Dining Room

Back To The Dining Table…Again

Well…*sigh*. Yes, I’m redoing my dining table again. If you’re keeping count, this will be #4. 😀

The issue I have with this table isn’t the style. It’s a farmhouse style table, and I love farmhouse tables. It’s what I want for my dining room. So scrapping this table and buying a new one in a different style won’t solve the problem.

My issue is the finish. If you’ll remember, I made this table using the top from a table that I purchased for dirt cheap on Ebay.

dining table and chairs purchased on Ebay - 1

And then I added a new apron and legs to basically create a whole new table. You can see that project here.

dining table remake - from trestle table to farmhouse table - 18

And then I sabotaged my whole project. This is where things went off the rails. I had wanted my table to look something like this…

Harvest Dining Table in waxed pine from Williams SonomaHarvest Dining Table from Williams Sonoma

…but perhaps with a medium-toned stain on it instead of the yellowish look of that table.

Something more like this…

Dining Room

…but less of an ashy color and more of a warm brown.

How many times have I had a plan in my mind, but then decided to try something else instead? And how many times has that ever worked out for me? Not many. I almost always revert back to my original plan. The important question here is…when will I learn? 😀 Probably never. I’m pretty stubborn like that.

So rather than proceed with my vision, I went a different direction. I had a good reason. (I always think I have a good reason for veering off path.) My reason was that I was working with two different woods — the pine of the apron and legs, and then the mystery wood on the table top — and the chances of me being able to stain the two woods to look exactly alike were probably slim to none. So I didn’t even try.

And I could kick myself for not even giving it a good try! What’s the harm in trying?! The worst thing that could have happened is that it wouldn’t have worked out, and I’d have to move to Plan B. But then at least I’d know for sure that Plan A wouldn’t work.

But as it stands now, I have no idea of Plan A would have worked, because I didn’t even try. I skipped right over Plan A, and went directly to Plan B…

diy farmhouse dining table - stained top with dark green apron and legs - 1

…and then Plan C…

dining table and chairs progress - black farmhouse table with green cane back chairs

That fact is that I could have painted that base every color under the sun and it wouldn’t have made me like it, because it was the table top that really disappointed me. No matter what stain I used, it turned orange.

So I moved on to a completely painted table with Plan D…

white and gold farmhouse table - 1

And as soon as I moved that Plan D table into the dining room on Monday after the floors were good and dry, I just knew it wouldn’t work. I didn’t even bother to get a good picture of it, because there just wasn’t a chance.

dining table refinish - 1

That’s just way too much white in that room, and I’m a big believer that every room needs some natural/stained wood to add warmth. Plus, the last thing that this room needs is more rectangles, so the detail on the table top wasn’t working for me at all.

So without even giving it a second thought, I got out the paint stripper and other supplies, and stripped one side of the table top. But I really had no idea where to go from there. I actually really liked the bare wood, and thought I could just seal it. I tried an oil-based polyurethane, and it turned it orange. (That’s been my biggest issue with this table top from the beginning. Whatever wood this is turns orange with every stain and finish I’ve tried, with the exception of just painting it.)

Then I tried water-based poly, since that’s supposed to keep the natural color. It also turned it orange. You can see that on the bottom left corner of the table top on the photo below. Then I tried the vinegar/steel wool mixture, and it turned it an awful ashy gray color with purple undertones. This picture actually makes it look about ten times better than it looks in person.

dining table refinish - 2

But even if any of those had worked on the table top — the vinegar/steel wool, the oil-based poly, or the water-based poly — they wouldn’t have worked the same on the pine apron and legs. So I was kind of right back where I started.

So I headed to Home Depot one last time to peruse all of the stain products, and I came home with two different products. One was Minwax Polyshades, which is evidently a surface treatment (as opposed to a penetrating stain) that is a mixture of stain and poly in one step. I tried that many years ago when it first came out, and wasn’t really impressed. I remember that it dried too quickly and left all kinds of brush strokes and uneven finishes. Of course, it’s possible that the formula has been greatly improved since it first came out, but I still wasn’t too excited about using it.

