Look at the design of this table. Please, look again. Is this stunning or what?
When my customer dropped off this beauty at my house I couldn’t help feeling a little nervous. It’s one of those pieces you just can’t mess up.
A shame I don’t have the “before” picture, but it was a very dark stain, with scratches and marks everywhere. The project was simple. I just had to find a nice shade of brown for the legs and a little ligher stain for the top. No big deal, right? Well, I thought I had everything under control until I started stripping the top. Things went downhill from there. Several thick layers of stripper later, and the top still had horrible dark and yellow marks. I was trying to avoid sanding, as I wanted the top to look impeccably smooth, with no sanding marks. It just wouldn’t happen.
I applied a coat of dark walnut stain and it only brought up the dark spots. My first attempt was a total failure. That night I had my first nightmare with this table.
The day after I tackled it again. Stripping, a little bit of sanding, and a new coat of stain. There were the ugly spots again. Ugh! At this point I was almost in tears. More nightmares.
Third day… more stripper, more sanding, more praying, and this time I decided to try gel stain. Not sure if it was the more powerful stripper, the two-hour sanding, the prayers, or the gel stain, but finally the top started to look good.
Even my husband and sons celebrated my victory that evening! They took me out for dinner and were just happy to see me in a better mood again. That night I slept like a puppy.
I know this wasn’t the last time I will be in trouble with stain. I just hope I have a loooong break before my next, so I can recover from this one.
Here is what I used.
Legs: Ben Moore Brown Sugar, glazed with Minwax Dark Walnut stain
Top: General Finishes Antique Walnut
Sealant: Minwax Polyurethane spray
Have you had many nightmare projects?