Monday, June 06, 2016

Furniture Refinishing -- Oak Kitchen Table -- Part 2 {Epic Fail}...

Last time I wrote about my kitchen table refinishing project, I was feeling pretty good about it. Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last very long. Ugh. Within a few hours, I realized I'd made an epic mistake. I know it's just as important to post failures as it is successes (you learn more from the failures), so I will tell you my sorry story. Up until I applied the Minwax Gel Stain, all was good, but when I applied the gel stain I blew it. As I mentioned before I began by applying the stain on the leaves of the table. I'd never used gel stain before, but the leaves took it beautifully. I applied the stain with a 3" brush and wiped off the excess with a rag. However, I used the same rag to wipe off the excess stain throughout the whole project. I didn't realize it at the time, but when I got to the tabletop the rag was so saturated with stain, that I wasn't removing enough of the excess stain as I "wiped it off." It removed some of it, but mostly I was just moving the stain around. When the stain dried on the tabletop, I could see swipe marks and the tabletop was darker than the leaves. Frustrating. What to do?

Here's a photo showing some of the problems...



It almost killed me, but I decided to redo the tabletop from the beginning. Once again a varnish remover (which also takes off some of the stain) was applied. Then, the after wash was applied, which took off a little more of the stain. I waited 24 hours till the tabletop was dry, and then I sanded (a lot) again. I feel sorry for myself as I type this. It was a pain in the neck, but I wanted it done right. The next day I reapplied the stain. This time I used several different dry clothes to wipe off the excess, and it turned out beautifully.



I applied two lighter applications to get this desired effect. Next, I'll use Helmsman Spar Urethane in Satin to give it a protective finish. Live and learn. Here's a photo showing the incorrect method and the correct method...


That photo makes it pretty obvious how important it is to change out your cloth as you wipe off excess gel stain on your project. Wish me luck on the remainder of the table!

1 comment:

Dianna F said...

It's gorgeous! You'll never regret redoing it! Thanks for the heads up on proper staining techniques!