The second thing I got was Minwax Gel Stain in the Hickory finish. I’ve also used gel stain a few times, but it’s been many years. It’s never been one of my favorite products, but since I’ve had no success with any penetrating stains on this table top, I had nothing to lose. And if I’m going to get this mystery wood top and the pine base to look the same, a gel stain is probably my best bet.

So I tried a small part of the top, and I think it might work! The color is actually really beautiful, and not a bit of that ugly orange in sight!

dining table refinish - 3

Now I’m just crossing my fingers that it will work on the pine base and make the two woods look at least almost the same.

Do any of you have experience with gel stain? What do you think? Do you think it’ll work to make these two woods look uniform?

If not, it might be time for me to admit defeat, and turn this table over to a professional to get the finish I want. But I will give it this one last try. 🙂



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55 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa
    May 25, 2016 at 9:04 am

    LOL! I’m sure you’re frustrated, but the rest of us appreciate the honesty! Keep at it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Vanessa D.
    May 25, 2016 at 9:07 am

    For what it’s worth I thought the table looked great in every single color you’ve done it but I see exactly what you mean about it working in your room. I hope the gel stain works out for you – the color on the table top is really nice – I don’t care for orange or yellow tones in wood either so I appreciate your frustration.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeanne
    May 25, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I have used General Finishes gel stains and love them! I hope this works for you as I think the stained wood table will look awesome! If this doesn’t work– remember there is Craigslist and EBay 😢👍😀!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi C
      May 25, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Yes, General Finishes is supposed to have the best gel stain. I used it on a very rough looking coffee table just to even out the water stains on the top and it was so easy to work with, plus I think they have great colors. With basically 2 minutes of prep work it had my table looking 5x better than before.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rachel
    May 25, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I hate when I skip plan A! Can’t wait to see what you do.

    Ps that Polyshades is S$&t on anything you’re ever going to touch, scratches off and ends up looking horrid. Good luck on matching

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Justin
    May 25, 2016 at 9:29 am

    That’s pretty neat with the gel stain!

    I think you’re going to be unhappy no matter what you do to the legs. If those are pine, and with ends exposed through the turning process, they’re going to soak-up any stain unevenly and patchy. Unless, maybe, you can seal them somehow and use a stain over the sealer. Then, you might be able to control it somehow.

    I think if it were me, I’d buy an extra leg just to experiment on, rather than trying to sand the paint off those existing legs and potentially going back to paint. I’ve tried to sand spindled legs on a similar table and it was not easy. The pine wood is so soft that even hand-sanding, you end-up losing detail or making lumps in the detail.

    Then again, you’re way more patient than I am. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dale
    May 25, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Have faith!! I am familiar with your work and I know it will turn out exactly how you envision it!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Dale
      May 25, 2016 at 9:31 am

      If the legs don’t match, maybe paint them black with the wood table top?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lillian
    May 25, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I’m sorry you’re having that situation although, while it may be tough for you, for us it’s great because we’re over here learning from the different approaches (notice how I diplomatically refrained from saying mistakes/errors? 😉 oh heck with it, I consider you a friend by now, and I am nothing if not honest, (and quite often put my foot in my mouth honest xD type thing), so alright a leeetle mistake!

    But I’m loving it, not all the hard work that you have to do, but the process! I love how nothing daunts you and you have no qualms (well maybe just a few 🙂 about changing things until they suit you. Me, I’d leave it like that for like, oh, at least 2 or 3 years x*D

    *sigh* I have nothing to offer in the way of suggestion for the table though,sorry. But one thing I will tell you is that…please don’t hate me, please, sorry but I have/want to get it off my chest,maybe I shouldn’t but…the curtains, oh the curtainsssss….Every time I look at the pics, they just sort of jump out at me and, I dunno hit me in the gut or somewhere, I can’t, try as I might, I just can’t…

    Everything else, especially the painting, and those adorable Roman shades, loooove!

    Good luck with the table, I hoping/praying you hit on that exact look you want, cause it is kinda like the center piece of the room.

