Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished thrift store chair using driftwood weathering wood finish

Refinished Thrift Store Chair Using
Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Stain

Refinished Chair with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Refinished Thrift Store Chair Turned Coastal Cottage Chic

I’m using an outdated and rather dark thrift store chair and updating it with a beachy driftwood finish fit for any vintage seaside cottage and I’m using  Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.

This is my second refinished thrift store chair project and turning it into a beautiful piece of furniture to fit my beach cottage.  Like the first chair, this one was purchased for under $30 and it needs to be completely stripped of both its dark finish and outdated fabric. 

Once you find that special chair, here are the materials you will need:

To start, you will need to remove all the fabric.  This may entail removing screws and I had to take the chair apart in order to remove the seat.  Here is what you will need for each step:

Removing the Fabric

  • needle nose pliers for helping to remove staples – and there will be MANY, MANY staples. 
  • flat head screw driver – helps with removing staples
  • patience, patience, patience – removing the many staples is the most tedious part

Stripping the Finish

  • Furniture stripping agent such as Klean Strip Paint & Varnish Remover or other safe stripper
  • steel wool #0000
  • scrapper
  • sandpaper #150, #220 and #320
  • mineral spirits

Refinishing and Re-upholstering

  • Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Piping (optional)
  • Chip brush
  • Drop cloth
  • Spray on glue for foam Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive Multi-Purpose
  • Tacky glue (but only if using piping) Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive
  • good quality staple gun
  • staples

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Above is the original thrift store chair

It’s in good condition, but not suitable for a vintage seaside cottage.  I wanted that weathered look that I keep seeing in Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware.  I am always inspired by the pages of Ballard Designs and they have a Bergere style chair with a weathered finish that sells for $800 or more.  Same with Restoration Hardware.  I know I can recreate the weathered finish with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish stain AND I can find a fabric that will suit my decor perfectly.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

A key to re-upholstering the chair is to keep all the original fabric pieces, including any padding or backing.  This way you can use them as pattern pieces.  Make sure to mark each piece and even take pictures during the removal process that you can refer back to. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Take pictures and mark the pieces.  Once all the fabric has been removed, you can start stripping the finish.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After








I used an environmentally safe spray-on furniture stripper so as not to have hazardous chemicals seep into the ground water.  This particular stripper took longer and more elbow grease but I’m good with that. There are plenty of environmentally safe paint removers available.  To help remove the finish, I used #0000 steel wool especially in the hard to get areas.

Fully Stripped of Finish and Fabric

The chair completely stripped, sanded and cleaned with mineral spirits.  Any chemical residue from the stripper or original finish will hinder the results of the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  So I need to test the results using the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish stain. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

My first chair project turned out darker than I expected because I did not test the results first.  This time, I knew I wanted a lighter and more brown toned finish that would pick up the taupey brown tones in my chosen fabric. I also wasn’t at all sure what type of wood the chair was made from.  Since the more tannins a wood has – the darker the color will be when using the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  It’s really important to test the results in an inconspicuous area first.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

As it turned out, diluting the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish solution gave me the color I was looking for.  Instead of mixing 1 packet with 1 cup of water – I mixed it with 2 cups of water. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Here I am testing the finish against my chosen fabric which is Magnolia Home Indoor/Outdoor Sea Island Spa.  It has a beachy, cottage feel and even looks a bit vintage to me.  The colors are perfect! 

I seriously considered using the Driftwood Liming Wax to give it a lighter finish as I did with my first chair project but then realized I wanted a more driftwood, weathered finish.  A finish that was completely matte like a found piece of driftwood. 

Re-upholstering the Chair

I’ve been sewing since I was 10, but if you are not confident in your sewing skills, this might be where you want to take the chair and original fabric pieces to an upholstery shop to complete the project. 

Cut out all your fabric pieces using the original pieces as templates, which hopefully you saved and marked.  Same with any backing pieces. Sometimes you may need to replace the cushioning or backing pieces.

