December 19, 2011

#180- Part 2 The Eight Day Stain Saga

Remember when I thought it would be a great idea to take the cash and build the closet doors myself?  I guess I never really thought it would be easy, but I don't think I thought it would take this long.  If you remember, first I built the door frames, and then I removed the glass panels so that I could stain them.

These guys are pretty big, two at roughly 8' tall by 3 feet wide, and two more at 8' tall by 2' wide.  Laid in a row they fill an entire stall of our garage.   I rubbed on the first coat of stain with a clean, dry rag.  In order to match the rest of the furniture in the bedroom, I used the Bath Crasher's leftover stain, which I also used on our headboard and the nightstands that I built for the room.  (Lucky for me they left a whole gallon behind!)  The first coat looked like me after a long run though- a hot, splotchy mess.

This is where things got a bit frustrating.  I have to wait 4-6 hours after applying each coat of stain to let it dry, and since I work full time everyday, that basically meant I only had time to apply one coat each day. 

You can see that coat #2 made it darker (above), but if you look up close in this photo below, it's still pretty light.

Three coats, and three days later I turned over the frames to stain the back side, and that's when I realized my big mistake. 

ahhh man.....
By staining these guys laying flat on the plastic, with nothing propping them up underneath, The extra stain on the plastic sheet got under my frame and stained the underside in a splotchy mess.

My name is Erin and I'm a big dummy.

So before I could stain this side, I had to sand down the bottom of all four of my frames so that I could get an even stain coat.  More wasted time ensued...

And on day seven, after 3 coats on the front, and 3 coats on the back, I flipped them all back over to the front.

And I was ticked. 

Because as much as I wanted to move on to the poly, I knew I would kick myself if I didn't take the time to make them darker and add just one more coat of stain.  My impatient side and Type A perfectionist side litterally had a mini bi-polar battle within my head, before I finally gave in and added one more coat.  It's just one more day, and I'll regret it forever if I didn't.

The extra coat was totally worth it.  It's hard to tell, but the frame in the front has the forth coat on it, and the back two don't.  If you don't see it, lie to me.  Please.

Then it was finally time for poly.  I used this technique to apply the oil based poly, just like on our nightstands.  This is where I was doing a little happy jig in the garage, because the poly takes the flat, matte looking finish of the stain, and brightens up all the color and really brings out the wood grain.

Isn't she purdy?

Poly on the left, just stain on the right.
Unfortunately, because of the cold temperatures out in my garage, the poly is taking a long time to dry.  A really long time.  In fact, I'm a bit concerned... but I'm trying not to freak out just yet.

It's going to be a busy week with last minute holiday shopping and planning, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have to work on these bad guys and blog about them, but you know I'll share all the details with you as soon as I can.  Stay tuned...


  1. I think you need to take a break :)

  2. I can definitely see the difference in the coats and think that extra one was the right choice. Great job so far!

  3. You were right to stain one more time.