How to Get a RESTORATION HARDWARE Finish

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We are so excited about this post! We both LOVE the Restoration Hardware style! I will never forget when the store opened up in Salt Lake City and I walked in the door and my eyes lit up … I was in LOVE with all of the finishes, the lighting, everything! Then I looked at the prices, yikes, well it didn’t fit into my budget.

Steph had been eyeing a bed at Restoration Hardware with that vintage coastal style and it was nearly $3000, but luckily we are DIY’ers and we have come up with a simple 3 step process to achieve their wood finish.

The bed is Stephanie’s, she bought it after graduation from high school. She was anxious to spend all that $ she was making! 🤣 It was a solid pine bed with lots of rustic character which she loved at the time, however as her tastes changed, she married and she began looking for something else. She hung onto this bed knowing that it was a good solid piece and maybe she would use it another time. Well that time is now! Lets take a look at the before photos of the bed.

The bed was a good solid piece of furniture, she just no longer liked the finish. It was a natural pine finish with a wax on it. She loves the relaxed coastal look and wondered if we could transform this bed into that. Well take a look, I think we succeeded!

Supplies we used:

  1. paint brush
  2. paint and varnish remover
  3. steel wool pads (medium grit)
  4. sandpaper
  5. old toothbrush
  6. paper towel
  7. vinegar
  8. white wax
  9. cotton rag (like an old t-shirt)

Step 1: Strip off the finish

We believed that the bed had a wax finish on it and knew that we would need to remove it in order to apply our stain. We used Jasco Paint and Epoxy Remover. I really like this product, it has a gel like consistency and clings to the surface which is very helpful if your project is vertical. When working with a chemical stripper always wear chemical gloves (it can burn your skin). Pour the stripper into a glass or metal container (it will eat right through plastic). Brush on the stripper with a paint brush, let it sit for 15 minutes while it dissolves the finish.

Be sure to check out the video we made of this process and follow along as this bed is transformed!

After about 15 minutes begin to remove the dissolved finish with steel wool pads. We used a medium grit. Rub back and forth with the pad, pulling off the finish. This method works really well for surfaces that have moulding and carved details. We used this method for the entire piece. I noticed that in some of the corner areas there was still some finish to remove. I wet an old toothbrush with the stripper and worked it into the corners, then wiped the area with a paper towel. Once the entire piece is stripped, wipe down all of the surfaces with a damp cloth, removing any remaining chemicals.

Step 2: Staining the piece

We used our natural stain which we made with vinegar and a steel wool pad. Fill a glass jar with vinegar and drop in a steel wool pad. Let it sit for a day or two. The steel wool pad will pretty much dissolve.

Using a brush, paint on the vinegar mixture onto the wood. It will look clear as you first apply it and in a matter of minutes the magic happens. You get this amazing weathered wood look!

In the first photo we are holding up a piece of the original pine next to the stained headboard. Amazing!  We did have a few areas where the stain did not take. We must have not gotten all of the wax off. This was an easy fix however.

We took some medium grit sandpaper to those areas that did not stain well and gently rubbed off any remaining finish. We then brushed on our vinegar mixture.

Here it is all touched up after sanding. We did have one spot that you can see that would not stain. It may have been filled in with wood putty, but you will see in the end it all worked out.

Step 3: Waxing – our final step.

To achieve that great vintage, worn Restoration Hardware look we applied a white wax. We used the Behr white wax. Using a waxing brush apply the wax in a circular motion, pushing the wax into any grooves or crevices in the wood. We also wanted the wax to look a but streaky, so after the wax was applied we gently drug a chip brush (stiff and short bristled brush) across the wax, giving us the worn streaked look we were going for.

Once the wax has dried it is time to buff. I like to let it sit overnight, just to make sure the wax is all dry. Then buff, this can be done with a soft, clean cotton cloth (old t-shirt) or a buffer also works well. Every time we get out the buffer out little helper arrives. She loves to be a part of all our projects, especially if there is a paint brush involved 😉. Usually we say no, you can’t help with this, but with the buffing she can totally do it!

Here is the finished bed! In the first picture we are pointing out that one spot that wouldn’t take stain, but after the waxing and buffing it looks great! We applied this method to the headboard, footboard and rails. We think it looks fantastic and this project only cost around $35.  Can you believe it? That is quite a savings from the nearly $3000 bed at Restoration Hardware!

Take a look at the before and after, it’s quite a transformation! We are thrilled with the way it turned out!

Do you LOVE it? Are you going to give this technique a try? We would love to hear from you please drop us a comment!

Thanks for stopping by and as always here at Sunny Side Design 

WE HOPE TO BRING YOUR HOME TO THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET!

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This post may interest you, we used a similar technique to get this finish on our DIY Blanket Ladder. Check it out and see how we used vintage croquet mallets!

Looking for some inspiration for fall decor, check out our Fall Tour.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. You ladies take the cake! My daughter and I do not do projects together, but we discuss how to and if it will look the way it should. I am an artist and old craft teacher. I love looking at projects that others do. I happened onto your post just recently. You do so well. Not my style, but I still got a lot out of your blog. Good luck, lore

    1. Thank you Loretta for taking the time to respond to our post. We appreciate your kind words. We both enjoy working with our hands, working together and creating beautiful pieces.

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