One thing I learned along the way was to use a spray glue good for closed cell foam such as Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive Multi-Purpose to lightly glue ONLY the fabric backing to the foam.  DO NOT glue the actual fabric to the foam – just the backing materials.  This really helps keep everything in place while you are re-covering the chair.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Another great tip is to fold and press your fabric under about 1/4″ before applying to the chair using a staple gun.  This way, you end up with a nice clean edge instead of frayed fabric edges.  Much less messy.  I also used piping to cover up any exposed staples and Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive to apply the piping.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Final Project

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After


Total Cost for Refinishing and Re-Upholstering Thrift Store Bergere-Style Chair Using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

The total cost for this project was about is about $115.00 and that included:

  •  $25.00 for thrift store chair
  • $24 for a 3 yards of fabric
  • $12.99 for the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish
  • $10.00 piping
  • $13.00 Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive Multi-Purpose
  • $6.00 Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive
  • $12.99 environmentally safe paint and varnish stripper
  • $8.00 for incidentals such as staples and sandpaper

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse

Weathered Wood Bird Feeder and Stand

weathered wood bird feeder and stand

Driftwood Weathered Wood Bird Feeder and Stand

I recently added this sweet weathered wood bird feeder and stand to our backyard and aged it using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  I wanted it to match and blend in more with our aged and weathered wood fencing.  Once I had all the materials, it took about 30 minutes to assemble, stain and paint this bird feeder and stand.  Pretty easy actually and now we are thoroughly enjoying watching the many birds frequent the feeder all day long.   Especially Bella, our cat whose morning routine is sitting in front of the back door.  She is completely mesmerized by the visiting wildlife just beyond the glass door.  

Items Needed

  • Bird feeder.  I purchased the Woodlink Cedar Bird Feeder from Amazon – $34.84
  • 18″ Woodlink Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle also purchased from Amazon – $18.49
  • Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish
  • 1 Vinyl Wrapped Wood Closet Round Pole by Woodgrain Millwork from Home Depot – 1  5/16″ x 72″
  • 1 Galvanized steel nipple from Home Depot – 1  1/2″ x 2″
  • 1  Iron floor flange from Home Depot – 1  1/2″
  • Used Sunbrella stand

I wanted a bird feeder that I could easily move around the yard and into the garage should a hurricane approach.  But I also needed one that would be easy for me to fill and one that fit in with the surroundings.  The more I looked at the two unused sun umbrella stands in the yard, the simplier the answer seemed to be – attach the bird feeder to a pole and insert it into the sunbrella stand.  Seemed easy enough and certainly cheaper than buying a bird feeder pole kit.  If you don’t have an extra sunbrella stand on hand, you can find them at yard sales, thrift stores, Craig’s List, etc. or even cheap ones online.

weathered wood bird feeder and stand
The two sunbrella stands I had on hand.

I found the style birdhouse I wanted on Amazon along with a recommended squirrel baffle.

weathered wood bird feeder and stand

One thing I ended up doing is removing the two wire cages on the ends of the bird feeder used for holding suet cakes.  I did not find that the birds liked them although it was probably the type of suet I was using.  Once I removed the wiring, I applied the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to give it age and create my weathered wood bird feeder and stand. 

weathered wood bird feeder and stand
Staining the bird feeder with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to match my fencing. Notice I’ve already got the flange and nipple attached to the bottom of the bird feeder and I removed the wire cages for the suet cakes.
weathered wood bird feeder and stand
I now have the weathered look I want to match the fencing.

Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and many other stores all carry poles and the plumbing hardware I needed to attach the bird feeder and to also set it into the stand.  I purchased the vinyl-wrapped wood pole from the closet department and the flange and steel nipple from the plumbing department.  I thought the vinyl would help the wood last longer in the outdoor elements.  Be sure that whatever width size pole that you purchase will fit into your sunbrella stand.  Most stands are adjustable to accommodate various sizes – just make sure you don’t get one too big. 

Putting the Weathered Wood Bird Feeder and Stand and Together

The iron floor flange needed to be small enough to fit on the bottom of the bird feeder and  the galvanized steel nipple needs to fit inside the flange.  The steel nipple needs to fit over the top of the pole so that it can be easily lifted on and off.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
1 1/2″ iron floor flange; 1 5/16″ x 72″ vinyl covered pole; 1 1/2″ x 2″ galvanized steel nipple

The beauty of this bird feeder is that I can lift it up and off the pole easily when I need to refill the seed.  And it sits secure enough on the pole so that I’m not worried about it coming off in any wind.  I’m 5’2″ so the 2″ nipple worked perfectly for me but if you are taller, you can go with a 4 or 6″ nipple and it will really sit solidly on the pole. 

I inserted the pole into the sunbrella stand, adjusted the tightening mechanism and attached the squirrel baffle about 4 feet off the ground.  Then spray painted the pole black to match the baffle.

