Haven Bloggers Conference

This past weekend the Amy Howard team of creatives trekked to the bustling city of Atlanta, GA as an honored sponsor of Haven Bloggers Conference. Friday and Saturday held the exclusive attention of the brightest voices in the creative blogger community. Men and women from all over the United States and Canada gathered to glean from the finest of what the DIY movement has to offer, to bolster each other up, to learn from one another and to understand in greater clarity why we do what we do.

Amy met countless influential voices, swapped stories rooted in the wisdom only a long journey can bring and had the privilege of teaching her favorite refinishing techniques to overcrowded rooms of enthusiastic makers. It seemed as though wherever Amy landed, a crowd soon formed. It was a blast!

 
 

The greatest privilege of the weekend however, had to be the unveiling of A Maker’s Guide. As soon as this petition from Amy’s soul was placed in their hands, we began to hear of how it was already making a difference in their lives. These talented men and women began to understand that Amy’s heartbeat was much like their own. All weekend long we reveled in celebrated truth this outspoken creative community chases: Our lives are not just about beautiful spaces or colors; furniture or design, but rather the heart behind the choice to put ourselves out there. Each of us is aiming to make a difference in people’s lives with what we have to offer. With that intentionality in every step we take--everyday, we find that creativity can be as rewarding to the creator as it is to the recipient.

 
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A piece of of our hearts were sent off with you as we hugged your necks, heard your stories and found that even on the hardest of days, none of us are alone in this journey. The reward this uniquely diverse community offers is without a doubt the propellent of its continual prosperity. We cannot wait to see what your future as a like-minded and open-hearted creative maker holds.

We are honored to be crafting this beautiful life together!

-Amy Howard & Team

 

Pink Lacquered Lamp

Happy Monday!

As you all know, scouring online resale sites has quickly become one of our favorite ways to hunt for buried treasure. The idea of shopping from home & picking up your purchase from a front porch (never having to see anyone, mind you) is almost too easy. Amy snagged this adorable lamp for under $15. The previous color could work elsewhere, but Amy wanted to add a pop of feminine color to adorn our otherwise masculine blue and white dresser. With her miracle lacquer in tow, she got to work!

 

For this project Amy used:

Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Pink

Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in White Perfection

Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ in Ballet White

(1) Flat Amy Howard At Home® natural bristle brush

Painters tape

Gentle cleaner (such as Simple Green®)

Spray bottle of water

Lint-free cleaning rags

 

THE prep work

Step 1:

Clean the entire body of your lamp by spraying it down with your gentle surface cleaner and wiping away any dust that has built up over the years.

Step 2:

Spray that same surface down with water to remove any remaining solvent residue, then wipe completely dry with lint-free rag.

Step 3:

Tape off the trim and edges of your project. The lacquer will spray in a V-shape. This is great for maximum coverage, but you want to be sure to protect any areas you don’t want painted.

 

THE Lamp

Step 4:

Using vertical swiping motions at an 8-10” distance, spray your lacquer in short spurts at a time. Don’t linger too long or spray too closely. This could create drips!

Pro Tip: Always lacquer your rescues in a well ventilated area. A protective mask is always a good idea as well.  

Step 5:

Allow your piece to completely dry between coats. Some projects call for touch ups or a second coat. 

Step 6:

Amy decided to add a few varying dynamics to our piece by painting the finial, chain ends and top trim contrasting colors. As with the previous steps, simply tape off your borders and allow your imagination to roam free! 

 

THE shade:

Amy wanted to brighten up the dulled lamp shade to a crisp pure white. Over the years dust and UV exposure can compromise the colors of any fabric or paint. When you have the One Step Paint™ at your reach, there is never a need to buy new or replace anything!

 

Step 7:

In order to make the One Step Paint™ absorb into the fabric shade, dilute the Ballet White down by adding 15% water.

Pro Tip: Save the rest of your paint for future projects by pouring a small amount of color into a reusable container. Then add 15% water to the designated amount to create a fabric friendly formula.

Step 8:

Stipple paint your reduced solution onto your fabric with an Amy Howard At Home® flat brush. Apply one thin coat at a time and allow each coat to completely dry before adding an additional layer. If it dries too thick, it could crackle.

 

The Results:

Step 9:

After your lamp and shade have completely cured, slowly remove your painters tape. You are ready to reassemble!


 

What a glorious pop of femininity our new lamp has brought to our eclectic vignette. It’s perfect!


 

Enjoy the bragging rights!

- Amy Howard & Team

 

Red Lacquer Chair

 

We’ve all seen them...those dated side chairs with their odd faux finishes and dull fabric. Yuck! You have probably passed them up time and time again because you don’t know where to begin. Lucky for us, no job is too big for Amy and today she is sharing one of the many possibilities still left for these seemingly hopeless throw aways.

