February 29, 2024

Apple Vision Pro and the Future of DIY

Meet Becca Berger, the Silicon Valley-based CleanTech coatings inventor who is literally using solar power,  AI, VR, and Apple Vision Pro to shake up the coatings market!☀️ 

“My goal is to get the coatings world off petroleum,” she grins as she slides Apple Vision Pro goggles over her green eyes. “Here, take these,” she hands me a pair. “Welcome to the future!” πŸ¦„

You’re ambitious! What is your endgame vision? 

“Apple Vision Pro has changed everything! In the not-so-distant-future, every home will have a headset. Think the sticker price is too high? Well, after you say goodbye to your TV, your desktop, your laptop, your tablets, maybe even your cell phone, you are going to experience a tremendous savings. What do you think homeowners will do with all those savings? I’m hoping they will want to fix up the home and I think the Apple Vision Pro will help them do that. This is why I’m developing a quality of life app that uses virtual reality and AI avatars. 


Let’s say you want to paint your wall. You’re a Bob Ross fan, so you select the 'Bob Ross' avatar to help you determine your square footage #input. Next, Bob helps you browse through 'The Wall Paint' colors. You and fake Bob take a stroll through some Japanese cherry blossom happy tree forests in Tokyo or you see a wonderful tropical waterfall on the island of Maui, and AI Bob Ross shows you exactly how to paint that on your wall #output. Best part, he helps you get the job done for around $100 from the comfort of your living room. 
Now that your wall looks like the Sistine Chapel, you decide you hate your entertainment center, so the 'Bob Vila’ AI avatar steps in to help you repurpose and reuse instead of buy new. Vila helps you match your entertainment center, your kitchen table, and your end tables using “Weather Wash” reactive wood stain. When it’s all said and done, Vila gives you the Restoration Hardware look for $300 instead of $3,000. 

Finally, you select 'Martha Stewart' to help revitalize your dressers with “The Furniture Paint.” She gets your dressers looking like works of art and she does it for less than a $100. 

You’re having so much fun and saving so much money, you start your own DIY channel and share it on my DIY app, which will be similar to the gaming app “Twitch.” 

That kind of forward-looking program would go beyond anything in the App Store now. The future demands a platform where smart creatives can: find inspiration, plan projects, learn skills, discuss problems, explore solutions, purchase supplies, watch and/or record instructional videos, share their experiences, and make repeat purchases. It’s called an integrated development environment and it could have a heavy viral coefficient. I’m talking… escape velocity.” πŸš€

Ok, I get it, that’s the tech piece, so what’s the problem with oil-based coatings?

“They’re gross. They’re stinky. They are hard to use. The problem I had with oil-based wood stains is that I couldn’t get the colors that I wanted because I’m not a professional finisher. I didn’t really understand how to wipe on, wipe off, and layer color tones like professional applicators have to. Also, and worst of all, they off-let carbon and harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC’s.) That’s bad for applicators and bad for homeowners. Ugh… don’t even get me started on the dry times. Anyways, I solved these problems by inventing my own wood stain. CleanTech Coatings is now on the shelf. The value is that anyone can get the high-end Restoration Hardware look, at a Walmart price. I love solving this problem. It’s my passion.”

While she works, I learn that a combination of events inspired her. First was a quote from Tim Cook in the “Elysis” project press release (link.) The second was in Bill Gates book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.

“As a passionate artist, I knew I could help Apple’s green initiative, but more importantly the applicators. I just didn’t know where to start or what to build. I had a hunch that my blog would allow me to explore groups of DIYers to see if they shared my pain. So I started with a discreet survey built around my pain points and I learned that my readers were experiencing the same problems that I was. I called them and just had basic conversations about what they wanted. I thought I knew what they wanted but they asked me to focus on the benefits of water-based wood stain, because that’s what they were willing to pay for. I thought a water-based wood stain made sense because very little innovation has occurred in the coatings category in the last hundred years and formulating seemed technically feasible, so I invented one.” 

So the stain was your minimum viable product, did your customers want more than a wood stain?  

“Yes! That’s exactly what happened, my Instagram blew up with an enthusiastic group of customers demanding water-based wood stain, but leaving with so much more. I was able to extrapolate that they basically wanted me to make VOC free furniture paint (link)wall paint (link), and also topcoats (link). The survey results have helped with optimizing my strategy. My hypothesis so far, is that, their demands will shape the whole product line. With each new sku, margin costs will fall and the entire line should ease into profit-market fit,” Becca explains as she uses an air compressor to mix raw ingredients in a 330-gallon tote. Check out my Instagram account: @WeatherWash (link.)

