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Thursday, March 25, 2010

How To refinish A Table - Part 4 - Applying The Stain

We are finally ready to put some color on this table.  It's been stripped,  washed, taped, and sanded.  Now it's time for some stain.  Here is a pic of the table top ready to go.




Note that the edges are now done and it has good consistent color over the entire top. 





Not long before I apply stain or finish I like to wipe the wood down with mineral spirits and a paper towel.  This cleans up most of the sanding dust and debris.





Can you see the dust collecting on the paper towel?  This is a great little trick.  By wiping it down with mineral spirits, I can also see what the grain is going to look like.



I really like to use oil based stains, especially on antiques.  For one thing, oil based stains seem to cover better.  For another thing, I think the beauty of an oil based stain is unbeatable.  I believe that the more beautiful a finish I can create, the better it is for the environment.  Whenever I refinish something for someone I strive for "heirloom" quality.  I want it to the kind of treasured piece of furniture that they will keep for generations to come.  If I can create an heirloom piece that will be treasured for another 50 years, I have done my job and helped save the planet at the same time.  Think of the reduction in landfill waste if everyone's dining room table was so lovely that there was no reason to buy a new one, except every 50 years or so.  



When I apply stain, I usually use a paper towel.  Paper towels are cleaner than rags and they do not catch on edges as easily.  I also do not have to deal with lint contamination when using a paper towel, and I use less stain too.  I can usually get away with using only 1 paper towel to apply stain to an entire table top.  Very little waste. 


 Make sure your wood is completely dry.  The mineral spirits must be completely evaporated.  Then dip that paper towel in the stain and get to wiping!





There is a distinct possibility that you may prefer to wear gloves during this step.  Don't be stingy with the stain.  I am using a dark walnut here.  Let it soak in for a few minutes.  The directions on my can say 10-15, but that will vary alot, depending mostly on temperature.  The idea is not to let it dry.  You want to wipe off the excess stain before it gets sticky.






Here is the color after I have wiped off the excess stain.  Nice and even.  No blotches.  Consistent color.  I will let this dry overnight.  I want it to be completely dry before the next step.  That is about all there is to staining.  It is not too tough.   You can wipe off your hands with mineral spirits and then wash them with soap and water.


 Make sure your used towels get thrown in your water bucket to avoid a fire hazard.



Next time I will be doing post on applying the first clear coat.  It is a pretty important step.

Keep up the good work out there!

Rory

10 comments:

DustyLu said...

Love your blog Rory! You have great ideas and DIY! Keep it up! ~lulu

Grover said...

Hey Rory,

Do you ever use a tack cloth when refinishing? I like to use both that and mineral spirits before I stain the wood. It might be overkill :)

Grover
http://groverwoodworks.blogspot.com

Rory-The Greentiques Solution Guy said...

Thank You Lu! Lots more on
the way. Glad you stopped by.
Rory

Rory-The Greentiques Solution Guy said...

Grover, I do sometimes use a tack cloth, but not usually before applying stain. I just dont think I need to. If I do use a tack cloth it is generally before I apply a hard coat, like polyurethane. Dust is not as critical a problem with stain, so mineral spirits is usually enough for me. Hope that helps you.
Rory

Grover said...

I guess its just the perfectionist, Read Anal, in me. I absolutely use them before applying the poly or laquer..

Thanks,

Grover

Rory-The Greentiques Solution Guy said...

Grover, I am very much the same way. I can't stand a poor finish. I am constantly seeing some pretty fine woodworkers out there that spend long hours building something, but don't want to take the time to do a finish the right way. It drives me a little insane. I don't do tack cloth all the time, but I often strain my poly through cheesecloth and am a nut about the final sanding of the topcoat. Glad to hear someone else besides me loves a beautiful finish enough to do the extra steps.
Keep up the good work.
Rory

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

you have done a beautiful job on that table..looks like new..:)

Rory-The Greentiques Solution Guy said...

Hi There Cat!
Glad you made it by. The table is going to turn out nice I think. There is still a ton more work to be done on it yet though. Wait till you see the finished result. Then let me know what you think.
Rory

Room to Inspire said...

I just love your blog - it is filled with such great tips and information!

Chelsea

Rory-The Greentiques Solution Guy said...

Chelsea,
Nice to see you again. Glad you like it. As soon as I am through with the table refinishing post, I am going to start the series on the vintage jewelery cabinet repurpose. Much of next week will be posts from the antique show in Charlotte. I woluld also like to put together a weekly post featuring 2 or 3 bloggers that have become followers of The Greentiques Solution. You have a teriffic blog and with your permission, I would like to include it in an upcoming feature. Let me know if I have your permission to do that. I would be happy to do it for you. Thank you again for stopping by, Rory