I love refinishing furniture, and have been doing so since I was a little girl. I use to help my father in the many projects he had on the go when I was growing up, staining furniture was one of my favourites.
A friend of the family handmade us a bench for our front entrance way out of naked pine. My dad picked out the wood for me and choose the boards that had the most knots, he knows how much I love the natural character of wood. I had great intentions of completing this project in the Summer but then decided that the cooler days of fall would be much more enjoyable to work in. I was lucky enough to have my father fill all the nail holes with a putty before he gave me the bench. The next steps to crate a beautiful rich looking finished product are very easy and fun!
Items you will need:
a well ventilated area
First I took the bench outside where I sanded all the fill in the nail holes and lightly sanded the top surface of all the wood. I then took my leaf blower and blew all the debris away, fast and easy!
After I took an old rag and applied my first coat of stain, remember to not let the stain sit for too long before taking another rag and wiping it clean, approx. 30 seconds is good. Work in small areas at a time, this makes the whole piece look more uniform in colour. I then waited for the stain to dry, I waited an hour but follow the directions on your stain label for exact time frames. Then apply a second coat and then a third if desired. For my bench I applied three coats of stain.
After letting the stain dry completely (follow your labels!) you are ready to apply a top coat of varathane. I decided to go with a high gloss finish but the gloss is up to your own personal preference. I recommended applying at least two top coats, even three which is what I chose. I just find that the first coat doesn't seem to reach all the areas uniformly and a second and third coat just gives the pine a really rich hard finish.
Once your varathane is good and dry (approx. 24hrs or according to the label) you are ready to bring your item back inside and put it to use. My fiance was pleasantly surprised when he saw the finished protect and so was I! Have fun!