Finishing the Bookshelf
When it comes to finishing furniture, I love the actual application. It’s like meditation and art all in one. But darnit I have so little patience for all the drying and off-gassing time!
When you last saw the bookshelf I built, it was looking like this:
When I stained it, I wanted the color to, roughly, match the existing furniture in Virginia’s room. To get a rough match, I put a bunch of stain and stain combos on a “stain stick” and brought it up in the daylight to look at it next to Virginia’s furniture.
When I compared the stain stick next to her furniture, I thought Red Chestnut (Minwax) with Dark Walnut (Rustoleum) over it was the winning combination. Getting the first coat of Red Chestnut on went pretty quickly. I didn’t do a very careful job on the undersides of the shelves but I did make sure to stain all surfaces.
To apply the Dark Walnut over it, instead of using a foam brush, I used a rag and rubbed it on. I think it just helped get a more natural looking finish. By the time I reached the bottom two shelves, I had realized the best method for this: Glom a bunch of stain on using a foam brush (see middle photo below) and then really work it in with the rag. (Yes, glom.)
Here they are side by side so you can see the difference.
I put two coats of poly on it and left it alone in the basement to off-gas for a few days and then we could finally drag it upstairs (this thing is heavy!) and get it into Virginia’s room.
The existing furniture in her room was my grandparents, so it is old and beautifully worn, and the wood is a different species so I knew I’d never be able to get a perfect match, but I think I did pretty well. Plus, this will be on the opposite side of the room, so no one will be able to compare them side by side like this.
Finally (finally!), I got to move it into place. I used some metal brackets like these ones to secure it to the wall. With such a heavy piece of furniture, especially one with serious tip-over potential like this, you don’t want to take any chances. This thing is not going anywhere.
I am so happy with how it turned out, Character-Building Errors and all!