Adam’s Room: Having trouble | On the Banks of Squaw Creek: Adam’s Room: Having trouble
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Adam’s Room: Having trouble

I bought this bedroom set for $175 at a garage sale.  Not bad, eh?  It’s “solid wood” and originally from Babies R Us.  Add the mattress and box spring from my storage room, and voila! We have a big boy room!

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Wait a minute.  That would be way too easy!

 

I couldn’t leave it that terrible piney color.  (No offense, just totally not my style.)  I wanted to paint it!

 

Wait a(nother) minute.  Painting it would be way too easy, too!  I wanted to do a paint/stain combo!  Adam’s doors and trim are stained, so I thought this would look great!

 

So I started sanding.  And the wood turned to mush.  I’ve never had that happen before.  I used 50 grit sandpaper with my palm sander, and the top layer of wood just melted off.  I’ve sanded a LOT of furniture in the last few years, and it’s never sanded so easily before.  I knew I should probably go over it with a finer grained paper (never done that before, either) but at that point, the project was going pretty well!

I sanded with my 80 grit, and stained!  And almost cried.

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Icky, yucky, sandpaper marks!  Can you see them?

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So my plan is to buy some finer grit paper, sand again, and stain again.

 

But I went ahead and primed anyway, so here’s a rough draft of the headboard.  I plan to stain just that little top ledge on the headboard, stain the top of the dresser and the top of the changing table.

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Have you ever had this happen?  Is it because it’s a softer wood?  Any advice??

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10 comments:

  1. Oh! what a shame - I hope you find a solution!

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  2. You have the right idea, use a finer grit and have another go at it. There really isn't any way to avoid it. I actually like the swirls!

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  3. Oh no! I really hope the finer grit sandpaper works out for you! :(

    On the upside, what a great find! Those are wonderful pieces you found, and I think they'll turn out great (even if you still have little swirly marks)!

    ~Chelsea

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  4. I hope the finer grit helps! I have never had that problem, so I have no wisdom. Keep us posted though!

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  5. I think you are amazing. The whole thing looks like something I would love to do, but more effort, so way to go! I hope it turns out.

    You are fantastic!

    How is it going in the big boy room?

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  6. I've never had this happen either! And honestly, since you've already sanded it, just keep going and get it smooth enough. I would have suggested to try a varnish stripper myself first as it doesn't effect the wood itself.

    Keep going! I love what you have in mind! And yeah... LOVE the two toned effect! Nicely done!

    If you want a pro opinion on this, go visit Miss Mustard Seed. She knows her furniture!

    http://missmustardseed.blogspot.com/

    Donna

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  7. Thanks, Donna. :)

    Yes, I think you're having this problem because it's a soft wood. I sanded a pine desk before and it was a disaster. It showed every time the palm sander wasn't entirely level. I ended up with all kinds of grooves and dips...and it was for a client! Horrifying.

    Your best bet here is to do it the old fashioned way, by hand. Use a fine grit sand paper with long, smooth strokes until the wood is nice and smooth.

    Pine also may not be the best candidate for a dark stain, because it show uneven, but here's how you can make it work. Apply one light coat and let it soak in and dry. Then, apply a second, heavier coat (almost more like paint) and allow it to dry. I did that to my (maple) dining room table and it gave it the rich and dark finish I was after. It takes a long time for a thick coat of stain to dry, so just be patient.

    You could also try a wood conditioner that prepares wood to accept stain more evenly, but I've heard mixed results with that and I've never tried it on pine, but it may be worth a shot. You can pick it up at Wal-Mart with the stains.

    I hope all of this helps! You could always paint them or have your hubby make you new tops out of a higher quality wood, but hopefully you'll get it to work the way you want with what you have. Good luck! :)

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  8. Katie ~

    I have tagged you with a blog award for being a "Versatile Blogger", please come by my blog and see...

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  9. Wow, Katie!! That was a super fins, but such a bummer on the sanding! But your followers/commenters have come to your rescue, huh? How awesome is that kind of knowledge base and support??

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  10. Hmmmm....I'm stumped -- but I'm glad Miss Mustard Seed put in her two cents (I need all the help I can get with refinishing furniture still).

    Good luck, Katie!!

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