Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Another Refinished Furniture Piece

Before for the armoire, but I'd started the
drawers at this point.
I had another piece of art deco furniture that I decided to refinish. This was the armoire that I snagged from a woman on Craigslist in 2009.

The veneer on the drawer fronts was coming off because it was pieced together. A few years ago, my husband and his dad tried fixing it for me with new veneer pieces but never finished it. Turns out that my husband wasn't happy with how the pieces looked (would have been nice if he had mentioned that to me, instead of just leaving me hanging.)

I learned how to remove it from this blog. I thought about removing it and then looking for some new mahogany veneer that would be big enough to cover the drawer fronts completely. I think piecing them together like that was part of the problem.

The only problem was that I couldn't find any veneer that would have matched and that I could buy in individual pieces. Every bit of it that I came across was only purchasable in quantities of 12 or more pieces. That struck me as major overkill.

So, I decided to just sand them down and start staining them. I knew the drawer fronts would come out looking a lighter color than the rest of the armoire because they had been stripped and I wasn't stripping the rest of the veneer off.

I read about a stain similar to this Minwax PolyShades from another refinishing blog. I used Mission Oak Satin. The idea of it is that you don't have to strip a wood piece in order to restain it. By sanding your piece, you can use this over existing stain.

Sounds like a great idea and I used it on this armoire as a practice for possibly restaining my kitchen cabinets.

I didn't like this stuff.

Part of the reason was my own fault: the heat outside! I sanded and then stained the drawers outside in our garage, but because of the heat, it made the stain dry thickly and unevenly. I had to resand and restain the drawers. I also had to do it to the doors and the armoire later on, and I waited for cooler temps when doing those pieces. In full disclosure, the drawers, without the veneer, looked kick ass when they were done a second time though.

The polyurethane aspect of this stain was pretty underwhelming. When I finally got around to being finished with this stuff, I had to put another coat of true plain poly over the top of this.

Drawer, before with veneer.

Sanded drawers before, veneer removed.

Armoire sanded, pre-staining.
Completely finished. The drawers pick up a little of the lighter grain of the center stripe in that smaller top drawer.
The other thing I didn't really like about this stain is that on sanded veneer, it didn't behave like I would have expected. I know you aren't supposed to brush this stuff on like it's paint. But when I went to go wipe the wet stain away, it didn't really move. It gives this a darker look than originally (which is fine), but now it has a bit of a brindle kind of look to it. I'm not really sure how I feel about that aspect of it, but it's done. The extra poly does give it a nice sheen that it didn't have before.

And with finishing this piece, I've worked on four different pieces and have done something completely different with them:
--bench: stripped, sanded, restained, and poly'ed
--sewing machine cabinet: stripped, sanded, painted, and poly'ed
 --art deco vanity: poly'ed
--art deco armoire: sanded, stained and poly'ed

I am pretty sure now that I'm going to leave the cabinets alone in the kitchen. That's a project I don't need to try to tackle!

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