I then attached the flange to the bottom with screws and screwed the galvanized nipple into the flange.  The bird feeder is now ready to slide over the top of the pole.  That’s it – just slide it over the top.  There is no need to screw or secure it in place.  It will stay on the pole just fine and you will still be able to easily lift it on and off the pole to refill it.  It’s amazingly sturdy even in the wind.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
Attached the flange to the bottom of the bird feeder with screws and then screw the steel nipple into the flange. Slip over the top of the pole. It should fit snuggly but still easy enough to lift on and off.

Fill it and Enjoy the Wildlife

I fill my bird feeder with white millet and it is constantly visited by morning doves, cardinals, woodpeckers and bluejays.  Thankfully, the crows and grackles don’t like millet so they stay away.  The baffle works perfectly to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder as long it is placed at least 15 feet from anywhere they can jump.  And every morning I have a rabbit or two mingling about the bottom of the bird feeder with the squirrels.  I don’t know if they like eating the millet seed but I now put carrots out for the rabbits.  We have a deal – I give them carrots and they don’t eat my hostas.  So far so good…

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
I painted the pole black.
Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
We changed from a oiled sunflower birdseed mix to a white millet and no more crows or grackles. Just cardinals, morning doves, woodpeckers and bluejays. Plus squirrels and rabbits feeding at the bottom.
Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
Notice my rabbits. They do enjoy my yard and we enjoy watching them.

If you prefer a more whimsical birdhouse made from actual driftwood pieces in additional to our weathered wood bird feeder and stand, check out this tutorial.


Driftwood Highboy Refinishing Project

Over the past 2 months, I’ve been slowly working on my driftwood highboy refinishing project which meant stripping and refinishing an antique highboy piece and then refinishing it with the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  Well, I’m happy to say it’s finally done and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

driftwood highway
Finished Highboy using Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish

I purchased this highboy piece over 30 years ago at an antique store.  At the time I purchased the highboy, it was a hideous orange toned stained wood but it was a bargain at $375.00.  I distinctly remember that once I had stripped the orange stain, I had made a mental note that the bare wood had a beautiful distressed look to it and even back then I was tempted to leave it that way.  I also remember that I had done a major faux pas at the time I stripped it by using a steel wool pad to remove the finish and it had left little black specks everywhere.  But this had actually contributed to the weathered look in a good way.  I ended up staining the highboy in a dark mahogany color to match the other furniture in my room at the time.  I also remember that the stain did not take very well and I literally had to apply the stain and leave it on the piece without wiping off the excess.  This was the only way I could get the stain dark enough over the maple wood.

Original antique highboy
Original piece

Above is the piece before stripping and sanding.  It has always been a beautiful piece.  Below, I have started to strip and sand and needed to remove some of the more intricate pieces in order to get the finished removed.  I did this work outside in the Florida summer heat – not exactly the best conditions to be doing this type of work and that is why it took me 6 weeks to fully complete this project.  Some days it was just too hot!
Driftwood Highboy

Driftwood Finish Highboy


Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish applied to top drawer but still drying
Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish applied to top drawer but still drying
Antique driftwood highboy
Stripped and sanded; application of Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish.

The original hardware was brass and my original intention was to create a “rusted” finish.  I thought driftwood finish would be a nice backdrop to rusted hardware.  I attempted many solutions to create a rusted finish including soaking the hardware overnight in baths of vinegar and baking soda; vinegar and salt; and ammonia.  While I didn’t get a rust finish, I did get a somewhat verdigris finish.  After soaking the hardware pieces overnight and letting them air dry, I then applied a product by Modern Options called Verdigris with a paintbrush and dried it using my heat gun.  This seemed to increase the verdigris finish somewhat although I did not use the product according to their directions.  I did not apply their base product.  I have since found that the hardware’s verdigris finish has continued to turn quite a bit.

distressed hardward
Distressing the hardware
finished driftwood highboy
Finished driftwood highboy

 Driftwood highboy

So there you have the final driftwood highboy refinishing project.  It came out even better than I had expected and I’m in love with this piece but now my bed no longer matches.  Just when I thought I was done with refinishing projects for awhile…

Creating a Driftwood Finish With Paint

Creating a Driftwood Finish With Paint

Driftwood Finish with Paint

I used this technique for creating a driftwood finish with paint, which I confess I garnered from another website some time ago and unfortunately, I do not remember where.  But, I do remember the process and it worked quite well for me in getting that driftwood look.