Wood stain is a commodity, so the lifetime value of the customer is good, but how do you plan to cross what Geoffrey Moore calls the “Chasm,” and establish the lifetime value with the majority markets? 

My strategy is to focus on making my business better. I think Apple Vision Pro early adopters will get the word out through virtual reality. The idea is that our digital marketplace will teach clients how to do their DIY projects. Price parity with Minwax and iterative in-market testing will help the products cross the chasm. Of course, customers can scan QR codes on the quart and watch a video that explains how to apply the product, but most importantly, the instructor refers clients to the next coating. From there, we split and expand skus. As the data continues to come in, I’ll keep testing it and improving the product fit, just like my UX Software Engineer friend does at Apple, #designthinking. I know it’s just a hypothesis, but I’ve generated $1.28M in wood stain sales since 2022. I’ll do way more than that as the Apple Vision Pro sales increase. The key takeaway is that by reducing clients’ labor and material costs, I believe my coating quadrant retail sales can grow to $5M by 2026. Of course, I need to make sure the product economics are positive, but that’s how I see fast growth.”

Can you tell me about the coatings market?

“The total attainable coatings market (TAM) is approximately $186B. Although wood stain caps at $7B, paint, furniture paint, and topcoats bring in as much as $179B. These U.S. markets are serviced by roughly eight-thousand Home Improvement stores and have over 294M US consumers in foot traffic per week. That’s why I want retailers with the highest foot traffic. I know an early entrant isn’t going to make a huge dent immediately, but that is where the action is happening, in the retail aisle. I believe the whole product offering, ‘my coatings quadrant,’ could realistically get the service obtainable market (SOM) to $150M within ten years. Sounds crazy that I’m only at $1.35M in sales and I’m talking about a big number like $150M, right!? Haha! Howard Stevenson’s quote makes so much sense now. He said, ‘entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled,’  so let the good times roll.”

Do you have an economic model?

“The forward looking model with retailers is [(price) x (number of skus) x (number of stores) x (number of shelves) x (inventory turns) ^ Brand] = Revenue. These coatings work like a funnel. You do your end tables and then the kitchen table has to match. Of course, the entertainment center can’t stick out, so it becomes a project as well, and then your headboard. Next, the walls need to accent the furniture. The exterior of the home will need to be refreshed and, finally, the deck has to be done. In a short amount of time, the whole process starts again because trends change. Increasing customer lifetime value would hinge on trends, product education, and seamlessly moving clients onto their next project. I have a healthy profit margin, but the key lever for growth is expanding into five hundred big box retail stores every quarter.” 


Who is your target customer?

“Our target DIY client is referred to as LOHAS (link), Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability. They talk to me through Instagram, which a great place to A/B test them. IG is a high-density network where LOHAS will recommend products through word-of-mouth. LOHAS feels what I felt. Simply put, they want products that do 80% of the work for the end user, while they do 20% of the application. They want fast cure times, with one step-application, not several layers. They want clean coatings and resist using products with strong chemical odors. LOHAS wants a guide to reduce the risk of project failure. They tend to make purchasing decisions based off their values rather than price. They’re educated and intelligent. They want the RH colors, but they want to save money and brag about how they did it themselves. They want a community to do projects with and share projects with, on social media. 

In 2020, LOHAS represented one-third of home purchases. The majority of Home Depot ($157B) clients are DIY consumers who are fixing up homes to sell or repairing homes they’ve just bought. I see a lot of LOHAS crossover between the world’s two largest retailers, Walmart and Home Depot. The LOHAS market is much bigger than just coatings. These are the clients responsible for Lululemon’s success. The LOHAS market represents $472.5B (TAM) in revenue as of 2022.”

What is your biggest hurdle?

“Distribution! For the last hundred years, my competitors have held a strangle-hold on the retail shelf. Although that is starting to change. Kelly Moore just went out of business, so there is going to be $457M worth of paint purchase orders on the market. Also, PPG is refocusing their energies on specialty lines looking to be a “bigger fish in a smaller pond.”  In the DIY space, Sherwin, BEHR, and Benjamin Moore are using price, operations, and ubiquitous shelf availability to hold marketshare and increase sales at approximately 2% year over year growth. Price is one of my biggest hurdles because I haven’t crossed that chasm to the eight-thousand retailers that my competitors have, so I don’t have that experience yet.”

