Friday, December 28, 2012

Refinishing Our Dutailier Glider - Part 2

In case you missed part 1, make sure you check it out here.

It quickly became clear that I hadn't sanded things well enough to stain yet.


Especially around the joints and screws...

(Oh, and it also became clear that I'm pretty terrible at staining!)

I decided to experiment with the seat some more until I figured out a process that yielded the best results. As you'll recall, even though the color came out pretty well, there were still some streaks visible from where I hadn't sanded it down enough.


First, I went over it again really well with 60-grit sandpaper -- enough to strip off the layer of stain plus some.

Once that was done, I went over it again with 220-grit to really smooth things out.
Side Note: The guys at the woodworking store (who helped me identify that the wood was most-likely maple) advised not to sand it with too fine a grit, otherwise the stain wouldn't take. Some of forums were saying the same thing, although others said to go with 220 or even higher before staining. I noticed that the wood still felt pretty rough when I stained it after sanding it with 150-grit, so I wanted to see if using 220 would make things better or worse.
When the wood was nice and smooth, I tried staining it again.

This time around, the results were amazing!



Not only did the stain take more evenly, but the wood was definitely smoother to the touch, too.

As a comparison, here's the back part of the seat that could still use some more sanding (I'm going to leave it, though, since it'll be covered by the seat cushion):


So now that I knew I had to go over everything again -- twice -- I knew I'd save a lot of time and frustration if I could take the chair completely apart before going at it.

Which meant I'd have to break some more glue joints...


Once again, soaking the joint with some vinegar


and using a putty knife and hammer to break the joint


worked like a charm!


Of course, I made sure to take some pictures along the way to reference when it comes time to put this thing back together.


Because this doesn't look like a very fun puzzle:


The chair was a similar process, but it went pretty quickly since I was an expert at this point.
Side Note: Want a tip for how to get a Christmas present early? Drop hints about how your drill bits keep breaking right before Christmas, then strip out the last screw so you have to run to the store to pick up a new bit. Most likely, your amazing wife will stop you by giving you a brand new set of really awesome drill bits that you weren't supposed to get until Christmas morning.

From there, sanding each individual piece was a breeze! I really wish I had take the chair completely apart from the beginning.


The hardest part, by far, was sanding in between the slats on the outer pieces. As you'll recall from part 1, at one point I ended up using a metal file:


Since I had so much trouble sanding these these pieces in the first place, I knew I would need to go over them again really well.

After searching online and looking over my options in the hardware store, I decided to try a sanding sponge.


The size was perfect, and it definitely helped get in those tight spaces. I went with a fine grit on the sponge, and I used the Dremel Multi-Max to do the rough sanding.

The only problem with the Dremel was that it was difficult to get it where I needed it -- like to the point where I chewed up the pad by putting too much pressure on the front of it.


That caused the sanding pads to get chewed up from the back (see the chewed up one on the left, compared to a new one on the right). Eventually I just took the pads, folded them in half, and used them by hand, which worked well enough.
The pad on the Dremel tool that holds the sand paper is only about $10, so at least that won't be an expensive mistake.
With everything finally completely sanded, I set up my staining station.




It's a messy job, but at least it's a pretty simple process.


With the dye stain, I just rubbed the stain on the wood using an old rag, then smoothed it out so it went on evenly.



And since it soaked in/dried quickly enough, I was able to do the entire piece without having to stop and let it dry before flipping it over.


After comparing the wood to the dresser and crib, we decided another coat should get it really close. Then I'll apply a few coats of the Clear Wood Finish lacquer that I bought and let that cure before putting it all back together.

Hopefully it will go as smoothly as I'm envisioning!

Find out now -- read part 3 here!

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