    Now I feel like trying my hand at that type painting too thanks! 🙂 *warm hugs*

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Terri
    May 25, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Yes, I gel stained all of the cabinetry in the lower part of my house and I love them. Went from 80’s yellow oak to a mocha. Great stuff. I hope this will do the trick for you!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Phyllis E
      May 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Terri–please tell me more about using gel stain over yellow oak!!Do you have to remove the finish (factory applied lacquer?) first or sand? Did you have to apply some sort of clear sealer over it afterwards? Any photos? thanks!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol
    May 25, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I like the wood table MUCH better than painted.
    Do you think that adding the rug was the game changer? All
    of a sudden the table is too light, because the rug is also light?..and now the wood table will be the perfect contrast of warmth:)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teri Tingley
    May 25, 2016 at 9:42 am

    The color you just achieved is beautiful and rich. My suggestion is to use a “soft wood conditioner” or similar product to seal the pine before you stain it. Sold by the wood stains. This will enhance your chances of matching the top and legs. Maybe you can try staining an “inner thigh” of the table leg so you don’t have as much work to redo it if you don’t like it.

    Love your posts as I learn so much from every one, even if it is about patience.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    May
    May 25, 2016 at 9:43 am

    You know, Kristi, you don’t have to apologize to us readers for redoing your projects over and over again. 🙂 Okay, maybe a few (and quite vocal) people will get annoyed that you can’t just “live and let live”, but I personally and wholeheartedly believe that the vast majority of your loyal readers simply want you to be happy with whatever you choose to do. Because the wise know that happiness doesn’t come from trying to make others happy, it comes from making you happy!

    I don’t comment often, and I’ll admit that your taste doesn’t always jibe with mine, but I support you in whatever you do, because it’s your house. Through your blog, you’ve invited us to share in on the experience as you makeover your house, but that certainly doesn’t give us readers the right to dictate how you make it over. It never ceases to astonish me how angry a few readers get when they don’t see you making over your house their way.

    Ultimately, the reason your blog is the only DIY blog I now follow is because you are a woman singlehandedly taking on a fixer-upper – which is incredibly inspiring and encouraging to a single and independent woman like myself. I love that you insist on attempting the vast majority of projects by yourself first, only calling in help when you really can’t figure out a way to do it alone. That shows me that I can do it by myself, too. (Frankly, even if I had a SO, I’m not sure I’d let him help me on my DIY projects – I’m way too particular about how exactly I want things and that would probably drive him up the wall! Better to just do things myself so I can get them exactly the way I want them to be, even if that means taking forever.)

    Anyway, moving on, have you considered General Finishes Gel Stain? I’ve never used it myself, but back when I was considering staining my cabinets, it seemed like a lot of bloggers raved about it. Granted, I don’t know if any of those bloggers were sponsored by the company (i.e., incentivized to be anything less than absolutely forthright), but if Minwax doesn’t work out, maybe you could try General Finishes? I understand big box stores don’t carry it so it’s slightly harder to source.

    Keep on trucking! 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Carla
      May 25, 2016 at 11:34 am

      You may want to follow DIY Diva also. Single woman now on a farm doing lots of remodeling by herself. She has blogged for years and even built a house. She and Kristi are both awesome, don’t tell me I can’t women.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Sydney
        May 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm

        How funny both this and the DIY Diva you mentioned have become almost the only design blogs I still read on any regular basis. Strong women doing things on their own and figuring it out.
        By the way Kristi, I’m more interested in how you plan on stripping those legs than the final outcome of the table. I don’t ever comment when I don’t like something because I always find that in the end you change course and end up in the best direction both for you and the look of the design. You have a great eye.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    May 25, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I’ve never cared for the look of polyshades but gel stains can be nice. Here are some good tips from Fine Woodworking magazine. From this article, I’d say the Olympic gel stain which is usually available at Lowe’s or Ace Hardware seems to be a little more consistant across woods. As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes a coat of shellac on the pine before staining can help minimize the grain.
    http://www.finewoodworking.com/FWNPDFfree/011158060.pdf

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca B
    May 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I don’t see the orange color in versions A and B. I think the stain looks pretty, and it looks like it matches the floors, from the pictures, at least. Could be the color on my computer screen, not the greatest. I like version D the least (white.) I do think the new color that you tried is the prettiest – a dark brown, but wood grain is showing through very nicely. I frankly think that the colored legs that you had, green or black, look nice. I sure hope you are able to get the stain to match though because it sounds like an all wood grain, no paint look is what you want. It may well be that a professional furniture re-finisher will tell you that it is impossible to get the stain to match on 2 different woods. Plus, imagine the cost. Suppose you pay $300 or more and are still unhappy? If you cant get the legs to match, couldn’t you keep the new stain color on the top and do the legs in green or black?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rebecca B
      May 25, 2016 at 9:57 am

