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topic 59651

Create Restoration Hardware Look

June 29, 2014

Q. I am trying to replicate two Restoration Hardware steel finishes. I am a creative DIY hobbyist who likes an aged look to things. I'm pursuing this solely for my own creative experience and outlet, not for business purposes. I expect to accomplish these looks at home, not in a foundry or laboratory.

Finish #1 is an aged, oil-rubbed steel look.

(1940s Industrial Modular from www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/category/products.jsp?link=1940sIndustrialModularOfficeCollection&categoryId=cat2980007)

Finish #2 is a aged, industrial steel look. Restoration Hardware has two cool versions of this:

59651-1b  59651-1c
(Industrial Tool Chest, from www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod280140&categoryId=cat2930010 and
20th C. Iron Vault, from www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod3170671&categoryId=cat2930010)

Thanks! This is a cool website!

Corbitt Loch
Hobbyist - Edmonds, Washington US

July 2014

A. Hi Corbitt. That is a real nice look; I'd love those file cabinets -- I think the brass accents make them!

If anyone actually had inside knowledge of how this was done they couldn't tell you; there's an obvious line between sharing technical ideas vs. crowd sourcing industrial espionage :-)

But, firstly, it's apparently just paint, powder coating, or cathodic electrodeposition (organic coatings) because file cabinets aren't electroplated or PVD coated. Secondly it seems to be two different colors, mixed in some fashion, and probably topped with a clear coat. How they actually did it is not going to be the real question because maybe it was done by post-dyeing a lighter electrodeposited lacquer, or by dipping it into a water transfer tank -- technologies and equipment that you won't have.

But I think that painting it with the lighter color, then spraying a slightly darker but thin "wood stain" type paint, possibly with the aid of a super simple stencil, and finishing up with a clear coat ought to get you something nice looking and similar if you have the skill and patience. Pick two shades that are very close together for your first attempt. Best of luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

July 4, 2014

thumbs up sign Thank you. Yes, I agree it's done with two + shades of paint. I think it includes some wiping off of the second color to allow the first color to show through.

Corbitt Loch [returning]
- Edmonds, Washington US

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