savannah (onsafari) wrote,

Finishing up

I’ve finally finished the bookshelf that I built with my father. I’d put off staining or sealing it because I was paranoid about my ability to get a nice, even stain applied. My success on previous projects was directly proportional to the color I picked - the darker the stain, the worse I applied it. Especially in cases where I really wanted the color but not the saturation. As a result, this bookshelf has been sitting in various pieces waiting for me to get some courage for over a year.

Two weeks ago I finally got the bug. I decided that I really liked the color of the red oak without any stain at all, so all I needed was to seal it. We get tons of natural light, so 3 coats of varnish is essential for anything to retain even a bit of its intended color. The living room floor is a perfect example of this - the color fades from one side of the house to the other in direct proportion with the amount of sun.

The trouble with 3 coats of anything is that it takes 4 hours between coats. So it took 4 sets of painting sessions (yes, 12 total) to get everything sealed. It took a couple of weekends, especially with other projects thrown in, but I’m done. And the piece is beautiful. I’m still deciding whether or not I want to wax over the sealant to protect the wood from scratching and daily abuse, but for now it’s actually holding books.

Additional images in the gallery.

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.

Tags: woodworking
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