      I made a mistake – plan C had nice black legs, it’s plan D that is all – white. And I love the pictures with Peeve, she is sooooo cute! She really likes lying on that table!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bobbie Hinman
    May 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I am so glad you are changing the table. Really thought the white and gold looked too grandma-ish, and I am 70. I liked the black table legs. But anything but the white and gold. I’ve not used min wax poly stain, but have mixed a stain in polyurethane , the darker you go the more the woods will look uniform.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mitzi
    May 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

    The lady who painted our house when we built used a process to get a stained look on our Masonite doors. She first painted the doors with an oil based paint, and then layered the stain over the top and manipulated it to look like wood grain. Now she is a professional, and very artistic, and they turned out wonderfully. Just thought that might be an option for the legs and apron of your table. I think the color she used was a golden based color, but whatever the undertones for the wood stain you are trying to achieve, I would use that as the base paint color, and then use your gel stain. Just a thought, hope it helps. I will include a pic, if I can figure out how to post on here. Good luck!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      teapotlady
      May 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      I also had success with gel stain over paint. I did our kitchen cabinets and wainscoting around the table and into the dining room. I used rosewood Minwax gel stain over red paint and manipulated the stain to resemble wood grain, then a couple coats of poly. I’ve gotten many compliments. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jann
    May 25, 2016 at 10:04 am

    You silly Rabbit!!!!,
    I can’t believe you covered up that black…..but……I do have experience with many gel stains. I think Minwax is a terrific Gel stain….I have used it many, many times. I have even used it over paint for antiquing.
    It evens out different types of woods but it takes a bit of finessing to do so. I have nearly the exact same table as you do…except I bought mine…wasn’t clever enough to make one…and it had a different wood top than the legs. But after a few coats and buffing with steelwool in between gel coats…..it turned out beautiful.
    Good luck…I really, truly like Gel-stains.
    Can’t wait to see what you end up,with! You go girl!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sewducky
    May 25, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I haven’t played with stains much, but remember my dad re-finished our front door with gel stain once. It was beautiful at the time, but within a year, the wood started curling and peeling up like a bad sunburn. I don’t remember all that my dad did, except he said he used gel stain. It could have been many factors like the product he used, the prep, the sun, high humidity, or not doing anything after the gel stain. The door was a sore spot for him for a while because he loves woodgrain and refuses typically to paint wood, and ended up painting it to appease my mom and the door’s finish was in bad shape.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann
    May 25, 2016 at 10:06 am

    My new best friend is Watco Danish Oil in Dark Walnut. It is so easy to use and turns out great. I also like General Finishes Gel Stain in Brown Mahogany. It lets the wood grain show through but has a nice medium brown color.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Andrea
      May 25, 2016 at 10:20 am

      I second the of General Finishes. 😀 Although you seem to have figured out what works well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennifer
    May 25, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I love the new stain color. If the legs don’t match, I think the new stain top with green legs would look awesome. It will tie back into the kitchen nicely. Try, try again until you get it right. You have to live with it everyday. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laurie
    May 25, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I liked the table in all the versions, but I agreed with needing some wood tones back in the room. I just had a bad experience with polyshades myself while redoing my kitchen island stools. They were stained oak and now I’ve painted the legs white and am trying to restain the seats a little darker to match a new wood island top but the polyshades streaked so I’m going to resand them and try again. I haven’t found just the right color that’s not too dark, not orange, yellow, or too light. I want a warm chestnut brown (a hint of red is okay but not too much) but not yellow or orange. I will be going through the minwax color spectrum before I am done.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Claire
      May 25, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Try Minwax Red Mahogany if you can! I did all the floors in my house this color, the guy doing them told me they would be too red, but they don’t seem red to me at all, just a warm, rich brown!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie
    May 25, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I’ve used gel stain & love it. I’ve even used it over sanded paint & not have to take it all the way down. Since your top and legs are too different woods I would use a sealer of some type. They sell one by the stains but can’t think on the name of it. It sits on top and doesn’t penatrate. This way you would get a more matching color. People have used it over primed doors to give it the wood look. Read the directions and watch videos. If you try to use it as a stain you will be disappointed. Be careful where you have groves that too much doesn’t settle there. Good luck and I’m with you on needing some wood and your table is just the ticket. Maybe just walk away if you get frustrated.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    char
    May 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

