While trolling around craigslist, a while back, I came across of steal of a deal that I couldn’t pass up. An 80’s classic maple-oak buffet, but with a unique scrolling, filigree detail running along the edge of the top. At $20, I wasn’t too concerned with ruining it, and decided this would be a great chance to practice my “gel staining” technique. Basically, this was my practice piece. For around $15 I got a small can of Minwax gel stain at Lowe’s, however they did not have all the available colors. I wanted one of the darker stains, and the darkest they had was “Brazilian Rosewood”. Anything was better than honey maple in my opinion.
I didn’t prep the buffet at all.
Let that sink in. No sanding, no cleaning, no buffing and polishing. To clarify, I will tell you that the piece is a mix of materials. Real wood base, doors and top with particle-board sides and a thin plywood back. This was not what you would consider quality hardwood construction.
I will admit, that I didn’t read the directions…and that seemed a bit out of character for me…and I learned my lesson. I assumed it would be like any standard wood stain, wipe it on with a brush, let it sit, then wipe it off to reveal the color. Repeat until you get the desired darkness you want. I brushed it on, waited about five minutes, and then tried to wipe it off. It did not wipe off this piece, and now I had small cotton fuzzies from my rag all down the side.
I painted the buffet with stain. Yep, that’s as easy as it gets with a really nice finish.
The last piece of the puzzle took me another couple of weeks to solve, and it was party because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. The back panel of the buffet was a piece of heavy-duty cardboard, with a faux wood finish over it (don’t you just hate fake wood) which I see myself painting over. So I began a search for a black and white fabric, paper or gift wrap that I could decoupage over it. I knew that I wanted what some might call a “busy” print with lots of scrolls, , maybe floral and curves and somewhat vintage. Perhaps a paisley, or fleur-de-lis pattern, or even a floral, in black and white.
I was finally able to locate just what I was looking for at Micheal’s Craft Store in the gift wrap section. I pulled out the staples and took off the back, and using a 1 to 3 parts mixture of glue and water, I covered the fake back. And here you have the finished product, in my office. I think it goes nicely with the blue and the black and white ties into my color scheme and desk.