Adventures in Staining

When we last left my swing shelf it was hanging gloriously in the master bedroom, but it was unfinished and now that I’ve decided (ahem, on a whim) to update that room it was time for the shelf to get a little attention.

Here’s what it was before:

swing shelf, hanging shelf, suspended shelf

A piece of wood with 2 holes drilled through each end and rope tied through the holes. Read the how-to on hanging it here.

Somehow I’ve lived in this house doing projects for 2 years and I’ve never stained anything, so here’s what I learned:

  • Stain is much more watery then paint, so choose a brush you can control and make long swipes with it
  • Paint thin thin thin coats, or it will bubble and you will panic.
  • Stain has a stank on it, so don’t be a fool and do your staining either outside or in a garage and then leave it there to dry a day or two. I was a fool, and then I got a real big headache and my house stunk.
  • Paintbrushes covered in stain are extremely difficult to clean. Mine is currently soaking in a cup of water on the kitchen counter.

Here’s an in progress shot so you can see the difference it made:

dark walnut stain, miniwax

And here’s the shelf now (I apologize for the grainy pictures, daylight savings time is making it difficult to get a good shot because I’m basically at work during all hours of sunlight.):

stained shelf

I’ve changed up the display a little- including keeping that teeny tiny succulent alive for like 3 whole months- and the stain makes a huge difference.

dat bottom. owwww.

dat bottom. owwww.

I used Miniwax brand stain in dark walnut with a poly built right in, and I would absolutely recommend it.

And, just because it’s too small a project to have its’ own post, I also painted a skull for the bedroom. Yup, a skull. I like how they look. Anyway, you can get a styrofoam skull for super super cheap after Halloween. I first spray painted it white with Kilz primer (which I sneak peeked on instagram), then I painted it black, then I painted gold craft paint as the final coat. I did a black coat because it darkened the gold a bit and shows through on a few spots. Mr. Skullface now lives on our bedroom tv stand as another part of our master bedroom facelift:

gold skull

The bookshelf might be on my list of updates for this room too, I haven’t decided yet. I think I’m kind of over the circle stamps.

So there you go- 2 of many tiny updates that will hopefully make the whole room look refreshed 🙂





10 thoughts on “Adventures in Staining

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  5. I LOVE stain so much! And don’t even feel bad about doing it inside the house… I’ve done it more than once. haha! Well, and there are some things you can’t help but staining inside the house (for instance, our pillars in the basement). Your shelf looks so good. I didn’t know they made a stain that had a poly built in. That is convenient!

  6. looks great! We finally gave up on cleaning stain brushes and just bought a big bag of super cheap ones to use and then throw away. you need paint thinner to clean them, I think? or is that just for oil based paint?

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