Thursday, April 19, 2012

Zack’s Room: Oak to Espresso

I have a friend who’s been putting gentle pressure on me to refinish some furniture for her son’s room (I painted a desk for her daughter last year). 

I kept telling her, “Wait till spring!”

As soon as we had two consecutive days of 60-degree weather, she was calling me  Winking smile

The tricky part was that she didn’t want painted furniture this time, she just wanted to darken the existing stain on some pieces she already had.  I will frankly admit that I was NOT excited about that plan.  The only way I knew to get a good, stained finish was to get down to bare wood as best as possible—and anything with creases and corners is a nightmare.

One lucky day, however, I came across this project from Monica Wants It where she used General Finishes Gel Stain to change a boring oak vanity to a beautiful espresso.

Can blogs be answer to prayers?  I think so!

And is it OK to be in love with a refinishing product?  I hope so!

I am SO impressed with the gel stain!  I did NOT have to strip or sand to bare wood.  After scuff-sanding all the surfaces…

gina 001

And trust me, there were a LOT of surfaces…

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A dresser with nine drawers and two cupboard doors…

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…a TV stand-turned-nightstand (also has two cupboard doors)…

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…and a bookcase headboard with two shelves…

Sorry, that’s all the “before” pictures I remembered to take!

I applied the gel stain (espresso color) using my husband’s old socks!  (That’s what Monica recommended for her project.)  It worked GREAT!  I may have to buy my husband some more socks so I can have the old ones!

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You can’t freak out after the first coat goes on…it’s going to look at little splotchy.

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OK, maybe it will look a LOT splotchy!

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But it’s better after two coats (I waited 24 hours between coats)…

gina 009

…and SO much better after three!

gina 010

The funny thing about this gel stain—it smells sweet!  And it looks (and feels) like chocolate pudding.  I was almost tempted to take a taste! 

No, not really!

To finish things up, I used two coats of General Finishes Top Coat (using more socks), and I painted the hinges and the casters with ORB spray paint.

Then I pestered my friend until she let me come take pictures of everything in Zack’s room!

general finishes gel stain espresso

darken stain color gel general finishes espresso

general finishes gel stain oak to espresso darken

how to darken stain color gel stain

Zacky was happy to show me his “new room.”

Gina 014-001

I always like to see a satisfied customer!

Gina 017-001

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My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
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Monica Benavidez said...

So happy you found my tutorial useful. That's why I love writing them- I can inspire others to live a fabulously frugal life. :-) It looks so stunning and major kudos for taking the plunge!

-Monica from Monica Wants It

Kristin@ A Vintage Fairy said...

That stuff is the best! I use it all the time. It works great for distressing too!

Pamela said...

That is a great redo! It looks like he approves!:) Thanx for sharing at THT!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Those little ones are always the best clients, Korrie! That stuff looks amazing! This may be what I need to do the tops of the side tables in my guest room. I wanted to do the pine stained tops with a dark walnut look and then paint the bases. I was dreading if I was going to have to get some kind of stripper. Where might I find this product?

From G2B said...

I've heard of gel stain, but I had NO idea it worked that well! Looks super amazing! Thanks for sharing this!
xo Becca

Kristin@ A Vintage Fairy said...

Nice job! They look great. I have never done that many coats, next time will have to try that! That stuff is the best. It is great for distressing too. I have gotten mine at Woodcrafter.

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Wow! Who knew?
I didn't know you could do this! I think it looks fabulous.


Darci said...

Love it!!! I used gel on my entry table and it was definitely nice to work with!

Cassie Bustamante said...

i love the espresso! it really helps the yellow accents POP!

pcb said...

Looks great! I have been wondering about gel stain and wanting to try it.

Stephanie said...

Good info to know - thanks for sharing! The furniture looks much more expensive now - GREAT job!

I Play Outside The Box said...

Beautiful!!! Found you over at MRL!

Loribeth said...

Korrie!! Wow! What a huge change! You know, I might have to get some of that gel stain to do my lower kitchen cabinets. I'm not completely happy with them.

Yes, I truly believe other bloggers can provide the answers!!!

