Saturday, May 17, 2014

How I Refinished Our Wood Kitchen Island Top

I recently shared our spring front porch where I had freshened up our front door with stain. I received several inquiries about how I did it so I thought that I would share the steps I take to refinish it. Now I do not have another door to refinish but I do have the custom wood top to our kitchen island.
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island
Mr. Front Porch and I made over our kitchen island three years ago. You can read all about that here.
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
After three years of wear and tear this is what the top looked like. This top sees a TON of traffic from my paint projects to sitting hot pans on it. I figured it was way past due for some fresh stain!;)
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
I took the island top outside and used medium grit sand paper to hand sand the top down. I hand sand because I do not like the little squiggle lines my orbital sander always leaves behind. 
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
I do not sand the entire thing down to bare wood. I sand just enough to take off the old poly. I prefer things to look aged and I like the different depths this gives to the wood. After sanding I wiped the top down with some wet paper towels. This not only cleans all the sanding residue off but also opens the grain of the wood up to accept the stain better.
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
Next I use a clean white rag to apply the stain. My preferred choice is Dark Walnut by Minwax. It is a beautiful color.
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
You can choose how much stain you want to apply. The lighter the coat the lighter the stain. I applied it on a little thicker to deepen the color and wiped off the excess. You do not want to leave the excess on or your piece will NEVER dry. It will always be sticky/tacky to the touch.
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
After a few hours in the sun it was time to add the protective top coat. For things such as front doors which will be exposed to the elements or kitchen island tops which take a lot of abuse my choice is Minwax Helmsman Sparuthane. It is specially made to endure the elements such as rain and what not. I use a sponge applicator for this to eliminate brush strokes. 
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
I applied two coats of Sparuthane to the island top. In between coats I took some steel wool and lightly went over the top and then made sure to dust it off well with a clean cloth to remove any tiny particles of wool. You do not want to trap those with the second coat.
from my front porch to yours- kitchen island stain project
The Sparuthane dried fairly quickly and within two hours the kitchen island top was back on the island and ready to use. The Sparuthane is a tad shiny and in most cases I prefer things not to be shiny but since the island top receives so much abuse I felt it was best to use the strongest protective coat.

Please keep in mind I am NOT a professional. This is just how I accomplish my staining projects. Before completing any project it is always best to do some research and decide on the best method for yourself.

14 comments:

  1. Turned out great! That is exactly how I refinish and re-stain wood!

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  2. Pamela, great post! Great job, looks beautiful! I sure needed to read about this last week! I did a little bit of staining to a small part of a table and was as sticky as all get out! It's all finished now and looks great. But your tip about it being dry, it's a must!

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  3. It looks great! We made a kitchen island a few years back out of our old Pottery Barn table and it is in need of little sanding and staining, too! Thanks for the reminder that it really isn't that hard...just have to get motivated now! ;)

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  4. I remember when you did your island, Pamela ~ I can't believe it's been three years! I still love it. The top looks great all refreshed. I like a dark walnut stain myself.

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  5. I think that's a lovely piece. In all it's refreshing & tweaks. :)
    There's something you might want to try for outside. It has outlived any type varnish or urethane products I've ever used. I've got my front door sealed with this, and it's been 7 years. I read this online somewhere and thought I had nothing to lose.

    I bought Behr (and I've used Olympic) Exterior Latex Flat, Dark (#4 or 5) paint BASE. The base, pre-tint, has all the UV protection and stuff that makes exterior paint last so long. It goes on white and dries so clear and matte, I always wonder if I missed something. So I use 2 coats. The thing is, it's TOTALLY matte. I use it to coat pieces that are really chippy, because it's invisible. Even the chips don't have that glued down dried shiny stuff you get from other topcoats.

    I'm using it as we speak on an antique door I stripped with Citristrip. (No sanding.) It's so beautiful I'm not staining it, but wanted to find a way to keep the really raw look. I succeeded. Then, I have a door I left in the yard for a year to chip. I succeeded. :)

    Anyway, it's an interesting topcoat that one never thinks of. And it goes on beautifully. Water clean-up. You do such clever things, I thought you might want to add that to your arsenal.

    BTW. I really love your island. If you were anywhere near me, I'd bribe it right out of your kitchen! The colors and details are so sweet!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, man. Sorry about the novel (again).

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  6. That top turned out great Pamela...love the whole island!!

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  7. Turned out just beautiful, I am gonna try this on a table!

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  8. Pamela this is gorgeous. I love the deeper color stain so much!!!

    Cynthia

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  9. BRILLIANT!!!!
    Love how it turned out so inspired now!
    Thank you.
    toolsadvisors

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  10. I have read your article post. Thank's for tips sharing. Informative and interesting which we share with you so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts. I am tiring the same best work from me in the future as well.
    woodworkingbuddy

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  11. I think our kitchen worktop needs some loving like this! My husband does the sanding so he gets to practice the belt sander tips he reads online, LOL!

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