Antique Mirror: History & How-To!

Mirrors are one of those ordinary objects around our homes that are so common we don’t even think about. We do our morning primp and pomp looking in our washroom mirror or vanity. 

 

Our entryways usually have one so we can give ourselves a last look upon dashing out the door. 

 

We put decorative mirrors on mantles as statement pieces in living areas and foyers to open and bloom the rooms, light dances off the corners, opening the space, and filling it with a calming softness. 

 
 

 

And let’s not forget my favorite trick: growing snug spaces with mirrors, pulling open the size of your room!

New mirrors are something we take for granted, as we scour antique shops and flea markets for curious and antique pieces, but the actual history of the mirror is terribly interesting. Without mirrors, we could not create technological feats and tools like cameras, lasers, and telescopes that help us better understand our universe. So, from polished pieces of stone that ancient woman used to check her teeth, to Alice In Wonderland’s jump from the looking glass into an otherworldly adventure, mirrors have a wild and luxurious backstory.

 

Archaeologists have discovered rocks as early as 4000 BC that our forefathers polished and used as reflective surfaces. This was a common thing to do, even after the Romans developed an early version of a glass mirror around the First Century. As far as mirrors go, The Middle Ages were still “the dark ages”, since the pope condemned mirrors because of the temptation toward vanity. Can you imagine? Not seeing yourself unless you looked into your own bathwater? Common people adopted this point of view and nary was a mirror to be found until a glass-blowing revival during the Renaissance of the 14th century. The center of the glass-blowing world was Murano, Italy. Venetian craftsman labored toward an intense and secret process of perfecting white-hot glass into artistic masterpieces. Only they knew the practice of creating mirrors, and they guarded this hush-hush method with tight-lips. Because of this, Venetian mirror-makers were revered, world-wide, as design celebs. Their pieces were tokens of an outrageous and luxurious lifestyle—impossible to buy unless you were one of the few rich kings or noblewomen. 

They were so exorbitantly expensive, mirrors were THE status symbol of the Renaissance. Forget Ferraris and other expensive cars, the elite saved and sold until, they too, could possess this profile of prestige. It was normal to give a gift of a mirror to foreign dignitaries as a symbol of a kingdom’s wealth. Some French noblemen would even sell their sailing ships or country retreats only to afford a small mirrored piece!

 

But eventually, the Venetian secret escaped. The French bribed the recipe out of three Venetian craftsmen and cracked the code. The French even improved on the technique to create larger sheets of mirror, adjusting the blown-glass method by laying down sheets of glass on a table and combining the glass with a reflective mercury element. It is this mercury that give us that vintage antique look with its flakes, pits, and hazy, dark areas.

 

Now that more mirrors became available, they were used for to spy codes, periscopes, and signaling over distances. Even though more people had access, they were still very, very expensive. As a one of the biggest flaunts in history, Louis XIV went on to create the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. Boasting 306 mirrors, this was a modern wonder of the world!

Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles

Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles


England and America finally caught up and adopted the French system of mirror-making in the late 1770’s. Glass slowly became more available to the mass-market around this time and after. This was a gigantic sigh of relief, as importing mirrors from France had a gargantuan tax attached. So because of this tax, antique mirrors were very popular in the early part of the 18th century. Think about it: it was much easier for people to upcyle an old mirror, without shipping in a new French one—saddled with a crazy-heavy tax. 


So for three hundred years, folks have spent a pretty penny on furnishing their homes with antique mirrors—but I have decoded the secret to creating this look from scratch! In ancient times, a person that tried to turn lead into gold was called an “alchemist”. I have discovered a foolproof process that brings the luxury of antique mirror into your home. Not only that, but you will enjoy the bragging rights as you take a new mirror and add the diamond dusting, blemishes, beauty marks, and the hazy, pocked-marked patina. 


Materials

  • Real silver mirror (Made in USA is a must! Many overseas mirrors are not real silver, so the process will not work!) 
  • Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™  
  • Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™ 
  • Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ in Black  
  • Sponge/Rollers Brushes (1 per every 2 mirror tile. 1 for painting)
  • Multiple Lint-Free T-Shirt Rags 
  • Bowls 
  • Simple Green™ Degreasing Cleaner 
  • Water Tubs 
  • Brown Kraft Paper  
  • Stripping Gloves
  • Safety Goggles 
 
 

 

Directions

Find a well-ventilated area for working. Also, you will need a water source for rinsing mirror during antiquing process. Work area should be protected by plastic tarp, or some area which will not be damaged by Mirror Stripper. Temperature must be between 70-80°F for optimal processing conditions.

 

1. Take each mirror piece and place face down on a non-abrasive surface.

 
 

2. Put on safety goggles and appropriate gloves to protect body from the Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™.

3. Shake the Mirror Stripper very well and apply a nice, even coat of the product to the paint on back of mirror. Using sponge brush or paint roller, promptly roll out stripper until coverage is even.

4. As a chemical reaction is achieved, backing paint will begin to bubble up and it will be ready to remove when all the backing paint has bubbled up. *This can take up to 10 minutes.

 
 

5. If certain areas are not bubbling, apply more Mirror Stripper to those areas, then agitate with foam brush. *The stripper will eat through the foam of the brush, so you will need to work quickly.

6. Take a piece of kraft paper, slightly larger than mirror, and lay it on the bubbled mirror backing paint and lightly smooth it out - holding with one hand while smoothing with the other.

7. Slowly lift the kraft paper away from you. The backing paint will affix itself to the kraft paper and lift up with it. *The mirror’s actual silver is now exposed. Be very careful not to scratch the silver during the following processes.

8. Once the backing paint is removed, apply a light second coat of Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™ to remove the copper color and texture left behind after removing the kraft paper. *Work quickly, but take care to not scratch silver while using foam brush. Brush WILL scratch mirror.

9. Spray mirror with Simple Green™ degreaser prior to rinsing in water tub. This aids in the removal of the excess Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™.

 
 

10. Use water to rinse the stripper from mirror. Use T-Shirt rag to help remove any remaining Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™. Do not use paper towels, as they can be too rough. *You can use a plastic container filled with water, or even rinse with a water hose if in an area where water can run off and stripper will not run into ground water (as on a concrete area where product would be evaporated).

11. Shake Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™ very well, and pour into a small plastic container or styrofoam bowl. *Working atop white paper will help you see this better.

 
 

12. Moderately saturate T-shirt rag with the Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™.

 
 

13. Apply over entire piece by patting and pouncing the rag in a randomized, organic pattern. *Do not use an organized, specific pattern.

 
 

14. Once you have covered all of the silver with the rag, apply solution from bottle in small “S” patterns and small circles.

 
 

15. After a few minutes, the mirror’s silver will begin to change color. Lift up your mirror to look at the other side to see how the process is progressing. 

16. Continue to apply more Mirror Solution to promote the antiquing process. Eventually solution will begin to wear away silver and expose glass. Continue checking the front of the mirror to see desired effect. This process can take up to 30 minutes, but is dependent on environmental temperature (the warmer the work area, the faster the process). *For a darker antique mirror, continue application of solution.

