We are so excited for MegMade as they introduce a brand new show on HGTV... Renovation Goldmine!
Meg and Joe Piercy started their business with the simple desire to provide an affordable piece of furniture for their son's nursery. Soon, they became enthralled with the process of refinishing furniture and DIY. They started listing finished pieces on Craigslist and had an amazing response, so much so that they opened a storefront in Chicago and partnered with us at Amy Howard at Home to release their own MegMade paint line. Little did they know that painting a changing table would blossom into a thriving business, and now a full fledged show on HGTV!
One of Meg and Joe's favorite sayings is, "Find the Gold", and that's exactly what they will be doing on their new show. Renovation Goldmine is all about finding those old pieces just sitting unused in their client's homes and turning them into cherished pieces that will be used and loved. Just like their own story, Meg and Joe want to show homeowners that it's possible to have the home of your dreams without breaking the budget.
Watch the transformations by tuning into HGTV Saturday nights at 10/9c.
Begin by wiping the exterior of the cans using a lint-free cloth and Clean Slate.
Next, fill with water and freeze overnight. (note: if you don’t want to have to hammer the bottom then fill 1 inch at a time allowing it to freeze completely as you go)
While you wait, draw or print off your design. Then use your marker to make dots along the edges giving you a guide to follow when hammering.
Next, once the water is completely frozen, wrap the tin in with your guide and tape it to hold in place.
Begin making holes using a hammer and nail, careful not to hit your fingers. You may want to do this step outside on top of a towel to prevent dinting the can.
Once done and the can is all dry, firmly grasp the can and hammer the bottom back in if it has popped out from freezing. (Skip this step if you slowly froze the water to avoid this)
Next use your Wedge Specialty Brush and One Step Paint to paint the exterior of the can. Use nice long strokes and always paint into a wet edge. Don’t worry about clogging holes, you can go back later and poke through them using your nail.
Careful when placing tea light candles in as the interior of the can may have sharp edges.
“Faux” means to fool the eye, and thanks to Amy’s 30+ years in the furniture and refinishing world, she has perfected the art of the faux finish — including faux tortoise shell finishes. For centuries, people have used small slivers of tortoise shells to decorate a variety of surfaces, from boxes to chests of drawers to tables and more. Of course, this isn’t a sustainable practice and the beautiful hawksbill turtles who were famous for their beautiful shells are now on the endangered species list. It’s been illegal to sell tortoise shells since the ‘90s, which is why faux finishes have become so popular.
Do you love the look of galvanized metal wall art, planters, counters, or tabletops? So do we! That’s why Amy is showing us how to create beautiful metal patinas this week on Finish Friday. Follow along with the video if you want to learn how to use Amy Howard at Home’s Zinc Antiquing Solution to make all your metal pieces look aged and stylish.
Did you know that 28 million tons of furniture are thrown away each year in the U.S? That’s an excessive amount of unnecessary waste! However, it can be cut down drastically when you realize that you can make old pieces like new again with a little cleaning, prepping, and refinishing.
When you’re ready to dive into a refinishing or painting project, most of us want to go straight to the fun part. But by cutting the cleaning and prepping process short — or by skipping it altogether — we’re actually risking the quality finish we really want. That’s why Amy is talking all about how to clean and prepare your furniture on this week’s Finish Friday video.
Step One: Assess the Damage
If you have a solid wood piece, a wicker chair, or something with veneer, you’ll need to look at it thoroughly to determine what needs the most prep. For example, a veneered piece may be warped from moisture or even be separating from the wood, which will require water-based wood glue and pressure. Wicker, on the other hand, may need some wood filler and a tape wrap to re-adhere loose threads.
In this week’s video, Amy’s husband, Gene Howard, makes a guest appearance to share his many years of expertise in restoring and refinishing furniture. Together, Amy and Gene show you how to apply glue and pressure to repair veneer for a better finish. They also share their tips on how to fill holes from hardware or keyholes, as well as what type of clamps to buy for your preparation process.
Then, once you’ve reversed some of the deeper damage, you’ll be able to get your piece’s surface clean and ready for painting!
Step Two: Clean the Piece Thoroughly
Depending on the age of the furniture you’re wanting to update, you may actually need to do more than clean it with a rag and some warm water. In some cases, varnish or very old sealants may need to be scrubbed off. But one thing Amy and Gene advise against is using oil-based cleaners, as this prevents paint from bonding well to the furniture. For a thorough clean that doesn’t negatively affect your finish or paint, you can use Amy Howard At Home Clean Slate. Clean Slate removes old finishes and oily, waxy residue, making it possible to clean your furniture with just one product.
