Blogeur d’ Invite, Shelley from a Little Bit O’ Shizzle!

I am SOOOOO excited about my guest poster today. Shelly from A Little Bit o’ Shizzle is not only amazingly talented, have you seen this?

And this???

More importantly, she is my BBFF.  Best Blogging Friend Forever.  The #1 reason I love about blogging?  All the amazing women (and men, hi Jesse!) I have had the opportunity to “meet”.  I would have never had the privilege to get know so many of you, and have such an amazing group of friends if it weren’t for blogging. Shelly lives in Michigan, she is “Haole” (Hawaiian for White person), but her husband is a native of Maui. Shelly has the most amazing and interesting back ground of anyone I know.  Math genius, Computer program designer, Golf Course Designer, this girl lived it up in Hawaii and traveled the world as a VIP.   Shelly met her soul mate and took the island boy back to Michigan (where there were many more job opportunities) to be a stay at home mom and Furniture Artist extraordinaire.  I was supposed to be born a daring French Girl (see sidebar), but I think that French Girl was supposed to be living half the year in Maui.  Mark and I have had the opportunity and blessing to go to Maui many times, and we have fallen in love with all things Hawaii.  Talking with Shelley is like hanging out with my favorite group of friends.  Plus, she speaks Pidgen!!  Hawaiian slang, something I hope to master someday.  One more thing, Shelley is tough!  I will let her share more of this….Shelley is one of the most interesting, and HILARIOUS people I have had the blessing to get to know. She is my hoaloha.

Without further adieu……

Hi, I’m Shelly Andrade from Shizzle Design in West Michigan and I am so honored to be guest posting for Karen at Redoux today!   

Karen and I have never met in person but we have laughed together so many times over every day things that she feels like a lifelong friend.  Like many of you, I’m passionate about transforming old furniture.  My goal is to create one-of-a-kind pieces that will steal the focus of any room.  Do I always achieve that – no, but I try.

When Karen first called to ask me about guest posting for her, I was totally geeked and then the jitters set in.  I wanted to present something that measured up to Karen’s level of painting, blogging and spunky style – but what?  After all, it was only a year ago that I painted my first piece of furniture – what did I have to offer? 

Standing in my garage, I spotted an old buffet I purchased a while back.  I thought it would make a cool bathroom vanity but there were a few repairs that needed to be made before I could paint it.

The biggest issue I faced was how to fix the warped top.  I removed the top and tried several suggestions to flatten it but it wouldn’t budge.  It was constructed of 3/4″ thick solid oak boards – what was I thinking?

I went next door and asked my neighbor to give me a lesson on using a router; specifically his router.  He’s a finish carpenter and I needed two different routers and three different bits to create the profile.  This was my first time using any router, let alone two but it was a blast to see the results.  Good thing I didn’t slip ‘cuz I had only purchased one piece!   

I wish you could have seen me when I was finished routing.  I was literally covered from head to toe in a thick layer of sawdust. You’ve heard of the sandman, well I was the sawdust monster.  I’m used to doing goofy things but I know what I want, so I do whatever it takes to get it done.  See my fierce determination and brute strength?  I can tell, you’re intimidated now – lol!  

Karen laughs at me because I dig up shrubs and trees and move them around the yard like living room furniture. Seriously, I can’t be the only one ­out there who does this ~ am I?

Karen asked me to share some of my layering techniques with you today.  I’m really not sure what I do differently because I’ve never had training, but I’ll do my best to show you some of my paint techniques.    

For this antique buffet, I did a base coat of CeCe Caldwell’s Hershey Brown which I watered down a little so the paint would easily seep into every nook and cranny of the grainy wood & details.  I LOVE using this as an undercoat!  I just can’t get enough of it.  

When it was dry, I went over it with Seattle Mist, one of my favorite CeCe Colors.  It’s such a rich color on furniture and cabinets!  I watered this down a little too.  I can paint fast with CeCe Caldwell’s Paints but it dries just as fast when I paint outdoors.  Adding a little bit of water allows me more workable time to spread the paint the way I want it before it dries and lets me leave certain areas a little bare so the first color fades through almost as though it has worn naturally that way.  I like it this way; it adds depth and plays a role in the old world finish I like to achieve.

When I initially paint a piece, I look it over and determine which features I want to draw attention to and which ones I want to downplay.  I loved the detail across the bottom so I lightly dry brushed the Seattle Mist the molding.  I wanted the contrast of the Hershey Brown to really make a statement here.

This is where I step back and try to figure out what I’m going to do next.  I don’t have any formula and have never taken an art class.  I follow my own quirky path and simply create by my own standards.  

I wanted to bring out the texture of the wood grain a little more, so I lightly, I mean very lightly, dry brushed Vintage White in areas I wanted to highlight.  There were a few times it went on too heavy but no worries, I just blotted it off with a damp rag and started over again.  

This strange looking fly flew in to check it out.  I think he likes it; what do you think – lol!

I painted the appliques in a mix of Pittsburgh Gray and Vermont Slate, adding some of the other colors here and there until I liked the way it looked.  Because I paint with CeCe Caldwell’s Paints which are all natural clay and chalk based mineral paints, I can use a wet rag to distress areas by simply doing a rub, rub, rub over those areas.  You can read more of why I love it so much here.  No sandpaper, no dust, no mess.  I love doing it this way, but it doesn’t take much to entertain me : D  

When you look at the piece as a whole, you can see each section varies a little in how I finished it.  I do this intentionally so each portion isn’t matchy – matchy.  That’s not my style.