 

To give a small piece of furniture an important role in any room, always go with a bold pop of color. Those accent pieces won’t get lost in the corner if you showcase them right! The beautiful lines on the back & legs of this chair gives us a glimpse inside it’s potential for greatness. Still reeling in the excitement from the recent holiday, Amy decided to adorn this project with a pop of patriotic zest!

 

 

 

For this project Amy used:

 

Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Brisson Red

Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Bright Idea

Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ in American Dream and Ballet White

Amy Howard At Home® Adhesive Stencil in Greek Key

(3) Amy Howard At Home® round brushes

 

Gentle cleaner such as Simple Green®

Spray bottle of water

Lint-free cleaning rags

400 grit sandpaper

Small scrap piece of cardboard

 

 

 

The Prep Work

 

Step 1:

Vacuum or wipe seat cushion clean. Making sure no dust or debris is left on surface.

 

Step 2:

Remove seat cushion from body of chair by unscrewing it from underneath base of the seat.

 

Step 3:

Clean the body of your chair by spraying it down with your gentle surface cleaner and wiping away any grime that has been built up over the years.

 

Step 4:

Spray surface down with water to remove any remaining residue and wipe completely dry with lint-free rag.


 

The Chair


 

Step 5:

Spray entire body of chair (inside and out) with Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Brisson Red. Use a gentle swiping motion, spraying in short horizontal spurts, placed 8-10” from surface. Don’t spray too close or linger in one area too long so dripping doesn’t form.

 

Step 6:

Repeat until the entire surface is fully & evenly painted. Some projects require more than one can of paint. Allow the surface to completely dry before moving to next step. (We highly recommend giving your piece a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper between each coat.)

 

Step 7:

Finish off this portion of the project with an even coat of the Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Bright Idea. Once the surface has cured & is completely dry, this portion of the project is shiny and done!

 

Interested in using another color for your project? Here is our Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer color chart! For additional tips and tricks, from Amy Howard herself, visit our YouTube channel and watch our video on How To Paint With Lacquer.

 

Here is the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU6K2QwZnL0


 

The Cushion

 

 

Step 8:

In order to make the One Step Paint™ absorb into the seat cushion fabric, dilute Ballet White down by reducing 20% of the volume with water.

 

Pro Tip: Save the rest of your paint for future projects by pouring a small amount of color into a reusable container. Then add 20% water to the designated amount to create a fabric friendly formula.

 

Step 9:

Stipple paint your reduced solution onto your fabric with a Amy Howard At Home® round brush. It is very important to apply one thin coat at a time. If it dries too thick, it could crackle.

 

Step 10:

Allow paint to dry for at least 30 - 45 minutes between coats. Repeat Step 9 until color is opaque.

 

Step 10:

Once surface is completely cured, apply the Amy Howard At Home® Adhesive Stencil in Greek Key. We used four and matched up the ends to create one large canvas.

 

Step 11:

Exactly like step 9, we diluted the One Step Paint™ in American Dream down 20% with water.

 

Step 12:

Using a clean Amy Howard At Home® round brush, stipple the One Step Paint™ over the stencil pattern.

 

Step 13:

Allow paint to dry for at least 30 - 45 minutes. Repeat step 12 until color is opaque.

 

Step 14:

Slowly removed stencil. Don’t be afraid to touch up any edges of pattern that might need a cleaner and sharper edge.

 

Step 15:

We finished off the fabric color by applying a thin layer of the Amy Howard At Home® Clear Wax. Using a clean Amy Howard At Home® round brush, dip brush into your wax and offload excess onto the scrap cardboard before brushing onto fabric with a cross-hatching motion.

 



After the wax has completely cured and the paint has hardened your chair is ready to reassemble! Whether it’s wood, metal, glass or fabric--no matter where your imagination takes you, the Amy Howard at Home product line has you covered! Cheers to our red, white and blue!



Enjoy the bragging rights!

- Amy Howard & Team


Lacquered Vases

Summer is here and it seems that every time we turn around there is another special event upon us! The Amy Howard at Home team loves dreaming up original ways to express a warm invite to the neighborhood or welcome home to a new bundle of joy. 

 

With all things beautiful & blooming right at our fingertips, Amy knew there was no better way to share the gift of summer's best than packaged in a custom vase made with love! Being the DIY queen that she is, she headed to the local dollar store to snag a few of those irresistible $1 glass containers that are just begging for a new lease on life.

 

For this project Amy used:

Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in White Perfection

Amy Howard At Home® High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Begonia

(1) Amy Howard At Home® Adhesive Stencil

 Painter’s tape 

Round pricing labels from local dollar store 

(3) Clear cylinder vases from local dollar store

Degreaser to clean glass

Water to rinse

Lint free rag to dry

 

Step one:

Thoroughly clean glass with diluted degreaser.

 

Step two:

Rinse all cleaning product off in sink. 

