Does this sideboard look familiar? Probably. It’s had its fair share of face-time here on the blog so far. From plastic-y wood-grain laminate to white with gold leaf details to marbled paper decoupaged onto the door fronts… I’ll give myself props for trying, but I wasn’t quite able to get it right.
I loved the gold leafed edges, but I’ll admit, the marbled paper was a misstep for the dining room, and the white latex paint I used scraped and peeled horribly in just two years, despite my careful sanding and priming prep work (lens cap for scale):
So when Ace Hardware announced to the Ace Bloggers that October’s post theme was going to be a furniture makeover featuring Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint (in celebration of the line’s debut at many participating Ace stores), the sideboard was a natural subject.
I’ll be honest though – I was actually a little less than enthusiastic about the whole project at first. Like most people with access to the Internet (and more specifically, Pinterest), I thought I knew all about chalk-based paints – chalky, chippy, rustic, distressed. Not exactly words that I would use to describe my decorating style.
So I was honestly pretty skeptical that I would end up actually liking the end result. Wow, that sounds harsh! But I wanted to be 100% up-front about my reservations going in, because you guys…
I was SO WRONG!
Last month, I had the privilege of visiting the Amy Howard at Home workshop in Memphis with (almost all of) the other Ace Bloggers and I was able to learn various tips and techniques from the paint line’s creator, Amy Howard herself!
That trip was truly a life-changing experience and I’m going to be sharing more details with you soon. The short version: I couldn’t wait to delve right into this makeover as soon as I got home!
My friends at Ace provided me with a gift card to shop in store, so here’s what I brought home for my project:
- Amy Howard at Home 32 oz. One Step Paint in Black – I ended up using 1/2 of the can for this makeover, if that helps you gauge how much paint you might need for your own project.
- Amy Howard at Home Light Antique Wax
- Amy Howard at Home Dark Antique Wax
- Amy Howard at Home China Bristle Brush
Clean with Simple Green
Instead of sanding, stripping or priming, the only step you need to do before you jump right into painting is give your piece of furniture a quick clean with Simple Green!
It comes in a concentrated bottle, so I mixed it with a little water, wiped down my sideboard with it, and rinsed with plenty of clean water.
>> TIP: Make sure you follow up with clean water to rinse ALL the Simple Green off the surface, or you might run into issues with the paint’s adhesion.
Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint
>>TIP: The paint’s solids can settle at the bottom of the can, so make sure to stir it well before use.
It’s really as simple as it sounds… The One Step chalk-based paint glides on incredibly smoothly! I only needed two coast, applied 30 minutes apart, for perfect coverage – and that was going from white to black!
Plus, One Step Paint is all natural and has no VOCs, so while I did decide to work out in my garage, I could also have painted indoors with no problem!
I wish you could reach through your monitor and feel the buttery, matte finish of this paint with me!
P.S. I decided to test how well the paint adhered with no sanding or priming by taking my fingernail and scratching the surface – while it left a lighter scratch mark, I couldn’t even get the paint to chip!
Now, at this point, you could call it finished and walk away with less than two hours invested and a completely new, gorgeous piece of furniture! That’s right – the One Step Paint doesn’t require any sealing!
Boom! Done! Easiest makeover ever!
But one of the beautiful things about the One Step Paint is that there are so many possibilities for ways to customize the finish with waxes, gilding and various techniques, so you can take a basic, simple makeover and turn it into a completely unique and extraordinary finished product!
Gold Leaf Details
At the Amy Howard at Home workshop, we had the opportunity to work on some gilded details and, guess what – I found out that I had been using gold leaf wrong this entire time!
*May contain affiliate links. If you shop through these links, it doesn’t cost you anything extra, but I may receive a small percentage to help keep The Gathered Home running!
By far the most important concept when it comes to gilding is letting your size (metal leaf adhesive) come to “tack” – that not-too-wet, not-to-dry, perfectly-sticky feel.
