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Step by Step 1940’s Vanity Repurpose | Part Two

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

Welcome back to part two of this 1940’s vanity re-do!  Be sure to read the first post to see the beginning of this project!  Today we will finish up this project and you will learn how to correct a mistake in transforming furniture pieces 🙂

So in the previous post, I had applied the General Finishes Water-based Stain in Walnut.  I love using these stains, but I have discovered that using the water based stains on a hot day or a very windy day can be tricky.

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

The stain was applied with the grain and fairly quickly, but it began to dry.  I was not able to keep a ‘wet edge’ due to the wind which meant some of the brush strokes pull off the stain that had started to dry.

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

When it had dried completely, this is the look that I was left with.  Not very nice at all!  But there is a solution to every problem and a lesson to be learned!

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

Using mineral spirits with gloves and #0000 steel wool loosened the stain like a charm. Then I switched to a blue, shop style paper towel.  I changed the paper towel to a fresh one several times.

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

Here is the top with all of the stain removed.  The top still looks a bit wet from the mineral spirits.

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

After the wood was completely dry from the mineral spirits, it was resanded with the finest grit I had on hand – 220 grit sandpaper.  A good vacuuming and then a wipe down with a micro fiber cloth as I had done previously.

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

After cleaning the piece, I moved the vanity inside my garage/workshop and shut the large door to prevent the wind from drying out the stain so quickly.  I reapplied the stain this time keeping the surface very wet with the stain and then wiping it off in the direction of the grain.  I moved very quickly and wasn’t able to slow down to take photos of the process.  Between not being skimpy with the stain and working quickly, I was able to achieve a smooth and consistent surface 🙂

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

The stain is also great for freshening the interior parts of the drawers.  This extra step will make the drawers look clean when they are opened.  I don’t seal them with a clear coat because that could cause some opening problems for the drawers.  The stain soaks into the wood and won’t cause that problem.  Here is a before and after with the drawers:

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

The entire ensemble was clear coated with one of my favs, General Finishes High Performance in Flat.  This finish holds up so well and gives the furniture a hand-rubbed result.

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

Thanks for joining me as I made mistakes and fixed them!   Even after years of completing projects, mishaps still happen.  But if we press on, we can find the solution and fix it.    I encourage you in your own endeavors of reinventing and refurbishing old pieces to not give up!!  Press on my dear!!

Have you had any mishaps in the projects you have completed?  If so, let me know in the comments!  Let’s share with each other as a way of helping others solve their re-do dilemmas!

1940's Vanity Reinvented as a Desk reinventeddelaware.com

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