Becca attributes her success to lessons she learned in her MBA operations class. She has capitalized off of continuous flow manufacturing (CFM) and just-in-time delivery (JIT) processes that she learned in MBA case studies. What are some constraints that you’re experiencing as you scale?

“Warehouse capacity and price parity to start. When we first launched in gallon milk jugs on my apartment deck, space was an obvious issue, and costs were high. Now that we’ve grown into multiple 330-gallon totes, our next increase will put us in 15,000-gallon stainless steel vats. The biggest constraint of any CleanTech product is going to be price parity

Right now my price on the shelf is $19.97. My competitors are around $15.97. The end consumer is paying a CleanTech premium of $4 when they buy WeatherWash, which is 25% higher than my competitors’ prices. In truth, you only have to use one of my quarts compared to the multiple quarts you have to buy to match my colors with Minwax. But, with more orders, my total manufacturing output will increase, and labor efficiencies will improve. I’ll pass those decreases on to the end consumer and get my price in line with my competitors. I might even land at $14.97 on the shelf. Technology-driven learning, product efficiency, and shared experience will reduce costs per unit as the total volume of production increases. At least that’s what the classic experience curve says,” 

As states have begun to regulate paint and stain emissions, do you see any opportunities to capture those laggard markets?

“States could accelerate the inevitable switch from oil to water through regulation. California has already started regulating the coatings industry in a way that forced many manufacturers to leave California. I think a better solution would be for lawmakers to use tax incentives and subsidies to shape consumer behavior. It would be nice if state and federal governments would give CleanTech coatings the same incentives they give solar and wind. Could you imagine the impact regulation would make if lawmakers required 25% of paint and stain to be carbon-free? The same way they require 25% of grid energy to be renewable? The reduction targets two primary points of emission. Reduced carbon from plant manufacturing and reduced carbon/VOC off-letting from product application.

How is your product innovative?

“My product is innovative because it is tannin reactive. Once the stain is applied, a natural reaction occurs inside the wood, and the wood changes color. My secret sauce is that I know how to stop the reaction so that it doesn’t continue to age over time. Consumers can’t tell the difference between real driftwood and the wood that I stain, which is great because my stain gives them an unlimited supply. Innovation is easy to spot when you’re reducing labor costs and reducing material costs.”

What’s the difference between Sherwin William’s manufacturing process and yours?

“When I built my manufacturing plant, I followed Bill Gates’ advice. He said, ‘we need to do three things to avoid a climate disaster. 1) We have to get to zero. 2) We need to deploy solar and wind faster and smarter. 3) We need to create and roll out breakthrough technologies that can take us the rest of the way.’ My manufacturing process is innovative because I did all three of those things. 1) I got my formula to zero. 2) I used solar, but I’m not talking about solar panels that power a plant, everyone is doing that. I’m capturing solar power to cook the batch inside the tote. 3) I created zero carbon formulas and rolled them out to Walmart. While I was researching base formulas, I learned that Edison, Tesla, Ford, Dupont, and Sherwin-Williams harnessed their economic opportunities by using oil. On scale, these 19th century industrial operations account for one-fifth of global energy use and are responsible for roughly fifteen billion tons of carbon off-letting annually. As the oil supply decreases, prices will continue to increase. Eventually, the oil demand will be higher than the oil supply. When that happens, I expect that low-carbon and carbon-free manufacturing processes, like mine, will disrupt old-school oil-based manufacturers.” Becca tosses what appears to be herbs into a large plastic tote. She pinches a little of this, and a little of that, and folds raw materials into the product with a wooden oar.

Are your materials renewable? 

 “My formulas for paint and stain harness naturally grown renewable raw materials and utilize renewable energy sources. I used a ratio of total gallons produced / energy use and learned that my manufacturing carbon emission is practically zero — and the product itself has no carbon or VOC emissions. It’s beyond carbon, it’s #netzero, which is my vision for coatings.” 

Circling back to the stain, your product is truly magic in a quart, but your operation is next level. You said that you use the power of the sun to make the product. Can you tell me how you do that? 

