Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's about damn time

Back in the old days things like "beer-bong" or "beer pong" were considered excuse enough to enjoy some cold frosty sleepy soda. But, as I grow older I am always looking for ways to class up my inclination for zesty adult beverages. And in that vain our weekend all started with the purchase of this swwwwweet liquor cabinet (or "hutch" if you ask Tina).

We found this sweet little number at a local second hand store for ~600$ less than the new price at Pottery Barn.

Then, we decided that we should also find an entry table and try to finish it in to match. Our local furniture store had just the ticket... an unfinished entry table at a reasonable price. It's about damn time I learned the manly craft of finishing wood.

After picking up the table, we headed over to Daly's paint store to get some help on finishing this the table to match the "hutch". They lined us up with a berry aniline dye (water based dye for good penetration into dense woods), a "java bean" oil based stain, and a satin finish polyurethane. We also purchased expensive brushes since the PU can be hard to apply without brush marks if you use cheap ones.

The aniline would give us some red highlights, the java bean would give us the main brown tone, and the PU would make a good protective finish coat.

Okay, first things first. Ever had your rubber gloves come out of their box all pressed together like this:

Here is an innovative method to open fingers of the glove up. I'm either a genius, or I miss playing with balloons as a kid.

Okay, now that the hand prophylactics are in place, time to apply the aniline dye... wow, this stuff is really pretty!

Now, you have to let the aniline dye dry for 4 hours before applying the java bean stain. Lucky, I have a tip to achieve a "quick dry time". Only 6-7 of these and 4 hours only feels like 2.

Okay, let's kick that buzz into overdrive with some java bean oil based stain. This stuff stinks to high hell. Good to do it in a well ventilated work space (or in our case, the kitchen).

Okay, the stain is applied... time to wipe of the excess and let it dry completely before sealing with the PU.

So, Sunday rolls around and it is time to finish this project off. The rest should be easy right? Just a few coats of PU and "call'r dun".

So, I unwrap our fancy new brushes and start applying the PU. Wow.. this is not going well... there are tons and tons of bubbles in the PU coat. This stuff, right out of the can, is as thick as cold honey. Even after a second attempt, the surface dries very rough and ugly:

Click to enlarge and see the bumps in the reflection.

So... after trying everything, I still can't get the PU to cooperate. I ask everyone I know, that have worked with PU (thanks RWS!), and none of the tricks I learn seem to fix my ugly Polyurethane issue.

Long story short, it turned out to be a defect can of Polyurethane from Daly's. What beginners luck eh??

So, I sanded down the crappy surfaces as much as possible and finished the project with a can of Verathane. The results were spectacular.

Thanks to the defective PU product from Dalys, this project took over 4 days. Glad to finally have it finished.

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