How to paint wood to look like weathered Restoration Hardware wood

hi friends! i’m back with another furniture painting tutorial on how to use chalk paint to get a weathered wood Restoration Hardware finish.

here’s my inspiration. a wonderful wood pier that we visited on our summer road trip.

kids exploring wood pier weathered wood

the irony is that the piece i was painting, was in fact, a real Restoration Hardware dresser….from the early 2000s when everything was dark dark dark…and depressing. admit it, you went through the phase. and now, you may still have a piece or two left laying about.

Restoration Hardware Marston Dark Wood Dresser

Restoration Hardware Marston Dark Wood Dresser

but never fear. this is a very simple technique to completely change the look. so grab your Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, some 80 grit sandpaper, and let’s begin!

first, start with a base of Pure White. notice that while the paint looks haphazard, i’m still going along the grain of the wood. this is important bc we’ll be using the sandpaper to give it a wood grain look and texture.

restoration hardware distressed wood finish

as you can see, i use rubber gloves, a syringe, and painted this on carpet, which made me super duper nervous. if you look really closely, you’ll see the top of a Heinz Ketchup container.  i’ve found that it’s PERFECT for holding custom mixed paint.  the squeeze top saves mess. upcycling at its best!meesh pierce annie sloan chalk paint happy place

ok, next step is using your very coarse sand paper and going along the grain while the paint is still slightly tacky.  i like to do this while the paint is still a touch wet so that more paint comes up and the dark wood shows more.  sand with the wood grain, making sure you wipe off any chunks of paint from the bottom of the sand paper as you go.  distress along the edges to your liking.painting furniture to look like restoration hardware distressed finish

then, apply a coat of dark wax…again going with the wood grain.  i prefer using an old t-shirt as it’s so soft and smooth and this piece doesn’t have any woodwork detail (flowers, doodads, antique edges, etc.).  the goal here is to achieve a layered look. channel thoughts of the beach, sand, and an old busted up boardwalk or pier. that’s the look we love, right?!

tutorial annie sloan chalk paint to get restoration hardware weathered wood finish

you can see that i wasn’t totally uniform with the dark wax application, and that’s on purpose. i wanted to preserve some of the white from below so that the dresser has more visual appeal.

restoration hardware dresser painted to look more restoration hardware weathered finish

to make the piece stand out a bit more, i chose to leave the drawer frame as white, and only applied clear wax on that portion. getting a restoration hardware look with chalk paint

then to finalize the piece, i used a coat of clear wax all over and put the drawer pulls back on.  and voila!

restoration hardware dresser weathered wood

photo: Jimmy Cheng

a beachy dresser for a beachy house.

sea shells in wire basket beach nautical decor

photo: Jimmy Cheng

i ordered these shells at  not a fancy website, but definitely great and affordable products! and you know these are real b/c when you open the box…WHEW, it smells like stinky seaweed.  so let your shells sit out in the sun for a few days to air out!

here’s the entire room all put together.  i’ve still got to paint that mirror. here are some pix of the entire house.

beach house bedroom with annie sloan painted furniture

photo: Jimmy Cheng

thanks to my good buddy Jimmy Cheng, for the gorgeous pix he took of the house.  if you’re looking for an awesome event or real estate photographer in Southern California, he’s your guy!

linked to:

Sunday: It’s So Very Cheri

Sunday: Under the Table and Dreaming

Sunday: Craft-o-Maniac

Sunday: Three Mango Seeds

Sunday: Finding Silver Pennies

Monday: The Girl Creative

Monday: Boogieboard Cottage

Monday: Our Delightful Home

Monday: CRAFT

Monday: Coastal Charm

Tuesday: Homes to Stories A to Z

Tuesday: Cedarhill Ranch

Tuesday: Elizabeth and Co

Tuesday: Dometsically Speaking

Tuesday: Today’s Creative Blog

Wednesday: Savvy Southern Style

Wednesday: Handy Man Crafty Woman

Giveaway Thursday: Someday Crafts

Thursday: The Brambleberry Cottage

Thursday: The Charm of Home

Thursday: From My Front Porch to Yours

Friday: Miss Mustard Seed

Friday: Fridays Unfolded

Friday: Shabby Nest

Friday: Romantic Home

Friday: Redoux Interiors

About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.


  1. It makes a great addition to the bedroom!

    • Thanks, Sherry! The client has been very happy with how the beachy cottage has turned out. 🙂

  2. What a great idea and so easy! Thank you so much for sharing at Redouxinteriors and the Handmade hangout. Featuring tomorrow!

  3. Kendra says

    What color/brand of wax did you use??

    • I typically use clear Annie Sloan wax. BUT, I’ve also used Gilbertson’s Chalk Paint Clear Liqwax, which is much easier to apply and not stinky at all. But I do love both waxes. Just change up what I use for different applications. 🙂

      • Sorry but I cut corners and have been using car wax and shoe polish in place of that over priced chalk wax. I also make my own chalk paint with store bought latex satin and plaster of paris or sodium bicarbonate and water. 🙂

        • I’ve had mixed results with the plaster of paris…and I don’t like breathing in all that dust. Definitely not good for the lungs! Glad it’s working for you, though!

  4. Chrissy says


    I was wondering, since I’m budgeted and I’m trying to use what I have, have you ever used a gray min wax stain over white chalk paint to try and achieve the same look? I have the minwax and valspar white chalky paint and clear wax…. Think it could be done?

  5. Will this work on furniture that isn’t black or dark? Just an unsightly oak-ish color? Or should it be painted dark color first then white to have the white color come through when sanding?

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  7. MeesH says

    Just wanted to say hi..from one meesH to another!!!!!! 😆 Hoping my finished product turns out as awesome as yours!

  8. 49Teid says

    Ok — hubby and I are looking to do the same thing to our bedroom furniture (yes early 2000 dark, dark, dark pieces!) I have some questions for you regarding the techniques mentioned above. Our starter furniture is a moderately priced vaneer with a glossy finish — not solid wood pieces. 1) I’m curious was your piece a matte or glossy finish? I’m concerned that a present glossy finish will not hold? (I’ve never used chalk paint), and 2) I watched another tutorial on applying dark wax on furniture — and they said that dark wax is designed to be used with clear wax, and clear wax should always be first? (She cited reasons such as keep it from getting too blotchy or ability to fix mistakes made with dark wax). But you mention only clear on top. I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m just checking. Thanks very much!

    • imeeshu says

      Hi and thanks for writing! Chalk paint will work over matte and glossy finishes.
      The reason you’d want to use clear wax first is that the chalk paint is very porous and will suck in the dark wax v quickly. By using a coat of clear first, you allow yourself a bit more margin for error if you use too much dark; you can buff it out more easily.
      I actually prefer using Funiture Paint’s tinted wax, which is more liquid and easier to use. I find the Annie Sloan wax tricky for beginners as it can be too thick and challenging to blend.
      Good luck and please keep me posted!!



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