Some Tuesdays we flip the shop around. Some days we focus on transforming a piece or two. The unseasonably warm weather made it possible for us to work outside, so took full advantage and painted chairs, and started on this pedestal table. Here are some takeaways from this project:
1. The General Finishes gel stains (especially "Java") are frequently applied directly over other finishes; it's one of their selling points. But they also work well applied to bare wood. This table's finish had failed, so we sanded the original stain and sealer away, then wiped it down with mineral spirits before we started staining. On bare wood, the gel stains give a really gorgeous and rich semi-transparent stain. (A second layer will darken it more, if that's your thing, or if the stain doesn't appear to be evenly absorbed.)
2. When staining a large surface like this round table, start from the middle and work toward yourself. If you start at the edge and work your way in, you'll may smudge the still-wet stain as you stretch across to reach the middle.
3. Have lint-free cloths handy to wipe the stain around and get an even first coat. We'll use 0000 steel wool to lightly buff, then add a second coat of stain tomorrow.
4. Wait at least 72 hours after your final coat to apply a seal coat to the surface, especially if you're using a water-based sealer. In this case, we'll be applying several thin layers of GF's High Performance Sealer in Satin to give a bit of a sheen.
If you want to put a flat/matte finish on a dark stain color like Java, first topcoat with a satin finish, then add layers of flat/matte finish to complete. This will avoid any haze or streaks from forming.
So how did you spend your Tuesday?
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!