Online Workshop with Amy Howard - Toole's Ace Hardware

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Online Workshop with Amy Howard

On Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, Amy Howard had a live online workshop for consumers. Even though I’ve been to her real workshop in Memphis, used her paint, have watch countless videos from Ace and on YouTube, I watched the whole thing! If you missed it, you can find it here.

After watching the workshop and seeing how excited customers were getting, I was just so inspired, I drove down to Habitat for Humanity to look for something to paint! I came out with this great table for only $15!


Isn’t it gorgeous?! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to buy it and paint it immediately. But… what color? Honestly, if it were going in my home I probably would have painted it black because I’m so scared of color. But, since I was only planning on painting half of it because it was going to be displayed in the store, I knew I needed a color that would stand out. So I chose the color Tick Tock – a stunning teal color.

So, Step 1: Choose color. Check. Step 2: Turn the paint can/pot upside down for 30 minutes. Why? To get all the calcium carbonate off the bottom.


While all that yummy calcium carbonate is moving it’s way up from the bottom, go ahead and do Step 3: Clean your piece with Simple Green.


Simple Green is a concentrated degreaser, so you’ll want to make sure you dilute it with water. Even the Simple Green that is sold in a spray bottle is concentrated. It will leave a film on your furniture, even diluted, so one your piece down really good you’ll want to do Step 4: Follow up with water to get all the degreaser off.


Before we start painting, we need to choose our weapon, er, paint brush. I used Amy Howard’s hog’s hair round brush, which shows off the brush strokes and gives you a really light textured finish. If you want a smoother finish, I recommend a synthetic brush like the Purdy nylon/polyester bristled 2″ flat angle paint brush. Purdy makes a really great paint brush; if you clean it well after each use and hang it with it’s keeper (the cardboard package) to retain it’s shape, it will last a lifetime. You can also use a foam roller or foam brush for smooth finishes, although Amy cautions us that they may leave an edge. If you are doing a really large piece and want a fast, perfectly smooth, professional finish, you can even spray the paint on. Amy’s choice is the Graco TruCoat Airless Paint Sprayer.


Now! The fun part! Grab your paint can/pot, give it a quick shake and a stir, and Step 5: Paint the first coat. Now remember! It’s called One Step Paint, not One Coat Paint. Sometimes you might be able to do it one coat, sometimes you might have to do three. Most of the time, you’ll probably do two. For this piece, I did three.

Pro tips: Be careful not to let the paint pool anywhere, because it will crack when it drys. If you notice a paint bristle fell off while you were painting (common with the hog’s hair brushes), use a small piece of rolled up tape to remove it before the paint dries and then brush it out.


It only takes about 30 minutes or so for the paint to dry. I was painting outside in direct sunlight in Florida (for the pictures!), and I think it dried in about half that time. If you’re painting a small piece inside you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process if you’d like. Once your paint is completely dry and not tacky at all, you can go ahead and do Step 6: Paint your second coat, if needed.


You can see that after three quick coats I have a really consistent color. Once you get to this point, you can technically stop here. You don’t have to seal Amy’s paint, but, if you want to prevent anything from getting absorbed into that beautiful calcium carbonate finish (like red wine.. yikes) I would recommend sealing it with either Light Antique Wax or Clear Wax. I chose to use Light Antique Wax which will darken the color a little bit, where Clear Wax will just provide a protective finish without affecting the color.

To do Step 7: Apply Protective Wax, you’ll need the wax, a china bristle brush, and a small piece of cardboard. Once you load your paintbrush up with wax, offload some of the wax onto the piece of cardboard so there’s not so much on your brush. This will help you get an even coat of wax on your piece. Then just evenly brush the wax over the paint. You’ll see where you’ve applied the wax because there will be a slight sheen. If you need more wax, just remember to offload onto the cardboard after you load up your brush.


And… that’s all I did to it! Cleaned it, painted it, then waxed it. Remember, you can skip the waxing if you want, but for this particular piece I wanted to make sure it had some protection.

Originally I was going to take this all the way… I was going to apply Dark Antique Wax and then Dust of Ages to give it that really antique look, but I liked it so much after the light wax dried that I just left it like that! If I ever get the nerve to antique it, I’ll let you know. 🙂

Here’s the finished product that is currently on display at the Winter Garden store where you can see it if you’d like (on Friday, 10/30 it will be moved to the Groveland store):


Next week’s project will be this cute chair I got for $5 at Goodwill! I’ll be using Amy Howard’s Furniture Laquer on the wood, and One Step Paint on the upholstery! YES, the upholstery!


Oh, and here’s a coupon for $10 off a $50 Amy Howard purchase that’s good until November 1st, 2015!


SusanA little bit about the Toole’s Ace Hardware Blogger:

My name is Susan, and I work at Toole’s Ace Hardware doing, well, a little bit of everything. I’ve worked for the Toole’s for a little over eleven years doing everything from running a cash register to managing several different stores and now to writing this blog. I also spend my spare time inspiring DIYers and fixer uppers on our Pinterest boards, and connecting with our customers on Facebook. If you ever need anything, feel free to email me at I’m happy to help!

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