Introducing the sister piece to the mid-century cabinet I shared last week. This post follows the same format as my last post where I detail my process and more importantly, lessons learned from trial and error.
– Sanded the entire piece: Outer frame was sanded down with an orbital sander down to the raw veneer. Drawer fronts were hand sanded to roughen up the original finish.
– Applied three coats of Kilz primer.
– Painted the outer frame four coats of Benjamin Moore Aura Satin in Super White then sealed it with two coats of Howard’s Citrus Shield Paste Wax.
– Painted the drawer fronts Behr Ashwood in Satin then sealed them with Minwax Wipe-On Polyurethane .
– Used a roller for large flat surfaces and a good quality brush for other surfaces.
Problem: Staining Veneers
As I mentioned in my previous post, mid-century pieces are covered with great walnut or teak veneers. So, it’s no surprise that my original plan for this dresser was to sand the frame, stain it, then paint the drawers a lighter color. After sanding the piece and giving it one coat of dark walnut stain (a second coat would not have fixed the problem), it looked like this:
I already suspected that this veneer would not look good after struggling with the other piece. But I was determined to avoid covering up those cool peg details with paint. I wanted one of these two pieces to boast a beautiful wood finish. I thought that if I use a dark stain on the veneer, the blotchy spots would disappear. Not so. The dark stain only accentuated them!
I chose to paint it although I’ve heard of techniques to help the wood take the stain more consistently. Some of these include water popping the grain by using 50:50 very hot water and denatured alcohol; using wood conditioner (doesn’t always work for me); or bleaching the veneer.