I started with just two different driftwood-like colors of flat, water-based latex paint, plus a small amount of  basic black and white artist’s acrylic.  The black and white were just from small tubes of acrylic paint I had on hand for painting on canvas.  You will only need a small amount of the white and black so just buy small tubes if you don’t already have some water based latex or acrylics on hand.

Sherman-Williams Grays Harbor

Sherman-Williams Pavestone

Pick the two colors you want from any assorted flat, water-based acrylic grays, beiges, sand or dark creams at the paint store that you feel will give you the colors and shades to mimic a driftwood finish.   I chose a quart each of 6236 Grays Harbor and 7642 Pavestone latex flat paint & primer both from Sherwin-Williams’ SuperPaint collection.  So now you have Grays Harbor and Pavestone.

But you want to have more colors to work with and in order to achieved additional tints and shades I merely added a little of the white or black to Grays Harbor and Pavestone.  Pour a small amount of Grays Harbor into a plastic cup or container and mix in a small amount of white paint to achieve a lighter tint – we now have Grays Harbor Light.  Do this again using Pavestone as your base and you will create Pavestone Light.

Now pour some of Grays Harbor and Pavestone in yet two more separate containers and add a small amount of black to each to get a darker shade of Grays Harbor and Pavestone.  You now have Grays Harbor Dark and Pavestone Dark and a total of 6 different driftwood colors for creating a driftwood finish.  Truthfully, I believe I only used 4 of the colors on my project but you now have lots of different shades and tints to work with and you can create as many as you want using this method of adding varying amounts of white or black to your base driftwood colors.

cat in bookcaseThis dresser was originally black with a beautiful antique gold stencil pattern but, while it was once one of my favorite pieces, it no longer suited my new driftwood color scheme and beachy style.  I went from British West Indies with its dark woods, burnt orange painted walls and vibrant tropical colors  to subdued sand-toned walls and creamy beach theme with driftwood furniture and accessories.  In the interim, before I decided on trying a driftwood finish using paint, I had given the dresser a distressed white finish.  It was nice but  I knew I could do better.  I wanted that highly sought after driftwood finish and I also really liked a lot of the mirrored furniture I was seeing.  Why not combine a driftwood finish with mirrored drawer fronts?

After mixing my paint colors, the procedure went as follows:

1.            First, I used the Grays Harbor and painted the whole piece.  Since I had never put any type of finishing product on the piece after I had painted it white,  all I needed to do was scruff it up a bit with sandpaper to get some good paint adhesion and paint over the white with the gray.

2.            Next, I took the darkest gray shade Grays Harbor Dark and made it a glaze by adding equal part water.  I used a soft cloth and went over the areas of the legs where you can see the carving so that the darker shade got into the grooves.  Don’t let the paint sit – you have to move quickly and wipe off most of the paint that has not settled into the grooves.

3.            I then made a glaze from the Pavestone base color.  Again, ½ water and ½ paint to make the glaze.  I applied this layer in small areas of the piece with a brush and worked quickly to blend and soften the paint using a soft cloth – taking off quite a bit of the glaze as I went along.  I slowly did this to the whole piece.

4.            The next layer was the Pavestone Light.  Again, I made a glaze of ½ paint and ½ water.  I applied this layer using a very dry brush technique and very long brush strokes with a very light hand.  I didn’t apply a lot – just a little here and there until I was happy with it.

5.            For the final touch, I diluted black paint and a little water and, with a toothbrush and my fingers, I flecked the surfaces of the dresser with just little black specks here and there.

6.            When I was done, I used Driftwood Natural Beeswax Wood Butter to give it a nice soft protective finish.

After several attempts at finding just the right knobs, I finally chose mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie.

I couldn’t be happier with how the finish came out and how the final piece looks.  But I will note two things.  First, as nice as this painted driftwood finish looks – I could have used the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish and got just as nice if not nicer driftwood finish in a lot less time and without all the paint and cleanup, but, I hadn’t developed the product yet and, in fact, this project inspired me to find an easier alternative; and  second,  having the mirror put on the dresser fronts may not have been the best idea.  While it looks great (I had them done by a local glass and mirror shop), the mirror is very heavy and prone to crack if you put the handles on too tight or if you move the piece a lot like I have.  The mirror on two corners has already chipped and cracked.  I had really, really wanted antiqued mirror, i.e. smoky, aged and distressed but I could not find any locally so that was disappointing.  This piece would have been over the top if I had been able to use antique mirrors as I originally wanted… sigh.

Creating a Driftwood Finish with Paint

Creating a Driftwood Finish with Paint