When it comes to aging wood furniture and decor, you need the highest quality products to ensure the best finish. At Amy Howard at Home, Amy herself has specially formulated the products used based on her three decades in the rescue and restore business. The result? Wood finishing products that don’t include VOCs and that are designed for use on virtually any type of wood.
But knowing how to apply these products and how to age your wood surfaces goes beyond the right products. That’s why Amy is sharing a 2-part series on Old World wood finishes, using Venetian plaster and stencils. In this week’s first part, she shows us how to age wood using Better With Age, Venetian Plaster, and Cerusing Wax.
As Amy explains in the video, the Amy Howard at Home Better With Age solution is not a VOC stain. It has a composition that reacts to the tannins in the wood. For best results, use it on wood that is high in tannins, like birch, oak, walnut, cherry, etc. As Amy shares, pine is one of the few kinds of wood that doesn’t have tannins, so the effect wouldn’t be as nice.
Starting with a raw wood or stripped and sanded piece, mix Better With Age for about 15 seconds and then apply it to the wood using a chip brush. Make sure your piece is lightly painted in an even coat of Better With Age. It will dry down in about 20 minutes — how amazing is that?
As the Better With Age is drying and slightly damp, you can start to mix your Venetian Plaster.
Adding Venetian Plaster to Aged Wood
Amy makes one thing very clear in this week’s Finish Friday video – all Venetian plasters are not made equal. Many of the plasters on the market are acrylic-based products. Because of that, they’re not going to have the beauty and dimension that our plaster does. Ours only has 3 ingredients in it: lye, marble dust, and slaked (crumbled) limestone.
To use our Venetian plaster for added depth on your Better With Age project, simply scoop out your plaster, add water, and mix it to a consistency a little thicker than sour cream. Use a metal scraper (NOT a plastic tool) to apply your plaster and treat it “like it’s alive,” as Amy says. Apply the plaster thinly across your wood and then use a dry scraper to pull the plaster across the wood grains. You’ll notice the plaster coming away cream-colored or darker than when you applied it. That’s Better With Age mixing with the plaster! This creates a beautiful, rich color and added authenticity to the finish.
Note: if you want a lighter aged look, apply the plaster while Better With Age is still drying. Simply wait until the Better With Age slightly dries and feels “tacky,” and then apply the plaster.
Once your plaster has fully dried, it’s time to apply the wax. OR you can stay tuned for next week’s second part to this series, where Amy will teach you how to apply stencils for added designs and style.
Cerusing Wax for Plastered Wood
To finish your aged wood and plaster furniture, you’ll need Amy Howard at Home’s Cerusing Wax and a chip brush. In the video, Amy shows you how to apply your wax with a chip brush, following the grain of your wood. Once you’ve covered your piece in a thin layer of wax, turn your wood piece so you go against the grain and use steel wool to buff the wax into the grain. Once the wax has come to tack, you can buff the finished piece with a clean, lint-free rag. If you want to make your aged wood a little darker, come back and add another layer of wax, pushing it into the grain. Once it’s fully dry, the piece will have a beautiful sheen you can’t replicate with anything else.
More Aging Techniques to Come in Part 2
These techniques will help you add style and depth to your pieces. If you’re restoring furniture for your home, you’ll be able to create pieces your guests can’t stop talking about! If you’re selling your rescued furniture, you’ll be able to sell them faster and for more money with these great touches. Of course, that’s not all Amy is sharing with you. She’ll be back on the next Finish Friday to talk about full coverage with plaster, as well as adding stencils for a truly unique touch. Make sure to check out Part 2!
If you registered for this week’s giveaway, watch the video to see if you won. If you haven’t registered for our giveaways, follow the link below the video and sign up for next week’s! Amy is on Facebook every Friday at 12 Central time for Finish Fridays, so make sure to “Like” and follow our Facebook page so you can see when she comes online.