17. When mirror has reached desired effect, rinse off the Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™ with water and allow to dry.  *Remember to check the front of your mirror reflecting on white paper to see how much the mirror has distressed!

 
 

18. Using a paint roller, apply three, thin coats of black Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ onto the silver side. This will seal the mirrors.

30. Now you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!

 
 

How to Get The Cerused, or Limed Wax Finish

From the home of Amy Howard

Cerused furniture fits so many decorating styles! Here is my family room.

Bridgett Cocktail Table by Amy Howard

 

 

Cerused and Limed Finish

I want to tell you about a furniture finish that I absolutely love. It’s been around for quite a long time, and, although it has fallen in and out of favor over the centuries, it is recently making a comeback! I’m talking about this fabulous cerused, or limed, finish. With a very understated and elegant look, the cerused finish delightfully agrees with so many different decorating styles. Whether your style is anything from modern to rustic, this finish will make any room dance. Rubbed into the open grooves and pores of wood, the whiting process brings out and highlights the woodgrain. Recently, I’m seeing this finish popularized on furniture (especially a lot of mid-century living room pieces), and on kitchen and bath cabinetry. It’s jaw-dropping gorgeous and you’d never believe it’s probably the easiest furniture finish for you to achieve! So today, I want to share some backstory, stunning examples, and how you can get this look so you can craft a beautiful life!

 

WHAT IS IT?

Ed O'Brien Chest by Amy Howard

Ed O'Brien Chest by Amy Howard

Raw oak has a compelling woodgrain that draws our eyes, and the most typical type of wood that is whitened. Oak has grooves open-enough to fill with wax, and furniture finishers use a liming wax to hand-whiten the grain. This white-against-caramel-wood births a gorgeous contrast. Because there are so many different ways to cut a piece of oak, the grain variation jumps out to us, as the wax in the oak groove highlights the natural lines and patterns of the wood. This brings up an essential decorating tip: the grooved patterns in the wood can actually play against the other shapes and patterns that decorate your room!

 

 

 

 

Check out an example of this that we did. Notice the woodgrain movement against the patterned backsplash and geometric floorcloth.

 
Beautiful interplaying patterns!

Beautiful interplaying patterns!

 

 

 

FROM MAKEUP TO MAKE-IT-YOURS

Vanderbilt Cocktail Table by Amy Howard

Vanderbilt Cocktail Table by Amy Howard

The "white wash" finish (yet another term for cerused/liming) had a very strange start. Fashionable people in the fancy Elizabethan era of the 16th century wore white face makeup on their--partly made up of white lead. In time, furniture finishers realized that the white lead used in the cosmetic could be used to whiten the grain of oak. The cerused look delighted trend-lists of the 17th century. Now, obviously harmful and illegal, white lead, the former key ingredient was replaced with wax, which has been used for hundreds of years since this time.

 

 

During the first half of the 20th century, many manufacturers envy the limed, Art Deco furniture designs of French heavyweight Jean Michel-Frank. His pieces really helped the cerused look evolve into the next era. 

 

 
Jean Michel-Frank-Style Cerused Oak Coffee Table via LiveAuctioneers.com

Jean Michel-Frank-Style Cerused Oak Coffee Table via LiveAuctioneers.com

 

 

PAINTED, THEN LIMED?

The limed finish isn’t just for unfinished wood. Painted furniture, especially darker colors like black and luxurious grey, enjoy a final sophisticated touch with the application of Liming Wax™ to a painted finish. The reason I developed the Amy Howard At Home® Liming Wax™ was to share this easy way to elegantly elevate your furniture! I want to show you how to get this look so that you can craft a beautiful life!

 
Liming Wax over Black One Step Paint™

Liming Wax over Black One Step Paint™

 

 

GET THIS LOOK!

As I mentioned above, if your piece already has a finish on it, that’s ok! You can paint over it with One Step Paint, and you will have a new, fresh surface, over which to apply the Liming Wax™. This is actually what we did with this cabinet set we picked up from Habitat from Humanity. If you have raw oak, you can apply the Liming Wax™ directly to your wood!

 

 
Apply One Step Paint™ and Liming Wax™ over your already-finished cabinetry!

Apply One Step Paint™ and Liming Wax™ over your already-finished cabinetry!

 

 

I want to walk you through how to get this easy, yet elegant look. Here is a tutorial video and accompanying how-to directions!

 

 
 

 

MATERIALS

  • Wood surface, either raw, or painted with Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™
  • Amy Howard At Home® Liming Wax™
  • Dry t-shirt rag
  • Cardboard palette
  • Amy Howard At Home® China Bristle Brush
  • Simple Green

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Thoroughly clean your surface with a diluted degreaser like Simple Green. Be sure to rinse the same surface down with water to completely remove any residue the Simple Green might have left behind.

2. I am working with an already painted surface here, I chose the dark grey, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” in our One Step Paint™ line. (Make sure your painted surface has completely dried before you begin the waxing steps). Using an Amy Howard at Home® china bristle brush, dip your brush in the Liming Wax and then offload onto a cardboard palette. 

3. Apply a light, first coat, for 100% coverage to your untreated or chalk-based painted surface. Use a cross-hatching, feathering brush method, and then smooth it out. Allow to come to tack, about 10-15 minutes. *If you have any heavy spots, buff very lightly with a lint-free rag.

4. Offload your brush again onto the cardboard palette, and apply with a second, heavier, full-coat application of the Liming Wax. You want these strokes to look deep to maintain the linear "wood grain" line. Continue to feather out the wax with your brush until the Liming Wax is evenly distributed over your piece. 

5. Allow the wax to cure about 30 minutes.

6. Come back and buff with a clean, lint-free rag. The sheen will really start to come through and seal your piece. Be careful not to buff too much of the desirable graininess out of our finish. That is what gives the grainy wood look! Now your piece is actually sealed and all you need to clean this resilient finish is a simple buffing with a dry rag!

 

You can now add the warmth and depth of woodgrain to any wood surface! So, what pieces can you rescue from Craigslist, Habitat, or even a porch-pickup?

Share your victories in the comments below, so we can help you Enjoy the Bragging Rights!™

Amy Howard

COPYCAT TUTORIAL

My vintage painting—is it real, or is it a "Copycat"?

 

CC_0 copy.jpg

I want unveil a groundbreaking product that’s about to make your wildest DIY dreams come true! Have you ever wanted to transfer an image onto a surface, and get that distressed, hand-painted look, like in the photo above? I am introducing an innovative new product, and I wanted you, my friends, to be the first to see the eye-popping results. Amy Howard at Home® Copycat™ is an inexpensive and playful way to create wall art! As you’ll see in the following post, you can print off a simple picture from your ink-jet printer, use Copycat™ to make the picture look like an antique canvas painting, looking blessed with the deep color and texture of age. Believe it or not, this project can be done on wood, fabric, even glass. One of our team members is even applying a map to an oversized canvas to make it grand, antique world map! Today, I want to show you how to apply a simple ink-jet printer picture, transformed into a gorgeous antique painting!

