Monday, March 19, 2012

Stripping, Sanding, and Staining

I got the bright idea that I wanted to stain the end tables in my spare bedroom a darker color.  They belonged to Chris's grandmother and I felt bad about painting them.  I figured it couldn't be that hard to refinish them.  I knew that there was a lot of lacquer on them because anything that I put on them was stuck to the tables!  So off to Lowe's I went for some supplies to do my project.  The guy at Lowe's didn't offer me much help other than showing me where all the stuff was.  But I get most everything I needed and headed home to start stripping the end tables.
Chris's grandmother put something on the bottom and it was still attached to the end tables from all the lacquer!
I had no clue how disgusting stripping wood would be!  It also burns really bad if it touches your skin.  Thankfully the guy at Lowe's at least told me to wear gloves.  I think I had to apply the stripper on four times to get the majority of the lacquer and stain off.  After I got most of that off it was on to sanding.  If I thought stripping was bad sanding by hand isn't any fun at all!  I hand sanded one end table for five hours and then Chris decided it was time to buy a hand sander.
This is what it looked like after two coats of stripper.
After four coats of stripper and the beginning stage of sanding.
This is what it looked like after I got finished hand sanding for five hours.
Thankfully Chris did the rest of the work which included finishing sanding and staining them.  Once they finished drying he just had to put the polyurethane on.  I now know that I never want to work in the woodworking business!  I thought this project would take a week but it ended up taking almost two weeks to complete but I do love how they turned out.
Finally getting to stain them!!
The first coat of stain.  I think Chris put two coats on them.
Waiting for the polyurethane to dry.
The finished product looks great!
I think that they look great in the room.
Chris also learned NEVER to put anything in the washing machine that has stain on it.  I was sick and Chris was asking me if I had anything that needed to be bleached.  I told him that I didn't and wondered what he was doing.  I walked past the laundry room and noticed that it smelled like paint.  I went to bed and the next thing I hear is Chris saying oh my gosh how do I clean the washing machine???  I asked why and he said that he had put the rags that he used to stain the end tables into the washing machine because the guy at Lowe's told him they were washable.  He told me NOT to look at the washing machine until he got it cleaned.  Thankfully he got it clean with paint thinner and washing several loads of bleach through it.
Chris told me not to look at the washing machine.  I freaked out when I eventually saw it!  I'm just glad that he get it all off and that it still works.

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