Nik found a solid wood piano bench in the dumpster a while back, so we decided to upgrade the bench we have, since this new bench has a lift up lid and area for storage. We’re both piano players, so this will be a place to hide our unsightly piles of sheet music.
We decided to keep this bench simple, since it was made of lovely wood that just needed some TLC. We first wiped it down, and then Nik and I used the sander to strip off the old finish/stain and water marks – its been too cold to use the stripper gel to get off the old varnish, but some 80 grit sandpaper on our sander got through the old finish pretty well on its own.
We then did our medium and fine sanding and got ready to stain. The top panel looks like its mahogany, whereas the wood on the legs seemed like something different. Mahogany is a naturally “redder” wood, so Nik experimented with some stains, and found that the top panel would get special walnut, and the legs got a coat of special walnut followed by a coat of red chestnut to match the natural red coming through in the top panel.On the left picture, the left side is the top, and the thin piece of wood is one of the legs, testing out the stain combination.
After matching the stains, we gave it a few good coats of water based poly, and here’s the finished bench. I think the stain-matching came out perfect!
(sorry for the grainy pictures, my phone doesn’t like indoor light it seems.)
Its been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ll update you on the progress we’ve made on the antique secretary we bought at the Raleigh flea market:
This piece was in rough shape, but Nik had the idea of doing an ombre pattern on the drawers with several different shades of stain. We stripped then sanded and sanded and sanded these drawers down and finally got them to have less of an awful red tinge. We also stripped and sanded the writing surface (inside the cabinet, and also the interior side of the flip down part) and the very top of the cabinet.
The three stains we selected are Minwax weathered oak, classic gray, and jacobean.
And we stained the writing surface and top of the secretary, as well as the bottom drawer in the jacobean, then progressed to the lightest color on the top drawer. Here’s a few views of how the drawers came out, and again the image on the right is the order they’ll be in on the piece:
I really like how the middle drawer came out, but we’re thinking the lightest one should have a little more gray in it to blend better. We’re going to see how the rest of the cabinet comes out with the paint, and then decide if it needs to be re-tinted with stain. The body looks like this:
Right now, the plan is to prime and paint the rest of the cabinet (including the compartments that insert into the top of the secretary) and we’ve got a clearance can of paint that is a cream color. Our goal is to get this painted by the end of this weekend so we can wrap this piece up.