Sunny Side Design
Sunny Side Design
  • Hometalker
  • Layton, UT

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 our post on our website,

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!

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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 28 questions
  • Patti Rueth
    on Oct 2, 2019

    Does the stain smell like vinegar once applied to the wood???

  • Denise
    on Oct 3, 2019

    I’ve had steel wool pads in a quart jar of regular Heinz vinegar for 3 days. Nothing has happened. The pads are intact and the vinegar is clear. Any ideas?

    • Jeannie
      on Oct 23, 2019

      Buy 0000 steel wool. It is the softest and breaks down much faster.

  • Jackie Whisenant
    on Oct 16, 2019

    Would this work on brick, or just the wood?

    • Sunny Side Design
      on Oct 17, 2019

      I believe this will only work on wood. It's a chemical reaction that occurs when it comes in contact with the wood. Each species of wood turns its own unique color as well. If you have an inconspicuous spot you could try it however and see what happens. Good luck.

Join the conversation

4 of 195 comments
  • Sue
    on Oct 5, 2019

    Your piece turned out beautifully! I love it and want to try it!! Thank you for sharing your directions, you did a great job! 😊

  • Janet
    on Oct 9, 2019

    It looks fantastic. I am going to try this with my whole bedroom suite. It is from the 1950's and is white oak (I think) that is now badly yellowed. I hope it looks as good as yours.

    • Sunny Side Design
      on Oct 9, 2019

      Thank you Janet. We would suggest that you try the vinegar solution in an inconspicuous spot first. Each species of wood will take on a unique color. We tried this method first on the inside of the side railings to make sure we were achieving the look we wanted. Good luck, please let us know how it turns out!

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