Some stains are good. Some stains are bad. For example, the peanut butter glob that wound up on the front of my work skirt the other day and left a stain was bad. And what made it worse was that I hadn’t eaten anything that had peanut butter on it…which means it was someone else’s peanut butter greasing up my skirt…ew.
But enough of that grossness. A good kind of stain is what Clarice and I have going for this bad boy:
This gem is actually something Clarice picked up at the annual church yard sale last September for a meager $12. (Yep – same one where I scored the carb cabinet this year!) It brought thoughts of extra seating and Pottery Barn and coffee tabledom all at once, so she snagged it. Unfortunately, it’s had a rough year. (Ignoring the Tostitos, of course, which – in my book – go under the “good year” category.) You can’t really tell here, but it actually had a slightly avocado coloring to it.
Poor Mr. Bench was left out in the rain once. Then twice. Then however many times it rained before said leaver thought to bring it in again. (FYI – it wasn’t Clarice who left it outside.) So now his former glory has been diminished slightly, but we’ve got just the solution to return him to his finest self. Enter: Ebony.
To hammer it home – again – we’re looking at dark woods for the living room. We’re also looking at using as much of what we have already. I’m also looking at TVs. And TV stands. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Bench + stain + TV = luscious ebony bench-turned-TV-stand. But considering I haven’t bought said TV yet, let’s just stick with the staining for now. One day at a time.
To start, we sanded down the whole bench using medium grit sandpaper to get rid of any paint left on it. And, yes. We did this all inside. But don’t worry – it’s my old apartment. And there are lots of windows and doors. And it was pouring, thanks to a little lady folks called Irene. So outside wasn’t an option anyway.
I sanded the top of the bench with Pops’ electric sander but had to go at the round legs by hand. Which was probably for the best because the vibration of the hand sander always makes my hands go tingly. Which I don’t like.
Then I went over the whole thing with a tack cloth to get rid of any excess dust and applied the first coat of stain. Having read up on the process of staining (and talking to dear old Dad and a few other I-call-them experts), I used a rag to apply a layer of stain and then quickly went back over it to wipe up any extra residue. As we opted for the darkest, richest stain we could find, you could see the major improvement after the first coat alone.
We decided to do two coats of stain just to ensure all over saturation. The second coat of stain didn’t go on until two days later due to scheduling issues, and we added the first layer of poly two days after that – also inside.
Then I went over the whole bench with 220 grit sandpaper by hand to rough up the first coat and give the second coat something to adhere to. It is recommended to apply at least two coats of polyurethane to ensure a lasting finish. Which we are hoping for because we’re in love and thoughts of extra seating and Pottery Barn and coffee tabledom are coming back full force all over again. At least as potential in the long run.
For now, though, I’m thinking it will look just lovely under a 40” flat screen. Don’t you? Good. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have a skirt to pick up from the dry cleaner. And hope all peanutbuttery traces have been removed. Bad stain.