Feb 11, 2013

Craigslist Kitchen Table, Part 2

If you missed part 1, read that here.

Once I was ready to begin refinishing the table I bought I gathered all my supplies.  Here's what I used:
  1. Electric Sander with 80 grit and 200 grit discs (I love this one and highly recommend getting one if you plan on doing several projects). 
  2. Sandpaper, 80 grit and 200 grit
  3. Goggles & Mask to wear while you’re using the electric sander
  4. Chemical stripper- I used Citrastrip (You might not need this, but I used it in the small rope detail where I couldn’t sand and it was a HUGE help! Plus it smells like oranges.)
  5. Brush with stiff bristles, to scrape off the stripper
  6. Wood conditioner- I used Minwax Wood Conditioner (not required but nice to have)
  7. Stain- I used Minwax in Red Mahogany
  8. Polycyclic top coat- I used Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin
  9. Foam brushes (I got cheap ones and threw them away afterwards)
  10. Tack cloths, or other rags
For my process I really followed Centsational Girl's tutorial found here.  I'm not going to type it all since it’s her tutorial, not mine, and I think she explains things really well.  Young House Love also has a helpful staining tutorial here. (I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post.  I redid the table before creating the blog, so I wasn't really thinking about taking step by step pictures).

Sanding it all down and getting it ready to stain was the most time-consuming part, especially since my table had that decorative rope detail.  That’s one of my favorite parts of the table now, but it certainly was not during this project!  So after sanding the top and legs as best I could, I used the chemical stripper as directed on the rope, let it sit for a while (about an hour?) to work its magic, and then used the brush to scrape it off.  It took multiple attempts but after a while the table looked like this and was ready for the wood conditioner:

I did two thin coats as directed.  The next day, after the wood conditioner had dried I did two super thin coats of the stain, allowing a few hours of drying time between coats.  You also want to use a clean rag to wipe off any excess stain so it doesn't turn out streaky. I liked the look after one coat, but I decided I wanted a richer, more even toned look so I did a second coat.  Here are some progress pictures:

After the stain dried for a day or two I did my first coat of the poly.  The directions state that after your first coat of poly is dry you should lightly sand it with fine grit sand paper (200 grit), wipe it off with a tack clot, and then apply the second coat.  Well, after I lightly sanded and wiped down my beautiful, gorgeous, newly stained table, it looked like...crap.  There was a weird chalky/milky look to the whole table, ruining the beautiful stain.  

I freaked out.  I may have shed a tear, and I definitely said some unladylike things.  (Bobby can attest to this).  I was convinced I ruined my table.  I didn't even take a picture because I was not thinking clearly. After calming down a bit, I decided I couldn't do much further damage and I would just do another coat of poly to see what happened.  Well miracle of miracles, it worked!  It looked perfect! I don't know why none of the other blogs addressed this, but let me just assure you that it will in fact work out in the end.  No need to freak out like I did.

And now lovely readers (aka my mom), here is the glorious before and after:

And how it looks in our kitchen:

Yes, we also changed out the light.  More on that here.

UPDATE! I sold four of the five original chairs on Craiglist this weekend for- get this- $45!  Meaning the table and one chair I kept only cost me $10, plus the cost of supplies.  Beautiful new kitchen table for under $40.  Beat that, Pottery Barn.


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