When my mom moved out of state she gave me an old chest and I kept it the original color for a couple of years then grew tired of of the red-ness. I decided to paint and distress it, which I SHOULD HAVE NEVER DONE!!!
Fast forward to now, I have begun to run out of projects and was growing bored, so I thought I would try my hand and refinishing. It’s a lot of trial and error!
Here is the original color in an un-edited photo from our family room before (still need to do an updated post with how it looks now). In case you are unaware many of the photos you will see on Instagram and Pinterest are highly edited to brighten up a space, therefore not showing the true color. Ever wonder why paint color never looks the same on your walls as someone you found a wall color from? That is why!
Here is a progress shot of the family room after (furniture has since changed), but you can see the trunk painted white
The first thing I needed to do was strip the paint off. I used Kleen Strip that I was only able to find at Home Depot locally, ordering it online for store pick-up. I applied the paint stripper following the directions and then scraped off.
As you can see not all of it came off. This is the backside of the trunk and what was left before I started standing.
Here is the top of the trunk where I sanded with 80 grit to remove the paint and stain, then I will go over it with 120 grit and 220 grit
Completely sanded with 80 grit, 120 and then 220
After sanding and before staining you need to apply wood conditioner. This will help the stain go on evenly and not look blotchy. I used Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.
Once the conditioner was dry follow the directions on the can. I tested out a few different stain colors. Top left is Weathered Oak, Top Right is Classic gray and bottom right is Provincial. I went with Provincial on the bottom right. Scroll down to see the next picture and you will understand why.
Just to give you another look, Weathered Oak on left (looking too yellow) and Classic Gray on right in which I wasn’t pleased with how the wood was taking the gray.
The entire chest is now stained Provincial and now looks so similar in color to the original, which is NOT what I was going for. Remember when I said “Trial and Error” above?
Time to lighten this up! Once the stain was completely dry I used 120 grit sand paper first to lighten it up and then 220 grit to get a smooth surface. The bottom of the 3 boards is after sanding. I know it looks horrific, but I promise the end result was worth it.
Once I was all done sanding (I forgot to take a pic), I sprayed all the dust off with an air gun and then used a Tac cloth to get the remaining sanding residue off. I then sealed with one coat of wipe on Polyurethane in clear satin (less expensive at Lowes) **NOTE** when I applied the poly it really brought out the color of the stain and I started freaking out because it was too dark. I followed the directions and gave it a quick sand with 220 grit and it was exact color I was going for.