Well, it will save me time on not having to age each piece individually!

    1. Thanks Danielle ~ and thank you for hosting!! You guys have had your share of snow this year yeah? You’ve had way more than we’ve had here in Michigan.

  5. I found you via Redoux and all I can say is WOW! You are so inspiring. I wish I lived close enough to take classes from you. I’ve been using ASCP but I haven’t yet tried CeCe Caldwell’s paints. Now I’ve got to check this paint out for sure! I am excited to be your newest follower. Blessings, Patti@OldThingsNew

      1. You will love the CeeCee Caldwell products. I ordered the sample pack and went from there. The colors are vibrant and beautiful. You also can’t beat the waxes and the buffing brush you hook up to your electric drill.

  6. Hi! I’m new to CeCe Caldwell’s paints and was wondering what order you layered the paints on the table to get this finish – did you do the smoky mountain first and layer with vintage white and slate? Did you wax again after applying the aging dust?? Thanks!!!


    1. Hi Courtney, The Smoky Mountain was applied first then some areas also received the white. The table had already been sealed before we received our first shipment of aging dust, so to apply that, I put another thin layer of wax over the top while I pounced in tiny bits of the dust.

      1. Awesome, thank you! So am I understanding correctly that you didn’t “re-seal” the table with the wax after the dust was applied, since it was already sealed prior to dusting?

      2. No Courtney, I didn’t re-seal it. I applied the wax to the top then immediately started pouncing in the dust. I am very light handed with it. If too much is applied, it won’t set into the wax. In that case, you would want to apply another coat of wax after it dries.

  7. Im in Love!!!
    The piece is beautifully done.
    I believe I have found a process that will give me exactly what I wanted.

  8. Hi Shelley, I am a first time visitor, I would like to re create the clock table where could I get the info for the clock

    1. Hi Marcia, the clock was hand painted by my friend. I’m not sure if she had an image to look at or what, but she can pretty much paint anything, a true artist.

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