We still have a few finishing touches to put on the girls’ office (see all the plans here!), but over the last week we tackled a really fun DIY that transformed the dark cherry stained wood countertop that was there into a white oak looking one that matches our floor a little better. And today, we wanted to walk you through the process of layering stains because WHAT A RELIEF THAT PROCESS WAS!
Here’s how it looked when we started. The cabinetry and desktop were all stained the same dark cherry:
One of the first things we did in the room was sand down the countertop because we really wanted to re-use it and wanted to make sure it was going to be possible. A few (okay, a lot) of passes with the palm sander showed a much lighter wood (we’re thinking it’s Douglas Fir because it’s softer) that we could DEFINITELY work with.
I had really gotten use to the lighter, raw counter but as you can see above, it had a yellow-ish tint to it and I wanted it to coordinate a little more with our floors. (These are our floors.)
The process took 5 steps.
- Sand down the counter really well with an orbital sander.
- Condition the wood with a Pre-stain conditioner. This is especially important with soft woods like Fir and Pine. Otherwise, your wood can look splotchy as the stain won’t take as evenly.
- Then we layered on our first stain–Minwax Driftwood. I highly recommend using these stain pads–it goes on so easy! I panicked at this point because it looked REALLY rustic and I didn’t love it at all. But the great thing about stain is you can layer different colors to get the look you want!
- On top of the Driftwood, I layered on Simply White stain. It was EXACTLY what I wanted. It really grayed out and softened the countertops.
- Lastly, we put on two coats of water based Polycrylic sealer to protect them!
You can watch the simple process (and get a peek at the after) right here!
The girls’ office is almost finished and we’re loving the way it is looking. We hope to share the before and afters (I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW FAR WE’VE COME!) next week!!