Poplar Nightstand #3: Getting the finish on

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Blog entry by mitchota posted 08-14-2013 11:50 PM 1539 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Assembly time - almost done. Part 3 of Poplar Nightstand series no next part

Assembly of the table went without a major hitch. I then decided to start working on the finish. As I decided to stain this back when I started the project, I tested out three colors of stain, and after looking at it, I went with the cherry stain. I’m not sure what it is about the color of cherry that I like so much, but it was a hard sell vs. the mahogany stain I tested as well.

Staining up the table wasn’t too bad, but of course I found all the spots that I didn’t sand quite enough and I also found out where I had missed some glue squeeze out. Luckily the parts are small and not really noticeable. One is on a back leg of the table, so it’ll be facing the wall and I don’t think the wall cares about it.

I’m currently in the middle of getting the finish on, which is a 1:1 mix of Minwax satin polyurethane and mineral spirits so I can wipe it on. I’m thoroughly pleased with how the thinned poly wipes on, and it really does save me a lot of trouble and time. I’m sure that I can get this done in the next day or two.

I have to say that the Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stains work really well, and I love the colors they come in. I don’t exactly buy the 1 hour dry time, but I do like how it performs. I’m sure that I’ll use it on my future projects.

6 comments so far

View josh's profile


6 posts in 1805 days

#1 posted 08-15-2013 02:12 AM

that looks awesome and i agree with you one the color. if in the future you use polycrilyic i have found if you put it on really thin with a good paintbrush like wooster and sand with 220 lightly between coats it really comes out awesome and is not hard to work with.

View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2127 days

#2 posted 08-15-2013 04:59 AM

Thanks josh. I’ve never tried using polycrylic before, so I’ll have to give it a try in the future.

View Ottacat's profile


481 posts in 1908 days

#3 posted 08-15-2013 06:51 PM

Looking great so far. I’ve heard poplar stains well and when done can be almost indistinguishable from cherry. I’m looking forward to seeing the fully completed table.

View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2127 days

#4 posted 08-15-2013 07:18 PM

Thanks Ottacat. I’m surprised at how the poplar looks with the stain on. I’ve read some things here and there that seem to suggest that poplar is absolutely useless for staining and that you should just paint it, but then I’ve seen other articles and things that say the opposite. I decided to just try the stain and see what happens. I’m glad that it didn’t turn into a blotchy nightmare!

I’m probably going to be able to finish applying the poly today, so I’ll definitely get some pictures up in the projects section soon.

View palaswood's profile


1042 posts in 1808 days

#5 posted 09-07-2013 08:48 PM

Final pics!! I’m curious how it turned out

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2127 days

#6 posted 09-11-2013 05:14 AM

Final pics are in my projects section.

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