• Laura

Update Your Frames with a Restoration Hardware Look!

Many of us have outdated picture/mirror frames laying around or maybe you found a mirror you love, but hate the frame! No worries.

Here is a great way to update an inexpensive thrift find to look like the pricey ones found at Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn or Home Sense.


My client was not in love with her faux gold framed mirror and wanted more of an old world look, complete with grungy layers that would make it appear as though years of dirt and grime had gathered.

Here is how I achieved this beautiful look with just 5 easy steps!


Step 1.

Lightly hand sand using 120 grit, a light sanding is sufficient. Just enough to give the paint some tooth to stick too.



Step 2. Prime with a quality primer. You can use any quality primer, but for this project I used Zinsser Bin (Water based, not oil) and good quality chip brush. The chip brush will give it the texture needed to help pull off this look. Once primed, let it dry for the recommended time stated on the can. I waited 3 hours.



Step 3.

Use another chip brush and lightly hand brush Minwax Gel Stain in Aged Oak finish to the frame, ensuring you dab a little off your brush before each pass through. The key is to have a very thin layer applied. Since we are using an oil based product it will need additional dry time. For this project I let it sit one full day before the next step to ensure the gel stain was fully dry. Test with your fingers to see if dry. If some comes off, allow more dry time.



Step 4.

Set aside a small amount of each paint colour. I used some old plastic container lids. Easy to clean afterwards. Very small amount of paint is needed.

For this project I purchased tester jars of each colour, They are smaller and more affordable when needing several colours. Perfect for smaller projects like frames.

Colours used (IN ORDER) for this project are :

TYLER TAUPE HC-43 by Benjamin Moor RUSTIC TAUPE N200-4 by Behr COCONUT SHELL PPU5-5 by Behr COFFEE BEAN by Dixie Belle


This seems like a lot of paint, but I promise you, these colours are my go to's for ANY faux wood grain look. Since very little is used, its a good investment to have on hand, as it will do several projects.

Next, have a rag near by to clean off your chip brush in between colours. You are going to dip into the first colour listed above, clean some off on the rag and then lightly dry brush it over the entire frame.

Once completed, repeat using the next colour listed. Be certain to use the rag to quickly clean off the previous colour.

Continue until you have layered all four on the frame.

Once done you can go back and add a little more to certain areas if you need to,

to get your desired look.


And Voila! You now have a gorgeous restoration hardware inspired look!

But, wait you are not done yet!



Step 5.

Now you have to protect all your hard work.

Allow it to dry fully.

For this project I used Diamond Varathane Water based poly in a satin sheen.

You can use any water based poly for this part as long as it provides protection.

There you have it, a new look in 5 easy steps!


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