“Sure! When I learned that Apple used solar panels to power its manufacturing plant and work facilities, I asked myself, ‘what else can photovoltaic cells do?’ Apparently PV cells can only capture a maximum of 22% solar power. The scientific question I asked was, ‘what percentage of the sun’s rays could cook a batch of wood stain?’ It turns out, wood stain can capture up to 80% of the sun’s rays and that is more than enough energy to cook the batch. Once we acquire machinery to automate the line, we will install solar panels, and use the sun’s energy to manufacture paint, as well. Also, my operation will generate power for the grid. #Negawatts (link)! I think this is the future of American net zero (link) manufacturing! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ ” 

How do efficiencies play a role in CleanTech?

“Efficiencies are the key to real CleanTech results! The built environment is responsible for 29% of the 52 billion tons of annual carbon emissions. I have five main efficiencies that can reduce that percentage right now: raw materials, workspace, energy, labor, and plant power. I have one goal in mind when manufacturing: my energy efficiencies must maximize outputs and minimize inputs. I would say my operation is 78% efficient right now. When we scale to our goal of eight thousand retailers, I expect my efficiencies will go down at first, but once we get past the experience curve, I think they will be closer to 92%.” 

If you had one wish, what would it be? 

“I wish that Tim Cook would join my company and help me take over the coatings service attainable market (SAM.) Is that too ambitious? Seriously, with the Apple Vision Pro, his manufacturing experience, and retail distribution, we could make a huge dent in the DIY market. Join team CleanTech Coatings #TimCook, we can be unicorns.” 

What would you give up? 

“Take a look around you. Everything I have here is for sale, including things you can’t see like equity. Hang tight, it looks like my staff is overflowing a tote. I gotta go. Are we done here?” 


That’s a wrap. 

I’m surprised Becca can even hear me over the noisy air compressors, shouting, and continuous lid hammering. She is laser-focused on “the batch” and somehow manages to answer all my questions even though we are interrupted a dozen times by managers and employees. 

Here are some key takeaways: I personally have a new appreciation and a new perspective for renewables. I believe renewable energy operations will be revolutionary. Why? Because renewable energies are REPLENISHABLE, whereas crude oil might not be. If renewable energy products can perform as well as oil-based products and cost just as much, or less, why wouldn’t we switch? CleanTech products may be able to sell at even lower prices once the machinery is paid off because the cost of generating energy is practically nothing. 

Operationally, Becca has arrived at a manufacturing crossroads where renewable raws and alternative energy sources intersect. The result is a breakthrough technology that needs no electricity and no fossil fuels to manufacture. Her process may even be cheaper than oil-based wood stains and this visionary entrepreneur has decarbonized the product and the manufacturing operation. She has lit a path for industrial manufacturers inside and outside the coatings industry. The possibility for a transition from oil-based formulas to carbon-free water-based formulas now exists. 

How will the big switch from oil to renewable energy happen? 
Inventors and innovators, like Becca, will harness renewable energy the way she did with the sun’s power to make wood stain. Inventors are inventing products that will have ripple effects, as products are dropped into the market. Light bulbs, alternating current, and gas-powered vehicles were all products that were like a pebble in the pond. Some ripples will be big, like the Apple Vision Pro, electric wind, solar, and electric vehicles. Some inventions will be small, like biofuels and Clean Tech Coatings. Either way, from big to small, the wave of change is coming and AI combined with Apple Vision Pro will accelerate that change. 

When will it happen?
It’s already happening! In the summer of 2020, Germany successfully powered their power grid with 56% solar power. If you want to see the switch happening within the built environment, specifically wood stain, go to your local Walmart store or go online to Walmart.comHomeDepot.com, Amazon.com, or Becca’s website, WeatherwashCoatings.com. Just search for WeatherWash and don’t forget to leave a review! 😊 

As the big switch begins, some serious questions are: How will innovators get 52 billion carbon tons to zero in these categories: transportation, agriculture, electric power grids, industry, and the built environment? How much is the big switch going to cost? How many fossil fuel jobs will be lost? How many carbon-zero jobs will be created? 

Pundits believe 2050 is the cutoff before the 1.6 trillion tons of carbon emission heat the earth up one or two degrees and bring irreversible global damage. Think superstorms, extreme weather, droughts, food shortages, and energy grid collapse. Don’t be afraid of what may come. The big switch shines rays of hope through the darkest carbon cloud and it’s happening one rippling innovation at a time. 

Thank you for reading, and may each and every one of us find the ability within our consuming capacity to make the BIG SWITCH

October 11, 2023

Peter Facinelli aka Doctor Carlisle Cullen

“Paging Doctor Cullen, you have an interview with Zack and Becca, writers for the blog From Gardners 2 Bergers. Report to Forever Twilight in Forks (FTF), Washington, STAT!” 

