Monica Wants It: A Lifestyle Blog: Restoration Hardware Furniture {DIY Tutorial}

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Restoration Hardware Furniture {DIY Tutorial}

In a happy, magical place there exists a Monica who can buy Restoration Hardware furniture without having to save up for 6 months.

I am not that Monica. Darn it.

I am the Monica who has to scour Goodwill, garage sales and thrift stores to find secondhand furniture with potential. It’s a thing I love to do and hate to do all at the same time. But when I score, I score big.

The goods: 2 Goodwill nightstands I bought for $6.50 each back in 2010.

The task: Make them look kinda like these nightstands. (ie: dentil detail, weathered gray/reclaimed wood look…but kinda glam)


From Restoration Hardware, $1045 each.


From Overstock, $690 each

The supplies:

-Nightstands (mine were laminate + wood)

-2 cans of flat white spray paint (the 98-cent Walmart kind will do)

-Latex paint (I chose a dark gray/brown color: Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams in a satin finish)

-Sand paper

-3” paint brush

-Tack cloth

-Cheesecloth or a lint-free rag

-Optional: replacement hardware

Okay, let’s get started. My nightstand was made of mostly laminate (top/sides) yet the drawers have a wood front. I didn’t treat the wood differently than the laminate. Also, this method is fool proof. Anyone can do this. Even you. Yes, you.

You need to scrub down your furniture to make sure it is clean. Super clean. I usually use Lysol wipes for that step. Also, if there are any holes/pieces that need to be filled/glued do that now. One of the side pieces broke off to one of the nightstands, so we just put that sucker on there with liquid nails. I also needed to drill new holes for the handles, so I filled those holes, too.



Now we’re ready to sand.


It may look a little crazy when you sand, but it’ll all be ok. Generally try to go in the direction of the grain/faux grain.


Wipe off all sawdust with tack cloth. I do this twice to make sure it’s dust free.

Now, we prime. Here’s my most favorite primer- the 98-cent can from Walmart. I used about 1.5 cans for my 2 nightstands. Apply one coat (lightly) to the nightstand + drawers. I do use the spray paint adapter thing (seen below in black) so my finger doesn’t hurt when using cheap spray paint. Best $2 investment ever.


It will look splotchy. Don’t cry. This is normal. :) You do not want a solid white finish.


Let the first coat of primer dry about 20-30 minutes, then do a 2nd coat. It will still look splotchy. This is ok. It will be fine, I swear.



Ok, so once both coats of primer are dry (spray 1st coat, wait 20 minutes, spray 2nd coat, wait 30 minutes), you can paint. Sort of. What you’re going to do is get your brush, dip it into the paint ever so slightly and start brushing it onto the nightstand. This is almost dry brushing (as in, do not saturate your brush with paint).


My gorgeous paint color: Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams.


Here’s an example of what it should look like. You can tell I’ve brushed on some paint in the top half of the photo, while the bottom half illustrates how the nightstand looks with just primer.


But what happens if you get too much paint on your brush and onto the nightstand? Just wipe some off (GENTLY!) I used some cheesecloth for this and it worked well. Do one coat of the dry brushing, let it dry for about 30 minutes and then do coat 2. You can basically do as many or as little coats as you’d like. For my nightstands I did 3 light, light coats. I love.


I then brought them inside to make sure they were both about the same color. They won’t be identical, but that’s ok with me for this project.


And now they have their spot in their new home (our master bedroom) and they got some fancy hardware from Hobby Lobby.


That lamp is getting a makeover, too. For now, it stays black.

The smooth, satin finish is lovely. You could also add poly after the paint has dried. I am lazy and haven’t done so yet, but I likely will. Maybe.

Nightstand20 Nightstand23

Love the dentil finish. Makes it look a bit nicer, while the curves on the bottom make it look a little shabby chic.



And there you have it! A fool proof tutorial on how to achieve that coveted Restoration Hardware/Pottery Barn/Ballard Designs weathered gray reclaimed wood kinda thing. Whew. That’s a lot of words. I want to remind you that it works on wood or laminate furniture, and it’s so cheap compared to buying this stuff from a store.

Restoration Hardware price: $1045+ each ($2030+ for a pair)

Monica’s Luxe for Less price: $20 each ($40 for the pair)

That’s almost TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS in savings. Fist pump.

Is this something you’d try out? I can only imagine how great this would look on a buffet or kitchen table. Let me know if you try out my tutorial!

Be back tomorrow with some more painting/staining questions. I think I need y’alls help.

And I leave you all with a cute picture of Pee Wee…look at those eyes. I melt.



  1. Fist pump is right!

    Turned out AWESOME!

    And, PeeWee is so cute!

    Michelle from

  2. oh wow! that turned out awesome! great job. love the mix of the wood with the crystal knobs.

  3. This is awesome! I might try this on my kitchen cabinets, they are ugly white laminate with oak trim.

  4. How awesome! I am going to have to try this one when we move, I am over our dark bedroom furniture and this will be the perfect makeover for them!

  5. I did this this weekend with a desk and dresser I had that needed to be given a little TLC. I used a Kona colored stain instead of paint, and wiped off any excess stain with a lint-free cloth. It worked SO WELL and I am in LOVE with my "new" furniture!

  6. Oooh! that turned out awesome! Paint really gives a piece of furniture new life!

    mirrored nightstand

  7. You could also use Minwax Classic Gray stain, I think.

    1. I have chalk painted a nightstand a medium gray if I use a gray stain will it show up or do I need to go darker?

  8. Did you use flat or satin paint for this?!?!? Thx!!

  9. I am attempting this on an old horse barn chest :) I will let you know how it turns out! I am nervous but super excited!

  10. I have the same night stands and I painted mine too, but I bought mine at GoodWill for $10. What a small world!

  11. Mind-boggling job mates, I take pleasure in longing your articles.

  12. The blog is awesome and the coffee table taken my attention, it is wonderfully designed.
    furniture in york pa

  13. I am sooooo tempted to do this to our bookshelves...if I can talk my husband in to it! :)

  14. Monica....honey chile' I could KISS YOU! Simply gorgeous! I have some nightstands in my garage right now that are about to get this treatment. Thank you.

  15. You are my Pinterest twin, with similar names spelt differently(Monicah- for me) ; of ciurse yo're more skilled & you finish projects. I will tryvthis on my Tv cabinet wwhich has ssen two moves and many hot objects and heavy stuff placed on ut, it needs work. Will be posting results soon...


I love comments! They truly make my day, and make my heart happy. If you're asking me a question or leaving a response that requires follow up, please leave me a way to contact you, check back in the comments section for a reply, or feel free to e-mail me at Thanks!