 

Step three:

Dry vase with your lint free rag--inside and out. 

 

Step four:

This is where your creativity has the chance to shine! Place your tape, stickers and adhesive stencil wherever your vision takes you! There is no right or wrong to this step. Just make sure the pattern you choose is executed straight and evenly. 

 

Step five:

Spray your White Perfection directly onto the exterior of the vases using a linear swiping motion. Keep an 8-10” distance, spraying in small spurts and segments. This will keep any dripping at bay.

 

Step six:

Amy gave one of the trios a pop of color by spraying the base with Begonia.

 

 

Step seven:

Allow at least an hour to dry!

 

Step eight:

Carefully & slowly remove your adhesive stencils once the lacquer has completely hardened. 

 

 

What a lovely housewarming gift this would make. In fact, you might just need to keep one for yourself!


Enjoy the bragging rights!

Hope you are having a happy Monday,

- Amy Howard & Team

Step by Step: Blue and White Chest

 

It can easily be said that our 100% natural One Step Paint™ is what set the Amy Howard At Home® line on the map. The methanol free formulation is in a league of it’s own. Our chalk-based paint not only allows you to skip the sanding, priming and stripping process; it can be used without sealing as well! With over 60% of all rescued and restored pieces being placed in children’s rooms, it was imperative to Amy that her line offer a completely safe choice for your precious babies.

 

Planning nursery decor is such a special treat for our team of artisans. The rule for children’s decor is that there are no rules! This is the perfect time to use your imagination and all those bold color combinations you have been itching to try out. With our masculine mid-century dresser in hand we set out to create the perfect welcome home vignette for baby boy.


 

For this Project we used:

 

Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ in Lady Singing the Blues

Amy Howard At Home® One Step Paint™ in Bauhaus Buff

Gentle surface cleaner such as Simple Green

Lint free cleaning rags

Painters tape

Amy Howard At Home® Round Hog Hair Brushes

And, as always, ample amounts of creative vision!


 

Step 1:

We cleaned all surfaces of the chest, including hardware, with a gentle degreaser and a clean rag. After using the degreases we took a wet cloth and wiped the surface down one more time. We then dried everything with a lint free rag.

 

Professional tip: When using a concentrated formula of cleaner, make sure you adequately dilute it with water first.

 

Step 2:

We pulled out the drawers and removed any hardware that was easy to unscrew.


 

Step 3: We then taped off the edges of the interior and exterior.

 

Step 4:

We filled in any scratches, dings or dents with a quick drying wood filler.

 

Step 5:

While the wood filler dried, we ran our hands over the dresser to feel for any rough spots that needed sanding. More times than not, the corners have been bumped a great deal over the years and need some tending to. A light buffing with mild grit sandpaper will do the trick.

 

 

In order to maintain the integrity of the mid-century appeal and still be playful enough for a child’s room, we dreamed up a fun, yet unique, color contrast. Never be afraid to dream up ways to make each project pop and stand alone.


 

Step 6:

When the wood filler is dry, it’s time to paint! We used our Lady Singing the Blues on round brush to go over the surface of the body and three drawers with a cross hatch motion. With the One Step Paint’s™ quick and easy coverage, our dry time was a snap.

 

Professional tip: If you would like to use a paint sprayer, dilute the One Step Paint™ with 15% water.

 

Step 7:

We repeated step 6 using a clean brush and our Bauhaus Buff on the top two drawers. These two drawers had a varying shape and trim, which made it easy to envision with an accenting color.

 

Step 8:

We chose to add a pop of contrast to the opposing fixtures and front feet as well. We used our same tape, brushes and cross-hatch motion as before.

 

We admit, not many are bold enough to paint furniture fixtures, let alone a dipped feet effect--but the Amy Howard at Home team wants to show you just how much individuality and loads of appeal your imagination can bring to a project. Paint any surface, including metal fixtures just as you would the rest of your surfaces. There are no limitations to your creativity!

 

Step 7:

When all surfaces were completely dry, it was finally time to remove all painters tape and reassemble. We reattached our hardware and put the drawers back in place.




Didn’t this guy turn out handsome!




Enjoy the bragging rights,

Amy Howard and Team.

Lacquered Antique Mason Jars

Step By Step: 

 
 

 

The Amy Howard at Home line of professional artisan products takes no short cuts on quality. Our high performance furniture lacquer is unlike any other other acrylic spray paint you can find on the DIY store shelves. This nitrocellulose lacquer is the same professional grade formula used by luxury furniture lines and can be applied on practically any surface. As you too will soon find, the possibilities for this amazing product are endless!

 

Amy’s favorite antique stores are often filled with anything from massive hand-carved wardrobes to adorable vintage glassware. We know, the best kind of mason jar is a vintage mason jar. The lids have that beautiful wide edge and a worn-in kind of charm, only an antique could possess. Unfortunately though, the glass body doesn’t always age as kindly. But with a $5 price tag, we knew these jars had to be ours and the Amy Howard at Home lacquer would come to the rescue.


