Friday, February 17, 2012

Distressed Antique Dresser--Paint & Stain

**Welcome to all who are visiting from Pinterest!  I'm so happy you've stopped by,  hope you have some fun while you're here :)  If you're looking for some more projects, check out the tabs below the header.
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HELLO!!

I am so excited to show you all this project.  I have been wanting to post on it for about a week, but could never seem to find the time.  Today, however, my body decided to run a slight fever and hurt all over, so lucky for you today is the day of the long-awaited (by me) post!!

This project was a new process for me, and a great piece to start with so when it was done there was a lot of "Joe, look at my dresser!"  "Don't you love it?!!"  "I am SO excited!" etc...  And yes, Joe played along very well and was excited for me...though not as excited as me, I do believe.

Meet an antique quartersawn dresser that has seen many better days.

The dresser was structurally sound, but the veneer was peeling and wavy (probably water damage) and one of the drawers had split apart (note the wood putty).

SO after I did some gluing and wood putty to fill all the gaps, then sanded down the top and drawers, I was ready to get to painting.  I know that might make some of you cringe, but look at that top!  No way was that veneer coming back to life for a refinish job--paint was its only option.

I had been seeing in the store a combination of Paint + Stain, and was loving the results, so I thought this was a great piece to try it on.  Meet my Arsenal of products:
First, let me tell you that I am not a lover of prep-work.  In fact, if ever possible I skip it (Don't tell anyone, the primer police might come and get me).  In this case, though, the wood was very raw, not glossy, so I simply tinted my primer to my desired base coat.
And did it work well?
Absolutely.
That's a point for me.
(If you want more tips and cheats on painting, check out my post on Paint Mixing Basics.  It might just change your life)

I started with my Zinsser FastPrime2, which is white, and tinted it with the Royal black paint, and some blue craft paint (did I just say craft paint?  Why yes, madame, I did.  I really don't need a quart or gallon of bright blue or bright yellow, so I use cheapo craft paints to fine-tune my colors!  Call me a genius, I'll pretend to be modest).  I tinted it to a bluish medium grey, which is a color that I'm currently in love with.  That is the color in the cottage cheese container.

The other product is a Minwax Dark Walnut oil-based stain, and sandpaper.  I also used Minwax Polycrylic water-based poly, it just didn't want to be in the picture.

Okay, so here are the steps (apology for the missing pictures...I was excited...)

1.  Patch, sand down, glue, etc... the whole piece.
2.  Base coat in your concoction of tinted primer (in my case, grey).
3.  FOR A DISTRESSED PIECE:  Once the base coat is dry, use orbital sander or sanding block to sand away the paint on corners & high-wear areas (remember the drawer fronts, too!).  Sand down to the raw wood--this will become magic in the next step. (for tips on a convincing aged look, check out the post on Aging Furniture)
4.  Wipe on stain with paper towel (wearing solvent-resistant gloves & the ever-popular respirator) all over the piece, in the direction of the wood.
Here is what to notice:  
See the base-coat blue-grey in the drawer slots?  That is before any stain.  The top is after stain is applied.  Magic, right??  I actually had no idea that the stain would turn the piece into a greenish color, but I love it.  Also notice the edges that were sanded down.  Since they were raw wood, the wood accepts the dark stain and makes those distressed areas pop out.  Wood lovers, that part's for you.

5.  After the stain has set for a little while, take a clean paper towel (keep those gloves & respirator on) and wipe off any excess in the direction of the grain.  If you wipe too much off in one area, just reapply some stain evenly and try again.  This part is fairly forgiving.  Make sure to leave the stain in the cracks, since that is where a piece will age naturally.

6.  Let the stain dry 24 hours and sealcoat it with Minwax Polycrylic Water-Based Polyurethane. 

Not too complicated, right??  And it can take a sad dresser like this:
And turn it into THIS!What's missing, you ask?  Can you tell me?  Drawer hardware, of course!!  (As far as I'm concerned, hardware is jewelry for furniture...and I could spend an unjustifiable amount of time and money on it.  I actually splurged a little on this piece and spend $1.77 each on them.  Be still, my heart).Here she is in the store.
 Who Doesn't want a giant ceramic pear?  That's what I would like to know.  And please admire the insanely heavy cast-iron tape dispenser.  I'm kind of happy no one's bought it yet...
Ooh, though I am not obsessed overall with the distressed furniture movement, I am really loving this treatment.  The stain makes it seem so much more natural--and I can still see some of the wood's color underneath.  
Not to mention those knobs  :)
I have since used this technique a few more times, and with a few different options.  Check out some ways to fiddle with this finish in these posts:
 Grey Highboy Dresser (Another example of this same technique)

Driftwood-Look Table & Chairs (Similar finish with only water-based products)

 Wax-Resist Stenciled Planter (To add a stenciled design to a distressed piece)

 White & Grey Distressed Table and Chairs (Similar finish with two tones of paint)


Happy Friday, have a great weekend!!