    So happy you are returning to your original vision. While you did a great job on all the table’s incarnations none seemed right for your room. It’s a lot of work but I know you will find the right formula to achieve the look you want. Keep at it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CeeCee
    May 25, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Don’t know the answers to your questions but had to say I love the stain color!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    May 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    hubby does a lot of scroll saw decorative things as well as makes small tables, small decorative boxes, etc, and absolutely hates gel stain. He also works with lots of different woods so he has tried them all over the years. Hope it works out for you. ( he said he didn’t think the pine legs would ever match the top, unless the top is sanded down about 1/16″ , but this is just his opinion.) I really do hope it comes together the way to want it too, it is a beautiful table.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cece
    May 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    General finishes gel stain. A few years ago I ripped the carpet off of my pine builder grade stairs and gel stained the treads and painted the risers. It looks great and has held up very well. You can find it at any woodworker store. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Reg
    May 25, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    You may want to check out Rubio monocoat. I just did a reclaimed wood table with the pure clear. When I first put it on there was a bit of an amber hue, but in three days it lightened back up. They also have stains and tell you how to achieve certain looks. I order it online. They are based in Georgia I believe.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Betsy M.
    May 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Well, I’ll just throw this out there. Someone that I know had her hardwood floors resanded and sealed recently. But because the wood was red oak, it was always going to have a red/orange hue, which the woman intensely disliked. So the refinishing company bleached the floors first, and then put on the clearcoats. Don’t ask me how to bleach wood; I don’t know. They used waterbased poly to keep it as true to the color as she wanted.

    Another thought is to add a tiny bit at a time of green or blue UTC (universal tint colorant) to any stain, gel or otherwise. This because green cancels out red, and blue cancels out orange. I’m an artist and use this general color guidance all the time.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Betsy M.
    May 25, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Oh, yes, and to address the question of whether these 2 woods can be matched. I think with some serious tinkering of the stain (as noted in my comment above) it can be achieved. But if not, then adding some black gel stain or colorant to whatever your main gel stain is, might be a way to go. That way, the legs will look deliberately different but still jive well with the top.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Crystal
    May 25, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I am so glad you are good with wood! I believe in having something wood in each room, too. I think this will bring warmth and elegance to the farmhouse table look. I think you’re first inspiration pictures were more trestle/pedestal/x-base style, which I loved most. But this is going to look great. I’ve always liked gel stains but don’t have much knowledge or advice to offer. Someone above mentioned applying wood conditioner, which I’ve always done because I was told it help wood types like pine and oak accept the stain more evenly. You could always apply some tinted glaze over it all to help match up.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann Jones
    May 25, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Your vision always seems to be spot on. I have no practical advice other than maybe it’s just the wrong table top and only a pine table top will answer the need. You work so hard on your projects and they are just fabulous. Can’t wait to see how this turns out.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diane
    May 25, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I have refinished a lot of furniture being a frquent auction attendee. Pine, alder, poplar (soft woods and the “softer” hardwoods don’t take stain evenly and tend to stain lighter. I would read about conditioner before I put it on pine because it already is a wood with natural resins in it. To get matching tones you might have to leave the stain on longer on the pine. Or put a second layer of stain on. If it still is not dark enough, I would use the closest darker color stain and not leave it on as long as recommended. Gel stains are nice because you don’t have to worry about drips on curved surfaces. I have not noticed a difference in staining ability between the different types of viscosity of stains. (Gel vs liquid). I like to use oil based stains when I am working with old, dry, solid hardwoods like mahoghany, maple or oak. As far as clear finishes, I like the hand wiping poly. It doesn’t collect dust as it drys. Have you ever used the waterlox on a table top? I have used spar varnish on surfaces that I knew would have water spots and that needed to be durable but it adds a golden tone. I like minwax and valspar stains.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debra
    May 25, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Whoo hoo and fingers crossed that your table base will stain as well as the top!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maggie Obst
    May 25, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I admire and respect your dedication to your work. Along with Peeve to keep you smiling. No matter what you choose to complete your table,it will be perfect. Your perseverance and patience is above all excellent. Have read others comments and I’m sure you will overcome this predicament. Love your blog and your honesty. Good luck lol.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca
    May 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I’m right there with you. If at first, second and third you do not succeed keep trying. I have confidence that you will figure it out and it will be beautiful. I can’t wait to see the final product!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    designdreamer
    May 25, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    It could be me or my monitor, but the vinegar/steel wool finish looks very similar to the second inspiration picture. Anyway, I like the warmth of the wood.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    May 25, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    We had a similar problem when we bought our unfinished dining room stuff. Table was one wood, chairs another, and hutch was still another. Since the store said they could not get them all to look the same, we stained all the surface planes, and painted black the remaining areas. I have lived with it for 8 years now, but want a change. I’m thinking of buying new chairs, since mine are not padded or cushioned, but can’t decide what to do beyond that.
    I will be waiting to see how you did on this issue, because I too am thinking painted, but don’t want to do that because I know I’ll not like it. Maybe it will end up on Craigslist too!! :-/

