Since this was a long weekend I decided that it was about time I worked on my wooden reel coffee table. Its long over due considering I started sanding it four months ago! The thing is that it wont even take me very long to finish but I realized I'm a huge procrastinator. 

Even though the idea of relaxing on the sofa is more appealing, its very important that this project gets completed as I'm tired of using our poor excuse for a coffee table that has been broken and wobbly for months. So yesterday I finally forced myself to visit the local Rona and collect some staining supplies. In my basket there was Varathane brand water based stain in dark walnut, satin protective water based clear coat, lint free staining cloths, stir sticks, gloves and very fine grit sand paper.

There are a couple reasons why I chose water based stain over oil based products. One, the smell is quite a bit lighter and less nauseating. I could comfortably stain the table inside without an open window and my nose didn't hurt. Two, the clean up is super simple and easy. Warm water and soap is all you need whereas oil based products require paint thinner or mineral spirits to remove it from your skin which can be incredibly drying and toxic. Three, while I am no professional I do find that water based products work just as good as oil. While using stain of any kind isn't incredibly hard there are a couple tips to follow to achieve a beautifully finished product.

Staining Tips

  • Prep your surface by sanding down to bare wood. Stain wont soak into the wood if its coated in paint or a protective coating.
  • Remove dirt, dust or sanding particles prior to staining with tack cloth.
  • Use wood conditioner to reduce blotches. I didn't use this as my goal was to produce a rustic, aged and blotchy appearance.
  • Never shake the can of stain as this can cause bubbles. Carefully stir instead.
  • Transfer a small portion of stain to another container as to not to contaminate the entire can with particles or dust.
  • Wear gloves as it can get messy and possibly stain your skin.
  • Stir the stain occasionally during use as pigments will settle.
  • Use lint free rags or staining pads.
  • Work in small sections and keep edges wet. This will reduce the chances of seeing an edge or stain line.
  • Sand lightly with a very fine grit sandpaper in-between coats. Wood grain naturally rises when expose to moisture (stain) which can produce an unappealing surface. This raised grain is easily removed with sandpaper.
  • Its recommended that you apply two coats of stain but stop at one if you are happy with the way it looks. You could always add more layers to darken the appearance.

Just after one coat of stain the reel is already taking on a very aged appearance. You can see the center spindle is untouched and the bottom and top have a warm wooden appearance. I am so in love with it!

One coat completed. I just need to find a way to get inside all of the cracks and knots without making a huge mess.

Happy Staining!

AuthorCamille Pacori