Oh! and I'm just waiting for the rain to stop here in Michigan, and then I'm going to be sanding down my coffee table and doing the french chocolate ad on it like yours!

Colleen said...! This is totally awesome! such amazing results!

This is the answer to MY prayers too, I've been dying to stain my stairs railing an espresso from ugly orangey-oak. I thought for sure I'd have to strip and sand! I dreaded the thought and knew my husband would hate it just painted black, since the spindles will already be painted white, some wood grain should show, so this is perfect!

Do you think both products would be ok for a railing?!

Your results look amazing!

Stacy Ann said...

Love this! I love Miniwax Dark Walnut stain. Does anyone know what gel would be most like that? Thanks for posting the tutorial!!

Pollyanna said...

Wow, its absolutely adorable!! The decor I mean, and your youngster is even more adorable .... good work, Kuddos!

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

Great job and a satisfied customer, I love it!!

SheilaG @ Plum Doodles said...

I am so glad you wrote about this gel stain. I love General Finishes products- I've used their milk paints, glaze, and top coat, but haven't tried the gel stain yet. Will be getting some now- your projects look wonderful!

Laurel Stephens said...

I had to laugh while reading about you using socks for stain rags. My husband's been driving me nuts for years squirreling away his old socks in grocery bags in the basement. When I started staining my dining room table, I found they were the BEST staining rags, and so plentiful! Husbands and their socks, gotta love 'em. :)

pasqueflower said...

Awesome redo! Zack seems to like his "new" space.

Ali Richardson said...

SO awesome! Wow, lots of work! Great job :)

Stacy Ann said...

Thanks for the info and the kind comment on my blog!

Kimberly T. said...

I love the way it turned out! I wish I was your friend and could get you to do some of your awesomeness in my house. :)

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Oh wow what a great transformation! You did such a wonderful job. It looks great!

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

I love the transformation some paint can make! wow! everything looks great!

Bliss said...

Painting is a lot like baking, but when you get something on your fingers it's best not to lick them.


oops! said...

Hi! You are a sweetie! You really really are, and it was fun to see you! I also, always love to see what your doing - always an adventure with you!

County Line Road said...

I just got back from the store with the Java Gel Stain. This was a true inspiration. Thanks!

Cindy The Victorian Journey said...

How awesome is your transformation. The slogan on it is so nice and inspiring. If you get a few minutes to stop by my blog I am new and would love your visit.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Well I obviously need to try some gel stain! All the furniture turned out beautifully! And what a cute little guy!

Rachel said...

I should know better than to doubt you. :) Those first photos and first coats had me worried, but........ then the final photos! It works!! It looks great!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Korrie, I am so excited to hear about this product! I would rather do about anything but sand furniture. Thanks for sharing and the results look wonderful.
xo, Sherry

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

Don't you love when you find that perfect tutorial that you can pass along ...

It's amazing how you and your new-found gel stain brought that piece into the 21st century!



Gypsy Heart said...

Gorgeous, Korrie! Everything you do is top notch.


Nelly@DGInnovations said...

WOW! What a transformations!! I love expresso too!!! Looks so well done!
Visiting from before and after party!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Hi Korrie! Me again : ) I just put the first coat of the gel stain I got on my guest bedroom side tables. You were right ~ it does look like pudding! I just wanted to know if you put poly on it when all the coats were dry? I have ASCP chalk paint on the base and will be waxing those with a clear wax and wondered if that would work on the stained portion, too.

Kim said...

What did you apply the poly with? The socks also?

Anonymous said...

This is amazing and beautiful!!! Great job! I want to do this to my kitchen cabinets. Do you think it'll work just fine? Tips. And also my husband is sensitive to fumes, how bad does this smell up a room? Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Wow this looks amazing! Great job! I was wondering if this would work for kitchen cabinets? Also how bad we're the fumes? My husband is sensitive to fumes but I so badly want to do this for my kitchen!

Unknown said...

I'm wondering how much stain you bought and how much you ended up using. Being in Canada I'll have to have some sent up from the States and I don't want to get too little or way too much. My project looks to be about the same size as the one here.