Still no Elvis sightings

Aside from yesterday, which I spent gossiping with Jeanine, looking at housewares, and drinking coffee, I have spent the week sanding and staining my desk–I finished sanding the drawers on Tuesday and applied my first coat of stain to them that day as well. I also sanded down the top of my coffee table–on one of his first nights over, Jason pulled my scented oil bath and body works doodad out of the wall and set it down on the table so he’d have a place to plug in his laptop. Hours later, I noticed that oil had leaked out and onto the table, and when I went to wipe it away, it took ALL of the finish with it. I was pretty upset, but the table had to be refinished anyway as a hot white pizza box had left a big mark on it a few months earlier, so this wasn’t the first finish ding, though it was the impetus to finally fix it instead of looking at it and mumbling that it really ought to be refinished someday.

Wood stain is pretty magical–I’ve been using a water-based ebony stain as I want the desk to be near-black when I’m done–but it’s really quite remarkable how different the stain looks on different wood. On the oak of the desk, it immediately picked up red and amber qualities, making it a rich warm brown. On the pine (I’m fairly certain it’s pine from the smell it released when I was sanding it) of the coffee table, the stain immediately turned it a cooler brown-grey. I am six coats in on the drawers and five coats on the table. The drawers I am going to continue to stain until they turn black or very close to black, and I estimate that I am perhaps two to three coats away from that. I’m hoping to stop on the table before it turns black, however, there is a part that has been more resistant to the stain and I’m going to keep coating it until it’s even, regardless of how dark it gets.

The gunmetal bird skull drawer pulls arrived in the mail today and they are AWESOME. I can’t wait until the desk is all done and put back together, because it’s going to look amazing. I can see why people get hooked on refinishing furniture!

12 Comments Still no Elvis sightings

  1. g33kgrrl March 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Now I want to refinish my giant desk. But I think I should wait 🙂

    1. admin March 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Yeah, it sounds like you’ve got enough on your plate right now!

  2. kitlizzy March 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    There will be pictures, yes? 🙂

    1. admin March 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Of course, I’m just waiting until it’s done and then I’ll post before and after pics. 🙂

      1. kitlizzy March 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

        Yay pictures!

  3. hopefulspirit March 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I have an old desk that desperately needs to be refinished but I’ve always been a little wary of doing it myself. You make me want to try. I hope we’ll get to see pics when you’re done!

    1. admin March 11, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      So far it’s been much less difficult than online how-to guides had led me to believe. 🙂 Go for it!

  4. kitlizzy March 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    PS: your icon just made me snort water up my nose. 😛

  5. technophobe1975 March 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Am loving your Katamari inspired avatar 🙂

  6. weaselmom March 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Can’t wait to see it (especially the drawer pulls). I have heard really good things about gel stain, that it’s easy to use and control. Not like you’re planning to make a career out of this. Although, hmm… you might have the makings of a fine furniture refinisher/upholsterer.

    1. admin March 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      I have been really enjoying this and I would be happy to do it for a living. I wonder if there’s much of a market for it!

      1. iamthedarkangel March 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

        There is definitely a market though I can’t speak for Seattle. I should know since I worked in high end home remodeling for 7 years. We worked with a few guys who did furniture restoration for us on cabinetry that got damaged. There was this one guy who was a stereotypical nutty artist where he didn’t see what he did as a job but art. He was a master at it though. A client called and complained a cabinet finish was damaged. Since it was still under warranty, we called in this guy. The thing about cabinet finishes is that it changes with age. A manufacturer can almost never make a new cabinet look like the ones they did years prior. This guy came in, opened up a huge kit of brushes, paints, and varnishes and voila – cabinet finish fixed and it looked exactly like it should have.

        He charged somewhere around $300 an hour to do the work and he was in pretty high demand. It took us almost 2 months to get him to come out to do the job.

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