 

Materials

 

 

 

Directions

1. Pour Copycat into a small cup. *For this tutorial, we stored an early sample in this Milk Binder bottle.

2. Use the sponge brush to apply a generous and consistent layer of Copycat over your canvas’ surface.

3. Next, use the sponge brush to apply a generous and consistent layer of Copycat over the printed side of your papers’ surface, as well. This application of Copycat will allow a printed paper picture to adhere to your canvas.

 

4. This next step, you will apply your picture face-down to the area where the Copycat was applied. Keep in mind that the picture will appear in reverse. This really matters if you have text. 

5. Using a plastic putty knife, evenly burnish the paper onto the canvas’ surface to secure adhesion. Allow to dry 2 hours (up to 24 hours). The longer the dry time, the more clearly your image will appear on the canvas.

6. Use a damp t-shirt rag to buff, in a circular motion, over the entire area. It is best to start from the outside and work your way in. As you rub the rag over the surface, paper will begin to wear away, with the image remaining on the surface. 

7. Once entire image is exposed, allow to dry for 30 minutes. 

8. If your paper is larger than your canvas, you may peel away the edges of your paper at this time.

9. The surface will feel rough, so use 400-grit sandpaper to soften. You can then continue with a variety of finishes and seals!

10. Using a china bristle brush and Amy Howard at Home® Light Antique Wax™, dip the tips of the brush bristles into the wax, then use the cardboard palette to offload some wax from the brush. *Always off-load — you should never go directly from the wax to your piece. 

11. Apply wax with 100% coverage. Get deep into the crevices and crannies. Allow to come to tack. Should take 15-25 minutes depending how heavy the wax was applied. 

12. Apply the Amy Howard at Home® Dark Antique Wax™, using a separate brush. Load brush with Dark Wax. Offload onto cardboard palette. 

13. In a feathering motion, lightly antique piece. It is important not to have 100% coverage. The Dark Antique Wax is intended to emulate natural wear, so add no more than 20% coverage. It varies with amount of wax applied, but should come to tack within 15-25 minutes.

14. Apply Amy Howard at Home® Dust of Ages™ with a clean china bristle brush. Apply liberally. There should be 100% coverage with the Dust of Ages™. 

15. Don't brush so hard as you brush the Dust off completely, as you want some of the dust to sit. Any excess can be brushed back into can to be reused. Let sit for approx. 10 min.

16. Come back and use a lint-free t-shirt rag to buff your piece like you would buff a shoe (hit-drag motion) to get that beautiful patina shine.

17. Once you have buffed, you are finished!

18. Pair with a fab frame, and you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!

 

Painted Floorcloth Tutorial

Cozy Up Your Kitchen With This Simple DIY Project

 

Spending more time indoors this season, I looked around and realized that the kitchen could use a cute pop of color, too! A cheery hue can make the space smile, and the fabric will save your bare floors in high-trafficked areas. Floor cloths are a popular alternative to area rugs, and they are durable enough that you could even put a larger one under your dining room table.

 

Floor cloths were all the rage in 15th century France, caught on with the English in the 1700’s, and the early American colonies made sure they were on-trend at about the same time. Many colonists actually took the sails of ships, cut them up, and upcycled them into fun, fashionable floor cloths. Popular patterns at that time were geometric,  squared and hand-painted. People put them under their table as “crumb-catchers”, but because of their allure, they also went on to be displayed in other rooms, like foyers, parlors, and elsewhere.

 

Sure, you can find cute, handmade floorcloths on Etsy, but here’s a really simple DIY project that’ll show you how to make your own!

 

Materials Needed

 

Directions 

*Turn One Step Paint™ cans upside-down, 30 minutes prior to painting. This well help the chalk pigments release from the bottom of the cans. 

1. Open lid of One Step Paint™ (we used Holey Moley) with a can opener, and then thoroughly stir with a stir stick. Depending how well the chalk has settled, you may need to alternate shaking and stirring until the paint is mixed well.

2. Pour Holey Moley One Step Paint™ into another container for mixing, then dilute the paint with about 15% water. Otherwise, the paint will be too thick for the project.

 

3. Dip your round hogs hair brush into the Holey Moley paint mixture, and then immediately offload some of the paint onto your cardboard palette. This will ensure that your paint won’t be too heavy.

FC-4.jpg

 

4. Apply 1 light coat of Holey Moley One Step Paint™ to the floor cloth, with complete coverage. Allow to dry about 30 minutes.

 

 

5. Lightly sand your painted area using 400-grit sandpaper. 

6. When the first coat is completely dry, apply a second coat of Holey Moley One Step Paint™. Allow to dry 30 minutes.

 7. Evenly place your stencil over the dry, painted floor cloth, and tape it down with painter’s tape.

 

8. As with the Holey Moley, open lid of your second color of One Step Paint™ (we used Ballet White) with a can opener, and then thoroughly stir with a stir stick. Again, depending how well the chalk has settled, you may need to alternate shaking and stirring until the paint is mixed well.

9. There is no need to dilute. *If you are using a tinted base: then pour Ballet White One Step Paint™ into another container for mixing, then dilute the paint with about 15% water. Otherwise, the paint will be too thick for the project.

10. Stipple on one coat of Ballet White paint. Allow to dry (about 30 minutes) and remove stencil.

 

11. Take a round hogs hair brush and dip into the Clear Wax™, but get just enough wax on the brush to cover the tips of the bristles. 

12. Use the cardboard palette to offload some wax from the brush. *Always offload - you should never go directly from the wax to your piece. 

13. Evenly apply the Clear Wax over the entire floor cloth, moving the brush in a “cross-hatch”, “X” pattern (not long, symmetrical strokes). 

13. Allow the wax to dry (45 min to 1 hour).

14. Use a T-shirt rag to buff your piece like you would buff a shoe (in a hit-drag motion), in order to get that beautiful patina shine. 

Your new floor cloth will make any room pop, but we think ours looks great in a kitchen in front of the sink. It may look so great that you don’t want to even step on it, but the Clear Wax™ allows you to miraculously wipe away all footprints. It may also make a cute addition as burst of color in an entryway, or on the sides of your bed. Keep in mind, as with most rugs, you’ll want to put a non-slip pad under your new floorcloth. It’ll keep the rug in place, and make sure there are no slip accidents!

 

I hope you’ve enjoy this project, and as always, Enjoy the Bragging Rights™! 

 
FC-13.jpg
 

CHANDELIER FLIP

Modernize a Chandelier into a Shimmering Shabby-Chic Jewel!

