Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Refinishing a Table: Step Two

This weekend Tim and I tackled the next step in refinishing our new dining table- and that step was sanding and staining.

I'll fast forward to the end and tell you that the end result wasn't what I was expecting.  It actually looks decent enough in the photos, but in real life it's one crazy piece of wood. 

See the above photo where all those super dark spots are on the table?  That's where the wood was stripped unevenly during our first phase of refinishing- we let the stripper dry too long and it cause it to come off unevenly.   We didn't think it would be a big deal, but apparently it is.

Back to the process, the first thing we did this time was to use Tim's dad's electric sander to sand down all the sides using progressively finer sandpaper as we went.  By the way, electric sanders are just about the coolest tool ever.  I totally want one to play with!

Anyway, this was what the table looked like before we started sanding (notice those light spots):




....and after:
Looks a lot more even, right?  You could still see those spots, but we honestly didn't think it would be a big deal.  So we cracked open our Kona wood stain from Rustoleum and got to work staining the table.
On goes the stain...


Look how different these next two photos look.  The real color probably looked closer to the second photo when it was setting.

And then it came time to wipe it off.  And it was just a big old mess.  Never mind that the color wasn't deep enough- which we expected after the first application- but it was the texture on the overly stripped parts that really got to me. 
Do you see how dull and weird looking they look below?  It's hard to explain, but it's clear that the wood was stripped too much and has lost it's....."wood" personality.  I immediately started freaking out but Tim convinced me that it would start to look fine after a bunch of more applications of stain.

Well, four applications later, the color hadn't changed a bit.  We even let the last two coats sit for half and hour.  Apparently this stuff doesn't get deeper after each application, or our table is like, "Mwahaha just try and stain me kids!  Not happening!"  So our table remained all uneven and weird looking.  Let me clarify again that I am fine with varying color across a wood table- it was the gross texture of those patches that really got me.  They are really dull and gross looking next to the sheen and prettiness of the stain that shows the natural wood grain.  

I tried to convince myself that I would grow to like it and that maybe with the top coat it would look better. 
But in my head I knew it would never happen!  So I tried one think top coat anyways.

Yup, not really a difference.  I did learn that the brush strokes in the sealer look really cool though, even though they would probably be sanded out later. 


So what's my plan for next time?  We've decided we're going to have to paint the top unfortunately.  The sides and bottom look fine so we're not concerned about painting it all.  We're just planning on trying to find a paint that matches enough, and in the meantime I'm searching for a good way to paint it.  I'm thinking a very thin layer buffed into it might give enough coverage and still let the stain show through...we'll be experimenting on our next trip home.  Hopefully with good results! Does anyone know anything about glazing?  We noticed the paint they sell at Ikea was called glazing paint but I'm having trouble finding out more information about that online...

1 comment:

  1. It's so frustrating to learn as you go sometimes, but I think it's the only way. I need to strip my dining table soon because I ruined it while ironing (yeh, good move on my part). We will see what happens. Hope the painting works out for you.

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