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From Before to After and Rehab in Between: Refinishing the Credenza

01.06.12 By //
Project Image

Those of you who have been with us here at TDC for a little while, will probably remember that credenza that used to live in the kitchen nook area. You can see a glimpse of it in the image above from the article I posted when I added the dining room chalkboard walls. And if you have continued to hang out with us here, you will also likely remember when I switched things up in the Nook to accomodate the Shelving you also see above, and to match the curtains I made here.

This credenza was in a bad bad way… Between the sun and constant hard use, she was starting to be more than just a little shabby around the edges. But she has good bones – no, she has great bones, and so was definitely overdo for a little tlc. Let me show you the little trip to rehab we made in between those other big projects…

I will surprise you later this week with the deets on exactly where this bad boy ended up, and what my overall plans for that room are, but for now let’s focus on the task at hand shall we? I thought that a nice driftwood stain or glaze would be a good way to add a bit of those gray tones I adore so much, to this piece. Turns out my local Home Improvement store only carries one variety of stain that can be tined to a driftwood color and doesn’t actually carry a stand alone driftwood stain. Shucks… I chose a Semi-Transparent (and probably shouldn’t have) and it was way to thick. You can see how opaque it appears from one light coat above. This stuff is thick and not very transparent at all. Eek. Back to the drawing board.

It just so happened that I purchased this tube of stain a while back with the intention of ‘testing it out’, since it claims to be a user friendly manner of staining. I thought that perhaps I would give this a shot to ‘fix’ the very gray and very thick stain application I had already applied. I guess I was hoping it would level out the gray and help me find a middle ground. Alas it did not. As you can see above it’s very much the color it claims to be and so I ended up with a very beautiful walnut with a touch of red mahoganny credenza. Beautiful indeed, but not where I was trying to go with this…

And so… in a moment of frustration and after 2 complete applications of stain on this beauty, I decided to try a mix of the two stain products to get that walnut with a slightly drifted look I wanted. I mixed the colors in a small dish with a 3:1 ratio of driftwood to walnut and then added a splash of water to lighten things up a bit and make it a tad more like a glaze.

I simply applied it with a ‘texture-less’rag (an old t-shirt piece to be exact) very sparingly so that I wouldn’t need to wipe away excess. That was another issue the thicker stain was causing… when you attempted to wipe away the excess it just globbed up and smeared since it was very fast drying in all it’s thick and sticky glory. One single application over the whole credenza using my shirt cloth and she was perfection! Can you see the walnut with slightly drifted hue in the image above? Well worth the extra 2 applications it took to get her just right. Though I definitely wish it has worked right out of the gate. I guess you win some and you lose some and the rest turns works itself out with a bit of extra elbow grease.

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