June 29, 2014

Urns........Before and After

Our client purchased a pair of urns and bases from the shop recently. Beautiful together, however the top and bottom are from two separate manufacturers. The urns were a warm cream and the bases, decidely gray. What to do? 
Paint them!
The Amy Howard paint line we represent is a form of chalk paint with unending applications. What you can paint is astounding; wood, brass, fabric, laminate, fiberglass, mirror, concrete...... Two major attributes of this paint is the added adhesives which makes the product adhere and the ability to just paint without priming, stripping or sanding.......have to like that! The only prerequisite is to clean your piece with 'Simple Green' degreaser. Viola!
We chose 'Metropolitan Gray' as it is a brilliant match with her homes trim. The above image displays the top portion waxed and the lower in waiting. The wax I favor is 'Antiquax' which imparts a warm glow and further protects the paint.

What makes me cringe are urns that are too small in relation to their homes. Here, perfect! They are an integral part of the overall design. Will recommend extending the brick to under the urns to prevent splatter.

Lovely indeed, just too many, too small........
This shade combination includes;
   Birds Nest Fern
   Lysimachia 'aurea', aka, creeping jenny. When the bright chartreuse foliage begins to cascade, it imparts a touch of pop
   Streptocarpella, purple/blue flowers
   Sunpatiens in coral/orange. This plant can tolerate both sun and shade
   Coleus 'Vino'. The color of Port with chartreuse edging which will become more profound when the Lysimachia grows.
As this begins to grow, and fill out,  it will be an exciting color combination to offset the neutral palette of the home.
Here is something I learned in rendering classes; Look at your nightly news set, what are the colors?
Typically orange and blue, it is the color combination that most excites the brain. Take a look, let me know what you see.

So, if you want to change up your pots, or say you moved and your pots no longer match your new homes color ways, no problem.......just paint. No chipping, flaking or cracking with Amy Howard One Step paints. That includes; terra cotta, concrete, wood, iron and even glazed. We recommend a touch up of wax 3-6 times a season, depending on the climate where you live

                             Here is a project in the works.........

 Found a lovely pair of chairs; very comfortable, quite dated, but good lines. The velvet upholstery was terribly sun faded and seriously spotted, however in excellent shape. Hmmmm, I could reupholster, or, paint! And that is what we did, straight from the paint can. Now all that is needed is to lightly sand with fine sandpaper or steel wool to bring the nap to it's former luxurious hand. Next up, painting the frames........stay tuned!

Have a great holiday! I am off to my semi-annual shopping extravaganza; Atlanta gift market and southern antique shows.  Hee Haa!!



  1. Debra this paint process is so impressive. Love the urns and the chairs...do I dare try this on a dated loveseat???

    The Arts by Karena

  2. hello karena

    yes, give it a go. velvet full on. other material 50% paint to 50% water

  3. Hi Debra - Happy Summer! I had to read that twice....paint the fabric? That is amazing. Love the urns and the flowers too-- I always learn so much from you.


  4. Debra... the pots look great! Love the size and color. Can't wait to see the final outcome on the chairs. Safe travels!

  5. I have to say of all the paint Amy Howard is my favorite. I really like you can buy small containers of it too. Have you tried the glossy spray paint? I really love that! The urns look lovely. What a pretty house!

  6. What a statement! The urns look divine!! Beautiful plantings, as usual, Debra. I look forward to the chair transformation. Enjoy the show and happy 4th ahead!!

  7. Debra you are so right about orange and blue/purple...never tiring. I love that you can use that Amy Howard was outside as well!!

  8. Looking forward to the results of your painted velvet chair. I wouldn't have thought you could do that.

    1. I have been a decorator for 44 years! I have never heard of it, either! A whole new frontier! Yikes!

  9. look at you making our dreams come true with paint and spirit. git down, debra, git down wit yer bad self. have fun at the show.

  10. Wow very impressive!! Just back and catching up here. Urns look great and I am dying to see the after on the chair! Hope your summer is going well.....

  11. Oh dear! a lone voice in the wilderness! I LOVE things with patina! I adored the way those urns looked on those plinths! They looked "collected" and "combined"!!

    In my opinion......(I am just throwing it out there!!) They have lost their charm and interest! They look like they could be "fiberglass or fake or anything except what they were! They were "collected" and had tons of charm just that way!
    I am afraid that Americans go to Europe; they love all the stone things....the moss and scale on the statues, fountains and urns.

    It broke my heart to see those urns turn "fake and new"!

    You probably won't publish this (and I don't blame you!!)

    Americans travel to Europe.....and fall in love with the "age and patina, and falling down walls!) Then they come back and make all this perfect stuff!

    SOB!! I wish I could have bought those urns.....before they were turned into...

    "perfect"; which isn't!! They look "new" and "fake" just my opinion!


    painting the chair is a great idea! I need to follow that one!

  12. I forgot to suggest the answer to the first question!
    What I would do in a heartbeat with the stone not matching the urn. Is nothing. Let them age!

    If not that; coat them both with a mixture of manure and buttermilk!

    they will get mossy and gorgeous in one season. These look plastic to me!


  13. hello everyone
    the above response comes from a woman i adore with exquisite taste. she suggests i would not print her response but i love honest dialogue and think it is very brave of her to give her opinion versus, skipping it or saying niceties she does not mean.

    as i wrote privately to penelope, in this case the client was not going for a european look with age and patina. her very american home needed a bright element to enhance the trim and brighten a very shady front.
    had these urns and plinths been vintage, it would have been a shame to paint them, but these are brand new. in person they look great, really, come see and i will treat you to lunch!
    thank you penelope!

  14. Hi Debra!
    I bought a can of Amy Howard paint recently. I'm excited to see what I can get up to with it, especially after seeing that you painted upholstery! I could hardly believe it, but it looks fantastic!

    The urns look great. I painted some urns on my front porch. They were a tan/ terra cotta color & blended in in the most bland way with beige siding, so I painted them charcoal with a watery white glaze on too to make them look like lead. It came out really nicely.

    I hope you enjoy your shopping trip! Safe travels to you, & thanks for your visit today & you kind words on my drawings!

  15. Debra...no one plants an urn better than you! They look beautiful...Sorry I have been M.I.A. my parents have been ill...

  16. WOW! Your home is soooo spectacular. I am sad I couldn't see it in person last year when you hosted your soiree. You are soo talented, I admire your design aesthetic - so west coast and so relaxed. Love that its timeless and classic too! Gorgeous!

  17. Hi Debra, Nice job on the urns! Have fun in Atlanta! xo, N.G.


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