“I’m on it!” Peter Facinelli says, as he takes his seat under a pine gazebo at the Pacific Inn Motel, in Forks, Washington. 

Peter is here signing books and taking pictures at the Forever Twilight in Forks Festival. He's incredibly genuine. Friendly and easily approachable. To the west, the sun is setting and the colors are breath taking. To the east, the clouds have lost their place in the gray sky. They settle into the towering evergreens that crowd the rolling hills behind Peter and add an eerie effect. We are literally sitting down with a Vampire in his home town. He is wearing an Aviator Nation sweatshirt. He pulls his hoody over his head and asks, “so what do you do?” 

Zack: “My wife invented a wood stain that turns raw wood into barnwood.” I expect Peter to show zero interest. 

Peter: “Really? You take raw wood and it kind of ages it?” Peter asks with way more interest than I expected. 

Becca: “It’s an all-natural process, you just apply the stain to raw wood and you can see one hundred percent of the wood grain,” Becca says as she’s said in hundreds of interviews. 

P: “What’s the name of the company?” Peter asks. 

B: “Weatherwash.” Becca answers. 

The interview has taken an unexpected turn. Peter is interviewing us, instead of us interviewing Peter. What’s going on here? 

P: “How long does it take to get that old look?” Peter wonders. 

B: “Takes about ten minutes and it’s ready for a topcoat. Your whole project can be done in under an hour. It’s a tannin-based reactive stain, earth-friendly and VOC free!” Becca beams, super proud of her creation. 

P: “I love doing woodworking. I grew up doing carpentry with my Uncle. I did that during the summers. I could build anything out of wood. I could build this gazebo. Recently, I did a birdcage with a sliding door,” Peter leans forward. He’s holding the birdcage between his empty hands, somehow, we can all see it. As he goes on, we learn that he’s quite the woodworker and a knowledgeable finisher. “You know this is a billion-dollar idea right?” 

Bec smiles and nods, “We did just get into Walmart!” 

Z: “You know Peter, you’re an extraordinary guy who seems remarkably ordinary,” I say, as we settle into our woodworking comfort zone. 

P: “That’s great! It’s good to be ordinary.” He says as he scrolls through our portfolio, he friend-requests Rebecca. 

She accepts. They’re "fast" friends. 
Z: “Ok, so you’re going to be our celebrity endorser?” I ask. 
P: “Maybe!” Peter smiles and winks. 
Z: “Great! So you’re a finisher in real life, a vampire doctor, a human doctor, a special forces operator, a Sheriff in the old west, and many other things in the make-believe world of Hollywood.” 

Peter nods. 
Z: “What does nine-to-five look like for you?” 
P: “Constant change. Lots of preparation. Tons of research.” 

Z: “So you’re from Queens, NYC.” 
P: “Yes!” 
Z: “You have three siblings. Where do you rank?” 
P: “I'm last.” 

Z: “Three older sisters? That's more Barbies than G.I. Joe's. #Roughbro. Your parents are from Italy?” 

P: “Yep.” 

Z: “Your mother is from, Spormaggiore, how do you pronounce that?” 

Peter annunciates the town without missing a beat. Even though I speak Italian, I butcher it. Curse that double ‘g.’ 

Z: “Your father is from Trentino?” 

P: “Yeah.” 

Z: “It’s pretty cool that they were so close to fair Verona when they fell in love.” 

Peter nods, “I never thought about that. But yeah, both of their towns are right there in Val Di Non Valley, Northern Italy.” 

B: “We visited Verona, so we got to see what the countryside looks like.” 

P: “It’s a beautiful country.” 
Z: “Take us back to high school at Saint Francis Preparatory, what was your best moment in high school.

Peter shuffles. His face wrinkles as though he’s just licked a lemon, “high school wasn’t a good time for me. I was incredibly shy and I didn’t want to eat lunch with the other kids. So, I found a quite place where a woman sold pretzels and orange juice and that was my, uhm… my lunch every day for three years.” 

‘Peter shy? Are you kidding me?’ I think. 

Z: “Did you play a sport?” 

P: “Baseball.” 

Z: “That’s ironic.” I’m thinking back to the Twilight baseball game. 

