Oh Restoration, how I love thee. I especially love how you can wrap anything in zinc, and it looks perfect. And keeping with my promise to knock off nearly everything in the catalog, here’s my first post in the series “Rachael and Restoration.”

{Restoration Hardware}

I think it’s safe to say that the zinc beauty above is a far cry from this diamond in the rough I planned to transform.

Oh but that’s not really the before picture…this little cutie actually had a lamp on it originally (yikes!). My neighbor was throwing it out because the electrical was fraying, but he offered it to me because he knows I rehab furniture. Fortunately after removing the crazy swing lamp, it only left these small holes which were easy to fill.

I started by adding tiny 5/8″ carpet tacks so the table would look like it was wrapped in zinc.

Taking a tip from Jami at Freckled Laundry, I used DecoArt Metallics Elegant Finish in Shimmering Silver (found at A.C. Moore or Michael’s), Ebony Black, and Titanium White to create my faux finish.

Jami has videos and everything on her site for mixing all the colors, so be sure to check them out. The gist is that you use the 3 paints to make light, medium, and dark metallic colors. But before starting in with the craft paint, I applied 1 thin coat of primer to the piece. Now you know I don’t usually use primer, but I wasn’t planning on distressing this table, and I thought it would be a better surface for the craft paint to stick to.

Jami uses a rag, but I prefer a medium artist’s paint brush (different strokes, eh? :P)…just use whatever you feel most comfortable with. I applied the light finish first, then medium, then dark, not quite covering the previous layer. The paint dries really fast, so work in small areas. It’s really an imperfect process-don’t be intimidated. Besides, you can always paint over it!

Here’s how mine looked after the 3 coats (the top wasn’t done yet, that’s why it’s lighter).

It was looking pretty darn cool, but the magic is really in the next step. You basically repeat everything again, except you add glazing medium and water to each shade of silver. Again, Jami has videos on this so if you’re not too sure about this process you can see her mix the paint.

When I glaze, I like to apply with a brush and wipe with a rag. I took a very fine artist brush and put the darkest shade in all the nooks and crannies, then wiped any excess.

I used all 3 glazes in different areas, sometimes overlapping while still wet. I just tried to create some shaded areas and imperfections like a natural patina. When I was happy with how everything looked, I hit the table with a light coat of spray poly before waxing it twice with Minwax Natural Paste Wax. The spray poly sets the craft paint so none of it gets rubbed off or damaged by the wax (I don’t normally do this when using wall paint).

I am really digging the finished product, as I like to say “it’s for keepsies”- i.e. not going to the shop. Oil rubbed bronze is typically my metallic finish of choice, but I love love love this zinc look. And fortunately for me, Restoration Hardware loves it too. I’ll be using this technique more in different ways as I go through the catalog.

4 Responses

  1. Julie

    Looks great! I will start searching for a piece to do, though not sure I can- it seems a bit labor-intensive for me (3 little ones to interfere!). But I love the results!


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