 

 

When I moved into my new house this year, the bathroom had an unwanted guest. He was sad, ugly—he shouted too loud. He was brassy and boorish, and has a lot of brothers in houses all over the States. I’m talking about this gaudy brass chandelier, and he needed to be rescued! I’m quite sure you can find these guys near and far; estate sales, your mother’s basement—everywhere. I decided to have some fun with him, and introduced the chandelier to our Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer.™  The lacquer shifts the dimensions—flattens it and lowers his loud-o-meter. It also had these cool dangly crystals that I thought would be so fun to gild! The result is a fun, upcycled, modern look that radiates a shabby-chic vibe. Now the whole thing seems like a giant jewel.

 

Materials

 

Directions

1)  Use properly diluted Simple Green to wipe down all surfaces to clear any dust, dirt, etc.

 

2)  Once clean, wipe off with lint-free t-shirt rag and water; let dry. 

 

 

3)  Take off any peripheral ornamentation or crystals and cover eyelets with painter’s tape.

4)  Spray entire piece with two coats of Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Lacquer™ in Vendome Grey, until fully covered. Allow 30 minutes to dry in between coats, and 48 hours to cure.

 


Amy Howard shows you the way to use paint with her Amy Howard At Home® Lacquer Paint for the best results! Products now available! Find an Ace Hardware or boutique retailer near you! http://www.amyhowardhome.com/retailers/ 

 

5)  For the hanging crystals, I first cleaned with properly diluted Simple Green to wipe down all surfaces to clear any dust, dirt, etc.

 

 

6)  Let dry 30-45 min. Use a clean synthetic artist’s brush to apply Amy Howard at Home® Gilding Size™ directly onto the crystals. Allow Size to come to tack (15 min.) *When Gilding Size is applied, the piece will feel wet and greasy. Before the Size is dry, the wax will come to tack, meaning it will feel sticky.

7)  Lay Amy Howard at Home® Gold Leaf™ over the the crystals, where Gilding Size was applied. I applied my Gold Leaf in a broken, angular manner, giving the appearance of antiqued gold.

8)  Before wiping off excess gilding, tear off a large sheet of orange tissue paper (that comes with the Gold Leaf packet) and burnish over the total surface area once more. This last burnishing will remove any excess Gold Leaf, while highlighting and brightening the gold.

 

9)  Allow piece to cure a full 24 hours before using.

10)  Now you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!


What else could we use for this same process? I’ve seen cheesy wall sconces, mid-century doorbell soundboxes—maybe even radiator covers! Have fun with it, and leave your ideas in the comments below!


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TWO-FOR ONE LACQUER PROJECTS: BUTTER DISH AND CAKE PLATTER

I used Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer™ to upcycle two simple flea-market finds!

 


We found these two everyday glass items at a flea market. Most of us have things like these lying around the house, bequeathed from grandma, or even gifted from the past holiday! 

If you’re stir-crazy from the winter, or just itching to try the Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Lacquer™, these cute, low-risk/high-results projects are the ones for you! The look is professional and jaw-dropping. I think you’ll love the modern colors and striking finishes you’ll get with this paint.


Project #1 - COVERED DISH


Materials


 

 

Directions

1. Use properly diluted Simple Green to wipe down object’s surface and clear any dust, dirt, etc.

2. Once clean, wipe off with lint-free t-shirt rag and water; let dry. 

3. Spray entire piece with Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer™ in Vendome Grey, until fully covered. We worked on the outside of this piece, not spraying the interior.

4. Spray from the outside of the glass, inward. The color shows through in a magnificent way, and it's good to keep paint off the area if you’re using it to serve food on.

*For more on using Amy Howard at Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer™, see tutorial video, here.

 

5. Let dry 30-45 min. Use a clean synthetic artist’s brush to apply Amy Howard at Home® Gilding Size™ directly over the tip of the butter dish. Allow Size to come to tack (15 min.) *When Gilding Size is applied, the piece will feel wet and greasy. Before the Size is dry, the wax will come to tack, meaning it will feel sticky.

 

6. Apply Amy Howard at Home® Gold Leaf™ over the tip of the butter dish, where Gilding Size was applied.

 

 

*If you want to stop here, this kind of butter dish can make a really cute jewelry holder! 

 

7. Use the artist’s brush to apply Amy Howard at Home® Gilding Size™ directly over the rest of the surface of the butter dish. Allow Size to come to tack (15 min.) 

8. Apply Amy Howard at Home® Gold Leaf™ over entire area where Gilding Size was applied. I wanted to create a look that appeared more antique, with broken gilding. To do this, I rolled the Gold Leaf and used the balled up pieces to apply.*When applying Gold Leaf, I left certain areas exposed, as to create the illusion of broken gold leafing. Normally, I would lay down overlapping sheets to create a full and luminous gilded appearance!

 

 

9. Because I applied the Gold Leaf in a non-traditional manner, the typical manner of burning would not do. Before wiping off excess gilding, overlap the top of the piece with wax paper and burnish over the total surface area. This both brings out the vibrant look of the Gold Leaf, as well as to ensuring Gold Leaf has sufficiently adhered to Gilding Size. *Never burnish directly with fingers directly on the surface, as fingerprints will leave impressions in the gold leaf.

 

 

10. Before wiping off excess gilding, tear off a large sheet of orange tissue paper and once more burnish over the total surface area. This last burnishing will remove any excess Gold Leaf, while highlighting and brightening the gold.

 

 

11. Use a dry brush to wipe of excess Gold Leaf. *You can also use a dry t-shirt rag to get anything that was left by the brush. 

12. Allow piece to cure a full 24 hours before using.

13. Now you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!

 

 

 

Project # 2 - Cake Platter

 

Materials

  • Cake tray (2 sizes)
  • Cleaner, such as Simple Green
  • Amy Howard at Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer™ in Belize
  • Lint-Free T-shirt Rags

 

 

Directions

1. I started with two different-sized cake trays that looked really cute when stacked.

 

2. Clean each surface very well with properly diluted Simple Green.

3. Wipe any remaining residue with a damp rag and water. Let dry.

4. Using Belize Amy Howard at Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer™, spray over entire underside of the surface. I love this color because it peeks through the January winter blahs. *For more on using Amy Howard at Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer™, see tutorial video, here.

 

5. I did two coats, but make sure to allow to dry between coats. Allow to cure 48 hours before using.

6. Now you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!

 

 

I sprayed the underside of the dish for two reasons:

  1. When applied underneath, The depth of the glass brings out an engaging look that teases the eye.
  2. No problems when it comes to serving food and cleaning. You’ll be able to wipe off the glass serving surface with a cleaning rag, and not wear down the painted piece with the harsh soap and running water that would wear down the finish.

But I will say, we DID eat the cupcakes. And they were good.

Gilded Picture Frame DIY Tutorial

If you're small on gifts, you can still be big on luxury: Transform an everyday frame into a luxurious memento

 

If you’re running short on gift ideas, have I got a chic gift for you! We took a plain ol’ everyday plastic picture frame and used One Step Paint™, gilding, and waxes to create an elegant memento! Giving this present with a sentimental photo will sure to be treasured forever. And when they ask if it’s “antique” or not? Shhhh…we’ll never tell.

