I purchased this table back in September at a garage sale.
I loved the detail on the base of the table, but didn’t love the dated dark, shiny, reddish finish which also was not in very good condition. So of course I planned to give it a makeover.
I started by stripping the top of the table using Citristrip. Although I stripped this piece outside in my driveway back in September, I like using the Citristrip because it can be used indoors also and it’s not as toxic as some of the stronger strippers. But the trade off is that it doesn’t work as quickly as the stronger strippers. Usually it works great to just remove some old varnish, but this piece had some serious red colored stain that just kept coming up. In fact, even after three passes with the stripper I still hadn’t gotten quite all of it. So I put the table in the back corner of the workshop to think about its bad behavior for a while.
Then over a frigidly cold weekend recently I pulled it into the house to finish the job. Since the tabletop was not a uniform color, I decided to forgo my original plan of just waxing it and instead try the Homestead House Stain & Finishing Oil All in One (or SFO for short) in Cappucino.
Homestead House sent a complimentary sample of this product to me a while back, but this is the first chance I’ve had to try it out. Although this product isn’t designed to cover up discolorations, my hope was that the dark color of the Cappucino would help disguise the fact that the wood tabletop was still just a little bit splotchy from that red stain.
First things first, the SFO is ideally meant for bare wood. It is designed to soak into the wood rather than sit on top of another finish like a gel stain does. Also, it is color and topcoat in one, no need for the multiple steps of stain followed by poly. Once cured this stuff is even durable enough to use on floors.
Here is what Homestead House has to say about the ingredients: “Our Stain & Finishing Oil is composed of plant products, Safflower oil, Tung oil, Linseed oil, Vegetable wax, safe odourless mineral solvent and cobalt free siccative which means effective drying without toxic cobalt dryers while being virtually odourless.” And based on that, I felt comfortable using this product inside my home with no windows open. It was -12F outside when I was working on this, so opening a window was definitely not an option.
To prep the table top I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper, vacuumed the dust, and then wiped it down with a clean microfiber cloth. I applied the SFO with an old brush, but next time I think I would just use either a lint free cloth or a stain applicator pad either of which can then just be tossed. This is not a water based product and cleaning an oily brush is just not something I enjoy spending time on.
After applying the product I let it sit for about 10 minutes to absorb into the wood. Then I used an old t-shirt to wipe away the excess.
And that was it.
No need for an extra topcoat. After 3 days this finish is cured enough for normal use and after 10 days it is fully washable making it a great choice for table tops.
Although you can use multiple coats to deepen the color, I found that just one coat was plenty dark for my table. However, keep in mind that multiple coats will also improve the durability and increase the shine slightly with each coat. If you don’t want to darken the color, but do want to increase durability or shine you can do your first coat in the color you want (Cappucino for example) and then add subsequent coats of SFO in Natural (allow 24 hours of drying time between each coat).
Seriously though folks, I am pretty much a novice stain-er. I don’t have a lot of experience with wood stain and I am pretty intimidated by it. It seems like you have to be very careful to keep the color even, etc. etc. But this stuff was super easy to use.
I mentioned that the SFO is best suited for bare wood, but it also works great over milk paint. I did a double take the first time I read that one myself. I do a lot of painting with milk paint so I’m always interested in alternative top coats. When you think about it, it makes total sense that the SFO will work well over milk paint since the paint itself is porous and will allow the finish to soak in. I did a little practice board to see how the Cappucino SFO would look over both some Coal Black (top) and some Midnight Blue (bottom) Homestead House milk paint.
By the way, please try to ignore those white specks in my paint.
Don’t use sandpaper that was previously used over white paint to sand your dark milk paint, it will leave little flecks of white paint behind. Lesson learned.
But hopefully you can see that the SFO looks fantastic over the milk paint. It adds a richness to the color, but not a lot of shine. I plan to try this technique on a piece of furniture that I’m working on currently.
With all this talk of SFO being an oil, designed to soak into porous surfaces like bare wood and milk paint, you might be thinking that you can’t use it over an existing sealed surface (such as Fusion or other acrylic paints). While it’s true that it’s not ideally meant for those surfaces, you can do it. Much like you can put hemp oil over Fusion paint. It won’t soak in like it does over bare wood or milk paint, but it will harden as it dries and provide both color and added protection. I tried a practice board for that too, using Fusion’s Plaster and Park Bench.
The difference when using the SFO over non-porous surfaces is that you need to wipe carefully. If you wipe too vigorously you will just wipe away all of the SFO. Wipe gently leaving a thin coat behind and then let it dry. I think it gives a similar look to using a glaze, but again with very nice matte finish. I love the Cappucino over the Park Bench.
I hope that some of this info about the Stain & Finishing Oil has helped give you a better understanding of how this product works. I definitely plan to use it on a couple of upcoming projects, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that. But meanwhile, back to my little table.
For the base of the table I pulled out some Fusion paint in a color that I’d never tried before called Cathedral Taupe.
I’d always thought this color had a bit too much pink in it for me, and it definitely does have a pink undertone. I think the pink shows up more in photos than it does in real life actually. The combination of the Cappucino colored top and the Cathedral Taupe base is gorgeous in person. I feel like I didn’t really capture it well in my photos.
Once again I applied a little beeswax before painting to help make distressing the edges of the table base easier.
I plan to bring the table in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell, unless one of you wants it first? If interested, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more info.