Category Archives: Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

How to Build and Stain a New Tabletop

By: Minwax Partner

Hi! My name is Stacy Risenmay, and I’ll be showing you how to build a tabletop! This post is sponsored by Minwax, and you can find more of my work on my blog Not Just A Housewife.

My dining room has had a few different looks over the years. One thing that has stayed the same, however, has been the dining table. We love the table that was given to us by some friends when we lived in Vegas. It has beautiful legs and has fit well in our small dining nook. A year and a half or so ago I built a larger top that fit over the original top. It was so nice having a larger top but I didn’t like the edge coming down so far and I thought that the deep edge, plus the black, ended up making it feel bulky. This time when I built a new tabletop, I removed the original top all together and built a new top for the legs. It is easier than you might think to build a tabletop yourself!

Tabletop Before

I think I finally found the right combination of color and size for my new dining room tabletop. This is the perfect table for our little dining nook!

DIY Homemade Tabletop Stained with Minwax Weathered OakDIY Homemade Tabletop Stained with Minwax Weathered Oak

Tabletop After

White Dishware & Green Plant Decór for SpringtimeWhite Dishware & Green Plant Decór for Springtime

Supplies:

  • Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
  • Minwax Wood Stain
  • Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane
  • 1×4 Boards
  • 2×2 Boards
  • Pocket Screws

Tools:

  • Purdy Ox Hair Brush
  • Kreg Jig
  • Screwdriver or Drill
  • 100-grit & 250-grit Sandpaper

How to Build the Tabletop

Step 1: Cut Boards

Cut the 1×4 boards to the length you want your table to be, taking into account that the 2×2 border will add three inches to the length and width. Cut as many as you need to get the width you want. Our dining nook is small, so our table ended up being 54 inches by 38 inches.

Step 2: Drill Holes

I drilled pocket holes and used pocket screws to join the 1×4 boards together. They also connected the 2×2 that went around the border.

Drilling Pocket Holes to attach Legs to DIY Tabletop

Step 3: I sanded the table with 100-grit sandpaper then finished off by hand sanding it with 250-grit. You need to make sure you finish with a fine grit sandpaper to eliminate the lines created by heavier grit sandpapers and sanders.

Stain the Tabletop

Step 4: Apply Wood Conditioner

Once it is sanded and the dust has been wiped off with a damp rag, apply a pre-stain wood conditioner. If you are going to use an oil-based stain, use an oil-based conditioner. If you want to use a water-based stain, there is a water-based conditioner as well. Follow the directions on the can and wait the appropriate time before applying the stain.

Step 5: Stain the Wood

Stain the wood with your choice of color. I wanted the tabletop to go with the reclaimed wood surrounding the giant chalkboard so I chose the Weathered Oak wood stain by Minwax. I have used it many times before and knew the stain color would be perfect! The more coats you put on, the darker the color. I ended up applying two coats. Soft applicators like the Purdy Ox Hair brush work best for applying stain.

Seal the Tabletop

Step 6: Apply Polyurethane

Once the wood stain has completely dried, it is time to brush on the polyurethane protective finish. Again, use a soft brush that is meant for oil-based polyurethane.

Applying Minwax Polyurethane with a Purdy Ox Hair Brush

Once the polyurethane has dried completely, sand it using a fine grit sandpaper. When wood gets stain and seal it can raise the grain and make it feel rough. Sanding it smoothens it and helps the second coat of polyurethane sealer to adhere. Sand in between each coat. A tabletop needs at least two coats, but three is best.

Sandpaper Used for DIY Tabletop

Applying Minwax Polyurethane with a Purdy Ox Hair Brush

Bonus: Stain your other furniture to match!

While I was at it, I also sanded down the top of my bench and stained it to match the table. The legs on the table and bench got a fresh coat of white paint. I love the whole look!

Springtime Tablescape Décor with White Dishware & Fresh GreenerySpringtime Tablescape Décor with White Dishware & Fresh Greenery

Decorating Your New DIY Tabletop

Springtime makes me think of gardening, so I picked up some potted herbs to keep in my kitchen until I can plant some in my garden. They made the perfect addition to the spring tablescape.