Sanding or scraping may also be needed for pieces that have dents or scrapes in the wood, stickers, or deep-set stains. You can also use wood putty to fill in deeper dents or scrapes that can’t be sanded out. Of course, make sure to let any wood putty dry and let your piece sit for at least an hour after using the Clean Slate. Then, go over the piece with a clean, lint-free rag to make sure all residue is gone before you paint.
Step Three: Get Creative!
After your furniture is properly repaired and prepped, it’s time to have a little fun. Depending on the surface you’ll be refinishing, you can use lacquer, One Step Paint, or even Toscana Milk Paint and our waxes to get the look you really want. Once a surface is properly prepped, there’s nothing stopping you from making it beautiful!
This is a great tutorial for anyone who is hoping to give new life to a piece for their homes or creative spaces. As Amy says, “We know that the success of your project starts with this,” so don’t miss this week’s Finish Friday on cleaning and prepping your furniture.
And of course, tune into more Finish Fridays at noon Central on our Facebook page. If you’re interested in winning free product, watch our Facebook page to enter each week’s giveaway!
One of the most exciting parts of creating a beautiful home is finding pieces you can’t wait to spruce up. Whether it’s at a neighbor’s garage sale or your favorite antique shop, you’ve likely run into something that you just love -- and can see becoming an important fixture in your home.
But the most common questions Amy gets are:
“When I go shopping, what should I look for?”
“How do I know if a piece can be rescued and restored?”
On this week’s Finish Friday, Amy is taking us on a live tour of one of her favorite antique shops to show us exactly what she looks for in pieces before she brings them home.
Look for pieces you can actually use (or resell)
If you’re out antique hunting, it can be easy to get distracted by all the pretty pieces. But before you fall in love with something, ask yourself: Where would I put this? Could I use it year-round? And if you’re a reseller for your refinished pieces, ask yourself: Would someone use this piece? Is it priced so I can make a profit on it? While pricing and reselling your pieces is a whole other discussion, it’s an important quality to keep in mind as you shop!
Make sure it’s in good shape
While the finish and color of a piece is something you can fix, you can’t always fix a broken drawer, leg, or missing pieces. Before you say “I do” to the dresser, table, or other antique item you’ve found, make sure you can open it, move it, and put a reasonable amount of weight on it. This will save you heartbreak when you get home and realize the piece can’t even be used!
Consider what the piece is made of
One of the most important things you should do when you see a piece that speaks to you is consider what it’s made of. Is it oak? Is it metal? Is it plastic? Does it have a wood veneer? Is the veneer intact?
Whatever it’s materials, you will need to make sure that it can be cleaned thoroughly so the proper paint or primer can be applied. Depending on the look you’re going for, a couple layers of Amy Howard at Home’s One Step Paint is great, or you may consider our Furniture Lacquer for a more modern, edgy finish. The Toscana Milk Paint is another great option for pieces you want age authentically. You can decide which one is right for your piece based on the material it’s composed of, your desired finish, and the overall style of the piece – do you want a more antique, matte finish or a modern statement finish? Amy gives her tips for different materials and styles in today’s Finish Friday broadcast, so make sure to check that out!
Consider how old it is
Another great tip Amy shares in the video is to consider the age of the piece you’ve found. In most furniture created or used in the 1970s and ‘80s, Liquid Gold was used to seal the stain and paint. This sealant is very oily and hard to clean, which means a simple scrub won’t help you refinish it. You’ll need to use a stronger product like Clean Slate to remove such materials, as well as to clear off the years of use if the piece has been well-loved.
Have fun with different items
Refinishing isn’t just for furniture! You can use One Step Paint and other Amy Howard At Home products on lamps, mirrors, frames, metal file cabinets, clay pots, and virtually any surface you find during your antiquing adventures. Amy’s last tip is to find pieces that you love – that will make the process of finding, refinishing, and using your “new again” antique all the more fun. Check out this week’s Finish Friday video to tag along with Amy as she goes on her weekly antique hunt, and to get more tips on how to transform your own finds.
Curious about how to properly clean and prep your new finds? Stay tuned for next week’s Finish Friday on Facebook where you can see all of Amy’s tips and tricks for starting a new refinishing project! We go live every Friday at 12pm CST.
Plaster is one of the oldest building materials in history, with the first evidence of it dating back nearly 9,500 years. Venetian plaster became popular around the 15th century, when it was made from slaked (crumbled) limestone and marble. Painters and artists found that applying several layers of plaster to a wall would provide depth and smooth texture that couldn’t be replicated with other paint.
