Completed projects:

roof, kitchen, master bedroom, main bathroom (sans shower tile), fireplace, hardwood flooring, windows, office, front entry, stairway

Ongoing projects:

shower surround, dapping/painting woodwork, ensuite vanity/lights/mirror, painting outdoor trim, finishing front entry tile work, interior door painting and hardware, decorating

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Operation wood staining for staircase

I sure know about procrastination. I've been procrastinating this little project for way too long.

Staining woodwork is new to me. When I was assigned the somewhat daunting task of staining all the stairway wooden components, I knew I could do it of course, but just how well I wasn't sure.

I waited until the 11th hour naturally before going to order up the stain I'd been told months ago to do. I was busy, you know, with the rest of the house. Yeah well.. So right when I was ready to actually start, the particular rub on oil based stain that was apparently perfect for this job was on back order. Oh... Ok, well, I'll just paint the staircase wall three times over while I wait! No problem. I seem to have a knack for filling in time just fine.

The day arrived when the stain was finally in. That meant I basically had no more excuses. Time to learn on the job.

I've had these wood stair pieces in my basement for nearly three weeks now. (and much much longer in the garage) This is my work office and it's currently a little hard to do my work in here, so the stain came in at a good time. Work is about to step up in pace so I need to move these guys on out!

I waited until I found a Saturday where I was alone so I could pull a 24/7 if need be. And I procrastinated that day too. For as long as I could. I found an excuse to clean the house top to bottom for it was sunny out and every spec of dust shouted at me, "Clean me, then you don't have to stain wood!" Then I noticed Rudy and Corinne home so I dashed over there for added wood inspiration. They had distressed their bedroom wood floors and I kinda liked that idea. Oh their floors were wonderful! That was the ticket right there. I was no longer afraid and actually somewhat eager.

I set about finding the tools to ruin/distress the perfect pieces. Just ever so slightly. I liked it! There were a few nicks and dents in the pieces from storing them for such a long time in a very busy garage, so I felt I may as well make it look like those knicks were meant to be there.

Next, came the wipe on oil based stain. Wheeewww.... when you're use to latex varieties, this one hits you right in the nose. Windows got opened wide, radio flicked on, off I went with my staining party.

The stain actually went on very nice. I quickly figured out what NOT to do but had practiced on the back of a piece. So making sure I was working with wet edges and long even strokes with wiping on and off, they turned out pretty good in this rookie's opinion.

So I visited my little wood village Sunday again to spec out my work. Some pieces looked ehhh.. needed more stain. So I ended up double coating some. Well, now they're darker than the rest. Can you see where this is heading?!? I just gave myself double the work. Nice going. Still debating if it was absolutely necessary, but I kinda think it was. The wood looks richer and not so faded. I tried a couple pieces with the clear coat which darkens them up abit too. Not sure I have the full swing of that part yet. Wishing I could do a spray finish, but I guess others manage to do it well with a brush, so I'll keep at it.

This is where all these lovely pieces will eventually be installed. This is a shot well beyond the initial before, but it's still a before nevertheless.

Next up: varnishing these guys. Then painting the stairwell wall once more.

Guess what... I'm going to have pretty stairs!!!

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