 

 

Materials

 

 

 

Directions

1. Use properly diluted Simple Green to wipe down object’s surface and clear any dust, dirt, etc.

2. Once clean, wipe off with lint-free t-shirt rag and water; let dry.

 

3. Thoroughly shake the One Step Paint™ can for 1-2 minutes.

4. Open lid of One Step Paint™ with can opener, stir thoroughly with stir

stick. Depending how solidly the chalk has settled, you may need to shake, stir/

shake, stir until the paint is well-mixed.

5. Use synthetic brush to apply the One Step Paint™ in Black. We suggest at least two coats for full coverage. Allow each coat to dry approx. 20 minutes. 

 

 

6. Using green painter’s tape, mark off the area where you will apply gilding.

 

7. Apply the Amy Howard at Home® Bole™ using a synthetic artists’s brush. Be sure to achieve complete coverage so no black paint shows through. You may need two coats, to do this, depending how thick each coat was applied. Allow to dry approx. 20-30 min.

 

 

8. Once Bole has completely dried, use a clean synthetic artist’s brush to apply Amy Howard at Home® Gilding Size™ directly over Bole. Make sure to get 100% coverage, even down to crannies and crevices.

9. Allow Gilding Size to come to tack, approx. 20-30 min. *When Gilding Size is applied, the piece will feel wet and greasy. Before the Size is dry, the wax will come to tack, meaning it will feel sticky.

10. Once Gilding Size comes to tack, you have up to a 20 min window of tack time. If you miss this window, simply reapply Gilding Size.

 

11. *Gold Leaf comes in large sheets, so we would suggest cutting a smaller portion to save on Gold Leaf. Apply Amy Howard at Home® Gold Leaf™ over entire area where Size was applied. apply directly on Gilding Size, *When applying Gold Leaf, overlap sheets, do not try to match lines. 

 

12. Before wiping off excess gilding, tear off a large sheet of orange tissue paper and burnish over the total surface area to ensure Gold Leaf has sufficiently adhered to Gilding Size. *Never burnish directly with fingers directly on the surface, as fingerprints will leave impressions in the gold leaf.

 

 

13. Use a dry brush to wipe of excess Gold Leaf. *You can also use a dry t-shirt rag to get anything that was left by the brush. 

 

14. Once Gold Leaf has adhered, use #4/0 (0000) steel wool to distress the Gold Leaf for an antique effect. Amount of steel wool distressing varies to personal taste, depending on how aged you want your frame to appear. The goal is to let your Bole peek through deliberate areas. This would appear in an authentic antique situation. 

 

15. Once you have worn with steel wool, remove painter’s tape, pulling away from the finish. *As shown in picture.

16. Using a china bristle brush and Amy Howard at Home® Light Antique Wax™, dip tips of brush bristles into the wax, then use the cardboard palette to offload some wax from the brush. *Always off-load — you should never go directly from the wax to your piece. 

 

17. Apply wax with 100% coverage. Get deep into the crevices and crannies. Allow to come to tack. Should take 15-25 minutes depending how heavy the wax was applied. 

 

 

18. Apply the Amy Howard at Home® Dark Antique Wax™, using a separate brush. Load brush with Dark Wax. Offload onto cardboard palette. 

 

19. In a feathering motion, lightly antique piece. It is important not to have 100% coverage. The Dark Antique Wax is intended to emulate natural wear, so add no more than 20% coverage. It varies with amount of wax applied, but should come to tack within 15-25 minutes.

 

 

20. Apply Amy Howard at Home® Dust of Ages™ with a clean china bristle brush. Apply liberally. Pounce into crevices and carvings. There should be 100% coverage with the Dust of Ages™. *Do not apply Dust before wax is almost completely dry and to tack. If you apply too soon--it will go black and not buff to a pretty sheen.

 

21. Any excess can be brushed back into can to be reused. Don't brush so hard as you brush the Dust off completely, as you want some of the dust to sit in the crevices. 

 

 

22. Come back and use a lint-free t-shirt rag to buff your piece like you would buff a shoe (hit-drag motion) to get that beautiful patina shine.

 

23. Once you have buffed, you are finished!

24. Pair with a sentimental picture and your gift is complete.

25. Now you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!

 

 

More Ideas:

You may even think about having a DIY picture frame holiday project party at your house! As a gift for your friends, you purchase the materials and they come over and do the project with you! For the picture, you could do a great group shot from that weekend trip last summer. If you get all 5x7” frames, you could even display this year’s Christmas card.

Remember to subscribe for more gorgeous Amy Howard DIY tutorials, every week!

Holiday Madras Chair Tutorial

A Sad Chair Meets With One Step Paint™ for a Handmade Holiday Craft Party!

 

 
*Finished project!

*Finished project!

 

This season, we enjoy the delight of hosting loved ones. We laugh until our sides hurt, and soak in the sort of scrumptious smells that only come once a year. But we all know that holiday seating can be hard to come by. I know my friends and family will hunker over counter spaces eating their roasted chestnuts if need be, but there's gotta be a better way!

Why buy, when I can DIY?! Wouldn’t it be fun to rescue, restore, and redecorate some chairs for my get-together?

What a sad little guy!

What a sad little guy!

I found these sad, little chairs for $5 a piece. They’re huffing just to stand upright--marked up, ripped seat fabric, and slathered in shellac. But because I used One Step Paint™, I didn’t need to sand or prime! I just applied my sassy Frankly Scarlet red One Step.

The burlap seat fabric, though, is the real joy here. It’s tartan texture for miles, and the color combination of red, black, and white makes my face beam with holiday cheer! So join with me and make your holiday "handmade" by following along with this tutorial.

*Materials Needed

*Materials Needed

Materials:

• Simple Green Cleaner

• Water-filled squirt bottle

• Stir Stick

• Cardboard Palette

• Paper Towels

Amy Howard at Home® One Step Paint™ (We used Frankly ScarletBlack & Ballet White, but the choice is yours!)

Amy Howard at Home® Light Antique Wax™

Amy Howard at Home® Dark Antique Wax™

• Burlap

• Lint Free T-shirt Rags

• Green Painter’s Tape

• Synthetic Brush

• 2 China Bristle Brushes

• 2 Round Hogs Hair Brushes

• X-Acto Blade

 

Painting the Chair

1. Use Simple Green to wipe down object’s surface and clear any dust, dirt, etc.

2. Once clean, wipe off with lint-free t-shirt rag and water.

3. Thoroughly shake the One Step Paint™ can for 1-2 minutes

4. Open lid of One Step Paint™ with can opener and then thoroughly stir with stir-stick. Depending how well the chalk has settled, you may need to shake, stir, shake, stir until the paint is mixed will.

5. Use a synthetic brush to coat your object with a nice, even coat of One Step Paint™ in Frankly Scarlet. *Do not apply the paint too thick, as it could crack when drying.