 

For this project we used:

Can of Amy Howard at Home Furniture Lacquer

We chose: White Perfection

Gentle Surface cleaner (our staple product is Simple Green)

Lint-free cleaning rags



 

Step 1:

Clean the jars thoroughly, inside and out. Rinse and dry completely with a lint free rag.



 

Step 2:

Carefully spray your Amy Howard at Home lacquer across the jar’s surface with a gentle swiping motion. Always be very careful not to create drips by lingering in one area too long.

 

Professional Tip: Our high performance furniture lacquer comes equipped with a professional nozzle as well. While most cans of spray paint disperse product with a straight shot, our nitrocellulose lacquer is applied in a V-shape. This means more coverage and maneuverability for our artisans!

 

Step 3:

Allow ample drying time, then lightly sand any uneven spots with fine grade steel wool.

 

Step 4:

Repeat step 2 for you final coat and seal.


Step 5: Allow your jars to dry completely and your transformation is done!


We love how the contrast in color and texture turned out. The dirty matte finish of the lid complements the clean shiny white finish of the glass so nicely. What a fun way to store coffee beans, loose change or create bookshelf accent!


As always, we hope you enjoy the bragging rights.

Amy Howard and Team

Step by Step: Navy Lacquered Dresser

Step by Step: Navy Lacquered Dresser

One of our favorite products in the Amy Howard line is our professional grade furniture lacquers. You can use this product just about anywhere. It is, hands down, the quickest way to transform your project with a durable shine. With so many bold colors to choose from, we knew this mid-century dresser was screaming for a masculine overhaul. 

Step by Step: Black Dresser

Step by Step: Black Dresser

Here at Amy Howard, we believe that every piece of rescued furniture has a story to tell and we are sure to listen. The lines, materials, composition and year it was crafted must be taken into consideration when dreaming up the new look and purpose. If you stay in tune with the integrity of the item and allow it to inspire you, the restoration process can’t go wrong. 

Amy Howard at Home Color Inspiration

Amy Howard at Home Color Inspiration

The first and most crucial step in any beautifully decorated room is always laying out a clear foundation for the décor and color palette. Most, if not all, of the welcoming and timeless spaces we love were built & executed on the solid foundation of color planning. Inspiration for your décor can be found just about anywhere you are looking for it. Your love for the colors, textures and story of a single item can be enough to set the mood for an entire room.

The all new Amy Howard

The all new Amy Howard

When Gene and I set out on this big adventure we decided that no matter what came our way, we would give it our very best. Every new day here at Amy Howard Home has brought unforeseen blessing and countless opportunities to grow. We truly believe that when you set your minds on pursuing the things you love most with excellence & gratitude, every possibility is in your reach.

Step by Step: Antique Urn Tutorial

Step by Step: Antique Urn Tutorial

Throughout history Iron Urns have been used as beautiful planters, lawn accents and fountains in the most upscale of outdoor design. While treasure hunting in one of her favorite Memphis shops, Amy found this beautiful French inspired antique urn. Though it carried years of wear, the unique shape and detailed design showed much promise. Knowing how important it is to coat any outdoor metal with a fresh coat of paint to prevent any further rusting, Amy Howard showed us how to not only protect this piece, but showcase its beautiful historic integrity.

 

The Lantern

The Lantern

While on a trip to her beloved Italy, Amy happened upon this intricately designed antique lantern being sold in a street market. Beautiful in silhouette, the historic details of this piece also tell a great story. Dating all the way back to the early 19th century, this lantern was not only created to function as a source of light, it was someone’s work of art.

Antiquing Your One Step Paint

Antiquing Your One Step Paint

For this tutorial, you will need a piece of furniture or trim to work on, a T-shirt rag, Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint, Amy Howard at Home Light Antique Wax, Amy Howard at Home Dark Antique Wax, Amy Howard at Home Dust of Ages, and an Amy Howard at Home 2" paint brush.

One Step Paint Color Mix

One Step Paint Color Mix

The One Step Paint® is a great product to mix! Although there are many color options, I love to make my own versions though color mixing. For this mix, I used two parts of Rugo with 3 parts of Palm Beach and 2 parts Get in Gear. I was looking for a beautiful green between a shade of mint and emerald!

Creative Storefront: Fig & Company

Creative Storefront: Fig & Company

Welcome to a new week! It excites me to share creative ways that our retailers decorate their windows. Today, I am highlighting Fig & Company located in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was able see owners, Lee and Flavia, while we were in Atlanta for market and I am grateful to have such inspiring and wonderful retailers. The two owners have such great taste and below are a few images of their beautiful store windows.