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    jill
    May 25, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    I will echo other comments that General Finishes Gel Stain is amazing! I completely changed the “color” of a stairway hand rail and orange-y oak bathroom cabinets. Both have held up beautifully.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shelley
    May 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Can you use your Waterlox once you get it stained how you like?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Claudia Phillips
    May 25, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Kristi,
    If it’s a wood table you want, why not do two different colors of stain. Make the difference between the legs and top intentional. Don’t even try and make them the same, make them two different colors.
    But be proud, your hard work and endless patience are truly amazing.
    You could always try my approach…take a nap.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    loyda coulombe
    May 26, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Your scaring me ! LOL! I really need to strip ours down (because of wear) and restain but haven’t because it SCARES me to do it…. Hope it turned out like you wanted !

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    May 26, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I have neither experience nor advice, but I just wanted to send my sympathy for it not being what you wanted, and I hope it will get there soon!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    antigone
    May 28, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    been following you for a long while and never commented – but I had a great idea!

    Have you considered doing the legs in that beautiful coral color that the buffet was in? along with that last wood color you showed us on the table top, I think it would look great! i liked the black legs, but now that your curtains are up, i think that would be too much black.

    If you think there will be enough coral in the room, have you considered a blue color? I noticed that there’s barely any blue in the room, but some of the chair fabrics, the “wallpaper”, and your new artwork has bits of blue. A nice navy on the chair legs would be fairly neutral, but less boring than black and maybe help tie all that stuff together.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bea
    May 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Hey Kristi, what are you going to seal it with?
    I’m getting ready to stain and paint a table and I do not like the orange either!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Phyllis E
    May 29, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Kristi- the wood on your table looks gorgeous! I am amazed how well the paint seems to have come off! Strippers must have come a long way since I last tried one back in the 80’s!
    I feel a bit like I am getting vicarious pleasure out of seeing the results of your work, without actually having to do any of the hard labor myself! Sort of like watching an adventurous tv show!
    Thanks for letting us “come along” for the ride!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    KathyT
    May 30, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I read that artists are only happy when the work turns out how they envisioned. It matters more than any other factor i.e. beauty, praise from others, sales etc. I think that is true in every creative endeavor from cooking, to drawing to decorating. Baking is my passion and if I set out for chew dense bread with big air holes and end up with fluffy bread with a small even crumb, I am going to be dissatisfied even if it tastes good. I have also have a theory that a true profession is someone who is willing to throw away mistakes and start over. I will never be a master gardener because I can’t rip out plants just because they aren’t doing well or clash in color with the garden, but a real gardener would make the sacrifice without blinking. A real novelist will scrap 1K worth of copy because her editor said it wasn’t moving the plot forward. A professional pilot will “cank” (cancel) a flight at the last minute if it is unsafe to fly. Don’t apologize for scrapping work that didn’t fulfill your vision. That is why you aren’t happy with plan B, and that is why you keep trying over and over again to get it right.

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