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Monday, May 10, 2010

Hang It Up

One of my winter projects was to finish the bare wood coat rack we purchased on our vacation last year. I finally finished this long-procrastinated project, but then we were gone for a month, so I hadn't gotten around to posting the after pictures of this piece. I am really happy with how the staining and sealing came out, and I've learned the power of sanding when it comes to achieving a professional finish.

This is the first furniture piece that I have braved the staining process of, so one of the reasons that I put it off so long was that I was nervous about ruining the nice coat rack we had bought. :-) Does that ever happen to you? Your apprehensions about doing something cause you to procrastinate indefinitely? Yeah, me neither.

This project was pretty straightfoward. The piece was already sanded butter smooth, so when it came time to stain, I just wiped it all down with a damp rag, and loosely assembled everything so that nothing would stick together during the stain. Here's what the raw wood piece looked like.

I set the rack on a garbage bag to protect the floor, and went about staining. I used the same concoction we've been using to match the existing woodwork in the house, so that the coat rack would coordinate with the other wood. The rack is made of parawood, not gumwood, oak or pine, so the color ended up having more red undertones than the trim in the house. So it goes, but it's not a perfect match.

After the stain had dried (and I gave it ample time to really dry) I started on the lacquer. For previous projects I've purchased clear spray lacquer, which is a little tricky to work with. But, I was working in the middle of winter, inside, so spraying wasn't an option. Instead, I bought a can of brush on lacquer, and the stuff worked like a charm. Three thin coats later, (over the course of a couple of days) the rack has a hard, smooth finish that looks professionally finished. The stuff does stink to high heaven though, so make sure you can throw open windows or work outside if you can. It's not even necessary to sand between coats, so this stuff is the easiest of easy. Then I just let everything cure up for another week or so before we started using the rack. I'm not sure that the week's worth of waiting was necessary, but I wanted to make sure that it was perfectly cured because I was working in less than ideal weather conditions.

Anyways, like I said, the finish came out like a charm, and I love how it looks. We're definitely "throw-it-on-a-hook" people, not "hang-it-on-a-hanger" people, so this works really well for us. :-) Here are the afters.

Oh, and just so you know, I never worry about getting stain on my hands when finishing any type of wood. Gloves really reduce your dexterity, and it is so easy to remove stain from your hands. When you are done staining, just grab a dollop of vegetable oil (or any other kind of oil) and pretend you are washing your hands. The oil will pick up all the stain. Then you can wash again with soap (to remove the oil) and you are back to normal! Easy peasy. :-) The stain will mess up your manicure though, so just keep that in mind. Here's the proof:

Some notes from this project:

  • I used rags to both apply the stain, and wipe it off. I use old T-shirts, sheets, whatever we have laying around, and then just toss them when I am done.

  • Make sure to stir your stain really well so that you get even coverage. Same thing applies for the lacquer.

  • I used cheap throwaway bristle brushes from the home improvement store (each about a dollar) for applying the lacquer. I used a fresh one for each coat as I didn't want to mess up the finish. The only thing that really matters is that you use a clean, natural bristle brush.

Linked to Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on The Porch and

I Made it Without My Hubby @ Shanty2Chic

DIY Day @ A Soft Place to Land

Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog

Furniture Feature Friday @ Mustard Seed Creations


Kim@NewlyWoodwards May 10, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

This looks awesome. Perfect for that room. I've never stained anything. It's totally on my bucket list. =)

Jane F @ Atticmag May 14, 2010 at 4:58 AM  

Great restoration job. Worth the hand-scrubbing I'd say.

Jane F

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