In some ways this is a continuation of an earlier post about our adorable Kitchen/Dining room table we sold to a cute new expecting mom. Well, that same mom contacted us about a week later and said she had found chairs she would like to have stained to match the top of her new kitchen table. My first thought was “No Problem! That’ll be EASY!”. So I did what I love to do most…I signed my husband Chris up for the job.
After carefully staining the chairs in a beautiful Kona (chocolate) yummy color to match the table top,
Chris ran out to buy his favorite polyurethane product Minwax-Satin Polyurethane Fast Drying Spray. He came home and immediately sprayed those suckers down and waited for them to dry! He just knew he was done with the chairs and they were on their way to their new home!!!
So I called our customer and she came right over to pick them up. I sat them out in our dining room, which has a huge window and brings in a ton of light, and I waited for her to arrive. As I glanced back at the chairs, I noticed that the light was making the chairs appear cloudy and milky! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I can’t send these home with our trusting customer looking like this!!! Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t sell anything that I can’t proudly put our Reclaimed Karma stamp of approval on! Call me a perfectionist…but that’s just how it is! I had to tell her it would be a few more days, and that she would have to make her way home once again without her chairs.
Back to the drawing board we went. We spent some time that night researching online how to finish furniture with polyurethane and not have a “milky/cloudy” finish. We decided that maybe our satin poly spray was the problem with this specific piece and decided to try the more detailed, time consuming way called…a can of high gloss polyurethane and a paint brush. 🙂
After carefully painting on another good layer of polyurethane and letting it dry for most of the next day, we knew we had found the answer. They were looking awesome!
The next morning, I went into our work room to check on these infamous chairs and they still were looking beautiful. The color was deep and rich, the shine was clear as day…but when I went to touch them, they felt gritty and rough.
Here we go again!!! Back to my good friend “google” I went. What the heck were we going to do? We can’t hand our work back to the customer and have it feeling like sand paper. I found out quickly that many people have problems with staining their projects. From the stain having brush strokes, to the finish coming out cloudy/milky, to the polyurethane drying gritty and rough. It was normal!
One more trip to the hardware store to pick up:
1. Steel Wool (you could also use a VERY FINE GRIT Sand Paper 400-600 or even paper from a paper bag)
2. Buffing Towels
I started with sanding every inch of the chairs. WARNING, when you do this, it will look dusty and cloudy and will look like you are ruining the poly top shine, but that’s why you have your buffing cloth. After I sanded down my entire piece of furniture, I went back over it with my buffing towel and buffed the shine right back into the finish. When I was done, the chairs were as smooth as a baby’s bottom and they shined like the sun!!! Even I was impressed!
Long story short :-)…Staining Aint Easy Baby!!! If you know that it’s going to be a long detailed process when you walk into it, and you are prepared with the right tools from the start and prepared to take your time to do it right, you’ll be ok!
“For more information on any of our pieces or to have a piece custom reclaimed for you please send us a note”