My original plan was to paint this little table black – another display prop for Audrey Would! This turned into a re-staining project instead. I’ve never really tackled staining anything on my own and will admit I was a bit nervous.
From what I’ve read I know I should have stripped the old stain off first, but there were some pretty deep water stains to overcome so I went straight to sanding.
If you want a great tutorial with some biodegradable product options for stripping old stain, check out my friend Shauna’s post here.
The sanding went fairly well and I was able to remove most signs of the water damage. I was left with the raw wood of the table looking like this:
After wiping away the sanding dust I applied Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner with a foam brush. This conditioner penetrates the wood to help ensure an even stain, and I chose to use this because of the pre-existing water stains.
Because I wasn’t 100% sure of the wood (I think it’s Mahogany), and I wanted to reinforce the table’s Mid Century Modern roots, I chose Minwax ‘Gunstock 231’ for the stain colour. This stain has the orangey-red teak feel without being too strong in either direction.
I also applied the stain with a foam brush and then wiped it away with a lint-free cloth. I am so glad I used the conditioner first as the wood really soaked the stain up. Here you can see the stain applied to the shelf, legs and end pieces. The side pieces hadn’t yet been stained, and yes, I panicked at the bright orange of the shelf at first!
Without the conditioner it would have been really hard to apply the stain evenly on this shelf. The darker sections you see in the shelf are actually the wood itself, not uneven stain. This shelf was really tricky to work with and I had to give some spots more layers of stain than others to get it looking even.
I think the legs are maybe a different type of wood than the rest of the table, because the grain of them is more porous and they took the stain to a darker colour than the rest. The shelf took the longest to dry of all the areas, but it also had more layers of stain applied than the rest. In the end I left the table alone for 2 days to fully dry before moving it into place.
To recap, here is the table ‘Before’:
And ‘After’ (without the glass because the stain was still not fully dry in spots):
I almost left this project too close to the wire. You see, we hosted a cocktail party on Saturday night and I wanted the table ready in time, which it was but with no days to spare!
In the end I’m happy with how this table came out – it isn’t actually as orange as it looks here. What I feel good about is having honoured the roots of this little piece rather than painting it my go-to black.
New sofas are next. They’re on the way, but had no chance to join this party. They won’t be here for another month. In the meantime we borrowed our daughter’s to replace the milk crates for a place to sit 😉
How about you? Have you stained anything like this, and if you have what are your tips? What do you use for a finish?
Thanks for stopping by!
Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!