It feels really good this time to come down from such a hard push. It is funny, but it takes a while to gradually sink in that the urgency is no longer there. I wonder if it is chemical thing in our brains or something. I am sure adrenalin has something to do it.
I spent yesterday glowing in the aftermath of the previous couple of weeks. Much of the morning I caught up on correspondence in between applying coats of finish to my kitchen table. Miraculously, none of the cats decided to place their imprint on it. Although they certainly were considering it. Even though they never venture on the table at any other given time, they stalked it like prey and watched what I was doing with a bit too much interest for my liking. I even had to admonish them a few times because they were leaning a bit too closely from the nearby chairs or the back of the couch with that “whatcha’ doin’?” look in their eyes. When I warned them, they just looked at me as if the thought never crossed their little minds, and with a shrug turned and went to find a place to nap, only to return with each subsequent coat of varnish. Yes, they kept me on my toes.
But six or seven coats later, I am happy to say the table is print-free and looks decent. I used a water-based outdoor poly finish from Saman which I had previously used on a small end table. I found Saman products a couple of years ago and I love them. They are all odor free and water based and they carry almost 30 colors of stain that can be mixed to make endless shades and colors. I have had friends who make furniture and larger items try them and they really loved the results too. I even had a friend put in a couple of kitchens who used them. Recently, they came up with a new indoor/outdoor varnish and I tried it on the end table a year ago. The table was just pine and I had painted it solid black acrylic and used the varnish on it and it still looks great.
My only question to those of you who work with finishes is what would be the best way to apply it? I used a soft brush and applied very thin coats, which dried almost immediately. I gave about an hour in between and that seemed to work fine. I did however see that there were brush strokes that were visible. After the first couple of coats, I did lightly sand in between. The brush I had was soft, but I was wondering if there are special brushes that are used primarily for applying this type of finish which would be more appropriate. Any advice on this would be most helpful for next time.
All in all the table came out pretty good. It was an old maple table that is actually my landlady’s and came with the place. It had the kind of finish on it where if you placed anything that was slightly damp or wet on it (like a cup or a glass of milk or pop) it would leave a nice hazy ring that wouldn’t go away. :( (remember this is a kitchen table – not very practical!) It really looked like crap and someone offered me a nicer table that they were giving away so I didn’t want to give this one back looking like the piece of crap it was. It was already in rough shape when I got here, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice on and figured I wouldn’t be able to make it look worse if I tried. (Well – maybe if the cats helped I could!)
It sanded up nicely and did OK, but I think I should have used sanding sealer prior to the stain. You think? Can you stain after using sanding sealer? The grain seemed to rise quite a bit on the first layer of stain, even though it wasn’t supposed to. It wasn’t all bad though, I used some fine grit paper and gently sanded it down before the second coat of stain and it worked fine. It really looks a hundred per cent better now, and the brush strokes I speak of are quite subtle. I was just wondering if there were a better way to go with it.
The afternoon was so beautiful that I had to get out of the house. I went to a friends who lives right across the ocean and washed my little red mustang and it looks (almost) new. The car is seven years old and although it has a few little ouchees from rocks and stuff, it still looks pretty good when all shined up. I have always loved taking care of it and it was fun and relaxing to wash it overlooking the ocean on such a beautiful, sunny day. I wish I would have brought my camera.
Today I will finish up the pattern packets for the new stuff. I already converted and loaded the pictures to the site, although no one can see them yet. It is odd to move at such a relaxing pace. Even though I still accomplished, it doesn’t feel like I have done much. The wholesaler gave me the OK on everything so I am set with her. I have decided to print up a flier for my friend to take to the show next weekend in Wisconsin (the one who is teaching the painting) which will highlight my new items. I will be designing that today. We will see how they go over.
I decided to not stain the last piece (the Holly one) after all. I tried a couple of colors on scraps and I think it may just take away from it. I am going to put a few layers of oil on it and call it a day. I don’t want to screw it up at this point. I think I like it just the way it is.
I feel myself getting antsy though and thinking of what I will do next. I still have some ornament designs I want to do and think I may go in that direction. And of course, more of these trays. I just want to step back a short while and see how these are received.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday. I am looking forward to browsing through the pictures and finally getting a chance to catch up with reading some posts on the site. :) Have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"