Prior to this, I always impatiently stuck my gold leaf down while the adhesive was still too wet. Unfortunately, when you do that, the adhesive never truly dries and just sits under the surface of the gold leaf.
This causes major issues later, which, spoiler alert, I ran into when I tried to apply a new layer of gold leaf over the old layer. It was not pretty. I actually had to sand the old gold leaf off and it was truly a pain because the adhesive had grown disgustingly gummy. The moral of this story: tack is your best friend.
However, when you allow the size to sit long enough to become completely clear and pull slightly at your finger when lightly touched, well, it’s pure magic!
So naturally, I had to add some gilded details to this sideboard. I already had some gold leaf on hand in my craft closet, so I decided to re-do the gold leaf edges on the front and add a gilded detail to the top.
>> TIP: Painter’s tape makes a great “stencil” for gilded details.
Step One: Lightly paint on the adhesive size and allow to come to tack. Work in smaller, manageable sections – I did around 12″ at a time.
Step Two: Cut your tissue-paper backed gold leaf into strips for ease of application.
Step Three: Carefully lay one gold leaf strip face down on the adhesive.
Step Four: Firmly rub the gold leaf down through the tissue paper backing with your fingertip.
Step Five: Peel the tissue paper backing away from the gold leaf.
If there are any spots where the gold leaf didn’t adhere well, you can press in a new piece with your fingertips or add a dab of adhesive, allow to dry until tacky, and then apply a new piece of gold leaf cut to size.
Repeat steps one through five until you’ve added all the gold leaf details.
Step Six: Use a clean paint brush to whisk away any excess gold leaf.
Step Seven: Gently peel up the painters tape, pulling directly towards you, for a crisp, clean line.
If you want your gold leaf to be shiny and perfect, you can leave it exactly as-is. I wanted mine to be ever-so-slightly distressed, so I rubbed it very gently with 0000 steel wool (not pictured).
Antique wax on top of One Step Paint is like the cherry on top of a sundae… My favorite part!
It melds into the finish of the paint for an absolutely delicious sheen and feel!
Again, at the workshop with Amy Howard, I learned a few tips for wax application that were completely game-changing.
Too much wax is a common issue (yep, I’m guilty), so start by swirling a clean brush into the wax to load it up, then off-load the brush onto a scrap of cardboard before you even touch the piece of furniture.
>> TIP: Never go straight from the tin of wax to your piece. Always remove excess by swiping your brush across a piece of cardboard a few times.
Apply the light antique wax all over the piece by using gentle, whisking brushstrokes in a cross-hatch pattern. Allow to dry 45 minutes to an hour.
I decided to add dark antique wax details on top of my gold leaf, so I lightly brushed the dark wax over the gilded details, focusing on the edges. Again, use a very small amount of wax, applied lightly in a cross-hatch pattern.
>> TIP: Don’t use the dark antique wax over the entire surface of a piece – save it for areas where wear and distressing would naturally occur over time. This will help you achieve a sophisticated, authentic finish.
After the dark wax has dried for at least an hour, follow up with a wad of clean rags to gently buff the wax.
The Finished Piece:
I’ve never been so happy to be wrong before – the Amy Howard products completely blew away my misconceptions and preconceived notions! I was able to achieve a very sophisticated and glamorous look and it was such an easy and enjoyable process!
And now, I think I can say with confidence that my sideboard is finally finished and an absolute perfect fit for my dining room:
Are you inspired to get started on your own One Step makeover?
My friends at Ace are offering up a $100 gift card to one lucky reader of The Gathered Home! (That’s enough for all the supplies I used in today’s project, plus a little left over!) It’s easy to enter below (until 12am 10/27) using the Rafflecopter widget.
Open to U.S. residents, age 18+. Runs 10/20-10/27. One winner will be selected at random and notified by email and in this post. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
|I couldn’t be more excited to be a member of the Ace Bloggers panel this year and to partner with Ace on this post! Ace Hardware provided me with the materials for this project and I was also compensated for my time and this post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.|