Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Restained Wood Dresser (in which I establish a no-mustaches in the bedroom rule)

Well, Kenny and I have actually finished a project. Cue the banjos! In celebration. Because we like folksy music.

We sanded down a dresser to within an inch of its life here. Kenny deserves 98% of the credit, because he has the patience of a saint when it comes to sanding. Then we slapped some stain on it. That was more my speed–instant gratification without physical exertion.

From the get-go, we knew we wanted to replace the hardware on the dresser because the handles closely resembled mustaches. Kind of like these handles:

See!?!? Do you see the resemblance to a mustache? I didn’t take actual photos of the hardware for fear that my two readers would stop reading my blog. Yes. The hardware was that scary. I might incorporate them into my next Halloween costume.

Since I refuse to have any mustaches in my future bedroom (that goes for you too, Ken.), this past weekend, we spent an arm and a leg on some fancy hardware for this guy. Here’s a handle:

And here’s the whole thing (the drawers aren’t pushed in all the way because the finish is still curing a little):

KaBam! I know. I can’t stop looking at pictures of it either. I’ll understand why my blog stats spike on this post. So beautiful.

As for a budget–Plan A was to buy an IKEA Hemnes dresser in black/brown, which costs about $250.

We got this one for free from Kenny’s parents–and it is good. solid. wood.

We spent probably $30 on sandpaper, stain, and poly, and another $40 on hardware–so about $70 all told.

Not only did we “save” $180-ish on this, I love this one way more than anything I could get at IKEA. MMM.

Stay tuned for more!

UPDATE: Here it is in it’s final resting place (not!):

doily garland and rustic barn wood art



Dealing with Stains

I should clarify.

This post is not about laundry.

We’re talking about the good kind of stains–wood stain!

Kenny and I, in our quest to drive ourselves insane by taking on several large projects before the wedding, have recently become gurus at finishing and refinishing furniture.

Well, after one success (the bed), we now feel as if we can take on the world.

(We’ll see how that goes).

My grandpa made me a bookshelf when I graduated from high school many moons ago. I love it. It is solid wood yet light and airy looking–sort of West-Elm-esque, but better, since it is homemade with love. Back then, I just had him leave the wood bare and just throw on a coat of varnish, but since then, my tastes have changed from light wood to the opposite…dark wood. MMM.

All I’d have to do is sand off the varnish, slap on some dark walnut stain, re-varnish it, and it’s all set, right?

HA. Sanding took a few hours but was fine. The stain part is where I ran into trouble–for some reason, it stained really unevenly. My dad and I’s theory is that there are some pieces of the wood that are harder and some are softer–it has a really great grain in it, but it made staining interesting.

Plan B was something that I didn’t have to wipe off, and I settled for some 2 in 1 stain and poly.

(I am fully aware that my eyes/expression look sort of scary here. This is an action shot, people–no time for posing!)

I’ve done 2 coats and it seems to be working well–though I still want it darker. I’m hoping that the more coats I put on it, the darker it will get.

Oh, and this is the bottom half of the shelf. My grandpa hinged it in the middle so that it folds down into a table of sorts, but the top isn’t pictured here.

The other big project we’ve been working on is sanding and staining a dresser Kenny’s parents gave us (bought by them when they were first married!).

This is me with crazy hair using a power tool without any sort of protective gear. Don’t do this.

This has been more of Kenny’s project, since he has the patience to hand sand all of the ridges on the drawer fronts that the power sander can’t get. We’re ready to coat it with stain and finish this guy up soon!

What big projects are you (foolishly?) taking on lately? Anyone else have weird experiences with wood stain? Does anyone else lie awake at nights endlessly listing the things you have to do, working yourself up into a panic? No? Shoot. It’s just me then. đŸ™‚

29 days!