transform your space into
your personal haven

a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host


submit your ideas

talk talk. don't be a wallflower! jump to the discussion boards and share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Minor Makeover Miracles small decorating changes that can make a big difference
Handy Household Tools  

o Lighten Up! make the most of your artifical lighting

copyright 1999-2000

the Furniture FACELift Fiasco, 
a cautionary tale in two parts
| 1 2 3 4 5

Step three: On with the new finish ...
With my chair more or less stripped, I was now ready to apply the new finish. Now first, a little backtracking: at the hardware store, earlier, Id sidled on over to the stain and varnish section and found myself staring dumbstruck at the dizzying array of choices. There were stains in every imaginable color, in matte, satin, and gloss finishes; there were waxes and polyurethanes and shellacs, sprays and bottles and cans. Not a single item had the word "varnish" on it, but after reading half a dozen labels, I came to the conclusion that the polyurethanes described as providing a "beautiful and durable protective coating" -- were probably what I needed. Then I noticed that there was a product that was a stain and polyurethane in one. Woo-hoo, a short-cut, thought I -- and, since I could see no reason to do in two steps what could be accomplished in one, I of course reached for a small can, in a lovely color called pecan satin.

Back to the stripped chair now after wiping down my surface with a damp cloth, I opened the can of stain/varnish, gave it a quick stir, then dipped in my brush. Carefully, as instructed on the back of the can, I began applying long strokes in the direction of the wood grain. But apparently not carefully enough. After having made my way around all visible sides of my chair, I came back around to the front and saw that the stain/varnish had somehow pooled up rather unattractively in some of the corners, and dripped in a couple of other spots. My first thought was to stroke on another layer of stain this, as it turned out, only compounded the uneven-ness problem, as the varnish had already begun to turn sticky as it dried, and my brush now picked up bits and globs, leaving a splotchy, lumpy trail. With no immediate solution in mind, and feeling very cranky indeed, I decided to call it a day and let this first coat dry overnight.

The next morning revealed a chair that had darkened to a warm reddish-golden hue. The lumps and bumps and drips were still apparent, but, amazingly enough, seemed less conspicuous than theyd been the day before. I also 
discovered, unfortunately and to my dismay, that the paintbrush that I had thought Id cleaned thoroughly using mineral spirits, of course had nonetheless became a hardened mass of clumped bristles. A long soak in a jar of mineral spirits was fruitless; so it was off to the hardware store again for the third time in two days.

the facelift fiasco continues ... !

---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.