This week on Finish Friday, Amy concludes the 2-part series on techniques for weathering and aging wood pieces. In Part 1, Amy showed off some gorgeous pieces that were treated with Amy Howard at Home Better With Age solution and Venetian Plaster, finishing with Cerusing Wax to add a nice sheen. In Part 2 this week, Amy is talking about adding layers to finishes with tools and plaster, using stencils, and treating a piece of furniture that has already been stained.
Creating Age and Depth with Finishes
The Better With Age bundle from Amy Howard at Home contains everything you need to give natural wood an extra special antique touch. In her latest Finish Friday video, Amy reiterates the ways that our Better With Age solution changes raw wood, especially raw wood with lots of tannins in it: oak, cherry, walnut, and so on. One of the most important things to remember when creating aged wood finishes is that it will look best with a lot of depth. Wood with various layers and textures will give it a complex look and make it more appealing, especially if you’re selling it. The Better With Age bundle makes it easy for you to add layers and depth to your wood pieces.
If you’ve applied Better With Age and white Venetian Plaster to raw wood, you can add a little color by mixing more plaster and milk paint. Milk paint has organic, natural properties that other paints don’t, which makes it the only kind of paint you should mix with plaster. But you can play around and create your own unique color by mixing various amounts of milk paint and plaster together. Amy also explains that there’s no magic ratio of plaster to paint to keep in mind; just use your own creativity!
Getting Creative with Color and Stencils
When your plaster and milk paint mixture turns your desired color, you’ll apply the wet mixture thinly across your wood using a metal scraper. Pull the plaster across the wood grain using a dry scraper and you’ll begin to see hints of the layers underneath. (There’s that depth we’re going for!) Amy demonstrates another way to get distressed layers later in this video: by painting milk paint on top of Better With Age and, before it’s dry, pulling steel wool across your wood. Hints of layers underneath will give your wood piece a beautiful antique look.
After you’ve achieved your desired style with layers of plaster and color, you can add lovely detail using stencils. For example, if you’ve added Better With Age, white plaster, and pale blue plaster to a piece of raw wood as Amy does in this video, you could complete your piece by applying plaster in a dark color on top of a stencil. To do that, lay the stencil on top of your wood. Load a bit of dark colored plaster onto a metal scraper and pull the plaster across the wood on top of the stencil. This step with stencils can be a lot of fun to play around with.
Creating a New Finish on Previously Stained Wood
In this week’s video, Amy also shows that, if you have an existing piece of furniture or wood that’s already finished, you can still customize it with your own plaster, but you must prime it first. One Step Paint is a great primer that can be used on all types of surfaces, in addition to wood. It’ll bind your plaster, plus give it another layer of depth. After you’ve applied One Step Paint to your wood, apply your plaster with a chip brush. Then, add some weathering detail with a dry chip brush or metal scraper. Removing excess plaster this way will create a weathered look, as well as polish any rough or grainy spots on the surface.
One of the best things about the Better With Age bundle is the versatility of the products. If you enjoy playing around with different colors or shades of finishes, you’ll be able to achieve many looks when applying the plaster or wax at different times or in different amounts. Plus, using these products on different kinds of wood will give you all kinds of pretty results!
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