Three days of sanding, staining, drying, and varnishing all done!
I finished last weekend but it took us a few days to move the set from the garage to the patio. Here’s a chronicle of the project. It really wasn’t that difficult but did take about three days doing it by myself.
UPDATE: to see how things held up after a year, click here
The first step was to sand off the old finish, or at least smooth it out. The Northwest weather took its toll, after only a year.
We used 60-80 grit sandpaper for the initial sand. On the chairs we took the finish almost completely off, but by the time I got to the table I was worn out, so that was less sanded. In the end, it turned out fine. The 80 grit was maybe a bit too rough a sand, but did a great job of taking off the finish.
My husband helped for a little bit with sanding. He liked using the Ryobi Corner Cat sander better and I liked using my 3M Sandblaster hand sander. I had to use sandpaper without a holder for in between the slats. That was the most labor intensive part of the project.
We ended up using Olympic Maximum solid stain in “Granite” color. It’s a taupish-gray color. I bought a gallon, not knowing how much I’d use, and only ended up using maybe 1/3 of it. More for next year, if needed. (Although if you notice the can says 10 year protection-EVEN BETTER!)
This is what the chairs looked like side by side, one sanded and one stained. I ended up doing only one coat. It provided enough coverage. On one of the chairs I sanded the top sides with 220 grit sandpaper, thinking I was going to paint a second coat. This smoothed the surface nicely.
Last year I bought a gallon of clear sealer because we weren’t sure of the new set needed waterproofing. When water initially beaded up on it we decided to forgo sealing it. But for good measure with this product, I decided to put a light coat of this on it. Don’t let the color inside the can fool you. It was a peachy color but dries clear. It had a very potent smell so I suggest wearing a mask. Even through mine, I could feel the fumes practically consuming me, therefore I only did the chairs and bench. We’ll see how the table fares without it.
And drumroll please…………………………………
Olympic Maximum 1-gallon stain: $37 at Lowe’s
3M sandpaper in 80 and 220 grit: $8 at Lowe’s
Diablo refills for Ryobi power sander: $12 at Home Depot
Existing brushes, plastic drop clothes, and sanders: free!
That’s $42 cheaper than a whole new set. And skips all the backbreaking hammering, allen-wrenching, and screwdriving that would go into putting together a new IKEA set, which we all know can be such a pain in the ass.
I know we’re both excited for the warmer weather to start making it’s arrival so that we can enjoy more nights on the patio, like this one we had last summer. A grilled salmon taco fiesta complete with Margaritas and homemade guac.