Monday, March 23, 2009

Slain with Polystain

Right now I am focused on getting the den done. I want it to feel like the Paula Deen of dens....I want it to draw you in with a warm and cozy spirit...I want it to feel like it has been around a hundred years but not stuffy...I want it to make me smile.

Ya'll remember my conundrum?


Yupperdoodle. Five different wood finishes. So I got to work to remedy the color problem. The table in between the chairs (#4) and the dresser (#1) needed to be morphed into a more sophisticated version of themselves. I conjured the makeover powers in the movie Princess Diaries where Anne Hathaway goes from 'nerd' to 'word' - and hoped that I could be as effective as Julie Andrews...dude, is there anything that woman can't do?!?


Just take a gander at the top of this dresser. The shame. But what can you expect for $25 at Goodwill, right?


Our original plan was to use Minwax gel stain in walnut. But nobody sold that color. I found that out after calling 17 home improvement stores...so I bought hickory instead. We sanded the pieces lightly to make sure that the stain would stick. And here are the results after two coats of gel stain...


Less dramatic than a Hugh Hefner breakup (or three). The problem with the gel stain was that you had to wipe the thick-as-butta stain off after you let it sit for a few minutes. The longer it sits - the more time the wood can suck the color. But the longer it sits - the harder it is to get it off. I could only convince my boyfriend to assist me with two coats... I needed a hero and fast.

Enter Cabot Polystain. I picked up a jar of Dark Oak in satin finish...it's the butter on my pecans...it's the sugar in my grits...it puts the purr in perfect! Sure, it takes a million thin coats - but there is NO WIPING OFF REQUIRED :) By the time I finished the first coat, it was dry enough to apply the second.

Twenty-five or so coats later....


...our curvy little side table matches the flanking bookcases.

And the moment you have all been waiting for....dim the lights please...our new princess of the den is ready for court -


I couldn't believe it either :) Let's look at it one more time:


I am officially on the Polystain train. I am slain with Polystain. I would love to obtain, sustain, explain the Polystain campaign with plain Jane, Elaine and Wayne in Maine while drinking champagne. Can you tell I have Polystain on the brain? (heehee)

I loved this product. And the results were fantabulous, no? So the question is...did you guys know about this? And if so...why didn't you tell me?!?! One hundred points to those of you that wanna join the Polystain chain gang.

27 comments:

Emily said...

OMG it looks PHENOMENAL. I'm blown away. Love the dresser. Looks like it belongs next to your canopy nightstand with those knobs and dark stain.

Amanda said...

No way!!! That is AMAZING! I wish I would have known about it before I tackled a $20 endtable with some brown paint this weekend. What a nightmare... it isn't going well.

But, I will be picking some of that loveliness up for another endtable that I want to restain, very soon!

LJK said...

Amazing! It's making me want to get on the stain chain gang.

Amanda said...

Did you apply with the "cheesecloth" type of material? Also, did you finish it with any kind of sealent/protector?

Freckles Chick said...

*jaw dropping* Now I've got a dustbunny in MY mouth. Amazing transformation! I didn't know such a product existed. Hmm, now what I can stain around here? I think I might need new furniture.

Centsational Girl said...

She's gorgeous ! You've got skills. I salvaged a dresser with Minwax last month. But yours? Ooooooooh la la. So puuuuurrrty.

Liz @ itsgreattobehome said...

I have been debating how to refinish an awesome old bed set that I just picked up at a garage sale (you can see it here: http://itsgreattobehome.net/2009/03/23/garage-sale-greatness/). I think your polystain approach would be perfect!! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Kristina with a K said...

Love it! Looks fantastic and good to know about this gel stains stuff. I know I had mentioned something (which was the gel stain, I just didn't know it) before about this magical stain. Maybe I should rethink doing my cabinets in this if there is so much wiping involved.

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

WOW - you don't have to wipe it off? That's amazing. It looks awesome. I've got 2 nightstands now calling for it.

Lovely Little Nest said...

Stunning!! You did a great job :)

Katie said...

Amanda - I applied the Polystain with a foam brush...because I am lazy and hate washing out brushes. And no sealant/protector was needed...according to the Cabot peeps, polystain provides a tough, non-yellowing, water and mar-resistant finish. Since it is part stain (for the color) and part polyurethane (for the protection and finish), I figured that I was good to go with my multiple coats.

Liz - whoa! $10 is a steal! I hope that this is just the thing for you! Just remember that the polystain does not provide a smooth finish on wood that has gashes or divets and the color may vary when the stain goes into those areas...so sanding/filling may be necessary :)

Kristina - just so you know - the gel stain wouldn't have been so bad for, let's say, a ceiling beam. But since my dresser was not upside down and still a substantial surface area, I HIGHLY recommend the polystain. Believe me, your tennis elbow and volleyball shoulder will thank me :)

XO - Katie

Lacey said...

It looks gorgeous!!! Nicely done!

Kelli said...

That is really good...looks amazing.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Medlins said...

looks awesome! i too wish i would've known about this stuff sooner. i did our whole bedroom set with gel then got so frustrated i painted it! i love the wall color in that room too..so you know the name of it?

Marge said...

AH-MAZ-ING. My utter jealousy of your DIY ability strikes again. I show my husband the picture of your bathroom piece about twice a week. We have been painting things and I think that doing a stain may be just what our furniture needs...

T i f f a n y said...

I need to do that to my old bedroom furniture in the worst way. I just haven't had the guts! But you made it look pretty easy to do and it turned out fabulous! I may need to just bite the bullet. PS - I love those curtains!

MrsRoy said...

I'm in- it looks fabulous!! I think you might MIGHT have inspired me to finally stain our TV stand that I've been hating for 2 years!! Just because that dresser looks so good!! Great job. :)

Kim said...

I've never even heard of polystain. But, it looks amazing! what a makeover. I really adore the end table.

Martha said...

After that refrain how could anyone abstain from hopping on your polystain train??

I ask you....

Sara said...

Wow! What a difference! You did a great job. I've never heard of the polystain before, but it will be my go to if a project like this comes up. Thanks for the inspiration!

Joi said...

A-maz-ing!

Those pieces look fabulous. Way to go!

J said...

Where did you buy the polystain, Lowes? Thank you! Both pieces look AMAZING!

Jen M said...

Absolutely AMAZING transformation! That dresser looks fantastic. Well done!

queenbee said...

Wow!!!! Fantastic job, I can not beleive that they are the same pieces of furniture. I think instead of painting my cabinets I will polystain them instead. GREAT JOB!!!

20-Something Superhero said...

What a fantastic job. Both pieces turned out great. I will have to find this stain when we move and I decide to tackle a couple of vintage pieces I have.

Amber said...

Hey Katie!
Just wanted to give you an update on a recent project I just finished! On my last visit to Lowes this past weekend, I picked me up a can of this same Cobot Polystain in the same color you used. I used it to stain a 9' round unfinished wood pole (aka, my home-made curtain rod). This stuff is AMAZING!!! Since I have not seen any 9' curtain rods (longest I have seen is 8') I knew I had DIY project on my hands and it was so much cheaper doing it this way too! Great product, so glad you posted about it. I will post pics soon of the final project!