~The Doodle Bug



I'm usually partyin' at these hangouts:

Friday Feature @ Redoux
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
Show & Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Simply Creations Link Party @ Simple Home. Life
It's a Hodgepodge Friday @ It's a Hodgepodge Life
Spotlight Saturday @ Classy Clutter
Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday @ Kammy's Korner


This post has been featured on Better After & Classy Clutter!  Thanks for all your visits & comments!




53 comments:

  1. This is stunning!!! I LOVE the finish! Great work! -Sarah

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  2. That is absolutely fantastic - love the new color -worth the work you put into it!
    Kelly

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  3. Wow! What a transformation. That turned out beatiful!

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  4. Ohhhh my gosh! Simply adorable!!! Hope you'll link this up at our new linky party! We feature our favorites each week! We're your newest followers and we'd love to have you link up and follow if you'd like!

    http://www.classyclutter.blogspot.com/2012/02/saturday-spotlight-2.html

    Mallory @ Classy Clutter

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  5. Awesome transformation of a piece that was destined for the dump. So glad you saved it - it looks fabulous.

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  6. I love how you transformed the dresser :)

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  7. That is soooo beautiful and I love the color!

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  8. Wow, this is really amazing! Thanks for sharing your process! New follower! ~Lori

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  9. Charming DIY makeover...thanks for sharing it at my Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party. I have that same dresser and mine was in wonderful shape when I got it...I have it in my foyer at this time.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  10. That turned out beautifully! Great job, I love this!

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  11. absolutely PERFECT!!!! You did great - thanks for sharing!

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  12. I have a question, I have a piece that has some veneer missing and is bubbled from water damage, how did you fix this? Did you remove the veneer that was bubbled and putty? I love this piece! It turned out beautiful. I have a similiar dress that the top is damaged with some areas that a candle burned. I might have to try this!

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    1. Melanie: Great question! This veneer was bubbly and wavy, but not so much that it wasn't salvageable. I essentially just sanded and sanded with my orbital until it was smooth. The surface isn't perfect, but it's very smooth considering. I would start by sanding and see if you can get it smooth using a coarse grit sandpaper. As a last resort, you can take off the veneer, but the wood underneath will just be a low-grade plywood, so it won't give you a very nice surface to work with. Try to salvage the veneer with lots of sanding and some putty, and if you have to, strip the veneer and putty. Otherwise, you could perhaps wallpaper it and get a piece of glass to fit the top, something along those lines. Good luck!!

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  13. Love this! HOw have I never been to your blog before???? I am a fellow painter! So nice to meet you....stop by and say hello sometime!

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  14. I have to laugh at your description of getting all excited. I get all excited before projects too, and my dear husband kind of looks at me with a blank smile. He doesn't get it, but he always likes the after part. Except one time I was distressing a piece after sanding and he said, "Why are you wrecking it now?"

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  15. omg...i was so excited to find your directions for this project...i'm just waiting for my stain to dry so i can seal it....had some leftover paint i used on another project and thought i would use it...i love love love the results...now i will start a bigger project...hutch and buffet... thanks again!

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  16. That is beautiful. I love the color and the distressing looks perfect!

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  17. Can you do this with white paint??

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    1. Allison~
      You can absolutely do this with white paint!
      Just use white instead of grey for the base coat, then decide how dark you want the stain to be. You may want to use a slightly lighter stain, like cherry or hickory, since using the black walnut will be a really high contrast. But if you want that amount of contrast, go ahead and use the walnut carefully :) Good question!

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  18. Love this...I'm going to give this Technic a try. Thanks so much for sharing. Found you on Pinterest and I'm happy to be your newest follower. Would love to have you stop by for a visit. Blessings ~ Judy @ www.vintagestreetdesigns.com

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  19. Great work Allison! I am a new DIY'er and creating my own blog something like yours. My first project actually has me trying to pull off a distressed look but I think I'll need to go a different direction.

    The box I'm trying to replicate is: http://img2.etsystatic.com/000/0/5996823/il_fullxfull.312821842.jpg

    Since it's a top layer of paint I think I'll need to just use a black primary, then over-coat with green paint. Then gently wipe down areas to be worn with a water/ammonia solution. At least, this is my guess for now.

