This July, I got to go back to Memphis for some “advanced” training with Amy Howard. Amy, and her husband Gene, are very nice people and are always happy to answer my questions. They both have a wealth of knowledge from being in the furniture industry for several decades.
The thing I like most about Amy Howard products is that they allow you to combine “Old World” looks (e.g., using Toscana Milk Paint and Venetian Plaster) – with current trends (e.g., Spray Lacquer, Pallet Board Walls). There are just such a wide variety of finishes you can achieve for yourself with these products!
Probably my favorite thing I learned was how to apply Venetian Plaster:
This creates such a dramatic look reminiscent of Old World Italy. You can create different colors by mixing the plaster with Toscana Paint. The coolest thing about Venetian Plaster is that you can create “layers” that were seemingly applied over the courses of hundreds of years. To get an idea, see my Venetian Plaster Page on Pinterest.
Another forthcoming product is her “Pallet Wall in a box.” I totally wish we had this when we did our pallet board wall – it would have been so much easier! The kit comes with pre-cut boards of different types of wood. The boards are smooth and high quality (no bugs, warps, splinters found in regular pallets). The boards can be given an “aged” look using Better with Age. Better with Age is not a stain, but instantly reacts with the tannins in the wood in order to “age” it. The resulting color depends on how long you leave it on the wood – as well as the type of wood. To add interest, the Venetian Plaster can be wiped over top for a “worn” look:
Alternatively, Cerusing or Liming wax can be applied for a weathered, “Restoration Hardware” look:
The pallet board wall is easy to assemble by simply adhering it to the wall and piecing the boards together in an alternating fashion. In addition a wall, you can also use it to make a “pallet” headboard, table tops, and more!
Still another fun product we learned about is “CopyCat.” With this, you can print out mirror images on your printer (laser or ink jet) and apply the image with CopyCat onto a canvas or board. Once the paper is worn away, only the beautiful image remains!