How to Use Amy Howard’s Dust of Ages

Dust of Ages is one of my favorite products in the Amy Howard at Home line.  It looks phenomenal over dark colored One Step paint….Black, Graphite, Windsor, A Good Man….you name it.  It takes a newly painted finish and makes it look time worn, loved and gently cared for over a long period of time.

I asked Amy when I met her in January at Atlanta market if she used Dust of Ages on everything (this was after watching her demo products for about an hour).  “Pretty much,” she replied with a smile.

I felt like I had discovered a secret.

I have a client that’s been on the look-out for a Frenchy side table and she wanted it black.  I found one for her and her first question was, “Will it look okay black?”  I understood that.  Black can be very stark and modern.  I was refinishing an antique night stand with beautiful carvings and she wanted it old.

I reassured her I had just the product in my tool belt and that she would LOVE it.


The good news is that Dust of Ages could not be easier to use.  So without further ado, here’s a quick tutorial on how to apply it.

I painted my nightstand in two coats of Black One Step paint, letting it dry in between coats.  And then pulled out my two secret weapons.


I applied a coat of clear wax (you can also use light wax) and waited about 15 minutes to let it come to a “tack.”  This is the in between stage of being freshly applied (“wet” feeling) and dry.  Tack feels…well tacky or sticky.  It happens after about 15 minutes.

I then applied the Dust of Ages in sections.  Take a clean brush, dip into your container and generously brush Dust of Ages all over the surface, using your brush to rub into the nooks and crannies and the flat surfaces.  Use your brush to really grind the dust into the wax.  I had my nightstand lying flat so I could work the section better…


And then turned it upright so the excess would fall to the floor.


Using a lint free cloth, you will “buff” the surface with a hit and drag motion similar to buffing a shoe.  This is a gentle removal process, not a strong armed polishing maneuver like when we’re trying to get wax to shine!  This is important to remember, because you don’t want to remove all the dust you just applied.

I worked on each section until I was finished and then went back over the entire piece, making sure I had removed any stray dust and it looked like I wanted it to.


Here are some FAQ’s I get asked during class when we start using Dust of Ages:

Will it continue to come off?  No.  As the wax hardens and finishes drying, the Dust of Ages becomes part of the wax finish.

Why are we using so much?  Don’t go crazy, but be liberal when you are applying it.  Remember, you can scoop up the excess and put it back in your jar.

Can I use it on flat surfaces?  Yes!  It will give a “cloudy” finish, a very desirable look if you are trying to duplicate a painted antique piece.  Make sure you work the Dust of Ages into the wax with your brush for a few minutes to really get into the surface.  Any brush marks or cross hatching that was created while you were painting your piece, will pick up the dust.

How does it look over lighter colored paint?  Beautiful!  The dust is a different color than dark wax and adds another layer of depth to your painted piece.  Light wax, dark wax, dust of ages…gorgeous over any color paint!

What if I take off too much?  Brush on more.  It’s very forgiving!

Any tips on the buffing process?  I start in the middle of my surface and hit it the hardest, using a gentler motion as I move outwards.  The thought process is that you are adding “dust” which would collect in corners and in nooks and crannies.  I barely touch areas where dust would have naturally settled.

Thanks for stopping by and learning about Dust of Ages.  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!

Also, have you signed up for my handy Paint Guide yet?  I created it to make your furniture makeover projects easier!  It’s a fun infographic that walks you through your particular piece of furniture and the look you want to create so you pick the right paint for your project every time!

Sign up here and then check your inbox to confirm your subscription.  Once you do that, your download will be on its way!


  1. Heard about your product and would love to purchase the wax and dust of ages. However, I have one question – I’ve recently painted my furniture black, does the dust of ages work on other brands of black paint?

  2. Mary,
    This is a gorgeous piece! I love how the dust of ages makes it look old. I am working on a kitchen table and chairs. I have purchased Amy Howard’s Black and Dust of Ages. Here is my question… Originally I was just going to paint it black and put Amy Howard’s Matte Sealer on top for durability but I love how the Dust of Ages looks. Can I paint, wax, use the Dust of Ages and then put the sealer on top?

    • Hi Shelby, thanks for stopping by! The wax is an oil-based product and the matte sealer is water-based. Unfortunately, if you paint the matte sealer over the wax it will not adhere. You could however, use the matte sealer over the top of your painted dining table (without the wax or dust) but use the DOA and wax on the legs and chairs. You would, of course, have a solid black table top (with a durable top coat), but the DOA look on the legs and chairs. I would play around with the two tone look and make sure you like it before you commit to it, but it’s an idea! Good luck with your project!

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