6. Once you have applied the first coat, allow to dry for 30 - 45 minutes.

7. Apply second coat of One Step Paint™.

8. Allow to dry for 30-45 minutes. You want this second coat to be completely dry before using painters tape.

**If you desire your piece to have that beautiful, dead, chalky finish, you are finished! There is NO sealing required with One Step.

9. If you want to seal your piece, you can continue on, applying Amy Howard at Home® waxes.

11. Using a round hogs hair brush and the Light Antique Wax™, get just enough wax to cover the tips of the bristles.

12. Use the cardboard palette to offload some wax from the brush. *Always off-load: you should never go directly from the wax to your piece.

13. Apply the Light Antique Wax™ over the entire piece moving the brush in a “cross-hatch” pattern - not long, symmetrical strokes.

14. Allow the wax to come to tack. *When wax is applied, the piece will feel wet and greasy. Before the wax is dry, the wax will come to tack, meaning it will feel sticky.

15. Use the cardboard palette to offload some wax from the brush. *Always off-load: you should never go directly from the wax to your piece.

16. Using a china bristle brush and the Dark Antique Wax™, get just enough wax to cover the tips of the bristles. You only want to add the Dark Antique Wax™ to the areas that would show age—the edges and places that would have been touched and worn more often.

17. Allow the Dark Antique Wax™ to come to tack.

18. Use a lint-free t-shirt rag to buff your piece as you would buff a shoe (hit-drag motion) to get that beautiful patina shine. 

 

 

Painting the Madras Pattern on the Seat

19. Dilute Frankly Scarlet One Step Paint with about 15% water.

 

 

20. Use a round hogs hair brush to apply 1 light coat of Frankly Scarlet One Step. Paint to the seat. Allow to dry. This red coat will peek through the texture of the burlap in a way that's sneaky and adorable!

 

 

 

21. Lightly sand with 400 grit sand paper.

22. Apply second coat of Frankly Scarlet One Step Paint. Allow to dry.

 

*Painted chair cushion, pre-burlap.

*Painted chair cushion, pre-burlap.

 

Burlap

23. Cover chair’s seat with burlap.

 

 

24. Tape off the fabric to create a 21/2 inch stripe.

 

 

25. Dilute Ballet White One Step Paint with 50% water. Using a round hogs hair brush, stipple on the first coat of paint. Allow to dry.

 

MC_25.jpg
 

26. Lightly sand with 400 grit sandpaper.

27. Add second coat of Ballet White. Allow to dry, then remove tape.

28. Tape off fabric to create three 1/2 inch stripes. *If 1/2 inch painters tape is not accessible, create your own 1/2 tape using x-acto & wax paper.

 

29. Use x-acto knife to cut overlapping tape.

 

 

 

 

30. Dilute Black One Step Paint™ with 50% water, then stipple on 1 coat of paint. Allow to dry and remove tape.

 

 

 

31. Tape off fabric for the last stripe. We created a 1/8 inch stipe.

 

 

 

32. As before, use x-acto knife to cut overlapping tape.

 

 

 

33. Dilute Frankly Scarlet One Step Paint™ with 50% water and stipple on one coat of paint. Allow to dry and remove tape.

 

 

34. Place burlap over the painted seat cushion. Secure in place with staples.

 

 

 

35. Enjoy the Bragging Rights™! 

 

 

Now you have seasonal-appropriate seating! And as we're in the season of giving, for an extra surprise, you could always give the chairs as a gift to your guests as they leave!

I’d love to see your success stories, so post your pics below, or tag us on your social media channel of choice. 

 

Remember to subscribe to get all our great DIY tutorials right to your inbox!

 

 

 

 

 

Gilded Tile Trivet Tutorial

Handmade is more chic than ever! I wanted to show you how everyday ceramic tiles can become wildly glorious. You could use them as trivets and coasters for a holiday party, or give even give as holiday gifts. You'll be royalty at your family gift exchange, while you just sip your egg nog with a wry smile. 

 

Materials

  • Amy Howard at Home® Gilding Size™
  • Amy Howard at Home® Gold Leaf™
  • Amy Howard At Home® Gold Leaf Sheets
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Simple Green
  • Foam Brush
  • Damask (or other patterned) Adhesive Stencil
  • Amy Howard at Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer™ in Bright Idea
  • China Bristle Brush

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Clean tile using a degreaser like Simple Green.

2. Rinse with water and wipe dry.

3. Apply Stencil to the top of tile.

 

 

 

4. Using a foam brush, apply Gilding Size™. Wait 20-30 min for Gilding Size™ to come to tack.

 

 

5. When Gilding Size™ has come to tack, apply Gold Leaf™ sheets to cover entire top surface.*Begin in one corner and work in a linear motion (i.e. top to bottom, left to right.), making sure to overlap 1/2 in. - 1 in. for each full sheet.

 

 

6. Once laid, put orange tissue paper sheet in-between hand and Gold Leaf™ to burnish well.

Take clean, dry china bristle brush and wipe off any extra Gold Leaf™.

 

 

7. Peel off the stencil. This will pull off the Gilding on top, exposing tile underneath.

 

 

 

8. Spray on Bright Idea™ to seal.

 

 

9. Now you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!

 
 


5 Back-To-Basics YouTube Tutorials

 

More fun than watching paint dry, is watching how to paint

So watch your way to DIY success with our updated YouTube Channel!

 

Amy Howard YouTube Channel
 

 

You asked, we listened. This week at the Amy Howard At Home headquarters, we busied ourselves, creating a steady stream of helpful YouTube videos! These are the quintessential tutorials, that you, dear DIY-er, have requested. Below, you'll find a quick recap of our most recent videos, and at the bottom, maybe some sneak peaks of what's to come!

 

Painting with Different Tools (Pt 1)

"What kind of brush should I use for my project?" Amy Howard walks you through the basics of the perfect paintbrushes for the chalk-based One Step Paint.

 

 

Light Antique Wax™ and Dark Antique Wax™

"What does the wax do?" Throw away the sandpaper. Using that stuff just looks like you trapped a tiger in your foyer. Amy uses Light Antique Wax™ and Dark Antique Wax™ to create the ONLY antique finish for your furniture!

 

 

Liming Wax

“What is the Liming Wax, and how do I use it?” Amy Howard of Amy Howard At Home® shows you how to use her Liming Wax to create a luxurious, cerused—or “limed” finish. Most people use this on their kitchen cabinets, and you can see why!

 

 

Lacquer

Lacquer is one of the greatest way to make-over a ho-hum or weathered piece. This high-performance furniture paint is, without question, the most enviable revamp product on the market. We want you to be successful in your lacquer application, but there are some pitfalls to avoid. So let Amy help you, so that you won’t have a headache from your furrowed brow OR the paint fumes. Amy sprays lacquer the right way to get that thick, high-gloss, magic look.

 

Dust of Ages

What does the Dust do? Why you check it out? Because it pours on the age and elegance, some have called this a “magic powder”—(not kidding! See our Instagram!) that infuse depth, detail, and dance to your piece. If you want age AND elegance, Amy will show you how to get it in this video!

