July 21, 2013

D I Y Decorative Painting Finishes

Hello Everyone
We are taking a break from the series on Keri's patio allowing her to catch up with the construction.

So let's talk 'Decorative Finishes'.
If you have followed me you will know that I am always seeking painting finishes for refurbishing furniture bits. I have "smuggled" oil paint home from Europe, taken classes, tried Annie Sloan, read endlessly and experimented. You should see my "failure" piles........so sad!
All that has changed with one ingenious woman, Amy Howard.

As a renowned interior designer, Amy ventured into furniture design (wouldn't that be interesting?), couture furniture to be exact, known for their authentic patinas of age.

Eventually Amy decided to share her love of finishes with the public, offering for sale the products she and husband Gene formulated for the furniture line.
MY OH MY, are we ever fortunate.........my hunt is over!
Amy's trade marked
                                       "Rescue, Restore and Redecorate" 
mantra, encourages us to update items in our homes versus replacing, rescue from Goodwill's, garage sales, and generally societies throw aways. And for this non-painter.......it's easy!
The signature piece is the One Step paint. And it means what it says;

                  No sanding.......No stripping.......No priming
Just paint over a clean piece. What can you paint?
    wood...concrete...metal...laminate (really)...plastic...glass...fiberglass..............

Look around you, what can be freshened up?

Yes, even kitchen cabinets for a finish like the pro's, with a hard and durable surface
LACQUER! IN A CAN!! No drips or paint and roller marks......WOO HOO!!

Revive furniture, spray paper lamp shades
 Take existing furniture to a new level

Treat yourself to a lacquered front door, like the doors of Europe. This will be my first home project

The Toscano pigment powdered paints are for an authentic Renaissance finish. These are the paints of Amy's couture furniture line

Layers and depth of interest

Highlight a piece with interesting details

Learn and reproduce the look of age and wear. Amy went to a Bodega in Tuscany to learn the authentic techniques of the Renaissance artisans. Every step and product was made by hand. These skills are brought to us in bottles and cans; gesso, boule, layering, gilding, waxing

Gilding.......with ease add a brilliant finish or add a suggestion of gold or silver

Turn a 1900 era brown wood mirror into a Louis Phillipe styled stunner. Have you looked lately at the price of these?

I saw this chariot in a Memphis parking garage. Could this be gilded?!


Do I ever love this product, Zinc Solution.
Turn ordinary and inexpensive galvanized metal (left) into the look of old Parisian Zinc (right)                                      
 This is not a wipe on finish but an oxidation process that penetrates the metal and permanently changes it's composition.
 Durable and safe enough for kitchen or bathroom counters
 Take an ordinary table with nice legs. Engage a sheet metal worker to create a "cap" to place over the original table top, add Zinc Solution and viola.......what a transformation!
 A zinc backsplash, or bulletin board

Ok, there are antique mirror solutions for aging mirrors, and there is Amy's Mirror Stripper. Create with ease in 2 steps a look of age. You control the amount of "age" desired, easily!
 In small individual panes
 Or the whole piece of mirror
Upcoming are stencils for this look
As a stocking retailer, I had the good fortune of going to Memphis to train with Amy herself. As this product is soaring in popularity Amy will no longer have the time to personally teach her retailers. At last spring's Highpoint Market, HGTV awarded this line with "Best Product of the Show!"

Suddenly, I want the world to stop so I can do nothing but paint, friends are sick of hearing about paint, my eyes are constantly searching for things to paint. Well of course I say, I am now a decorative finish artiste!!!



Hope to see our locals. Coffee and refreshments in the morning classes. Wine and refreshments in the evening classes


  1. First of all I love Any Howard and her furniture line. She is so kind to share her secrets with us and now I can't wait to paint a table in my living room. I had been putting it off because I hate sanding but I guess that's no longer a problem. Thanks for the tip Deb!


  2. Debra - Laminate? Plastic? Really? WOW!! I've got a whole basement full of furniture. Thanks for introducing me to Amy Howard's One Step Paint products. I'm especially excited about the lacquer cans.
    x Loi

  3. Umm, I'll take one of everything, please.

  4. Debra You know I am so excited about this! I would love, love to attend a class of yours!!

    2013 Designer Series and Giveaway!

  5. How amazing would it be to take classes from Amy! I love all of the finishes. Colorful post :)

  6. Debra,
    Oh my, this is so exciting. I've never felt I was very adept at painting pieces, but you've shared some amazing examples in your post that inspire me to try my hand on a project using some of these products. Since I'm too far away to visit your workshop, how would I get the product?
    This is great, Debra.

  7. WOW!! Best post I have seen all week....LOVE this. Bookmarking it, so many good ideas...now my mind is racing away with all the possibilities. I have always wanted to tackle a paint project but have been too chicken. You might just have twisted my arm with this single post..Amy's products are amazing..how genius for the mirror stripper product!! Thanks Debra...have to share this post with my readers later in the week, hope you are having a wonderful summer.

  8. Where will the class take place?

  9. Fantastic! It is amazing what these paints can do. I remember back twenty years when every was "antiquing" their furniture. Thanks for the lead.

  10. This is great! I am not much of a DIY-er but even I am tempted to try these products!

  11. This is crazy good information! My favorite thing to do lately is paint furniture. I have had success with Annie Sloan paints but now can expand my choices. I am in a holding pattern on painting while the house is being sold. Once it sells, I will get to start painting again as I want a lighter overall palette in our next warmer climate home and have several pieces I can't wait to get my paint brush on. The lacquer spray paint is so fun to ponder where I can use that too! Going to go explore more now, thanks Debra! My mind is spinning with ideas!

  12. I love Amy's pieces and have used them in the past. That zinc solution looks a lot better than the one I get from my zinc dealer. I don't believe it would turn new galvanized into something old and wonderful! Wish I was near to take the class!

  13. The lacquered door is so great! It would really pop from the street and it would make me happy just looking at it. Landscape Lighting Bolingbrook IL

  14. Debra,

    So happy you shared this wonderful looking product. I am now desperate to try the lacquer in a can and the mirror stripper. Are you selling it at the SG Grand location (in its current location)?

  15. So excited about this for you Debra. I tried to email you and it came back but we were not able to get the line. They had given it to a fabric store of all things just two weeks before. I went in last week and they don't have any product out...no good place to hold classes and have not advertised at all. I'm just sick about it..Oh well, if things don't work out she said that she would keep us in mind. Congratulations to you, and thank you for thinking of me. Have a great week.

  16. Looks like some really outstanding products. Love the idea of lacquer in a can! Can't wait to see what you transform.

  17. Debra! I so wish you were here in ATL. I met Amy Howard during Market last fall when she introduced the line. I LOVE it! PLUS, is she adorable or what?
    One of these days when you come to ATL, we MUST get together. I met Mona in AR a couple of years ago - adorable.

  18. hi Debra! Loved this post and it is timely for me! LOVE the idea of lacquer in a can! Do you sell this product? I couldn't find a link in the post.

  19. Debra I just had to return for another look. I am looking at the zink finish and want to find the perfect piece to have a top made for!

    I could go wild with enthusiasm for these lacquers!

    2013 Designer Series

  20. I saw this at the Atlanta market...where can I take a class???

  21. la seule réelle solution a l 'entretien du zinc

  22. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.
    Brisbane Painters and Decorators

  23. Great post
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  24. Dear supervision.
    The data of your blog is extremely good and attractive.
    keep up the good work in your blog.
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