    Any ideas? and again, great work on this project and your blog!

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    1. Hello Robert!
      I think you're on the right track--use a black base coat and then green on top. I personally wouldn't use ammonia to wipe it down--I would just use a medium grit sandpaper (150 to 220) and it should get the job done well. Sometimes a paint scraper can do some interesting things, too. Ammonia might work to get it wiped down, but I don't like to work with nasty chemicals when I can avoid it! Also...I'm not sure if ammonia will effect a latex-based paint? I know it would work on oil-based paints. Not really sure, but you might do a test board just in case. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

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  20. AWESOME!!! Keep your fingers I can get my pcs to turn out as good!! TY!!

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  21. I so love the color! I recently purchased a dresser and am dying to try your technique.. one question: It's in good shape; top of dresser is a glossy veneer. Do I need to sand it first before I prime it?

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    1. Hello LC! Yes, I would sand it a bit before you prime. I usually try to scuff it up a bit, but don't worry about getting it all the way down to raw wood. If you have a good primer (I usually use Zinsser FastPrime 2, but any good primer will do the trick), that should be all you need! And since it's compressed wood, just do a light sanding--careful on the corners, you don't want the particle board to show through. It might help to wrap your sandpaper around a block of wood or something flat--that will keep you from pressing into the corners. Good luck!

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  22. Oh, one more thing..the dresser is veneer and compressed wood so I'm not sure if I sanding it down to the 'wood' will work. Any suggestions?!

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  23. Wow this turned out great! I've got some wooden oak TV trays i'm going to start working on. I'd like to sand the "Walmart" off them and get something a bit more chic and refreshing. I just typed in "distressing wood with paint and stain" and your blog popped up! Yay!! Now I hope to be an avid follower. Your directions are practical and easy to follow. Love!


    Dana Alley
    http://www.thirtyoneladies.com

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  24. Hello,

    I have a raw alder wood kitchen table and would like to stain or paint it black distressed shabby chic look (with warm brown or beige undertones). I don't know where to start and would like to know the fewest steps possible. Would you recommend stain or paint and what type of finisher, wax or poly? Not sure what would work better on a dining table we use often (heat, wiping, etc.)? Thanks!

    Dayna

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    1. Hi Dayna! Sorry for the LATE reply (eep!). I've been distracted by an adorable little three-month-old girl :) Here is what I would do, if you haven't already done it: 1. Paint the table black with a latex paint. 2. Sand the edges and any other place you want to be brown/distressed. 3. Wipe the table down with a stain of your choice--this will make the raw edges you exposed the wood tone you're looking for. 4. Finish with Polycrylic. Wax won't hold up like a polyurethane will with water and heat exposure. You'll still need to use trivets and such for hot pans, though.

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  25. This looks awesome! I have a question for you. I just painted a piece of furniture, stained it like you did and I let it sit for about three days. Then I started to apply the polycrylic and the stain all started to come up, smear, and it was just disappointing! Any tips? The stain was still a bit tacky when I was putting the polycrylic on. I also am doing this in a cold basement, would that make a difference?

    Thanks for your help!

    Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah! First, I am so sorry for the late response. Yours is a problem that I've heard about a few times now, and the ideas I've come up with are these: The stain needs to be dry before you apply the polycrylic. That said, it's probably an issue with the stain and/or drying conditions. Is your stain new? If it is old, it won't dry properly (kind of like old nail polish that stays tacky forever). Your basement being cool might be a problem, too. Below 50 degrees, paint and such won't dry properly. If it's high humidity it will also take a long long time. Because putting stain over paint is kind of cheating (as in, the stain company will tell you you're not supposed to do it!) it can be a bit fussy at times. So try new stain if yours is old, and then a warmer, drier place for it to dry and a little time, hopefully one of them will do the trick! Let me know when you figure it out!

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  26. I have a question. I have a coffee table that I tried to redo for my son and it didn't quite work out. The primer/paint that I used is still sticky and is peeling off. My son plays football for a large university and would like for his friends to sign the table when they come over. I would like for this table to be something that he may keep one day. I really don't have the money to go buy a new one so I was going to try and redo again. He plans to have them sign with a silver sharpee. Any suggestions?

