Tables – and not the HTML kind!

So I finally got around to putting the second coat of stain on the end table today, and I’ve now got a couple images of the table being finished.  We’ll start with the table as it was unboxed, before I did anything:

Unfinished, unassembled table

Completely unfinished, not even primed – just finish-sanded and delivered from the store.  The first task was to give the entire thing a bath – wipe it down with a wet sponge (not damp, wet) and let the water soak in to the wood.  That raised the grain so I could do another finish sanding, which will help reduce the need for sanding after each coat of stain and lacquer.

My first task was to put some stain primer on.  It darkened the wood a little, but only as a side effect, and not really noticeably:

I stood the pieces up so there would be less area touching another surface – trying to help the drying process.  Like I said, slightly darker, but more of a “wet wood” darker than a “stained wood” darker.  So then, I put the first coat of stain on:

At this point, I did a very little bit of sanding – mostly on the surfaces that would face out and up (table top, outside of sides).  There really wasn’t much sanding needed, thanks to the water bath as the first step.  After letting it dry for 4-6 hours (well, more like a week since I got bogged down in other things, but 4-6 hours minimum), I put on the second coat of stain.

NOW it’s got the rich wood tone I wanted – pretty much exactly what was in my head for the ideal tone.  These pictures are about 10 minutes after the excess stain was wiped off, so it’s still quite wet to the touch and will need to dry for at least 24 hours before the first coat of lacquer goes on.  The first two coats will be very light and sone unassembled, then I’ll put it together and start putting on thicker coats until the surface veneer is the smoothness I want.

I’ll post more pictures as I make more progress – which will probably not be until the middle of this coming week or next weekend and the earliest.

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