 

shhhhh! Upcoming videos:

-What if you just want to paint with a roller? You have a 20-pack of sponge brushes? The paint applicator video was so good, we just had to make a sequel! We are cooking up a PART TWO to where Amy shows you the effects of painting with different applicators, and how you don’t have to go wrong.

-Mixing Toscana Milk-Paint, (how-to and color fun!)

-Fabric painting

-Clear Wax

-Cracked Gesso

-Mica Powders + Waxes

And much more!

 

Make sure you SUBSCRIBE to our channel to stay in the loop for all the latest tutorials! You will be successful with Amy Howard At Home® line to Craft A Beautiful Life™!

 

What other videos would you like to see?

 

Gilded Velvet Pillow Tutorial

gilded velvet pillow

Remember how shocked you were when you heard that our One Step Paint could be brushed on fabrics? If that isn't wild enough, wait until you see what we tried next! We took a velvet pillowcase and applied our Gold Leaf Sheets, popping rich textures and colors you just have to touch to believe. Combine the green and gold for an indulgent look that you can accomplish in minutes. In this blog post, you’ll see how you can quickly create an luxurious, unforgettable gift, leaving your loved ones wide-eyed!

 

MATERIALS

Velvet, Forest-Green Pillowcase

Mylar Wall Stencil in Honeybun

China Bristle Brush

1 Book of Amy Howard At Home® Gold Leaf Sheets

Amy Howard At Home® Gilding Size

Plastic Misting Bottle

velvet pillow gilding supplies

1. Lay pillowcase fabric flat on work surface. Make sure pillow is removed.

2. Center stencil on pillowcase. 

Centered stencil on pillowcase

3. Put Gilding Size into plastic mister bottle. Because pillowcase will not be 100% flat, you need to use hands to hold stencil in place.

4. Begin with one corner of pillowcase and saturate stencil and pillowcase with sprayed misted Gilding Size. Try to move slowly when picking up hand placed on stencil in order to keep it from moving. 

Spray gilding size 2
Spraying gilding size

5. Continue to mist pillow’s entire surface with Gilding Size.

6. Once pillowcase is completely saturated with Gilding Size, you may remove stencil. Some areas will be more saturated than others, this is ok. 

7. Allow for Gilding Size to dry 15-20 min. This is somewhat faster than normal. When Gilding Size is applied on fabric, it settles into it and dries faster.

8. If the Gilding Size’s white color starts to fade, it dried too much. Touch the applied Gilding Size to confirm it is still tacky. Once the Gilding Size starts to fade, it is settling into the fabric and could become too dry.

9. Lay Gold Leaf. *Begin in one corner and work in a linear motion (i.e. top to bottom, left to right.), making sure to overlap 1/2 in. - 1 in. for each full sheet. Do not try to match lines.

 
laying gold leaf
gold leaf on pillow
 

10. Once laid, put orange paper sheet in-between hand and Gold Leaf to burnish well.

november-171.jpg

11. Once entire surface is covered with Gold Leaf, take 2 sheets of orange tissue paper and burnish one more time to assure adherence that Gold Leaf as adhered to Gilding Size.

12. Take clean, dry China Bristle Brush and wipe off any extra Gold Leaf. Because this is fabric, apply more pressure to fabric than normal, but not too much that it pulls off Gold Leaf.

brushing off gilding
brushing off gilding 2
 

13. If there are areas where not sticking, the Gilding Size dried to much or seeped in fabric so much that it lost stickiness. This is ok as it will add to the natural distress. 

gilded pillow close up

Pair the pillow with a chair or sofa in contrasting colors and textures, and it will warm and shine up any living space. Any questions? Ideas for other pillowcase colors? Reply below and tell us how you Craft a Beautiful Life™!

gilded pillow finished

Antiqued Mirror Wall Tutorial

 

 

*Finished Product

*Finished Product

Mirrored spaces are the designer's secret way to make smaller areas seem larger. We’ve all seen my Antique Mirror Stripper and Solution at-work on individual pieces, eating off the luster and leaving a new mirror seemingly worn by age and memory. My husband Gene assembled a whole wall of antiqued mirrors for our den, and wow, what an effect! Instead of a classic mantle on display, we now have this fabulous backdrop. Our method of antiquing mirrors is a cakewalk, and once you get it, its uses are as limited as our imagination!  In this tutorial, I’ll be guiding you through the steps of creating your own mirror wall, beginning with the simple steps of mirror antiquing.

 

 

 

Products Needed:

Real silver mirror (Made in USA is a must! Many overseas mirrors are not real silver, ergo, the process will not work!) 

Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™  

Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™ 

Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ in Black  

Palmer Mirror Mastic

Clear Silicon Adhesive

 

Antique Mirror Products Needed

 

 

Supplies Needed: 

Sponge/Rollers Brushes (1 per every 2 mirror tile. 1 for painting)

Multiple Lint-Free T-Shirt Rags 

Bowls 

Simple Green™ Degreasing Cleaner 

Water Tubs 

Brown Kraft Paper  

Stripping Gloves

Safety Goggles 

1/16” Tile Spacers 

Long Straight Edge

Caulk Gun

 

 

 

Directions:

Find a well-ventilated area for working. Also, you will need a water source for rinsing mirror during antiquing process. Work area should be protected by plastic tarp, or some area which will not be damaged by Mirror Stripper. Temperature must be between 70-80°F for optimal processing conditions.

 

1. Mirror tiles can be pre-cut to size, or cut on-site to fit area to be mirrored. If tiles are pre-cut to fit, antique them after they are cut. 

 

2. Measure wall where mirror is to be installed. Decide what size you want the tiles to be, then cut them according to size of wall. Keep in mind, you will need 1/16" gap between each row of mirrors (this is where the spacers will be used).     

 

3. Take each mirror piece and place face down on a non-abrasive surface.

 

*Backside of mirror tile

*Backside of mirror tile

4. Put on safety goggles and appropriate gloves to protect body from the Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™.

 

5. Shake the Mirror Stripper very well and apply a nice, even coat of the product to the paint on back of mirror. Using sponge brush or paint roller, promptly roll out stripper until coverage is even.

Antique Mirror Stripper shake
 
 
Antique Mirror Stripper pour
Antique Mirror Stripper spread
 

6. As chemical reaction is achieved, backing paint will begin to bubble up and it will be ready to remove when all the backing paint has bubbled up. *This can take up to 10 minutes.

 
Antique Mirror Stripper bubble up

 

7. If certain areas are not bubbling, apply more Mirror Stripper to those areas, and agitate with foam brush. *The stripper will eat through the foam of the brush, so you will need to work quickly.

 

8. Take a piece of kraft paper, slightly larger than mirror, and lay it on the bubbled mirror backing paint and lightly smooth it out - holding with one hand while smoothing with the other.

