Friday, March 18, 2011

desk es finito

Remember the desk that Bob the Builder built us last month? Well, after living with the unfinished product for a couple weeks, we made weekend trip to ace to pick out the perfect stain color. 
We chose Red Mahogany, because we wanted a rich color that would bring out the wood grain and stand out in the room.  I've only ever used Minwax, so I can't really compare it to other stains, but I am always pleased with the coverage, end result, and how true to color their stains are. 
Since Nick had already sanded the desk, we skipped step one and prepped an area in the upstairs room for staining. Since stain can have a strong odor, staining outdoors is usually the best option. However, there was no way in heck we were moving that downstairs and outside, so we opted for opening up all the windows and hoping for the best!
The first thing to remember when staining, is to make sure to stir your stain really well so that color doesn't separate or settle on the bottom of the can. Miniwax recommends a test stain on a out-of-sight piece of wood, but knowing how true to color these guys tend to be, I skipped this step and got straight to work. 
I used a two-inch wide brush to brush in the stain in the same direction as the wood grain. I also applied the stain with light pressure to get a smooth, even top coat. 
I resisted the urge to go back and touch up any lighter looking areas, since you are supposed to let you stain dry before you put any additional coat on. 
After staining the entire desk, I waited 15 minutes and then took a rag to wipe off any excess moisture. The 15 minute wait time gave the desk a nice saturated look, without it getting too dark. 
After staining, we let the desk sit and dry for 24 hours. In this case, one coat of stain was all it took for us to achieve the perfect color. 
Next, I picked up some satin polyurethane to coat the desk with. We wanted to make sure the desk was sealed well since it was going to be getting a lot of use. We also chose satin instead of gloss because we didn't really want a super shiny desk. I used a foam brush to apply a light coat of sealer to the entire desk (again in the direction of the wood grain).
We had another 24 hour wait time for the first coat of sealer to dry. Then, I sanded the desk lightly, using 240 grit sand paper. (Although this seems counter-intuitive, it's an important step to ensure your finished product is smooth and polished.) 
After wiping off all the sanding dust, I gave the desk one final coat of sealant and called it a day. 
We gave the desk plenty of drying time before putting our computers and such back on top. We've been using our new and improved sealed desk for about two weeks now and we love it! We're so happy with the shape, the color choice, and the workspace it has provided us!
Now, time to accessorize!

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