Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Arhaus, all of these stores have furniture with this weathered wood finish. You may have read my Restoration Hardware Finish post. That is a beautiful weathered oak finish made with easily available products. I can honestly say that the table has held up extremely well.
Do you want a weathered wood finish just like the results I got on our Transitional Console Table? Today, I am sharing my process with you.
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There is an Easier Way to Get a Restoration Hardware Finish
Since that post I began experimenting with a different type of stain. It’s a liquid hard wax. It comes in two parts and cures to a beautiful subtle shine. The finish is so durable you can walk on it. In fact, I used it on our white oak stair treads.
It’s called Rubio Monocoat, and like its name implies you only need one coat. The stain won’t make lap marks. If you need to apply it in sections you don’t have to worry about obvious markings. It also feels like satin to the touch.
It doesn’t require any sealing. Simply apply, buff and let it dry.
Because the stain is applied with a squeegee or cloth there aren’t any brush marks in the finish. It is the most professional looking finish I have been able to make. It comes in many colors – even bright colors.
The stain is also environmentally friendly and non-toxic.
Supplies for the Weathered Wood Finish
- Minwax oil based stain – I usually use Provincial or Special Walnut. I honestly prefer General Finishes stains, but they are harder to find.
- Rubio Monocoat Stain – I used Cotton White
- Blue Shop Towels or microfiber
- Sandpaper – 120/150 and 220
- Minwax Walnut wood filler
- Pre-stain Wood Conditioner – I only use this when I stain pine and my table was made with pine
- Chip brush for applying the wood conditioner
Steps for the Weathered Wood Finish
Use Wood Filler
This isn’t 100% necessary, but filling these small voids will keep any dirt from accumulating in them. I like to use a darker wood fill, this way it still looks like there is a void. The color I use is Walnut.
Prepare the wood – sand and condition
Working with the grain, sand your table or piece of furniture starting in the 120/150 range and then with 220. If you are using rough wood, begin with 80 then go up. I usually do about 3-4 passes with each grit.
Follow the instructions on the wood conditioner can and apply it to your furniture. Once it’s dry, sand it with 220 grit.
Initial base stain
Stir – never shake – your Minwax stain for a couple of minutes. Make sure all of the pigments are evenly dispersed. Using a shop towel, apply the stain. I like to fold my shop towel up, saturate an end and apply the stain. I use less stain this way and I don’t have to ever go back and remove excess.
Let it dry for two hours.
Applying Rubio Monocoat
Stir the contents of Part A evenly mixing all of the color pigments. This is a semi-opaque stain. The ratio for part A to the accelerator (part B) is 3:1. A little goes a very long way with this stain. Three teaspoons = one tablespoon. I like to begin by mixing with one to two tablespoons of part A and one to two teaspoons of part B.
You can always make more – but you don’t want to waste this stain. Once it is mixed together it is good for 6 hours. After that, it’s trash.
Depending on what I am working on dictates how I apply it. I usually pour a little onto the top of what I am working on, then wipe it all over with these handy tools.
After it sits for 10-12 minutes I begin buffing it off with the blue shop towels. If it isn’t coming off easily I will wet my towel with Minwax stain and gently buff the Rubio Monocoat. The Minwax will help remove the wax, but it also doesn’t remove the previous base coat.
If I remove too much, I use a scotch brite pad to re-apply.
Staining the Curved Legs
My transitional console table has very curvy legs and aprons. Those end pieces and legs make using a squeegee type tool almost impossible.
This is my trick, I use my hands. Just dip your fingers in and spread it around then rub the finish in with your palms and finger pads.
I know, it sounds so messy but hear me out. When you apply liquid foundation to your skin the best way isn’t some tool, it’s your hands. It warms the liquid and evenly disperses it. Your hands don’t absorb the stain like a cloth would. There is no wasted product. It is a lot faster and you can easily work it in to every nook and cranny. Wear gloves if you have to, but be prepared with another set because the friction tears them.
Buff the finish the same way as the top.
Let it dry.
Some helpful application tips
- When I use my hands I drag my palms along the finish. The stain is thick and honey like and requires a bit of coaxing to get it all over the wood.
- When working on a vertical piece work top to bottom.
- When working on a flat table top, work from the center out.
- If the Rubio Monocoat isn’t coming off easily add Minwax stain to a cloth and gently buff at the Rubio Monocoat to remove any excess.
- If you want a darker base before adding the weathered cotton white finish, add another round of Minwax stain and wait 2 additional hours for it to dry.
- Practice your application on scrap wood from building your table. You don’t need to use the accelerator when you are practicing your technique/finish.
- Remember: a little goes a very long way
This post was not sponsored in any way by Rubio Monocoat or Minwax and you can rest assured that everything I say is my true opinion.
Disclaimer: Working with power tools and DIY projects can be dangerous and post inherent risks. While we work hard to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the tutorials along with the information displayed on this website, Hambels Get Real cannot be held responsible for damages or losses sustained or incurred in the course of your project or in the use of the item you create.
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