Redoing furniture has been on my life list for I think, like, ten years? (When I was very little I thought it would be really cool when I would someday be able to say things like “that happened fifteen years ago” or “we’ve known each other for more than twenty years!” Actually it is kind of cool. I’ve been living and wanting and thinking for so long!
My lovely friend has been redoing her entire apartment in small DIY bits because she is bored, and she mentioned that I could perhaps do this as well, and possibly even very slightly more easily than she could, as I do not have a toddler. (I have two plants, though, soooo…) But I decided she’s right, I have time and opportunity and I should do an Exciting Project.
Back when I used to work at a publishing company that will remain unnamed, I spent an enormous amount of downtime reading design blogs, mostly about furniture restoration (Better After is my favorite). I have NO IDEA why I started doing this. I think it was in between reading food blogs. So anyway I had it vaguely in my head that I could redo my Jokkmokk in this style I really like, with a dark stained top and vintage-y looking green/blue legs.
So I spent the evening learning everything there is to know about stains and sanding and polyurethane and brushes and power sanders, and now I am an expert in everything. I also found this person to model my project after.
- Oil-based stain in “Honey” color. I got this partly because of the color and partly because of the name. It was between that and “Early American” and I was just like nooo early american noooooo.
- Water-based polyurethane. This is annoying because it’s weird to do oil-based stain and then water-based poly, but it seemed better based on how you’d be able to clean it?? And it’s better for the environment? And it dries faster, so weird stuff won’t get stuck in it while it’s drying. I dunno. I just have to let the stain dry for like three days before I can poly it.
- Two super fancy paintbrushes, one for oil-based and one for water-based things.
- Sandpaper in 60, 120, and 220 grit. I gave up on the power sander and am doing it by hand. I will make up a romantic story about how I did this on purpose to make a true connection with the wood and feel with my own hands the transformation from blah blah to blah blah.
Then I put down a drop cloth, put on my sunglasses because they are larger than my regular glasses, and put on two masks (they were used so I couldn’t use them to go outside, don’t worry) and sanded for like two hours.
Actually first I googled “how to sand” because I realized I had no idea how. I liked this guy very much, although I ended up sanding along the grain because I made some weird gouges when I tried to go diagonal.
Then I sanded for two hours.