How To Match a Potterybarn Distressed Finish

Today's post is a fun DIY project tutorial that demonstrates how easy it can be to re-create a distressed finish.  I found a gorgeous set of chunky candlesticks from Potterybarn in a beautiful distressed sea glass green finish.

I set out on a quest to re-create this finish on a mirror and discovered it was pretty simple.

Last week I shared this dramatic living room makeover.  If you missed it, click here.  You may have noticed, the adjacent spaces are painted a pretty aqua color (Drizzle by Sherwin Williams).   You can see the hallway just outside the living room doorway.  

To tie the new neutral space into the rest of the home, we brought in a few accessories in a similar sea glass green shade.  

This beautiful painting is a treasured piece the couple acquired while traveling.  The background is a beautiful aqua green.  

The bookcase was styled with pretty accessories in aqua green including a collection of sea glass bottles.  

Last but not least, we brought in these Potterybarn candlesticks...

The distressed aqua finish is such a compliment to the space.  We needed a large mirror over the sofa and thought, "if only there was a mirror in this finish".  

Well, now there is… 

Here is how I did it:  

I started with a large rectangular painted mirror that had been stowed away in storage.  It was the perfect size and shape, just not the right color.  To prepare it for the makeover, it was sanded down and imperfections were filled with wood putty.  

I studied the finish on the candlesticks.  There were three colors, "layers" that I could see; taupe, aqua, and black.  These layers were topped off with a dark antique glaze.  

Now that I knew what colors I needed, I set out to find the perfect paint products.  I have been wanting to try chalk paint for a while and thought this would be a great opportunity.

 I visited one of my favorite local boutiques {My Sweet Holly} and gathered supplies, aqua and black clay chalk paint and a dark antique wax.  I brought one of the candlesticks with me to help choose the perfect shade of aqua.  The wonderful owner of the boutique reminded me that the paint would go on very rough, but after sanding and waxing the finish would be gorgeous. 

Since the prepped mirror was already a tan/taupe color, my first layer was in place.  
For the next layer, I gave the piece one coat of black paint. 

Once it was dry, I painted over the black with two coats of aqua and let it dry overnight.  

The next day,  I gave the entire piece a light sanding.  Once it was nice and smooth, I sanded a little harder, concentrating on the edges where a piece would naturally age.  

Once I had the desired amount of distressing, I vacuumed the dust off the mirror with a shop-vac and wiped it with a slightly damp cloth.

I finished with a coat of dark wax.  

The boutique owner was right, after the sanding and waxing step, the finish was smooth as silk.

If you missed the full room makeover reveal post, please click here.  
For information on my affordable online design consultation service, click here
© Copyright 2013 The Yellow Cape Cod


  1. This turned out lovely, Sea Glass has been one of my new, in the last year, favorite colors. The distressing that you did really shows it off. Looks fabulous!

  2. What color are the walls in that room?

  3. Amazing Job Sarah! Before reading it, I thought your finished piece was the candle sticks and the mirror was the pottery barn piece. That's how professional the mirror looks to me :)

  4. Yes, I agree with Helen above - I thought the mirror was the Pottery Barn piece too! Shows what a natural you are with make-overs!

  5. Looks stunning! I'm impressed with how close the finishes are. Great job!

  6. Looks stunning. I'm impressed at how close the finishes are. Great job!

  7. I'm so glad your project was a success. Your decorating style is fabulous. My Sweet Holly is so glad you found our paints to achieve your goal. Thanks for the shout out and please stop in again.

  8. We are so happy your project was a success and you loved our American Paint Company Paint. Your decorating style is fabulous. Thanks for the shout out and please stop in again.

  9. Your finish is better- more refined than the Pottery Barn candlesticks. You did a great job and your tutorial was great.

  10. Your finish is more refined and very professional looking. Great job on the entire project.

  11. I was just wondering about the wax you used. Is it a special type? Looks great, can't wait to try!

  12. I was wondering about the wax you used? Is it a special type? Looks great!!

  13. I was just wondering about the wax you used. Is it a special type? Looks great, can't wait to try!


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