White walls, lots of greenery, and warm wood tones together is my favorite combination. The Weathered Oak color is perfect!

The large window lets in plenty of light. It is one of my most favorite sunny spots in the whole house.

I feel like I finally have my dining room where I want it to be, and it is bright and fresh!

Do you have a dining table that you love?

This post was sponsored by Minwax but all the ideas and opinions are all mine.

Finally! A beautiful nightstand makeover.

By: Minwax

Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick loves sharing simple, inexpensive ways to decorate your home. Check out her latest project using Minwax® products.

This post is sponsored by Minwax®. I only work with and share brands I know and love!

Hey there!! I’m SO excited about this project my friends! It’s been so very long since I’ve been able to focus on a DIY anything since my back injury. And this one has been such a long time coming — I finally finished this up with the help of Minwax®. I work with throughout the year and their stain made this project shine!

We’ve had these nightstands for years! Goodness. I mean…this is one of my biggest procrastinations ever. 🙂 Here’s a reminder of the Tarva dressers (from IKEA) I started with:

These are small dressers but were the perfect size for a nightstand as well. I really wanted something with storage. 👍 When I put them together years ago I cut down the legs with my saw. It makes them the perfect height for by the bed and I just prefer the shorter look.

I went back and forth on a look for these forEVER. Here’s a reminder of how they looked in our old master:

I replaced the wood knobs with random IKEA ones we already had — not sure why cause it didn’t do a whole lot to help it out. 😉

I always knew I’d use stain somehow and add some trim. The exact details I wasn’t sure of. But when we moved into this house it all fell into place. My inspiration is a project for our master I haven’t even started yet — I’ll share with you (hopefully) soon!

I wanted to use a deep blue color and a dark stain. I went back and forth on whether I should stain the front of the drawers or stain the trim and top. I decided on the latter mostly because the pine these are made of isn’t necessarily the best. Lots of knots I didn’t want to accentuate.

So I started painting with no primer. I’m a total rebel! I knew I was going to have to do multiple coats no matter what. After the first coat it’s important to do a light sanding to knock down the texture that pops up with paint:

You’ll have to do that with primer as well. No need to go crazy with it — just a light going over is fine. Wipe it down with a rag or tack cloth before moving on to your next coat! (This pretty blue is called Gale Force.)

What a difference another coat makes! The grain becomes less and less noticeable:

I started on the stain while I waited on the paint to dry. I wanted to go darker this time and went for an old favorite, Jacobean by Minwax:

It’s just a yummy color! I used it on our hardwoods in the old house and it’s a beautiful dark brown without any red tones.

I use gloves and a rag to stain. Makes it super easy to apply and I find it quicker than using a brush:

It really gets the stain into the wood too — you’re really rubbing it in.

I only do one coat of stain but if you want to deepen the color you can do one or two more. Do be sure to wait till it’s dry in between coats or you’ll have a gummy mess.

Make sure your stain is dry before starting the protective coat as well. I used their fast-drying semi-gloss polyurethane because I have absolutely zero patience. 😂 Never shake your poly — it will create bubbles and bubbles are the enemy of a beautiful, smooth finish. Always stir:

Staining is my favorite because it’s immediate gratification, but poly is a close second because it really brings out the beauty of the wood:

You want to smooth out that finish as much as possible. It’s helpful to use your light source and look at the item from the side to see what needs touching up. I find a few lighter coats work much better than one heavy-handed coat.

It already looked SO good! But I knew the final addition would make it even better. I used this inexpensive lattice wood trim I’ve shown you a million times to trim out each drawer front. I stained the pieces first and then cut them down to the correct size:

A nail gun makes for quick work (I used very short nails — make sure they won’t go through the back!) but you could absolutely use glue too!

You’re going to have a rough edge if you trim them out like I did. I could have mitered the edges but I’m still using my handheld saw and miter box. (You can (affiliate) get your own here!) I knew the mitered cuts would take little more finesse. Turns out our saw was lost in the move and I need to get that figured out with the movers.

I preferred to have my rough edges facing to the side of the drawers, so I did a long piece along the top and bottom. A bit of stain covered them right up!:

And then when dry, it was time to poly these as well. See how using the light helps?:

I’m absolutely THRILLED with how this came together! Gah! I love it!

