For part 1, click here
I wanted a stain that was simple to use. After some research I decided to try Varathane’s Premium Wood Stain Gel in “Golden Pecan”, a thicker stain which avoids dripping, and therefore less cleanup. It also promised a quick dry time, which was the selling point for me. The first bottle went well, while there were a few flakes in the gel, they sanded out well enough, and the resulting colour was decently even. The second bottle was a disaster though, the oil having separated in the tube, so for the first third of the tube I was squeezing out clumps of pigment with huge amounts of oily residue. No amount of shaking or massaging of the tube would incorporate the stain smoothly. It eventually got better, but it was frustrating! Also, the tube was a plastic tube, not an aluminum one, which made squeezing out the last of the stain very difficult and tiring for the hands. I don’t think I’ll be using this formula ever again. 😦 I might try Minwax’s gel stain, as it comes out of a tin, another time. For this project, though, the colour was teak-ish colour, which was what I was going for so that was good.
Next the polyurethane varnish–This was a lot easier and I loved that I could just use a rag to apply. I used an old cut up t-shirt, and some plastic gloves to protect my hands, and each coat took about 30 minutes to apply. Super easy 🙂 I put three coats on the fronts of the drawers, and two coats for the rest of it. Mounting the shelves into the cabinets was a little tricky–I needed to make sure there was enough clearance on each side to allow space for the hinges and doors, which came out a fair ways. I chose to mount the slides onto 2x4s before installing them. My husband helped me put them in, bless his heart 🙂
All in all, this project took me a couple of weeks to complete, putting in an hour here and there when I had the time. I think it looks great and it fits all our stuff with room to spare!
As this is really my first wood project ever, I learned a few lessons:
- Sand, Sand, Sand. I’m going to look into getting a simple little electric palm sander–it really polishes up the project and helps for smooth application of stain and varnish to sand thoroughly first. I may even consider sanding before assembling.
- Stain pieces before assembling. I think it makes it easier than trying to put stain into the tight corners. I had a hard time getting an even coat of stain in the inside corners, and they ended up looking darker and blotchier than the rest of the surface. Good thing you can’t really see the inside once the cds and dvds are all in.
I am so glad I did this–I have hopes to eventually build a new tv stand, and this was a great introduction to working with wood and stains. And now all our music and movies have a nice home to live in 🙂 Thanks for reading!