Adventures in Staining: Part 1

So I have fallen hard for a new diy this past weekend. It’s staining wood! I had never tried it before because I always wanted vibrant colors in my furniture. Now that I have vibrant furniture, I want something to balance it out. Hence the wood stain. I scoured Pinterest for a bit and then remembered the perfect pin. It is this blog of a woman who makes beautiful images using wood stain. Found here. I guess I really wanted to try it because I pinned it twice. (I have so many double or triple pins from projects I’m dying to try, ha ha!) I was so nervous about doing this project until my husband kindly reminded me that if it looked bad, I could just stain the whole thing. Truth. 

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My goal is to make this plain Ikea table into something interesting and visually appealing. I wanted a trial run first and for some reason I decided that I would make it way more difficult than it needs to be. About a month ago, husband and I ventured to Goodwill, as usual about about twice a month, and I found an Ikea shelf. -We happen to find a lot of Ikea furniture. About a week ago husband brought home a pretty nice Ikea chair that someone left by the dumpster.- The shelf itself was ridiculously heavy and awkward. we definitely did not have a place to put this thing on any wall.

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I had husband cut it up into four pieces. Now they are much more manageable from a design standpoint and each piece can fit comfortably just about any where in the house. My first box I decided to decorate with cherry blossoms.

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I drew it out on a piece of paper and while I didn’t follow that pattern exactly it gave me a great jumping off point. I highly suggest you do the same. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it before I used it under my paint can. Anyway, sketch your design on whatever you are painting first. I’m not an on-a-whim artist when it comes to big projects like this, I have to have a plan. Sometimes not having a plan works out but usually it doesn’t.

Here are my drawings, not the best but it doesn’t have to be. I’m not displaying my drawing. Pretty simple as you can see or so I thought. I started with the flowers and stained the middle. I tried using a cloth to stain but my fingers weren’t small enough. So I started using a pointed clay tool basically a fancy toothpick. I placed one little drop of stain in the middle and then used the tool to spread it out from there. The longer you let the stain sit, the darker it is and the easier it is to get the stain gradient you want.

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I know the gradient is a bit hard to see on this picture and the picture looks like a bunch of raisins on a piece of wood. I stained the tree branch next. For the parts where my fingers were too big I used a Q-tip. I actually used several Q-tips. This is what the final product looks like.

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Some sides are better than others but I love it. It adds a really nice accent to our wall. Now I have to decide what I want our boring table to look like AND I need to figure out what to do with the four other shelves.

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