With Chicago weather being a bear lately (go outside? No, thank you!), we kicked it into high gear around the house this past weekend. In addition to drywall patching and painting the foyer, I snuck in coats of stain and poly to finally finish off our dining room table! The untreated 2x6s were way to precious as they were, untouched, for the last month – and to be quite honest, we were growing weary of being extra, super careful with our bowls of soup on the table.
Aah. Much better:
If you squint and only look at the table, the dining room is coming along nicely! Or, at the very least, it’s functional. We surrounded the table with our Elkhorn Flea Market chairs (although they still need a nice wood refresh) and two extra patio chairs. Now, imagine one color on the walls, a beautiful chandelier and a vibrant rug to break up all the beige, brown and peeks of orange (boo!) you see here:
Before I could get started on the stain, I first filled in all of the wood screw holes with filler. Wood filler doesn’t typically take stain as beautifully (or evenly) as the wood itself, but we knew it would be better than having exposed screws on the table’s four corners. I applied a little more than necessary with a spackle knife (leaving a barely-there mound of filler on each screw), waited for it to dry, (about 1 hour) then sanded it down so it was even with the surface of the pine.
For the finish color, we discussed a handful of shades – from espresso to gray, to nice and weathered to just giving it a good coat of paint – but in the end, we decided on the same method we used for my studio table. It’s a good, balanced medium wood tone, with barely a hint of gray to take away any redness.
In this order, I applied: 1 coat of Behr’s pre-stain conditioner, 1 coat of Minwax Special Walnut, 1 cut of Minwax Weathered Oak, 1 additional coat of Special Walnut, 1 additional coat of Weathered Oak, and finally, 3 coats of Minwax Polycryclic in Satin (with a light sanding between each finish coat). The wood filling and staining took place on Saturday, and the poly was applied throughout the day on Sunday. Note: I applied Special Walnut and followed that with Weathered Oak about 10 minutes later. Wait 4 hours, repeat.
The Polycrylic satin finish is our favorite for most pieces we’ve refinished, as it provides a soft sheen and is easy to clean – without looking too glossy (not our favorite look for wood furniture!).
In the end, we’re so happy with the results! The layering of wood stains atop the 2x4s and 2x6s bring out a good deal of depth, and personally, we really get a kick out of some of the imperfections – the knots, small knicks, and anything else the boards experienced from lumber yard to dining room.
I’m thinking some tapered candles and a big, cozy meal is in order to really break this guy in. Right?