Chippy Finishes

In Surface Techniques, Tutorials by Tess DeViney

Each season is a celebration in and of itself. This winter my family and I will gather around our table to talk of all the many blessings this year has held and all the hopes we have for the ones to come. It is such a joy for me to create an inviting and customized tablescape for each and every one of these memorable meals! Today I want to share one of my favorite and inexpensive ways to bring a refined charm to your next family gathering.

For this project you will need:

  1. Approximately 14” x 20” of raw burlap
  2. Clean lint-free rag
  3. Plaster trowel
  4. Clean Synthetic Bristle Brush
  5. Amy Howard at Home© One Step Paint™
  6. Amy Howard at Home© Venetian Plaster™

Step 1

Cut your burlap fabric down to your desired shape and size. You could even use a pre-cut placemat as a template!


Step 2

In a separate container, combine one part water with one part Amy Howard at Home© Venetian Plaster™. Mix the solution thoroughly until you achieve a thick and creamy consistency.




Step 3

Using a clean plaster trowel, apply an even layer of Venetian Plaster™ directly onto your burlap fabric.  Aim for smooth even coverage, with as little bumps and lines as possible. The plaster should be thick enough to conceal the entirety of the burlap fabric, edge to edge.






Step 4

Allow the Venetian Plaster™ enough time to fully dry. Dry time will last 1-3 hours depending on the room temperature. Once the plaster is white and no longer cool to the touch, it should be completely dry. You may also notice beautiful cracks on your placemat as it dries!


Step 5

While your plaster is drying, prepare the paint solution for the next step. In a separate disposable bowl, mix two parts of your Amy Howard at Home© One Step Paint™ color with one part water. For our placemat, we are using “A Good Man is Hard to Find™”.






Step 6

Using a clean Amy Howard at Home© synthetic bristle brush, apply an even coat of your Amy Howard at Home© One Step Paint™ solution over the entire placemat. Allow this coat of paint to fully dry before moving on.



Step 7

Once every layer has completely dried, it is time to begin rolling the placemat! Starting at one corner, slowly roll the burlap fabric to the opposite corner. Apply firm pressure to the mat as you roll. Repeat this rolling process with the mat as many times as needed until you have achieved your desired crackle level.



Step 8

We decided to further personalize our placemat even more by pulling at the edges and scraping off portions of the paint and plaster to expose larger gaps of burlap. We really love this raw worn-in look.



Now it’s your turn to enjoy the bragging rights™!