How to Get a Restoration Hardware Finish

7 Materials
3 Hours

We both LOVE the Restoration Hardware style, but the price "YIKES" is out of our budget! We 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.

Steph bought this bed 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 got a more formal bedroom set. 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!

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 a 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!

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.

Here is the finished headboard! We are thrilled with the transformation! Do you love it? For more detailed instructions please check out the original post on our site. Link down below.

Take a look at the inspiration bed from RH on the left and the finish we achieved on the right. 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!

Be sure to check out the video tutorial to see this Restoration Hardware finish come to life! You can also tour the completed Master Bedroom Makeover and shop the look here!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

16 Floating Shelves That Will Stun Guests
12 Container Garden Ideas to Kick Off Spring
Quick Easter Egg Ideas That Are Just Too Cute
21 Ways To Use Those Pickle Jars You've Been Saving
Check Out These 30 Incredible Floor Transformations Ideas
30 Neat Ideas To Upgrade Your Backyard
3 Easy Ways To Upgrade Your Pillows To A High End Look
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
Transform Tuna Cans Into Gorgeous Lighting In 10 Simple Steps
29 Ways To Get A Splash Of Blue In Your House
3 Cute Step-by-Step Ideas For Unique Planters
Add A Hint Of Farmhouse Style In Your Home With These Ideas
25 Decor Ideas That Will Add Some Spring to Your Home
15 Clever Repurposing Ideas That Will Add Some Creativity to Your Home
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
Sunny Side Design

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 52 questions
  • Evelyn
    on Apr 21, 2020

    Did you remove any excess vinegar or rinse it before it dried? Will the acid stopping its effect on the wood when it dries?

    • Bethany Hanson
      on Apr 22, 2020

      Most of the time anything that oxidizes will stop once it’s dry, just like when you get highlights they go through and dry them as they pull off the foil 🙂

  • Lucy
    on Apr 21, 2020

    How to clean my golf cart plastic canvas

  • Roberta Zelin Jung Stewart
    on Apr 24, 2020

    I've been soaking steel wool in vinegar for three days. .. nothing seems to be happening ....what an I doing wrong?

    • Barb
      on May 31, 2020

      the same thing happened to me. tore the very fine steel wool into pieces, left in the sunshine with a loose fitting lid to let the air escape as some suggests and no color change even after three weeks. I scoured the internet looking for answers but found nothing. Decided just to let it sit longer to see what would happen. after 3 1/2 weeks, the steel wool disingrated at a rapid pace and by 4 weeks was completly disinigrated and left a dark rich stain. I guess the trick is just to wait it out. Luckily, once it is completed you can store and it will keep for other projects.

Join the conversation

3 of 336 comments
Your comment...