Monday, March 21, 2016

Grandma's Washstand - I Stained it!

So, Originally I thought I would just paint the washstand white, like it was originally... well, originally for me.  (I think it was originally stained something, then re-stained, then painted rose, then white, probably twice.)

But then I got all that paint off and I just couldn't!  The wood was just too pretty!

That being said, there were also several dark-water stains that just wouldn't come out.  So after several trips to the hardware store to look over the color choices,

I decided to go with the Espresso color!  I chose it because it is a rich brown, but also a very dark brown.  I felt like the black stains would still look good.  In fact, the sample square at the store had black in the grain lines!

I don't know if you've ever opened a can of Espresso stain, but holy-moley!  It was sooooo dark!  In fact, the stain looks pure-black in the can!  

So here is what you need:

*Something to stain - Sanded and then wiped down with a damp rag, no dust!
*Stain!  This time I used just plain stain, but I've also used the stain-poly mix.  It has a more rustic finish, so either is good.
*Rag.  I like applying the stain with a rag, it goes on smooth and I can just throw it away when I'm done.  Today's rag was a sock in a former life.
*Gloves.  Seriously, this is sooo worth it!  Especially a large project like this.  A small project you can wash it off before it dries, but this much I didn't want to permanently stain my hands!  You can get vinyl/latex gloves at the dollar store in the laundry section!  Totally worth having for this and a variety of other things!

Let's Get Started!!

It really is simple!

First you want to make sure your wood is freshly sanded with a very fine sandpaper (like it doesn't feel like it will even take anything off-fine)  

Take a barely damp rag and wipe all the dust off the wood.  You don't want any sawdust left!

Let it dry while you put your wood somewhere it won't stain/ruin anything!  Today I did it in my garage (with the door open for ventilation!  This stuff is stinky!) on newspapers.  Outside is a great option too, assuming you have a place where you can leave it a long time and it will be safe and out of the weather! Ideally you should leave it overnight before touching/moving the furniture.

Put on the gloves and open the can of stain.  Stirred not shaken pretty please!  If you shake the stain you will get bubbles, use a paint stick and stir the stain so you get an even color.

Then make the jump!

I generally wad up the sock with a smooth side and just dip and wipe the stain on the wood.

I have never been so scared to put stain on wood!

But it turned out amazing!

You will want to wipe with the grain of the wood.  (though I sometimes wipe contrary to that rule, but I always wipe with the grain on my final wipe.)  You will be able to see streaks if you don't go with the grain.

You can put more and more stain on, but there is a limit to what the wood can absorb at one time.  If it is not dark enough for you, let it dry and add another coat later.

Let the stain sit for 10-15 minutes and then wipe the excess off.  You really don't want to leave un-absorbed stain on the wood.

That's all there is to it!  When you're done close up the stain can (a light tap from a hammer or mallet will get it on good) and throw away your sock and gloves!  Easy clean up!  Once the stain is dry it's either ready to go or ready for a polyurethane coat (or other clear-coat of your choice)

On the other side of this piece I stained around the original label.

I also decided to stain the inside of the drawer, mostly to hide old stains that wouldn't sand out, and to protect the wood.

Yeah... that top door, had a piece that had been replaced prior to me, so was pine instead of oak.  The stain took.... funny to it. I'll probably sand it down a bit tomorrow and see if I can even out the color a bit.

The leftovers...  four gloves, one very dark rag, and of course, a diaper wipe! (best clean-up tool ever!)

I wore the gloves to keep from staining my hands black, which worked pretty well, except the stain did something funny to the vinyl gloves I used and the finger-tips wore through... so I got a little on my finger-tips, but it came off all except for my cuticles, I think they'll be brown until they get trimmed...  

Coming soon.... A coat of polyurethane, and then putting it all back together and it will be done!  Getting so close!!!

Grandma's Washstand Part 2
Grandma's Washstand Part 3

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