Restoration Hardware Finish

 
Restoration Hardware Mirror

 

The best example of the popular “Restoration Hardware Finish” is on a piece from Restoration Hardware. This is the Circa 1870 French Pediment Mirror and is currently available on the RH website for $1649 plus shipping. But you can give any mirror a similar finish with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. Usually I paint a first coat of French Linen and the second coat in a wash of Old White, following the grain of the wood. It works if you paint Old White (solid coat) first and wash the French Linen over it. I have also substituted  Coco for French Linen with equal success.

There are other techniques as well. Annie Sloan details how to create a “limed oak look” in her book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture. And on her blog Lilyfield Life, Fiona Gavin describes two methods she uses. (Many roads lead to Rome or Restoration Hardware). I would love to hear from you. Have you tried any of these formulas or have you developed another way to recreate this in demand finish?

For another technique that yields a strangely similar look, see my post, Mirror Image.

18 Comments

Laura Dalton

Hi Lesl I e, when you do a wash, do you wax the base coat first? If you do, how long to you wait to do the wash? Thank you, and, inspiring as always!

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Laura,
I do not use wax before I do a wash. Annie’s technique for this look is with wax, but I think it’s harder. Wax is the last thing I put on, unless I make a mistake. You can paint over it if you have too. I just let the first coat of paint dry and then do the wash. Easily done in the same day.
Cheers,
Leslie

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Patricia,
For a wash, a good ratio is equal parts water and paint. You can adjust if you find it too thin or not translucent enough. Chalk Paint does need some kind of sealer. You can use varnish, or wax. Annie also has a lacquer you can use. Thanks,
Leslie

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Leslie Stocker

Monica,
Yes that is a good ratio. But you can always adjust if you need too. Just be sure to let it dry before you evaluate.
Thanks Leslie

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Simone

Hi,
I have completed my first piece with ASCP! Now I want to do another. To get the look of your mirror did you paint first coat with French Linen and than do wash with Old White? What to mean by wash? Half paint half water than wipe with clean cloth? Thank you so much for your time.

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Simone,
Technically, you are correct about how to do a wash but I do mine a little differently. I do use a ratio of 1:1 paint to water, but I don’t routinely wipe off. I try to put on just the right amount that I need or even a little less. I might go back and add more if necessary. My approach is to keep adding paint until I like the results. I rarely sand or wipe off. But that is just a personal preference you can get the same look by wiping off or many other ways. If it is an obvious mistake, I might grab a cloth, but typically I have to run around to find one. :) Thanks for asking. I hope this helps.
Leslie xxoo

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Pam

Are you sure the mirror is French Linen base? I bought it and the color is more grey than tan. I happen to have Coco from another project and it matches the mirror in this photo after the wash. I don’t want someone else making the mistake since the paint is so expensive. I appreciate the tips but dissappointed about the money I wasted.

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Pam,
French Linen is what I use when someone asks for a Restoration Hardware Finish. It has never been a problem. Chalk Paint is expensive and I’m sorry you feel you wasted your money. That is exactly what I am trying to help people avoid with my blog. Hopefully you will find another use for the French Linen. After Pure White and Old White it is the most requested color I use.
Cheers,
Leslie xxoo

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Lisa

I have the paint chart & and I concur, the color is exactly Paris Grey, not French Linen. Wonder if they mixed up colors when filling can? I bought two cans, but very disappointed – I live 75 miles away from nearest dealer. I finally splurged on my Annie Sloan purchase, because it was exact color I wanted – but not so. Very sad, no return policy & I’m on a fixed, tight income.

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Rhonda

Leslie, I absolutely love this finish and it is exactly what I have had in my head for some pieces I plan of redoing. Thanks for sharing !!!

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bev miller

Hi Leslie,
I love the look of a wash, and I too have done that on a few pieces….. I seem to end up having to work the wash with a rag to get the look that I want. I would love to know what type of brush you use and if you almost do a dry brush effect with it to avoid having to take some of the wash off with a rag. Your experience and tips are invaluable!!! It is so kind of you to share your knowledge with others!! Thanks so much!

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Blake

Leslie, do you also water down the base (coco, french linen) a bit so the grain is not obscured with the base coat? In this example, and the RH items also, both colors look a bit translucent. Thank you!

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Jonelle

Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing your skill and techniques. I love the RH look but really enjoy DIY projects. Can hardly wait to try this on my own furniture.

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Pam G.

Hi, Leslie, I have an 8′ table that is like a Restoration Hardware pedestal–so heavy that it takes more than 2 people to move it. I bought at a garage sale and it had already been sanded down and it is now the color of the mirror above, so I don’t really need to paint it to get that look. Do you have any suggestions as to how to finish it off to keep the color but protect it for use? Thanks so much!

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