The bathroom renovation is under way. Board and batten walls are installed, my cool shelving unit is done, the chandelier is being updated, and, best of all, the bathroom vanity is almost ready for installation.
Are you one of those people who can see what you want something to look like finished? I am and that is not always a a good thing because nothing will satisfy you except that “look”. This time the look was a Restoration Hardware weathered finish vanity. I wanted this look:
Just for grins, I priced one in the finish I wanted and the size it would take for our bathroom. The vanity, with a top but no mirrors would have been $3750.00. It would have been over $4000.00 for the whole package. In other words… out of our budget.
Sooo, I started looking for a dresser to re-purpose for our bathroom. It was tricky to find one the right size. When I finally found to the dresser that would work, it was $200.00. That is a lot more money than I usually spend but finding an exactly 72 inch dresser that was solid wood or at least wood veneer over plywood was tough. I would love to tell you I got it for $30.00.
I also started researching methods to get the look of Restoration Hardware. I wanted it to look like a piece of furniture that was old and has a history with a weathered finish. A quick trip to Pinterest turned up some ideas for me to think about.
I liked the idea of layering finishes here at Deannario.com
I wanted it to look like it might have been painted at one time and the paint had worn off over time. I found AKA Design that talked about using Pickling Stain. I liked the look but without the extreme sanding.
I used elements of both to get the look I was seeking.
I used the following materials:
White Wash Pickling
Lots of cotton rags- I bought them at Home Depot because I was too lazy to go hunting for cotton thirsts.
Cheap paint brushes- the dollar each cheapo brushes.
Sand paper-100 grit
Citristrip- it took a whole container
Marine Grade Urethane
First strip the dresser. I used Citristrip and a hard plastic scraper. And a ton of paper towels. It took a lot of patience. I remembered why I don’t strip dressers. Particularly big ones with a lot of drawers, moulding, and doors.
After I stripped it, I had to wash everything down to remove the residue then I sanded it, but not all the way to raw wood color.
The first stain I added was Minwax Weathered Oak. The color was not as vivid as I thought it would be and I worried. Rub it in, then remove the excess. Once the stain was totally dry I applied pickling white wash and wiped it off immediately. If I could have had help at this point it would have been nice because the pickling white wash dried really fast. It dried so fast on the doors that I ended up having to have it stripped again and start over. The lesson here; don’t use this stuff if it is too warm. This worked best in the morning. Thanks Hubby. I just couldn’t strip those doors a second time.
Here it is right out of the can. It is super thick and sort of goopy.
This is what it looks like wiped down.
I lightly sanded once the Pickling was dry but not all the way back to raw wood and not evenly. The final coat of the layering stain was Minwax Jacobean. I was so worried that it was going to be too dark but it was perfect. The color over the pickling white wash produced a color just like you would see at Restoration Hardware.
I am really hard on myself and always see every mistake but I was really thrilled with how this turned out.
I stained the sides of the drawer with Jacobean stain to add contrast.
The hardware got a coat of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.
The final coat for this vanity is marine varnish in satin finish. It will give the piece the waterproofing that it is going to need in the bathroom. I decided to keep the wood top instead of adding a stone top to the dresser. That means a lot of coats of varnish but if they use it on boats it ought to hold up in a bathroom.
Here are what the sinks we are going to install look like. They were exactly what I was thinking of when I started this process and are going to look great.
An oil rubbed bronze faucet and we will finish it off!
I decided to post this even though we are not finished because I have had a lot of requests to talk about the process. Honestly, anyone can achieve this finish. I hope it inspires you to give it a try.
Addition: I used the same method to redo the body and one drawer of this funky dresser. I would love to hear your thoughts on my work.