P: “There was this one game, I quit the high school team because the coach was a jerk and so I played for another team. There was this one play where the bases were loaded, there was only a few minutes left on the clock in the last inning and I hit a home run. We were tied up and that home run won the game. The old coach saw the play and realized his mistake.” Peter smiles. 

B: “We saw a game with the Rangers and Red Sox just like that. It was nail-biting.” 

Z: “Who is your favorite sports team?” 

P: “Yankees.” 

Z: “Who is your favorite player?” 

P: “Babe Ruth. He would point where he was going to hit the ball and then hit it there. That was incredible.” 

Z: “So you’re in high school, headed to college at New York University. At what point did you decide to become an actor?” 

P: “For me it was much sooner. It was when I was thirteen, the topic of career came up with my family and I told my parents I wanted to be an actor. They didn’t discourage me, in fact, they encouraged me.” 

Bec and I look at each other, completely shocked. Why? When I told my Mom I wanted to be an actor she said, “go to college first and act on the side.” 

P: “I never had a back up plan because I was taught that if you have a back up plan, that becomes the plan.” 

Peter is right, Momma! I ended up using my degree and not acting >:-/ 

Z: “When Bec and I lived in Italy, all these Italian fathers had interesting sayings for their sons. One that we liked the most was, ‘better to buy a suit than a glass of water.’ Does your Dad have any cool sayings?” 

P: “No. Not really.” 

B: “Your parents must be incredibly proud of you.” 

P: “Actually, that’s the funny thing, my Dad and I are on this plane with all these actors that have lesser roles than me at the time and he’s like, ‘do you think Peter will make it?’ My parents are immigrants, so they just don’t get how far I’ve come. In fact, my Dad was like, ‘Peter, if you don’t make it in Hollywood, that’s okay. I love you and I will always have a room for you in my home.’” 

Bec and I look at each other. We’ve never met this man, but we love him! 

Z: “Well there you go Peter. You’re Dad’s Italian saying is, ‘There’s a room for you in my house, son.” 

B: “So you studied acting in college. Was there one specific method that you preferred over another?” 
Peter has a lot to say about this. If any of you thought acting was just memorizing lines and shooting ten second scenes, think again. There’s voice training. Stage acting. Camera acting. And the two are not the same. Peter lists a dozen books and several methods that contribute to his “craft”. Clearly his education at NYU has paid off. His performance takes audiences to a different world. A world where admittance is belief. He’s so passionate about his craft, he spends forty minutes talking about it. By the end of his answer Bec and I are blown away with how much mechanical aptitude it takes to create a convincing character. 

B: “So I recently watched ‘The Vanished,’ how did you come up with that idea?” 

P: “A couple of years ago, I got into RV-ing. I took my family across America and we stopped in all these really cool little towns. One of the towns we stopped in, this guy at the counter let me know that the prison nearby had a convict escape and a manhunt was under way. For a brief moment, I lost track of one of my kids, and found them, but I thought, ‘what if this man had found my daughter and kidnapped her? That would be terrifying.’ I didn’t get much sleep that night because of the fear I felt and I couldn’t shake the feeling so I caught it on film.” 

 Z: “You had a lot of success with that. How many people viewed it on Netflix?” 

 P: “Two hundred million.” 

 B: “TWO HUNDRED MILLION? That’s two thirds of the nation’s population. What was the budget?”
 P: “One and a half million.” 

 Z: “You got two hundred million people to watch a film you wrote, directed, and acted in on a one and a half million-dollar budget?” 

 P: “Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?” 

 Z: “Yeah! I’d imagine you’re a hot item in Hollywood. Directors like you are like snow leopards.” 

 P: “What do you mean?” 

Z: “Snow Leopards are rarely seen, but they exist. Well look at Spielberg for example. He almost didn’t have a career because he kept going over budget. If it wasn’t for George Lucas bringing him on for Indiana Jones, Spielberg’s career might have died early. So, a guy that can generate that kind of viewership with a small budget must be rare, but exist.” 

 P: “We’ll see. It’s all kind of fresh still,” he says relaxed and un-phased. Like I said, an extraordinary man that seems abnormally ordinary. 

 B: “Can we talk about Twilight now?” 

 P: “Of course!” 

 B: “How did you get the part?” 

 P: “That is a funny story. I auditioned and so did this other guy, Henry Cavill, and it looked like he got the part of Carlisle Cullen. As I was doing my research, I stumbled on a book titled, “History of the Vampire.” Since I didn’t get the part, I thought I could help Catherine Hardwick out and maybe network for the future. I wrote a quick note in the book and sent it to her. When the part didn’t work out with the other guy, she got my note and called me. So I got the part because I gave Catherine a $29.99 book.” 

