Friday, March 28, 2014

Starting the finish

With all the assembly complete and final sanding done, I decided that it was time to work on finish. I used a lot of the knowledge I had picked up from the chest of drawers to get this started up. I found that with pine, wood dye works. I started this process on Wednesday by applying glue sizing to the piece. I make my glue sizing by mixing Elmer's Glue-All and water in a 5:1 water to glue mix. I shake and stir it up until it pretty much looks like milk, then I painted on a couple coats of it all over the entire nightstand. I left it overnight to dry.

Yesterday rolled around and I figured it was time to get the dye on. I had mixed up a batch of the Cherry Rosewood dye to make samples a while back, and I just left the jar of leftovers sitting around in my garage. I found it and tested it on a scrap and it seemed to work okay, so I applied it to the nightstand. My initial tests with this color seemed very purple, but now that it's on a full size piece, I can see the rosewood color very strongly.

I am glad about how the glue sizing helps to really control the blotching that pine can have. I am noticing some of the grain reversal and there are a couple of uneven spots, but I know that's pretty much how pine can end up. I fixed it by adding a second coat of dye and letting it soak in a little longer. I love how putting on the second layer of dye can really help to even out the color from uneven brushing and laying it down a little unevenly.

I made a really stupid mistake when I was doing the legs and I ended up hitting my brush and sent dye flying everywhere. Of course as Murphy's Law would have it, some of it flew into the drawer and stained the drawer bottom. I figured I could just blow it off and not worry since it'll be inside the drawer and if I have stuff in the drawer, it won't be seen.

As I got everything finished up, I am really happy with the color the dye gave to the pine. I tried to be careful to pick evenly colored pine pieces so that I would have less headaches on the finishing stage. It seems that strategy paid off.

I'm going to start applying poly tomorrow and it will probably take a couple of days to finish up everything. I think that I'll be able to get it into my room by Sunday, so I'm excited about that. Then I can work on figuring out what else I need to build and I can clean and organize the garage so I have more shop space.