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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sand And Stain A Homemade Bed



Last year Ashleigh and I bought a California King size mattress, and her father helped us build a big sturdy bed to hold it. At that time we did not and the wood or apply any stain. When we moved recently, it was a priority to finish the bed with some careful sanding and a beautiful pecan-color stain.

I bought a Rigid brand power sander for this task, which performed well. It is a random-orbit style with hook-and-loop circular sanding discs. That means that the circular pieces of sandpaper attach to the hand-held device by velcro, and the surface moves in a sort of round-and-round motion, but the revolutions are sort of random and based on how much pressure you apply. I wish the power sander was easier to turn on and off: the on/off switch is difficult to toggle despite being large, sturdy, and centrally-located.

We used Mixwax brand stain in a pecan color. I applied the stain with a paintbrush in even strokes, making sure to get every part of the wood wet, but then wiped off the excess immediately with a cloth rag. I ended up using every single one of my rags, and even delved into my sock drawer when I needed one more. I wore latex gloves to protect my skin from the stain. It is an indoor stain. After applying one coat and allowing it to dry, the surface of the wood felt very rough like sandpaper. I smoothed it off with a few light strokes of the electric sander with a fine-grain paper disc on it. The little rough bits are the result of tiny air bubbles that come out of the wood as the first coat of stain soaks in; the sander removed those and left a smooth surface; and then I applied a second coat of stain. The second coat dried smooth and with a desirable shiny luster.

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