>> Sunday, August 24, 2008
This is how the pieces looked after scrubbing off the Remover and letting it dry. So the next step was to sand a little bit and get them smooth and completely bare. I used a medium sandpaper then finished with 220 - which is very fine.
This is how they looked when I finished the sanding.
I couldn't find my tack cloth so I just barely misted some paper towels with water to wipe off the dust - since they would be drying overnight anyway. These are the boards ready to stain this morning:
I used Benjamin Moore stain in a colour recommended by the local shop. I just took in one of the small boards and he picked the colour: Royal Mahogany. He had a leaflet of sample stains but I decided to just skip agonizing over the exact colour and trust him.
This stage is fun and easy, I used an old sock and some of those white latex gloves to protect my hands. And it's very gratifying to see the pale dry wood suddenly take on a rich colour.
I was worried it was a little too dark - and of course when it dries it looks a little dull. Here are the boards with their stain and ready for varnish:
So the final step of course is the varnish. I used some polyurethane I already had handy in the shed.
And it made all the difference. It brings out the grain which seemed dulled by the stain, and the glossiness makes the colours glow a bit more and look so much better. The best part is it turned out to be a perfect match to the original finish on the rest of the cabinet!
It's drying now and tomorrow I'm going to do another sand and coat of varnish, then I can show the finished cabinet. I also recovered the bench with new fabric... that was the easiest bit.