Z: “Cool! Can you do that with my book?” 

P: “Maybe, what’s your book?” 

Z: “Harvest Moon.” I hand him a copy. 

P: “I’ll see what I can do.” 

Bec and I high-five. 

B: “How did you prepare for the role of Doctor Carlisle Cullen?” 

P: “I did a lot of research. I even kept these journals and that’s all part of the craft right? When I prepare for a role, I want to know as much about the character as I can. Learning about what doctors do wasn’t so hard, but what required a little more intense research was what a doctor might wear throughout the years. As I was doing my research, I kind of felt like Carlisle would have had an interest in scarves. I traced the fashion of scarves back to his era and incorporated those scarves into my character. I was using it as a thread through time to tie in the history of his life together through out the film.” 

B: “Can we shop Doctor Cullen Scarves?” 

P: “That’s an interesting idea, I’ll have to think about it.” 

Z: "You should post the journals online. I know a lot of fans in the Facebook groups would love that." 

P: "I'll look into that. It would be nice for them to experience Carlisle Cullen's view of 'Twilight' right?"

B: “Are you still in touch with the cast?” 

P: “Yes! Definitely! We all keep in contact with each other. Nikki and I just worked on a project together, and we all text each other often. We kind of grew up together in Hollywood, you know.” 

B: “What’s your favorite story about your son, Edward?” 

P: “When I first met Rob, he had all these hair extensions. For some reason, they wanted him to have long hair. And I noticed he was kind of pulling on them. The next day, he had pulled all of his hair extensions out and he was like, ‘I’m not doing it, okay! I’m using my natural hair.'” 

B: OMG, this reminds me of when Anna Kendrick called him "the hair," in Breaking Dawn Part 1. 

Z: “In your own words, how would you describe Twilight?” 

P: “It’s the modern Romeo and Juliet, right?” 

Z: In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, 'if only we could rewind the clock to Juliet’s house which is actually in “fair” Verona, Italy, not far from Peter's parents home towns. I’m wondering if Peter's ancestors knew he was in a modern Romeo and Juliet love story, what would they think?' By the way 'Trivial Pursuit' readers, Capulet was a real family name! (Below you can see some pictures of her balcony that we took in 2019.) 

P: (Continued) Twilight is a great love story that incorporates forbidden love between a vampire and a young girl that every girl wants to be. But the best part of this story is that it brings fans together from all across the world. They form these relationships that they otherwise wouldn’t have and it was such a great experience to be a part of it.”

B: I’m not sure if Peter has seen the map in the Fork's Visitor Center, but people from across the world have placed a pin on the map and you can see below just how many people have been affected by "Twilight". Keep in mind, they traveled from these states and countries to physically place their pin. 

Z: “If you had an unlimited budget, what movie would you make? Who would direct it? Who would star in it?” 

P: “Oh that’s easy, I’d do a gangster movie. Something like Scarface. I would star in it. I would direct it.”
B: “Are you excited about fashion?” 

P: “I’m not a snob or anything. I like form and function. Comfort is ideal."

Z: “Do you have a favorite artist?” 

P: Rene Magritte. 

B: “Do you have any cool Dad sayings for your kids?” 

P: “Believe in yourself and follow your dreams!” 

Z: “You’ve been to Italy and across America, do you have a favorite architect?” 

P: “I like Spanish style. I like how architecture changes across the country. Even the brick color changes. I like Modern, too. I like Frank Lloyd Wright. I really like Frank Gehry, he did the Disney Concert Hall in L.A. I love what he does.” 

Z: “Halloween is fast approaching. What scary movies are you watching and what are you dressing up as?” 

P: “I don’t watch scary movies. They give me nightmares. The costume is a hard one for me. I feel like I have ideas of what I’m going to dress up like and then Halloween comes and I never know what I’m going to wear. Can I get back to you on that one?” 

Z: “Wanna do a scary picture together?” 

P: “Sure!” 

Z: “Let's do wolf claws! Roooaaarrr!” 

Z: “Peter! Bec and I did wolf claws, what are you doing?” 

P: “Smoldering wolf claws.” 

B: “Do you have a favorite movie that you’ve been in?” 

P: “I have really enjoyed all the films I’ve worked in. I love them all. I can’t really pick one over the other.” 
Z: “What’s your favorite app?”

