August 27, 2013

staining in the kitchen

I've had a hard time getting myself to take on any project that requires setup and cleanup. That's pretty much any project on our to-do list. So I figured doing something easy might motivate me just a little.

Staining the dining room to kitchen threshold is as simple as it gets, you rub the stain on, wait 8 hours, rub some more on, wait another 8 hours, and then polyurethane it and done. Doing the staining is the easy part, the hard part is choosing the correct stain and polyurethane. I thought I had the perfect color, but it turned out a little too light, and I thought the clear coat needed to be semi-glossy, but it should have been more glossy. Oh well, the deed is done and the threshold is checked off the list.

Supplies:
- screwdriver to open can
- hammer to close can
- sand paper
- rags to wipe stain on
- gloves
- paint brush
- paint thinner to clean brush (which isn't pictured here)
- stain and polyurethane



Next came our small Ikea kitchen island. It's made out of pine, which I found out after some research isn't the best wood to stain because it doesn't absorb it evenly, but I did it anyway. I chose a dark stain because I liked the idea of having a dark kitchen island against the lighter cabinets. Well, this project turned out to be a lot more messy than staining the threshold. I also skipped the very important step of sanding the thing down, since I thought it felt smooth enough. I'm not a carpenter for sure. It was a lot of work because of all the smaller pieces but in the end it turned out nicely. I like the color variation and it looks a little rustic, although I am bummed that I didn't sand it down first, it would be a lot smoother. You live and you learn.

On the bright side, I did consider getting a handmade island from Etsy, but ended up paying a lot less for an island just as cute.

Ikea Bekvam kitchen cart $60 + Lowe's staining supplies $20 = $80
Etsy prices for similar kitchen carts = $300 to $800

Supplies:
- screwdriver to open can
- hammer to close can
- sand paper (which I didn't use)
- rags to wipe stain on
- gloves (used heavy duty for the dark stain because latex gloves didn't cut it)
- paint brush
- paint thinner to clean brush
- stain and polyurethane

 I thought a plastic bag would be enough protection for the floor, but it turned out it wasn't. The dark stain bled through the bag onto the tile floor, but we were able to get it out with water and a 'magic eraser'. Next time I'm painting or staining, I'll have to cover the floor with a few more bags.

In the end, everything worked out and I love our little kitchen island/cart! Plus, it was good practice for when I re-stain our banister and porch ceiling ...

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