August 19, 2013

Staining: A New Love Story

Happy Monday everyone.  I hope this post finds you well. :-)

As I may have mentioned to you before, I've got about a BAZILLION projects going on in my home right now.  (Give or take a few.)  And, among those bazillion, are several staining projects.

I'm new to staining, so these projects are very exciting for me.  I've always been a painting kinda girl, but my husband's been showing me the "staining ropes," and I. AM. LOVING IT!

Honestly, I was always a bit scared of staining for some reason.  Not sure why. I guess I thought it would take so much more refined skill than it actually does.

Now that I'm staining though, I am SO impressed with how inexpensive it is, and how PRICELESS.  It's amazing what it can do for an old, or even new, piece of furniture.

*OK, stop blabbing Ashley.*


Here is the first piece of furniture I ever stained:

My husband built this beauty for our mudroom.  It's a two piece floating shelf/bench combination.  We just recently moved it into the space, so it's lacking in decor.  BUT, the stain ... isn't it gorgeous?!

Here is the before and after of the bench:


There's a tiny uncovered spot at the top right of the bench, because the glue used to hold the frame together just REFUSES to absorb the stain in that spot.  If I really wanted to, I could dabble some dark paint in that area.

But, I don't mind it.  So, I'm gonna leave it.  And I'll call it "charm." :-)

Now, I'm gonna rewind a second, just to share the most important DIY details I can remember.  

Here we go:
  • All it took to get from before to after was a little bit of sanding, one coat of staining, and then PATIENCE. I used this Ebony stain.

  • And I definitely wore some latex gloves, because I am MESSY.  And you do NOT want to get stain on your skin. 
  • I put the stain on the furniture with a cut-up, old t-shirt.  I simply dipped the shirt into the can, and then rubbed on the Ebony... getting a nice even coat of prettiness on the shelf and bench. :-)
  • After letting it dry for 24 hours, I my husband did a light sanding over everything, and then one coat of polyurethane.
  • I waited another 24 hours and then did a second coat of poly, only this time just on the top of the bench.  I didn't want the piece to be too shiny, but the top definitely needed the extra poly protection. 
  • Also, I made sure to cover the ground of the work space, to catch drips.  And I did the work in my OPEN garage, because man -- this stuff can get stinky!!

Here's a look at the work in progress, on the floating shelf:

You can see why I needed the cover for the ground. :-)

I am SO excited with how this project turned out.  Here it is again, all finished and wonderful:

I absolutely cannot wait to decorate it!!

Maybe after this post :-).

But, first ...

It's time to show you my second staining project EVER.  This is a BEFORE picture:

My father-in-law actually built what you see up there. It's very old, and it was in desperate need of some TLC. 

So, THIS journey started with a lot more sanding than the last:

As you can see, my two-year-old even helped long enough for me to take her picture.  ;-)

She eventually ran off though, and out came the power sander: 

My husband did most of the sanding for me (again) because, honestly, I HATE sanding.  I know it's so worth it, but it is SO my least favorite part of any project.  YUCK.

Yay for husbands :-).

After we he was done sanding, I used a stain called Early American this time.

My mother-in-law was around to help me stain this beauty!  She used a rag and I used a small sponge brush like this one:

I bought mine at Lowes

After staining, I wiped a clean rag over everything. Let it dry for 24 hours.  And then it was time for a coat of polyurethane!

I may do another on the top of the bench, for extra protection.  But here it is one coat in:

I'm really happy with how well it turned out!  It still looks old school to me, but in a clean way. :-)

Here's the back-to-back before and after:

And here's a close up before and after of the top.  No more scratches and unsightly blemishes:

I LOVE IT!  It's so much richer than it was before, yet the nature of it is still intact.

Needless to say, I will definitely keep this staining streak on a roll.  

BUT, in the meantime, if YOU'VE got a piece of furniture lying around your home right now, whispering to you: "Sand me, stain me ... give me a makeover."  Then go!  Get at it!  ;-)


No comments:

Post a Comment