You won’t find me with my hair done up or my nails manicured.  I brush my hair, throw on a visor and some thrift store clothes and call it good.  In much the same way, I like the character to shine through in my furniture re-designs.  I want my pieces to be unique and their finishes to have lots of variations.  So are you ready to see the finished piece?  Here goes…

What do you think?  I love the brown undertones showing through the paint.  It gives the illusion that I’ve spent hours antiquing it when I’ve basically just used a very simple layering technique to achieve this look and sealed it with clear wax.  Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen overnight.  I’m the type of person who needs time to process how things look and I tinker with the details until they’re just right.  Yes, I drive myself bonkers most of the time, but it pays off in the end.

I shot this picture to show off my first routered piece.  My camera is conking out on me so this shot is way dark, but you should be able to see it.  I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of this first time router job.  All I would have had to do is hit the tiniest piece of sawdust or tilt it ever so slightly and the whole profile could have been messed up.  These routers are that sensitive.  Dave also told me “don’t put your hand in there or you’ll lose it”.   Yikes!!

To create the perfect shade for the top, I mixed Vermont Slate mixed with Pittsburgh Gray (don’t ask me proportions, I didn’t measure :).  I just half stirred them together and started painting.   

I finished everything with clear wax except for the top which I sealed with CeCe Caldwell’s new Satin Finish, a durable topcoat great for high traffic areas such as table tops and cabinets.   

Wouldn’t this make a gorgeous vintage bathroom vanity?  I can just see it with a beautiful vessel sink and an amazing faucet.  The two narrow drawers would be perfect for make-up and brushes… and there’s a ton of space inside the center doors to house all your cleaners…  Waaah ~ I want to keep it.

I love all the detail in this buffet.  The craftsmanship of these old pieces blows me away and the feet are awesome!  I wonder what they were thinking when they designed furniture way back when? 

I really do love these colors together.  How can you go wrong with this combo?  I love these products so much I became a retailer for CeCe Caldwell’s Paints.  You can check out my other creations or purchase your own paints on my blog here.  

Thanx for hanging with me ~ hope you enjoyed it.  Many, many, many mahalos to you Karen for allowing me to guest post for your AMAZINGLY COOL blog!

If you’d like to do something like this, now is a great time because while you were reading my post, I received my remaining shipment for the new CeCe Caldwell’s paint colors!  We now have all 36 new colors in stock.  Check out our large supply on my online shop here or stop by the Shizzle Design booth at Not So Shabby in West Michigan here.   You can also check out my other painted furniture on my BlogFacebook Page or Pinterest.  
Thanx again Karen!  I’ve had a great time here today!!    A hui hou,  Shelly 

Mahalo nui loa Shelly!


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  1. Kristy says

    Hey both of you, I’ve been let out of my painting cage to catch up with blogland and here I find you both together. My dear Shelley what an amazing piece! oh and I have purchased a sample of Ce Ce’s but have not used it yet, but surely will blog about it.
    Kristy @ 4 the love of WOOD

  2. says

    This gal is a natural to paint like she does without one class or any training. She has the talent and the vision!!

    I’ve been to her booth, have seen her work and there isn’t anyone in our area of SW Michigan that paints like she does. And her prices are reasnable!

    I’m hoping she will offer a lawyering workshop at some point…. Sign me up!

    Shelly, I hope you are reading this!! I am your number two fan!

    Small House / Big Sky Donna

    • says

      Thanx Donna, where do you live? I don’t remember meeting you in the store, but I’m very selldom there (always at home in the workshop:) Thanx for such a wonderful compliment ~ Shelly

  3. Joann says

    STUNNING!!! Think I need to order more paint & try your layering techniques. You are one talented Chick! Seems like you put Hershey under a lot? I would be eating it…lol thanks again for all your inspiring “how to`s.”


  4. Sabrina Newman says

    I just picked up some of CeCe’s paint chalk the other day. It’s made it all the way to Georgia. :) I wanted to ask you if you sand or strip poly off of the furniture your working on. I have some chairs that I’m going to be using Georgia Clay on and it would be the best news all week if I didn’t have to do anything to those before applying the paint. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. It’s a beautiful peace and I love how it turned out.

    • says

      Hi Sabrina, I’d be happy to make your week ~ lol! This email probably popped into Karen’s inbox as well but I’m sure I can answer for both of us when I say: no, you don’t have to sand or strip your poly before you paint it with CeCe Caldwell’s Paints. The only time I would recommend that i if the existing finish is peeling away or flaking off. As long as the existing finish is adhered well, you just need to give it a good cleaning with something such as TSP and you’re good to go. I include instructions and my own personal tips in each online order at: . Have a GREAT weekend!! Shelly

  5. Jan says

    I noticed that you said you wet distressed this piece. No sandpaper, dust etc. When you finish painting a piece with chalk paint, does it not feel chalky? I am still using Annie Sloan because of expense I want to use it up, but I have ordered sample pots of Ce Ce Caldwell’s paints and I can’t wait to try them. I know I will love them. I sand every inch of my piece to get that silky smooth finish and then wax for an even more silky finish. I guess my question is, do you not sand the whole piece to get the chalky feeling off? If not, how do you do that? Thanks.

    • says

      Jan, my pieces end up pretty smooth to begin with because I water my paint down before I paint and then use a damp rag not only to to wet distress the edges but also to smooth everything out by giving my pieces a complete gentle wipe over when I’m finished. It smooths it out much like a fine sanding does. Living in Michigan, I’m not able to work outside year round like Karen so I’m limited to painting furniture in my living room where sanding would make a big mess.


  1. […] Karen and I have never met in person but we have laughed together so many times over every day things that she feels like a lifelong friend.  Karen’s introduction of me was pretty funny, that girl doesn’t forget anything, you can read it all here.  […]

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