The top of the dressers stained up much prettier than I thought it would!:

I’m impressed because we’ve been using these for years without any protection. I tried to stay on top of any spills and avoided leaving drinks on them, but still, I was surprised.

I used pine trim to match the top. Different woods will stain up differently and even the same will have small differences. Pine is definitely a more rustic look, so plan accordingly:

I got the hardware half off at Hobby Lobby weeks ago and just LOVE them on here! My whole plan for this space is kind of a rustic elegance design and the nightstands fit that perfectly:

The blue looks navy sometimes, sometimes a blue green. I like them both. 🙂

I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been looking at the pine dressers for so long or what, but I’m smitten. They’re just so pretty and…finished. 😉

I still have to finish up my husband’s side though — so close to having these done after years! Sometimes it’s a good thing that I procrastinate. I didn’t have a great vision of what I wanted until we moved into this house.

I had the lamps — I thought I had returned them and went to the basement looking for something else and there they were! I must have known they’d work perfectly!:

Of course, like usual, one finished project starts a series of changes. I plan to change out the bedskirt eventually. It looked great with our old wall color but I don’t like it in here with the drapes and dresser color:

But that I can deal with!

That photo above makes the dresser look really navy, but this one is the more true color. I am obsessed with it! It’s such a pretty blue:

Because you know I have to do it…here’s the before of this dresser:

And this is the after, with some paint, stain and beautiful hardware!:

YAY!! I’m not going to celebrate too much till I finish the other one — but YAY. 😉

If you have any questions about this project let me know! It feels so very good to get things done again after nearly six weeks!!

A Portable Make-Up Station

Mobility is always important, even when it comes to putting on make-up. Rather than having to always work in front of a large wall mirror, I decided to devise a portable make-up center to make things a little easier when Leigh Ann is on the go. I spotted this 18″ unfinished pine table top at a craft store, cut it in half and glued the two halves together to make a thicker base.

I then drilled some 1″ holes into (but not through!) the base to hold tubes of make-up, as well as a slightly angled slot across the back to hold a small mirror.

I like pine because it is inexpensive and lightweight, but when stained it tends to turn blotchy, so after a light sanding with #150-grit sandpaper, I brushed on a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

Fifteen minutes later, I returned and applied a coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Classic Gray,” let it soak in for about five minutes, then wiped off the excess stain.

After it dried, I opted to spray on a few coats of Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish to lock in my stain, add a pleasing sheen and give it some protection.

Then it was just a matter of setting it on our bathroom counter and letting Leigh Ann decide which make-up to add to the make up station.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Two-Tiered End Table

New furniture can be expensive and inexpensive furniture is often made of particleboard. So when we were looking for a new endtable, I decided I would need to get creative and build on myself. I really like these solid pine, pre-glued panels available in large home improvement centers. The panels come in a variety of lengths and widths and are easy to cut to whatever dimensions you prefer. They would serve as the perfect material for what I had in mind.

I started my end table project with 30″ x 18″ piece, then glued and screwed a 14″ section to one end for the back. The remaining section will become the second tier of my two-tiered end table.

Since the pine panels are just 3/4-inch thick, to give the appearance of being thicker, I glued and nailed 1″ x 2″ pine boards to the edges.

I then used Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler to disguise the small nail holes.

As soon as the Wood Filler had hardened and dried, I sanded the entire table with #150-grit sandpaper and vacuumed off the dust.

To reduce any blotchiness when I stained the pine, I first applied a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

Fifteen minutes later, I grabbed a heavy-duty paper towel and began rubbing in a coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Honey.” I just wanted a light coat of stain, so after three minutes I then wiped off any stain the wood had not absorbed.

While the table was drying, I set my four unfinished legs on a scrap of foam board and sprayed on a coat of Minwax® Polyshades® in “Classic Black.” Polyshades® is a combination of both stain and polyurethane that, unlike paint, lets the grain of the wood show.

For the two tiers of the table,  I added two coats of clear Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane. It really enhanced the beauty of the wood and will provide all the protection our end table will need.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce