After this weekend, I'm almost ready for the week!
I started off by suddenly deciding Friday morning that I wanted to refinish our aging coffee table. It was a $40 Craigslist find in St. Louis, but it has served us well and I figure I won't feel too bad if the refinish doesn't turn out that great. Well, as with most things, i've found out recently, there is definitely a learning curve.
The first part was fun; I enjoyed sanding the heck out the table. Sometimes it's very nice to have a rather mundane physical task to perform to free up the rest of your mind, much like the way I play minesweeper while watching lectures online (seriously, I retain information waaaay better). Started with 120 grit and worked up all the way to 220. The table was gorgeous at this point, the wood looked nice and fresh, no scratches or anything and man, after the fine sandpapering...it feels amazing!
The second part, however, was a bit more challenging. We were trying to re-stain it to the original dark mahogany color it had been. The first two coats of stain went fine, I applied the stain and then wiped off the excess to even the color out. But I was still so far from the dark color that I wanted that on the third round I decided to leave a bit more of the stain on and not wipe back off 90% of it. Bad move. Haste makes waste. Slow and steady wins the race. Whatever idiom you'd prefer.
I got about halfway through the coat with pretty even results, but then got an area that was a little too dark. I tried to even it out with the brush but no luck. And the more I tried, the worse it looked. By this point I decided I should cut my losses and try to wipe off the stain like I had previously done.... except by now it was starting to dry. ARghhh... And then some would come off but not all. When I thought things couldn't get worse, the rag I was using was getting too sticky and not easy to use so I grabbed an old t-shirt...a white t-shirt. I figure it should be relatively lint free being so old. Nice try.
This is why people buy coasters.
I'll have to post tomorrow about the painting (which went considerably better).