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    1. I'm sorry to hear it didn't work for you! Unfortunately, it sounds like you'll need to strip the current finish, because once the finish becomes unstable it unfortunately cannot be salvaged properly. I would use Citri-Strip, which I've heard good things about and is less toxic than other stripping agents. After that, make sure the piece is sanded down a bit more, especially on the top where you'd like to have the writing. I would then use a basic primer. I like Zinsser Fast Prime2, but anything Zinsser or Kilz will generally do the trick. After the primer, paint whatever color you want (if you had trouble with the paint staying tacky, I would get some new paint) and I would recommend using a flat/matte paint finish for the sharpie to have a nice surface to bond to. After it's signed, seal it up with polyurethane (water based, I use Polycrylic). You might do a little test of the topcoat over sharpie and make sure that you get a good seal. I don't know what the chemicals in a sharpie are and if they'll react at all to your topcoat. I would NOT put your topcoat on until after it's been signed, because you'll lose the signatures over time if you don't protect them with a topcoat. What a fun project, your son will love it! Good luck!

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    2. Also, make sure that the paint products you use are either all water-based or all oil-based :)

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  27. I consider myself a rather crafty person but I have never refinished furniture. That being said my Christmas gift to my college aged daughter was some craigslist furniture. It is two nightstands and a dresser. The dresser looks lije the one that comes to life in beauty and the beast haha! They are a whitewashed oak finish currently. My daughter wants to paint/distress them a turquoise color. I have been pouring through blogs, pinterest etc. She is on a budget to do this and I can't decide what method is best. Have you ever worked with chalk paint? Also if we use your method what type of craft paint are you using to tint your primer? I'm a little nervous about undertaking this project but painting is not new to me. We have built 2 homes and remodeled another one which is now a rental. I have faux finished walls, done a venetian style plaster, have tiled etc. I have just not done furniture.

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    1. Welcome to the world of furniture! It sounds like with your paint experience, you'll find it's much less intimidating than it looks. I hope you have fun! As far as your daughter's projects, I have two answers. First, if it were ME refinishing them, I would use a primer and prime the whole piece white. Then I would buy turquoise paint and paint that next. I would then distress the edges and use the stain very sparingly (perhaps using a q-tip) only in those places where you sanded (putting the stain over the whole piece will likely ruin your turquoise paint color!), then seal it up with Polycrylic. You will likely not be able to tint your primer to the color you want, because turquoise is a very difficult color to mix from other paints. It needs to be so vibrant and full of tint that I usually go ahead and buy it. In this method, you'd need to buy: 1 quart primer. 1 quart turqouise paint. 1 small can (usually 4-6 oz or so) stain. 1 quart Polycrylic. If you would need to buy ALL of those things, it can get pricey.
      The other method would be chalk paint. I have never used chalk paint, because I find that it is a more expensive method for me to use since I do so many projects, so take my advice as guidance, but not gold! If you're only wanting to paint this ONE project, it might be a really good solution to make your own turquoise chalk paint. I looked up some links for you, and this one is a very helpful post, comparing different ways to make your own chalk paint: http://inmyownstyle.com/2013/02/diy-chalk-paint-review-update.html
      If I were in your shoes, not having products on hand and wanting to stick to a tight budget, I would probably try the chalk paint with plaster of paris. Then you could cut buying the primer, and buy 1 quart FLAT turquoise paint, 1 small bag plaster of paris, 1 quart semi-gloss or satin Polycrylic OR a paste wax (check out the Q&A at the bottom of the above posted link), and the stain if you want to darken your distressed areas (you could probably get by just buying one or two of the small stain samples that they offer)

      There are a lot of options out there, and many of them will give you a great finish. If you have questions about a specific step-by-step process once you decide what you'd like to do, let me know and I will try to give more detail. Best of luck, and have fun!

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  28. I see you applied oil based paint on top of water based primer. I thought oil based paint goes on oil based primer. So does it matter. Im new in this and confused.

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    1. Hi Diana! You can use water-based paint over oil-based primer, but only because it is primer. It is an exception to the rule :). The label on your primer should tell you what an appropriate topcoat is. Have fun!

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  29. You are quite the pro, and I love that you are into shortcuts (me too!) I am new to furniture DIYs, and I have a few projects I am wanting to take on. One of them is my grandmother's old dresser- beautiful, ornate wood antique piece with a high-gloss dark cherry stain. I really want to make this darker, an almost-black/brown shade, but I would love to keep the cherry color at the edges for a distressed look. Do you think it would be possible to use the above steps, but not sand down into the little nooks and crannies of the designs in the wood, so that the current color remains in those places? Like I said, I'm a newbie, so don't laugh if this is a dumb question! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Melissa and welcome! Your question is not dumb :) In fact, I had to do a little research to find a good answer, so thanks for the challenge! In short, yes, you can sand most of it, leaving edges/crevices/carvings unsanded and intact. It will get a little sticky with the sealant that you use, though, and it makes the process more work but it may be worth it.