Antique Mirror Stripper paper
 
Antique Mirror Stripper paper 2

9. Slowly lift the kraft paper away from you. The backing paint will affix itself to the kraft paper and lift up with it. *The mirror’s actual silver is now exposed. Be very careful not to scratch the silver during the following processes.

Antique Mirror Stripper paper lift
Antique Mirror gold

10. Once the backing paint is removed, apply a light second coat of Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™ to remove the copper color and texture left behind after removing the kraft paper. *Work quickly, but take care to not scratch silver while using foam brush. Brush WILL scratch mirror.

Antique Mirror Stripper application 2
Antique Mirror Stripper spread 2

11. Spray mirror with Simple Green™ degreaser prior to rinsing in water tub. This aids in the removal of the excess Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™.

Antique Mirror Stripper simple green spray
 

 

12. Use water to rinse the stripper from mirror. Use T-Shirt rag to help remove any remaining Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Stripper™. Do not use paper towels, as they can be too rough. *You can use a plastic container filled with water, or even rinse with a water hose if in an area where water can run off and stripper will not run into ground water (as on a concrete area where product would be evaporated).

 
Antique Mirror Stripper wash off
Antique Mirror Stripper wash off 2

13. Shake Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™ very well, and pour into a small plastic container or styrofoam bowl. *Working atop white paper will help you see this better.

Antique Mirror Solution

 

14. Moderately saturate T-shirt rag with the Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™.

Antique Mirror Solution moderately saturate rag

 

15. Apply over entire piece by patting and pouncing the rag in a randomized, organic pattern. *Do not use an organized, specific pattern.

Antique Mirror Solution application

 

16. Once you have covered all of the silver with the rag, apply solution from bottle in small “S” patterns and small circles.

Antique Mirror Solution "s" pattern

 

17. After a few minutes, the mirror’s silver will begin to change color. Lift up your mirror to look at the other side to see how the process is progressing. 

 

18. Continue to apply more Mirror Solution to promote the antiquing process. Eventually solution will begin to wear away silver and expose glass. Continue checking the front of the mirror to see desired effect. This process can take up to 30 minutes, but is dependent on environmental temperature (the warmer the work area, the faster the process). *For a darker antique mirror, continue application of solution.

 

19. When mirror has reached desired effect, rinse off the Amy Howard At Home® Antique Mirror Solution™ with water and allow to dry.

*Remember to check the front of your mirror reflecting on white paper to see how much the mirror has distressed!

*Remember to check the front of your mirror reflecting on white paper to see how much the mirror has distressed!

Antique Mirror black paint 1

20. Using a paint roller, apply three, thin coats of black Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ onto the silver side. This will seal the mirrors.

Antique Mirror black paint 2
*Antique Mirror finished effect

*Antique Mirror finished effect

21. For next steps, you will need the Palmer mirror mastic, clear silicon adhesive (bother of these in tubes to be applied with caulk gun), 1/16” tile spacers, and a long straight edge. 

 

22. Check wall where mirror is to be applied with straight edge, looking for any areas that would be convex. This would prevent mirror from laying flat. If area is convex, it will need to be flattened. 

 

23. Using a caulk gun, apply nickel-to-quarter-sized drops of mirror mastic every 6". Because mastic is slow-drying, apply pea-sized drops of silicon adhesive between drops of mirror mastic. This will help hold mirror to wall while mastic is drying. 

 

24. Affix mirrors to wall, starting with bottom row of mirrors first. *Push mirrors against wall for strong adhesion. If possible, keep a very slight space (not touching) between each piece. This helps prevent chipping or cracking due to movement of mirrors over time.

 

25. Apply second row of mirrors on top of first row using 1/16" spacers between rows. 

 

26. Continue this process until wall is complete. 

 

27. Allow mastic to dry 2 days. 

 

28. After drying, cut spacers flush with mirror, leaving piece of spacer in gap. Use silicon adhesive to caulk gap left between each row of mirrors. 

 

29. Clean any excess silicon per directions on tube.

 

30. Now you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!

Antique Mirror Wall close-up

 

 

No one else in your neighborhood will have anything like this! Your friends will swoon!

Antique Mirror Wall close-up 2



Zinc Table Top

Zinc Table Top

Everywhere this Antiqued Zinc Top Table goes it receive stares, admiration and wonder. Everyone who has ever sat down to work at this table asks how we made it, what products we used and where they can get the materials?
Well the tutorial full of all our zinc-loving secrets is finally here! 

Sweepstakes Giveaway!

If you have you ever thought..."Wow! I would love to attend one of the Amy Howard at Home workshops in Memphis!"....get ready, because this is your chance

Thanks to our the DIY experts over at Ace Hardware, you and your friend have the chance to win a trip to Memphis, TN where you will be taught exclusive refinishing techniques from Amy Howard herself!

To enter, simply register here: Ace Hardware Sweepstakes Giveaway!

Good Luck! We hope to see you soon!
Amy Howard & Team

Holiday Pumpkin Trio

Holiday Pumpkin Trio

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I LOVE holiday decor! When I feel the air getting cooler and smell that familiar smoky scent warming some lucky soul down the street, I know it’s time to start setting out my favorite festive accents!

As I’m sure you know, one of the best things about being an avid DIY lover is that every new holiday allows your creative skills to shine in a never before seen light!

Today I am walking you through my take on how to modernize the traditional pumpkin display. This little trio is perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving alike!

Cabinet with lettering accent

Cabinet with lettering accent

Every once in a  while we see that one of our project pieces need a little more personality and  it's time for us to dive into the treasure trouve of amazingly versatile finishing products the Amy Howard at Home line carries. For this project, we dreamed of a little French bistro insprired whimsy! Follow along as we use the Amy Howard at Home® Toscana Milk Paint Binder™ in a way you never imagined possible!

Flea Find Flip Sweepstakes

Flea Find Flip Sweepstakes

To kick off the fall season in style, we sent out a challenge to our Amy Howard at Home® retail boutique owners and their treasure clients: rescue a piece of furniture for as inexpensively as possible, gather your most imaginative ideas, restore that piece using at least 3 Amy Howard at Home® products and then turn around and sell it for as much as you can! We lovingly named this sweepstakes “Flea, Find, Flip” in honor of our favorite way to use the Amy Howard at Home® products!

Modern Lacquered Lamp

Modern Lacquered Lamp

We picked up an adorable globe lamp just last week using our favorite "porch pick-up" site. The original yellow colored glass seemed dated to me, but the globe shape just screamed modern. Follow along as I show you just how easy it was to transform this lamp from boring to perfection! 

Antiqued tabletop pillar

Antiqued tabletop pillar

Making it possible for you, our treasured clients, to produce professional grade products for pennies on the dollar, is the very reason the Amy Howard at Home® lifestyle line exists. Having spent over half of my life as a professional refinisher, I truly believe it only takes one DIY project using my products to make you feel like a pro! Follow along as I display how easy it can be to refinish any raw wood surface to appear as though it were a historical masterpiece.