Hello creative friends! Today, I’m sharing a furniture makeover inspired by the restoration hardware finish on furniture that I’ve been drooling over for a while now. The dreamy neutral colors of gray, rust and beautiful wood grains make the interior designer in me do a double-take. This finish works well in a masculine setting, but adding a soft touch of feminity makes it work in both spaces—a versatile finish for lovers of gray furniture.
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DIY Restoration Hardware Finish With Chalk Paint
I feel like a mad scientist when I have a new finish I’m trying for the first time. This concoction I mixed up will turn raw unfinished wood into a rusty gray pallet for a beautiful restoration hardware finish.
- Raw Wood Furniture
- SurfPrep Sanding System
- Glass Jar
- Distilled Vinegar
- Super Fine Steel Wool
- Chip Brush (disposable for vinegar mixture)
- Rubber Gloves
- Shop Towels / Old Cotton T-Shirt
- Coffee Bean (chalk mineral paint)
- Hurricane Gray (chalk mineral paint)
- Drift Wood (chalk mineral paint)
- Gator Hide (topcoat)
- Super Fine Sanding Pad (yellow)
- Stick & Style Stencil (for the drawers)
Mixing The Stain For Raw Wood
First, you will need a glass jar with a lid, distilled vinegar, and superfine steel wool. Add one piece of steel wool into the glass jar (pint size for this project) and fill it with vinegar. Make sure to cover the steel wool completely with the vinegar. Replace the lid and let the vinegar and the steel wool work their magic for about 24 hours. When you soak steel wool in vinegar, it breaks down the protective coating and allows the iron in the steel to rust. The solution will still be clear after removing the lid but will turn darker after exposure to the air after a bit of time. It’s the chemical reaction between iron and oxygen that makes this work. I feel like a mad scientist!
*FYI… this solution works best in a glass container. I’ve tried it using a plastic container, and for some reason, it works best in a glass-covered jar.
Before applying the vinegar and steel wool solution to the wood, remove the steel wool from the jar and dispose of it. Next, liberally apply the vinegar solution to the raw wood with a disposable chip brush and wait for the magic to happen. I used almost the whole pint-sized jar on this project, so be sure you mix enough for the right-sized project. Running out in midstream would result in an uneven finish of your restoration hardware finish.
Elapsed Time For The Oxidizing Stain To React
And like magic… over a few hours, you will see the raw wood start to darken and even give off a rusty gray appearance—the perfect aged background for a restoration hardware finish. I never get tired of seeing this magic.
Restoration Hardware Finish With Chalk Paint
The next step is to add subtle colors of chalk mineral paint with a dry brushing technique using Driftwood, Hurricane Gray, and Coffee Bean to create a beautiful Restoration hardware finish. If you would like the complete video tutorial on this finish, it’s available to you now in my video library. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Restoring Old Hardware
Restoring the existing hardware is the most inexpensive way to go when you already have it. Try using a super-fine sanding pad to buff the original hardware back to a shiny new finish to complement your restoration hardware finish. It was fun to watch how the years of build-up were so easily removed. No chemicals!
And I added a few shelves. There were two broken drawers that couldn’t be repaired. CLICK HERE to see how I did it.
I have to admit I had a few doubts about this makeover. Not the Restoration Hardware Finish, but the repairs on this “JANKY” piece (broken leg and wood damage) were needed before I could even begin to make it beautiful again. Ever have those issues with your thrift store and curbside finds? I’m sure you have, and I would love to hear how your project turned out too. Was it good or bad? Did it make it to the burn pile? LOL, this one was close. Oh, and don’t forget to pin this one to your FURNITURE MAKEOVER board.
Thanks for stopping by and please, come back often as I share all my DIY projects here. It’s my therapy… most of the time. 🙂
Until the next project… xo, Do