October 24, 2011

#110- Part 2 The Nightstands are Finished

Last week I shared with you the nightstands I built for our Master Bedroom, and now, after many evenings of sanding, staining and polying, I can finally show you the finished product.
But not just yet, first I'm going to make you sit through my rambling.  I still had leftover stain from Bath Crashers, so all I had to do was wipe that on.  I put on some plastic gloves, wiped on the stain with a clean cloth in the direction of the grain, and after about 15 minutes came back with a new clean cloth to wipe off any access. 

Not rocket science, but time consuming.  Especially since I needed to stain each piece 3 times in order to get the stain dark enough.
After 3 nights of staining a coat a night, it was time to poly.  I went against my usually 10 rules for applying polyurethane, and instead when with a oil based Minwax that we had left over in the house.

I used a foam brush because the interwebs said that this brush allows the least amount of bubbles.  I found that to be true as long as I didn't get the brush too wet.

One benefit of using oil based, is that itdidn't dry nearly as fast, so it wasn't as difficult to avoid brush strokes.  The real trick though was loading up the garage with all sorts of light at different heights and angles so I could see clearly where I had polyed, if it was thick, thin, bubbly, etc...
Yep, a little bit of a mess there.
 Between each coat I lightly sanded with 320 grit sandpaper, and then wiped the piece with a tacky cloth to get it free of dust. 

 I did three full coats on the pieces to avoid any water stains or damage down the road.  (The Hubs has an obsession with having a full glass of water on his nightstand every night just in case he gets thirsty.  When the alarm goes off in the morning, it's more likely that water gets dumped everywhere.   Awesome.)

It was all looking pretty good, but I was a little bummed that the finish felt just a little bumpy, and not glossy smooth.  So I decided to try a trick I read about, which is to rub down the poly finish with #0000 steel wool (that's not an error, #0000 is how they label it), wipe off the dust, and then rub the piece with a finishing paste.  You can rub the paste on with a cheese cloth, let it dry for about 10-15 minutes, and then buff it shiny with a clean cloth.  The wax not only makes it shine, but it fills in and evens out any groves in the finish to make it super smooth.

Yep.  That. Just. Happened.

 What, those lamps? They were an incredible deal at Home Goods for just $29 each.  Not only do they add a little sparkle, and a little fun animal print, but a nice cream/tan color that we're hoping to introduce into the room a little more.

Not bad what a little furniture can do, huh?

We've still got some work to do up here, but I'm happy with where we've come in the month or so since we moved up here. What do you guys think?  Coming together?  Anyone else do any staining lately?  Finishing woodworking projects is always the hardest part.
PS- Check out Part 1 of the Nightstand building project here.


  1. The lamps are perfect! They glam up the space a lot!

  2. Those nightstands look amazing!!! You must be thrilled! Those lamps are great... gotta love Homegoods!

  3. Nice! I've got some catching up to do here. Even though we have a contractor running our reno, these last few weeks have been exhausting.

  4. they look fantastic! look at that natural light in your bedroom! holy lucky! & the lamps! i want glass/crystal lamps so badly but i don't think my hubby would like them. doesn't seem to be his style :)