Staining the Entertainment Center

T-E Entertainment Center 12-5-20

Sometimes it feels like this is the project that will live with us forever in the basement. I think it’s just because Jay has been working on it since October. It’s not his fault that it has lingered for so long. When you have to wait for your finishing department to fit it in their schedule, you get behind.

After all of the Christmas making was behind us I told him to start laying pieces of it on my workbench so that I could begin finishing it. To be completely honest I was very scared of this project.

T-E TV Center Shelves Bare 1-3-21

Jay’s sister wants a distressed barn wood finish. I’m not good with the faux finishes. I would much rather stain and poly wood. So to say that I was putting off this project would be an understatement. But it’s their wedding gift and I can’t hold off for ever.

I had done some research on faux finishing and how to get the look of barn wood. There are so many different ways to do it, but the method that made the most sense to me was to stain it a wood color, then go over it with a gray paint and then white wash it. Obviously, there are a bunch of steps in there, but that was the basic idea. Instead of using gray paint, though, I decided to go with a gray stain. 

First, I had to put the brown base coat of stain on the pieces.

T-E TV Center Shelves Base Coat 1-3-21

It looks splotchy because I used two different colors of stain to make it splotchy. I figured distressed wood needs to have some different shades, otherwise it would be nice and neat and referred to as ‘calmed’ barn wood.

T-E TV Center Doors Base Coat 1-3-21

After I took these pictures I actually went back with a third color of stain and went over them again. I wanted it to be a bit darker. After that was completely dry I coated everything in gray.

T-E TV Center Doors Gray Coat 1-10-21

I didn’t want it to be a solid gray, though. I wanted there to be streaks where the brown showed through from the base.

T-E TV Center Shelves Gray Coat 1-10-21

I did a good job of getting everything covered in gray stain…

Stain Coat

Good thing this was one of my old sweat skirts!

I thought I had the process down and so I tried to do the white wash on top. You see, I originally thought I would be able to stop at the gray stain and then poly it. Nope. They wanted it more the white-gray color. Today I did my best to do a white wash coating that doesn’t look like white wash. I started on the bottom since that’s the side nobody will see. Here they are after the white wash:

T-E TV Center Shelves White Wash 1-10-21

I couldn’t get a good picture without the lights glaring off of the top. I’m not happy with it. Does it look too uniform? Is there something missing? I’m not sure. I think I need to sit with it for a bit and decide if this will work or if I need to do something else.

*sigh* Why couldn’t they have been happy with it dyed a golden oak??

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