Thursday, March 31, 2022

Staining Again

I finally coaxed myself to start staining again. 

It's better this time. I'm glad I took the time to sand it; I will like this much better, even the areas with the dark undertone from the disastrous dark red mahogany stain. 

On the bright side, once this basement wood is finished, I never have to use this awful stain again.
The next coat is a gel stain so it is much easier to apply.

The light marks will be covered by boards, once they are reinstalled.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Journey Concert

I had to change gears for a week and clean house because we had a friend come and stay with us for a day. We went out for every single meal and she took us to a Journey concert! It was quite a change from our regular routine.

At the concert, Toto was the warmup act. I used to like Toto, but I didn't think this was their greatest show. To me, it seemed like they didn't have the balance set right as it was hard to hear anything besides the electric guitar. 

But I really liked the Journey portion of the show! To be honest, I just went along for the ride because I had a ticket; I didn't realize I liked Journey as well as I do. LOL
It was fun to visit, but now, back to staining!! I have got to get this project finished.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Bedroom Furniture Upgrade

With the basement remodel we are planning to shuffle around furniture so it's been making me rethink what furniture I'd like to have long term. A couple years ago, I found a Sorenson Reverse bed from The Joinery on craigslist. I really wanted it, but I missed out on getting it. So, when I found another one a few days ago, I knew I needed to try and get it.

This time, I was successful! We took it to storage temporarily. We'll run back and get it in a couple of weeks.
Sorenson Reverse bed made by the Joinery
And I have to admit, I also ordered a coordinating nightstand and dresser from eBay. They're being shipped from Glendale, California. These are the photos I grabbed from eBay.
Stickley Harvey Ellis Long Dresser
Stickley Harvey Ellis Nightstand
I was bummed they only had one nightstand, but now that I know what I'm looking for, I'll put in automated searches to see if I can eventually find another. And, in theory, I could buy a new one from Stickley, but I'm usually too cheap to buy new furniture.

I've decided to embrace the multi-wood look so when I found this bookshelf on craigslist, I needed it too. It sure is nice that Jeff has an income again. LOL
Even though I like the current oak bedroom set, I'm pretty excited about the new furniture. I've had wanderlust for a couple years now but Jeff really doesn't want to move so I'm trying hard to settle back in. It will be nice to have a change.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Basement Sanded

I guess it's been more than a week since I last posted. I sanded the plywood down in the basement. It took me several days. I obviously couldn't get the darkest areas as light as I would have liked.

I went and bought the new red mahogany stain and tested it with pre-stain wood conditioner on scrap plywood. This is what the color was supposed to look like.
I'm actually ready to start staining again, but I can't because it will take too many days to finish and we're going to have a friend stay with us next weekend and we can't have the house stinking like stain and varnish. It's pretty horrible for several days.

So, instead, I'm planning to focus on cleaning up and prepping to start right after the visit.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

I F***ed Up

I messed up the basement staining project. Obviously. I know I could just paint the plywood and I probably should, but I can't without at least trying to fix my mess. Anyone who has followed the blog for a while will know that I'm not good at settling. 

I stained the first part on Sunday and it was darker than I wanted, but it was tolerable
but as I worked my way around the room, it kept getting darker and darker. I obviously had a mixing issue. By the afternoon, it was so dark, it was really unacceptable so I stopped.
I'm frustrated with myself because I knew better. I don't know why I didn't get samples of the plywood and practice; I always have before. I guess I was just impatient to get this project done. (I want my long arm machine!)

I spent Monday trying to figure out what to do next. I really don't like painting wood, even plywood. I tried sanding down one of the sections of plywood and the stain came off fairly well, so I decided to give it a shot. I started out by stripping the boards. I tried to sand them in place, but it really wasn't going to work because I couldn't get to the edges, so Jeff uninstalled them for me.
About two-thirds of the boards I could just flip over and go with the unstained backsides, the others I had to sand down through the stain.
Today, finally, I turned my attention to sanding the plywood. This is what I could get done in about four hours. I'm hoping as the stain gets lighter, the panels will sand faster and maybe I'll get this done by the end of the weekend. Unfortunately, I'm not super motivated to work for long hours on this project.
This was after one pass with 80 grit sandpaper. I can't sand the plywood clean because I'm worried I'll sand through the douglas fir ply. This should be good enough to apply a lighter color. I will be going over this area again with finer grit sandpaper after I finish the first pass.

I already bought the proper stain and I took it to Sherwin Williams and had it shaken. I will not be making this mistake again. Ever!

Now that all the boards are removed, I am going to go ahead and stain them loose like I usually do. It should also make it easier to stain the wainscoting. Once everything is stained I'll reinstall the boards and then apply the varnish finish coat. 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Basement Staining Day 1

Upstairs, our wood was all stained with a combo of two different stains. The first coat was Mohawk Wiping Wood Stain in Red Mahogany. The second coat was Wood Kote Jel'd Stain in Cherry color.

I tried to finish the wood in the basement with the same, but when I went and bought the stain, I accidentally grabbed the Dark Red Mahogany stain and didn't realize it until after I'd used half the can. To be honest, if I'd realized Light Red Mahogany was an alternative, I would have gotten that instead. A lighter stain would have been preferred for the basement.

It is what it is; I'm already halfway finished with the basement family room. The Dark Mahogany is dark. When I started this morning, I panicked a little about how dark it was but then I reminded myself that once it dries, it does lighten up. And once I add the Jel'd Cherry, the color will shift and be closer to the upstairs.

This plywood is sort of horrible to stain. It immediately absorbs the stain and is nearly impossible to spread it out and get it even. But the plywood was a reasonable compromise to save money on this job. If it turns out really horrible, I will simply paint the interior of the panels, like this.

It took me about 6 hours to stain half the family room today and so I decided to spread the task over a couple of days. That means that it's going to be at least 4 days of staining in just the family room side of the basement. Then I'll have to repeat the process for the rest of basement, so it looks like I'll be at this for about a week.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Time for Staining!

I am so excited! Tim is finished with the basement! Now it is my turn; I need to spend the next week or so staining and finishing the wood. It's vaguely tempting to just varnish the wood so it would be lighter, but then it wouldn't blend with the rest of the house as well. And I definitely like to have everything be matchy matchy.
I'm really looking forward to being able to move into the space, it's actually nicer than I was originally anticipating. Our goal was for the space to be comfortable and have good light. We definitely have achieved that. 

I hope I can do a decent job on the staining. I want to get started this weekend but I need to take a look around first and see how much sanding I'll need to do first. I hope not too much.