Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DIY change table

Wow, this post has been a long time coming... and I mean a VERY long time! I love love love the spring/summer months because it means yard sales and DIY projects. I just realized, okay maybe not JUST realized, that I have been slacking in posting our DIY projects. I guess I should share with all of you some of last year's projects before we get started on new projects this year!

First off was the change table we re-purposed for Baby D's room. Last year, my mother-in-law obtained a change table from a friend who was cleaning out the house and whose children had now outgrown it. The change table was made of sturdy maple and was handmade. It was a nice piece of furniture but didn't quite fit in with the decor for Baby D's room. I loved the size and structure of the piece, I knew all it would take was a little face-lift and it would fit in perfectly.

The hubby got the sander out and got started on our little project. This is the first time we tackled a project like this and boy, did we learn a few things.

Here is a look at the bad boy before we got started...
First, we wiped down the table with a damp cloth to get all the dust and dirt that had accumulated over the past several months while stored in our garage. Once all the crud was off, we let the table dry for an hour or so to make sure all the moisture had disappeared.
The hubby, armed with his hand sander, started the sanding process with 80 medium grit sandpaper to remove any defects and score the finish. There were a few spots that we did by hand, but mostly by electric sander.
We then switched to 120 grit to smooth out the surface prior to staining.
You can see evidence in this picture of a lesson learned, always sand in the direction of the grain - you can see here where the hubby moved diagonally and in circles which scored the wood and was very difficult to hide

Lesson learned #2 - a water-based stain will not uniformly stain wood that previously had a finish. Notice under the flower where lack of sanding prevented the stain from setting. We didn't have the guts to use chemicals or the energy to sand down to wood, so we switched to an oil-based stain for subsequent coats. As we were already behind, we opted to save time and use a combination stain and finish (Minwax® PolyShades® One-Step Stain & Finishes)
Lesson learned #3: don't try to fight gravity, it will win - applying too thick a layer of stain on a vertical surface resulted in a run that was not easy to correct - notice an example of this just above the ledge. Curved and intricate details were the most difficult to avoid running. Suggestion - do not paint a surface while vertical, let the coat dry, then lie the table on it's side/back/front and stain horizontal surfaces.
We lightly rubbed down the table with steel wool between coats of stain
It took three coats of stain to achieve a depth of colour that matched the crib
The finished product
The hubby and I learned quite a few lessons but we both agree it was totally worth the effort. I picked up a change pad and added two baskets at the bottom for storage. It fits nicely into Baby D's room. Pin It

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