To my surprise and delight, the finish came completely off while I was sanding that I was finally able to stain the top of something! I used a palm sander and started with 150 grit to take the scratches and old finish off and then used 220 to smooth it completely. It took about 15-20 minutes to sand it to the raw wood.
After I finished sanding, I chose to paint the base of the table before staining the top because I like to paint my pieces upside down (when I can) so I can make sure I cover everything. I painted using Behr Outback homemade chalk paint. Once it was dry I distressed the paint with a medium grit sanding sponge.
But I had to run out to HD to get the supplies to stain since I hadn't stained anything yet. I got Minwax stain in the Dark Walnut color, a half pound bag of wiping cloths and Minwax Wipe-on Poly in the satin finish.
I was nervous about having to buy all these supplies for such a tiny little table top, but I was optimistic that I would be able to start sanding and staining more in the future.
To apply the stain I followed the directions on the side can of stain. I used one of the wiping cloths to remove any sanding dust from the table top. Then I applied the stain with a foam brush that I already owned and let it sit for about 20 minutes before I wiped it off with the wiping cloth. And it came out like this...
Yay! I love the combo of the Dark Walnut stain with the Behr Outback green color. The table was already dark, so the distressed areas reveal more dark wood to complement the dark stained top.Once the stain was dry I used another wiping cloth to apply 2 coats of the wipe-on poly and Minwax Finishing Paste on the base. I did notice the stain takes at least a day or two to dry.
I was able to do the same thing to another small table a few weeks later. I did the exact same process, except for this table I didn't distress the paint. (I do try to sand down the tops of most pieces I get, but the old finish doesn't always come off. I wind up painting those tops)
This time I used cheesecloth to apply the stain. I feel like I have more control applying it and it is easier.
It came out just as nice as the other table, but has a whole different feel.
These tables were both pretty small, so they were priced very well and sold nice and quick. Can't get any better than that!
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