Finishing the Table

As you know, I have long been building this dining table. I managed to finish up the building part the other day, as you can see below. It was Lauren’s idea to keep the boards together by screwing on some metal strips. I also rigged up these little wooden braces of sorts that will hold it firmly into place onto the base without having to be permanently bolted down or anything. Genius idea! Now we can haul it into the house in two separate pieces and put it back together easily, or we could move it in the future without disassembling it.

Unfortunately for me, the staining of the table top went haywire. I sanded the four big boards, then applied wood conditioner. Shortly after, I applied the first coat of stain–rather liberally. I wiped the excess stain off with a cloth and applied a second coat, again saturating it pretty good so it would match the base. I came back in later that night and put on a clear shield to bring out the shine. Now I’m not sure if I forgot to wipe the excess stain from the second coat, or just didn’t let it dry enough or what, but somewhere in this time period something went wrong. This was three whole days ago and it has never fully dried. It’s still a little sticky. It has been humid out, so maybe that’s partially to blame, but the top of the table certainly has its issues.

If it never does fully dry I guess there are three options. 1) Live with it. 2) Strip it and re-stain it. 3) Go buy 4 more boards and do it over, as each board only cost $8.92 to begin with. The materials so far have cost just over $100 (about $175 if you throw in a few tools and stain). Given that the table is based on this one from Anthropologie that retails for $1998.00, I can probably afford to take a step back and re-do some things if I have to.

The bottom of the table: 4 board being held together by some strips of metal and some braces.
The bottom of the table: 4 board being held together by some strips of metal and some braces.
The bottom of the table with a coat of stain on it.
The bottom of the table with a coat of stain on it.
The table top carefully turned over and placed on its base, then stained.
The table top carefully turned over and placed on its base, then stained.

UPDATE: A week passed and once the humidity dropped, the stain dried and I was able to finish the project. 100% relative humidity was to blame. So, crisis averted. See the finished project here.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve had that happen when staining something, too. It keeps feeling sticky, so I guess that means it isn’t quite dry. I don’t know what the answer is, but maybe when you get it moved into the house where there’s less humidity it will fix itself. Otherwise, I’d say it turned out really well! Now you’ll have to build a bench to match.

  2. Hi. I saw your table on Ana White’s website. I love your table. As far as stain, I may be able to help you. I now only use rustoleum wood stain. It’s $8.48 for a 32 oz can at Lowes. It says your color is achieved in 1 coat. That is true. That’s the only stain I can use where I don’t wipe it off. Because I don’t wipe off, drying time is a little more, but only by several hours and not days. All the other stains I used before, I could not leave on or it would have taken days to dry. So when I did apply the old stains, I had to put on then wipe off, dry, apply again, wipe off, dry, apply again, etc. I hated the process, so when I found this stain, that was it for me. I use no other stain. It you do wipe off this stain, it dries in an hour. You should try it for your next build. Here’s Lowes website for this product: http://www.lowes.com/pd_127478-90-260148_1z0xzoq+1z13ywj__?productId=3400334&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1%26page%3D1&facetInfo=Rust-Oleum

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