DIY Restoration Hardwood Weathered Wood Finish

DSC_0360This desk is one of the first things my husband and I purchased together before we were married. He had moved into an apartment in Rhode Island and once we were married I would be moving from Indiana and joining him there.  One weekend I visited and we bought a couch, a table, and this desk.  It was fun picking out our first pieces of furniture together.  We still have all three of those things thirteen years later!

A couple of years ago I noticed the table was showing some wear, so I gave that a makeover along with the chairs.  I noticed last year that the desk was also showing a lot of wear.  I had planned on painting it, but I ended up finding a desk that worked better for us.  At first I thought this desk would just go to Goodwill.  Then I decided that I would keep it and use it in my daughter’s room.  I was glad that we were able to keep it since I’m a sentimental girl.  🙂

Originally I had planned on painting it white.  Easy, peasy.  But after getting my daughter’s room done and seeing all the white furniture I knew that I needed to go a different route.  I searched Pinterest for ideas and finally decided on a Restoration Hardware-like finish.  I loved this tutorial by Imperfectly Imaginable.  I knew that was just the type of finish this desk needed!

I bought the supplies listed in the tutorial and got to work.  First, I sanded.


As soon as I started sanding I actually fell in love with the wood underneath.  For two seconds I considered just sanding and waxing the desk, but then I decided to move forward with my original plan.


I only sanded the part of the table where the finish was rough.  Then I started painting.  I used Valspar’s Montpelier Ashlar Gray as listed in the tutorial.


I loved the color of this paint!


Two coats later and I was ready to stand back and check out the desk.  I loved it already!



I actually considered just leaving it like this, but after a couple of days I decided that I needed to continue on with my plan.  To be honest, I have never used wax on furniture and that made me nervous!  I was afraid to ruin the beautiful paint.  I practiced on a piece of scrap wood until I felt ready(ish).  Then I pulled out a rag and started to wax.


I loved the paint, but I LOVED the wax even more!  Since this was my first time waxing I quickly wiped it on and wiped it off.




I took a lot of pictures because as I was searching for tutorials I always enjoyed looking at the pictures during each step.  Hopefully this is helpful to you!  After about 45 minutes I was done with the brown wax.


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I loved the look, but I decided to continue with the liming wax.  Just like in the tutorial linked above, I made my own liming wax using finishing paste and white acrylic paint.  Then after letting the dark wax dry for two hours I started with the liming wax.  I have to admit I did rub a little hard and I took off some of the dark wax, but I found out I can just go back and add in the dark wax where it’s needed.  Phew!

Here is a picture of the desk as the liming wax is being applied (the left side of the picture has liming wax).  As you can see it definitely gives it a more gray, weathered look.


After applying the liming wax I waited about 15 minutes before buffing it.  Then I did one more coat on the top just to make sure it was protected.  I moved it into my daughter’s room later that day and it didn’t take long for her to put it to good use:



I just love how it turned out.  I walked into her room a few times that afternoon just to look at it.  It’s even better than I had pictured it would be!


Sometimes it definitely looks more gray, and other times it looks more brown.  I love that it changes with the light.  I also love that my daughter loves it!  She’s already done her homework there twice this week.  Yay!


I’m still working on the gallery wall above her desk.  It’s almost done.


I know I’ve said love about a dozen times, but I do love this desk.  I’m so glad that it will be kept in the family for a few more years (hopefully longer!).  The only downside to this whole process?


I now want to paint and wax everything in my house with this finish!  Ha!


For supplies and even more information, check out the tutorial at Imperfectly Imaginable.  If you have any questions about my process, please feel free to leave a comment!  Thanks for stopping by!


Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After

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