Pottery Barn Inspired Rustic Paint Finish

Marian ParsonsHand Painted Furniture, Painting & Refinishing, Popular, Tutorials41 Comments

I’m often asked by readers and customers how to recreate a specific look they like on an inspiration piece.  So, when Jeff and I built a trunk-style coffee table for HGTV.com, one inspired by a Pottery Barn trunk, I decided to try to replicate the finish as well.

I came up with a look that’s pretty darn close, so I thought I would share how I achieved it…


Here’s the inspiration coffee table from Pottery Barn

PB Rebecca Trunk

…and the one we made…


…and a closer look at the finish…



Can you believe that’s new wood?


I was able to make the wood look older by beating it up, followed by a coat of Dark Walnut stain, a light coat of MMS Milk Paint in Lucketts Green, followed by distressing, and finished with Antiquing Wax.

Here’s a quick video showing exactly what I did at each step…

You can find the tutorial for how to make the trunk on HGTV.com HERE.

I also wrote a tutorial on making a coffee table out of reclaimed bits and pieces.  We made this one out of an old rope bed and the bead board door from the 1940’s part of our basement.


We found a way to keep the pegs that were used to hold the ropes on the table as a little detail and they make me smile.


I just love old things.


By the way, I’m participating in a giveaway over on Instagram where the prize is a trip for two to Sonoma county wine country, including airfare, hotel and all.  Even a goodie basket including my two books.  It’s worth checking out…

Pottery Barn Inspired Rustic Paint Finish

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41 Comments on “Pottery Barn Inspired Rustic Paint Finish”

  1. I love the depth of the finish on the trunk style coffee table. The piece looks like it has “history” rather than being made of new wood. I am looking forward to watching the HGTV video on constructing the actual table as well.

  2. You make this look so simple that I think that I may have to try this! Great video and I love the direction that you have taken with your blog!

  3. Oh, my goodness! I love your version of the trunk coffee table better than the PB version! Sounds like something to add to my to-do list.

  4. Will you tell us where you found your fabulous hardware for the Pottery Barn knock off trunk? Did you have to age it?

    1. Yep! I got it from Van Dyke’s Restorers online and it came all rusted like that. I applied the antiquing wax over it to soften the rusty look and seal it. I used thumbtacks to tack the corner straps on!

  5. LOVE the table! Oh My!…..as Jeannie said, I like this version better than the PB one, too! Entered the Instagram giveaway…..sure hope my daughter and I get to take this trip together!

  6. What a great PB look a like. I like your coffee table,i like old things too. Thanks Marian.

  7. giveaway includes your TWO books? Did you write a second book that I have not yet had the chance to buy?

  8. Thank you for the video! I’m still a bit fearful of full-on dark wax but am gaining confidence each time. Your technique on this trunk was a perfect example of what it can do. Inspiring!

  9. This gave me the inspiration to save the old siding I found when my drywall was taken down in my kitchen for renovation. I’m enlarging the entry so I figure saving the siding that was inside the wall from when this room was added on decades ago will keep it’s 110 year old history.

  10. Wow, as they say, “great minds think alike”;-) I’ve been eyeing my old cedar chest/coffee table for the past year or so, thinking how I want to give it a new look that my husband will tolerate. He likes plain, unpainted wood finishes (although, I’ve painted a few pieces black, and he actually approves). However, the chest has developed the dread “orange” tone over the years and something needs to be done! Our living room upholstery is a green pattern, so I was thinking of putting a low-key, greenish finish on the chest. The handles really bring it all together. Think I will try this. Thanks for the inspiration and tutorial!

  11. Love it. Great job! And not to change the subject 😉 but I’m wondering where you got that awesome rocking horse? Please! 🙂

  12. Absolutely stunning! Love it more than PB’s version! Has your tutorial been published on HGTV yet? If not could you let us know when it will be?


  13. Has the tutorial come out yet? I want to make this so, but would love the different dimensions for the wood that is needed and a video before attempting! Absolutely love this piece!

  14. Dear Marian,

    That’s a great name! My dear Aunt shares it with you! It seems to be the big question is….. Has the tutorial come out for how to build the chest? It is such a cute design and we are all waiting to build it so we can paint it too! Please let us know Thanks so much- Tanya

    1. Yes! I love everything about this. What are the dimensions of the trunk? Is there a tutorial for that too?

  15. Hi! Loving this trunk so much! Can I ask where you bought the hardware for the trunk..i.e. corner hinge things and handles etc?

    Thank you for your inspiration!

  16. I’d like to use this technique on some coffee tables I already have, but I am concerned that the wax finish as a top coat may not be as durable as I need for my 2 toddlers. Will it be water soluble if kids spill liquids on it or if we place glasses on it?
    Thank you,

  17. That might be one of my favorite video’s!! I was wondering if your tutorial has come out for the coffee table yet? So excited to see it and make one of my own

  18. How much paint was needed to cover the trunk? Would the sample size work? Also is the wax finish durable for spills, and water stains? I also have toddlers.

  19. I plan on making granddaughter this for Christmas. Hope I can find the tutorial and not have to guess measurements.

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