Tag Archives: stain

Rescued Piano Bench

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.

bench 2 bench 1

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.

bench 3

bench 4 bench 5

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.

bench 7 bench 10

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!

IMG_1601   IMG_1605

IMG_1604           IMG_1603

(sorry for the grainy pictures, my phone doesn’t like indoor light it seems.)

Progress on the Ombre Secretary

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:

IMG_0993 IMG_0974

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.

IMG_1051 IMG_1053

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:

IMG_1058 IMG_1054

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.

Cedar Lane Chest

Our bedroom always has lots of loose blankets and things floating around, so we wanted to redo a chest to use for storage. We found this beautiful cedar chest made by Lane on craigslist, and paid $80 for it. We loved the unique veneer patterns on the front of it. It sat around all winter while we waited for it to get warmer to work on it. Once we stripped and sanded it down it looked like this:

IMG_0798  IMG_0801 IMG_0802Some of the veneer was chipped in places, so Nik repaired this with extra veneer we had. We stained it with special walnut stain, and sealed the entire thing with polyurethane. IMG_0838   IMG_0423 IMG_0424After buying this piece, we decided it would be best to keep the waterfall dresser we previously refinished, since these two make somewhat of a matching set.