      I am assuming that you do not know what type of finish is on it right now. It could be oil-based polyurethane, shellac, or varnish. I think it is unlikely that it is a water-based polyurethane, since that is such a new product relative to the age of your dresser. I would suggest the following process, keeping in mind proper ventilation (please, please, please!) and gloves:
      1. Sand down the places you'd like to stain darker (Ebony would be a good shade for a near-black look), until you have bare wood in those places. You want to go completely down below the old finish. Leave intact your edges/carvings/crevices. You might want to leave a little more than you think is necessary, or you may go to all this work and not notice it! The old finish will be darkest in the crevices and cracks, so your contrast will be lessened. It will be compounded by the lack of light entering those crevices, so leave a little more than the minimum.
      2. Stain (I wouldn't recommend paint because it would be very difficult to make a smooth transition between the old and new finish. If paint is what you want, please let me know and I can give you some tips) the raw wood areas with your new oil-based stain until you reach the desired shade. An easy way to test the "finished shade" is to wait for the stain to dry, then run a damp rag over a small area. The amount that it darkens when it's wet is close to what it will look like once the sealant is added. If you want a little more opaqueness to your stain, you can add in a bit of oil-based paint (brown or black) to the stain. Allow the stain to dry completely.

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    2. **Sorry, it won't let me be this long-winded on one comment :)
      3. I would run a paint deglosser over the OLD finish. This doesn't take off the old finish (apply it gently), but it will make it "sticky" so the new finish can adhere to it. I've used Zinsser Paint Deglosser before with good results.
      4. Coat the whole piece with OIL-BASED POLYURETHANE. The oil-based poly should be compatible with your old finish IF it is a varnish or oil-based poly (If it's shellac, it won't work and you'll need to finish it with more shellac (which I know nothing about!). To figure out if it's shellac ahead of time, you can follow this article: http://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/finishes/what-finish-is-that-anyway/
      If you're going to do that, do it at the very beginning).
      Anyway, back to the polyurethane--I generally use 2-3 coats on the sides and 3-5 coats on the top to give it a little more protection. Follow the directions on the can for application, and sand between coats. And use a cheap brush so you can throw it away at the end...at least, that's what I recommend because I HATE working with paint thinner :)
      5. After the final coat, the sides are done but the top is not *quite* ready for her debut. Let the finish cure for 2-3 days, then sand JUST THE TOP with very fine sandpaper (220 or higher), SANDING WITH THE WOODGRAIN until it's smooth. It will look like you're scuffing the finish, but don't worry. You're about to make magic.
      6. After the top is smooth to the touch, grab some 0000 steel wool. If you have to buy it, it's worth it. Trust me. Unfold a roll of the steel wool and loosely fold it together. Then begin to rub it firmly but gently in the direction of the woodgrain, just as if you're sanding it. Think of it as massaging the finish, coaxing it into beauty :) Rub, rub, rub, and you'll start to see a glossy finish in the areas you've rubbed. This process is called "Rubbing Out" and it's what most DIYers don't do. But it's what makes that gorgeous wood shine. So rub the whole top out until it's an even shine. Some finishes take more work than others, and the finer the grain of the wood, the smoother it can be.

      I hope that helps. If it's not at all what you were wanting, please let me know what you're thinking and I will be glad to help! Good luck :)

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  30. Question. You inspired me to try this on a table. If I'm using a inexpensive table from 90's would it be wrong to use same kind of chemicals as you did. I'm at the step to put on water-Poly, but waiting for stain to dry so far leaving paint/primer soft kinda. Is this a redo or continue. Thanks

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    1. Hello Justin! I am not certain that I understand your question, but if you are having trouble with the paint and stain staying tacky and not drying, I would try the following: make sure it is in a warm, dry place. Cold and wet keep paints from drying. If that doesn't help, you may have used an old can of paint or stain. Old products don't dry very well, kind of mike nail polish that stays tacky forever. If that is the same problem you're having, then you may need to scrape or sand odd that layer and begin again. The era of your furniture should not affect the process, except that if it is a very high gloss, sanding ahead of time is very helpful. Let me know if that's not what you were asking about! Good luck!

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  31. Thanks. It's been almost 2 full days, but is humid. Paint is new. Sanded down pretty good by hand. Sounds like I just need to be Patient. That's good news over starting over.

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I love to read your comments and questions!