Amanda Freed Homes
Amanda Freed Homes
  • Hometalker
  • Waynesboro, VA

How to Get The Arhaus Look

11 Materials
3 Days

It's not easy to reverse-engineer a finish for a piece of furniture but I was willing to give it a shot.

I've worked on some pieces in the past where I had used a similar technique.

I had some clients of mine come to me with a challenge.

"Can you give this buffet the ' Arhaus' look?"

how to get the arhaus look

You can check out the whole blog post & all the pictures on my site:

They provided this picture from one of the company's catalogs and pointed out that it was the Earl Grey finish on the table that they wanted to recreate.

how to get the arhaus look

how to get the arhaus look

I first had to take off the slick, orange finish that the buffet was currently wearing.

After removing the door and drawers, I sanded the whole piece down to the raw wood. The original finish didn't put up too much of a fight and I was able to able to get the whole piece sanded in an afternoon.

Thank goodness!

how to get the arhaus look

After cleaning away the dust I started to think up a strategy to get the weathered look.I started with watering down some Valspar Belgian White paint.

2 parts paint, 1 part water.

I haphazardly brushed the paint mixture on, leaving it on for about a minute and then wiping it away with a damp rag.

I did 3 coats of this technique until I got my desired look.

how to get the arhaus look

After letting the layered white wash dry over night it was then time to add a stain combination.I consulted my stain stash and I chose Minwax's Classic Gray and Jacobean to layer on.

I also add weather oak to the mix just incase.

Using some latex gloves to protect my hands, I applied the first coat of stain with foam brushes and then wiping it off with a clean rag.

I started with classic gray and decided against using Jacobean because I felt like it had a little too much red in it.

I choose to use weathered oak instead to enhance the gray.

This is what 2 coats of classic gray and 1 coat of weathered oak over the white wash looked like:

how to get the arhaus look

The was still too much of the orange from the raw oak showing through and we need to darken the grain of the wood.I thought maybe a black stain would help to combat the warmth but I was fresh out!My solution was to cut a little bit of black paint with some water, brush it on and wipe it away with a damp cloth ASAP.

This is what it the black-wash cover looked like after one coat vs just the classic gray & weathered oak stain layers:

how to get the arhaus look

Brushing it on and using a damp cloth to wiping it off after a few seconds was key to keeping the paint from saturating the entire piece.Finally I just had to stop and walk away.There is such a thing as over-working something and a project like this could easily get away from me.I let it sit over night before completing the final touches and the last thing to apply before adding hardware was a top coat.I like to use Minwax's water based polycrylic protective finish in clear matte for almost everything I work on and this project was no exception.

All it needed was a thin coat.After letting it dry it was time to add hardware.I tried using what the buffet came with originally but the client wanted to mix it up and we decided to try painting the hardware black.(Before)

how to get the arhaus look

I didn't want the black to look too new so I did a light mist of an age bronze spray paint on top.I styled the piece with some ironstone mixing bowls and an old bull horn.This piece has a lot of structural detail already and could easily be over-styled if I add much more. 

how to get the arhaus look

I had the chance to try to re-create the Arhaus 'Earl Grey' finish and it might not be perfect but I think I got pretty close.It was a beautiful day when I took theses pictures so It looked very light-n-bright. 

how to get the arhaus look

The hardest part of this whole project was finding the right combination of paint and stains to toning down the natural orange-i-ness of the oak.I was hoping to achieve the look with less product (paint, 2 different stains, more paint) but I'm okay with where we ended up. 

how to get the arhaus look

You can also watch the YouTube video HERE of the entire process!

Product List:

  • Rags
  • Foam Brushes
  • Latex Gloves
  • Sandpaper
  • Valspar Paint - Belgian White & Lincoln Cottage Black
  • Minwax Stains - Classic Gray & Weathered Oak
  • Minwax's Polycrylic Protective Coat in Clear Matte
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Age Bronze Spray Paint


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Amanda Freed Homes

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Betty Sutton Smith
    on Mar 7, 2019

    i just bought an old dresser but it has a cigaret burn on it and several rings where someone had set beverages on it also. my question if i deside to redo / paint will it take away the cigaret burn ????

    • Amanda Freed Homes
      on Apr 2, 2019

      Hi Betty! Totally depends on how deep the cigaret burn is. If its just a surface/finish damage issue than you could easily give the entire piece a light sanding and paint without any problems!

  • Arlene
    on Mar 13, 2019

    The colorful piece is a family favorite (named Henrietta) but I needed more storage so I found 2 black pieces ($69 each). I’m thinking about painting them the deep red and then white. I am wondering if I paint it red and then water down white, would that end up looking pink. Or, paint edges red then whole thing white and then sand down the edges so red shows through. Any thoughts?


    • Amanda Freed Homes
      on Apr 2, 2019

      If you were layer water down white over top of a deep red then yes it would look very pink. My best suggestion to get the layered and distressed look that you are wanting is to look into using Miss mustard seed's milk paint in Tricycle and Farmhouse white. Here is a link on how to layer and distress

  • Tess Boyer
    on Mar 17, 2019

    I am building a tiny house and plan to do something like this to a rolling table/island that has the drop side and bar stools. I am wondering about the finish. Is it safe to eat off of as I will have 2 g’babies living with me?

Join the conversation

3 of 35 comments
  • Catina Kelly
    on Mar 22, 2019

    This looks incredible! I love how you used a combination of different washes and then wiped them away, leaving very little paint behind. I totally get carried away in many of my projects too lol. I have to make myself walk away or I'll spend an entire weekend trying to get my project to look "just right" by tweaking it a billion and a half times, lol. You certainly did a wonderful job!

    • Amanda Freed Homes
      on Apr 2, 2019

      Than you so much Catina! I have to the too-much gene as well so a very wise art professor gave me the permission I needed durning college to walk-away from my work and be okay with it!

  • Tracey
    on Apr 15, 2019

    Definitely a winner now! Fantastic job!

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