P: “I like Instagram. I have a love hate relationship with TikTok. It’s so entertaining, people do the stupidest things on there, I just can’t stop watching it. There are such quick little segments you could just scroll forever.”


Z: “What’s your favorite video game?”

P: “I don’t play video games. I grew up on Atari. But Oculus goggles in VR is pretty cool. You feel like you’re there.”

Z: “What’s your favorite tech?”

P: “Crypto.” 

Z: “What do you do for a workout?”

P: “Honestly, I do P90X. It requires very little space and they mix the work outs up so you don’t get bored. I love the Kenpo Karate. Now I work with a trainer though.”

Z: “Your arms are looking pretty big bro, got any tips on beefing up biceps?”

P: “Ha! Ha! No, I actually have to tell my trainer to tone it down. Honestly, it’s all genetics. I have 'guido' arms. I have those Italian American arms and like, I have to be careful not to work out my biceps too much because if I wear a button up shirt they puff up and fill out the shirt. It’s just genetics, I don’t have to work them out.” He shrugs nonchalantly.

B: “Who is your celeb look alike?” Now this cracks both of us up. Peter literally buries his face in his hands, and for the first time during this interview, I see the shy kid he was talking about in high school. When he looks up, he’s literally blushing and so flustered he can’t speak. 

P: “I don’t know man, I used to get Tom Cruise. Who do you think?”

Z: “Ethan Hawk.”

P: “I’ll take it.”

Z: “What do you think, Becca?”

B: “I don’t think you look like anyone. I think you have a very unique look.”

P: “I like that better!” 

With that, the interview is over. The weather has shifted and true to its reputation, Forks is the wettest place in America. The temperature drops. Cold rain dumps on us. Two hours of friendly conversation has made us all cold ones and fast friends. Bec and I jump in the car, crank the heater, and wonder how exactly three Italians ended up on the farthest western point of North America. But that’s the beauty of Twilight. 

To Peter’s point Twilight brings people together from all parts of the world and they make connections they otherwise wouldn’t have. This happens in book lines. Movie lines. FTF lines. It’s the spirit of Twilight that Peter helped build. And twelve years later the bonds are still being forged. Even with fans and actors. Thanks, Peter, for the interview and thanks to Stephenie Meyer for an awesome love story!
Zachary & Becca

Us talking with fans in line at FTF. 

August 15, 2023

RH Cerused Driftwood Gray Table

For this week's project, we're back to my roots! Which means we're creating knock off Restoration Hardware colors today! This project is easy peasy, just apply to wood and watch the magic happen! You're going to love this tutorial to easily achieve the Reclaimed Gray Oak look.



Here's the "before" of this typical, out dated oak table. There's a million of these babies floating around from the 80's and 90's. It shouldn't be too hard to get your hands on one, and at a good price. 

If you're using a brand new, or raw wood table, please skip down to step #5. Thanks!

First you'll want to apply a thick layer of Citristrip to the table. Citristrip has a tendency to dry out before it can eat away at all the layers of stain and lacquer. So covering the wet stripper with a garbage bag helps keep the moisture in while it works.
When the stripper turns white, it's ready to be scraper off. Remove the bags and scrape as much of the mixture off, as you can. You'll want to try and get down ti the raw wood if you can. But being careful not to scrape or damage the wood itself. 
You will want to wipe the table down with mineral spirits and a rag to remove any existing residue. This should remove any sticky residue from the tabletop. 
4.] SAND
Here's the labor portion. You want to use a palm sander and 80 grit sandpaper to make sure the wood is completely down to raw. You can see in this video what I mean.
Weatherwood released a new stain that can turn oak into a beautiful driftwood gray, called Light Oaking. This product can work on any wood, so it's incredibly easy to use.

If you want to lighten the look, you can add a coat of White Maintenance Oil. It adds the look of patina and is just generally gorgeous. Simply brush or wipe onto wood, allow to sit 3-7 minutes. Then wipe off with a clean cloth. Or you can watch the video above. 
See how pretty and soft the white maintenance oil is? It's much more subtle than a paint product and really just makes the wood look sun-kissed.

For additional project looking to achieve the Restoration Hardware look, you can search our archives for tons of inpiration or check out this popular post below!


I've also got a paint update for you guys! We are selecting our final shades for our The Furniture Paint launch, so keep your fingers crossed for me! xoxo

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