... or perhaps more than one.
My first mistake may have been the fairly dark stain. I see now what
perhaps should have been obvious: a dark stain accentuates flaws. My
scant past experience with stains was confined to plywood, and not so
dark. So fewer flaws to begin with, and less color to settle in the
scratches. I don't think I sanded any less thoroughly than on other
projects; but those likely have the same flaws, only not very visible.
As for the gel varnish (General Finishes Satin), that is proving to be a
real pain to apply to the "ladder" sides of the units.
Applying it is easy enough, but wiping the excess out of all those inner
corners, and then checking for any spillover on the front and back,
takes a long time. And then I need to re-check for any that gets on the
inner surfaces when I do the fronts and backs. I'll add that time isn't
the problem; no surface went more than a minute - maybe a minute an a
half at worst - between application and wiping off. In addition,
although it's only one coat, it looks a little duller than I had hoped.
Yes, I made test pieces. But somehow the effect seems different when I
see it over a larger surface. I gave a quick rubdown to some surfaces
that won't be seen (I tried a few things: brown paper, 0000 steel wool,
a white abrasive pad, 600 grit sandpaper). All of them seemed to have a
beneficial effect, so maybe I'll do some of that in the end too.
I've got one coat on everything, but I am seriously considering using
something else for the following coats. Perhaps wiping poly, which I've
had good luck with before. Any problem with that choice? Or anything
else I might try?
On the plus side, my wife thinks the coloring and finish lend a certain
"rustic" quality to the pieces, which she likes. I'm less certain I like
the effect, but I have a feeling they will look a lot better standing in
my living room than they do laying on a workbench under floodlights.
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