In ancient times, as in modern times, Venetian plaster is thinly applied to a wall to create a visual and textual richness that resembles polished stone. Over time, the slaked stone also ages into a finish that is stronger than any painted wall, which is why Venetian plaster has retained its popularity even today. Venetian plaster also has a unique, crystalline finish that isn’t found in other plasters. This is what gives Venetian plaster that shine you can’t find elsewhere.
At Amy Howard at Home, we’ve created a high-quality Venetian plaster that provides truly endless possibilities for a variety of projects. Easy to work with and highly textured, our Venetian plaster has three ingredients: lime, calcium carbonate, and marble dust. This simple recipe is perfect for creating an organic, natural, historic look in your home.
But many people wonder how to get colored plaster since our Venetian plaster comes in a beautiful creamy white. The answer is simple: milk paint! Milk Paint and Venetian Plaster Create Superb Finishes
Our Toscana Milk Paint can’t be rivaled in terms of quality or rich color, and it’s a perfect complement to our Venetian plaster. That’s because many of our milk paint pigments are sourced from Italy, using all-natural colors from quarries in the region. It also comes in a powder, instead of a liquid, which means that it can be added to the plaster without compromising the texture or quality.
You can mix our milk paint with our Venetian plaster to get the color and the texture you want for your creations. Amy demonstrates the right portions of plaster, milk paint, and water in the video, but it’s important to always mix powder first before adding water. You’ll also need to prime a surface with One Step Paint to ensure the plaster adheres properly.
You can also finish your Venetian plaster surfaces with beautiful Light Wax to create an aged, yet polished, surface, which Amy models in the video. She also shows you how to use our stencils to create wall or furniture accents that last a lifetime.
With this mixture of Toscana Milk Paint and Venetian Plaster, you can really explore your creativity and test new, unique applications all over your home. Our variety of Toscana Milk Paint colors will make it easy to customize your next project and make it a perfect fit for your home – simply mix and add water!
Make sure to see how Amy applies the milk paint and Venetian plaster in this week’s Finish Friday, as well as her tips for priming and finishing your surfaces. You can also tune in next Friday to see the newest episode of Finish Fridays, which airs live at noon CST on Instagram and on our Facebook page.
Back before the seemingly infinite rows of paint chips you find yourself looking through at the home improvement store…. back before the large-scale manufacturing of gallons and gallons of paint… back before having to carefully choose between eggshell, satin, matte, glossy, and so many other finishes…
Thousands of years before the world of spray paint, acrylic paint, oil-based paint, latex paint, chalkboard paint, and even washable paints… there was milk paint.
Some of the earliest cave paintings known to man were created with a very basic combination of milk, lime, and earth pigments. As these formulations were refined over time, milk paint coatings became more and more beautiful and durable. Many ancient artifacts still retained their vibrant painted designs upon discovery, giving us a unique peek into the color preferences of these historic cultures. Traveling painters in Old World Europe and colonial America would carry pigments with them, mixing their powders with milk and lime from the farm once they happened upon a home where their craft was needed.
Although we no longer need access to goats from the farm to make milk paint, it still must be formulated with casein, a protein found in milk, to achieve its unique velvety finish. So the name “milk paint” remains a perfect fit even though it can now be commercially manufactured.
Milk paint is essentially a versatile and authentic way to create an Old World finish on any piece of furniture, cabinetry, decorative accent, or even artwork – no matter the age of the actual surface you are refinishing.
In its original powder form, true milk paint has an unlimited shelf life. Each of the rich, luxurious pigments in Amy Howard At Home Toscana Milk Paintwere sourced from Italy and the South of France. Their authentic provenance from the heart of the Old World ensures a superior finish, color, and vibrancy. With no VOCs or other unsafe commercial ingredients, this milk paint is safe to use anywhere in the home. After mixing with water and removing any clumps or foam, Toscana Milk Paint can be used as-is, thinned to create a glazed patina, or layered multiple times for luxurious, antique depth.
Working with Toscana Milk Paint requires close attention, although beautiful results are easy to achieve. It is much thinner than commercial paint you might be more used to, as it it is completely all natural. Working on a horizontal surface is necessary, and several coats are usually needed to create the look you are envisioning. As you agitate your paint and work through a wet edge, imagine yourself in southern Italy painting alongside the old masters in this same way, using the same methodology and brush strokes!
In the past, you had to search for years or spend thousands to find a piece with this kind of elegance and drama. Now you can recreate this iconic historic patina in your own garage. Once you are comfortable with the basics, try some of Amy’s more advanced aging techniques using waxes, Dust of Ages, and even Antiquing Glaze with your favorite Toscana Milk Paint colors!
Getting Started with Toscana Milk Paint:
1). Choose your favorite Toscana Milk Paint color. Remember, your mixed paint will dry to that exact shade!