I decided to spend the afternoon working on a long delayed project- staining the wicker furniture I got for free on the curb in last summer. I bought the supplies for this project back in July and then shelved them when I thought about the unpleasant reality of restaining outdoor furniture in temperatures over 120 degrees with over 90% humidity to boot. Yeah, not such a good plan!
Today was a balmy 80 degrees with very little breeze of blowing sand, and so once I sunscreened up, I made my move to the patio.
There is the new conversation area with the unstained furniture. It might look OK here, but in reality the poor wicker looks dry, grey and desperate. The great pine box I had built to hold the cushions also needs a darker color and some protection from the elements.
Because the wicker is so very dry and sunbleached, and the box is just naked wood, I started out by giving everything a coat of pre-stain wood conditioner. Well, not everything as the can ran out before I got to the wicker couch or the back of the wicker armchairs. Truth in blogging, y'all.
You can see how the wood conditioner slightly changes the color of the wood. My box just sucked it up- it was dry to the touch before I finished all the sides.
The wicker chairs also sucked up the wood conditioner- you can see how much better they look on the left.
Here you can see the box (two coats) and the chairs (one coat front and back) contrasted to the couch and table (no coats of anything).
Here is where I stand at the end of the day. I ran out of stain so the back of the couch has barely any coverage and the backside of that piece is completely untouched. The table is also in its original state because I have no more stain. Lesson learned- give everything one coat before you give anything a second coat! Still, I think the box really needed the second coat and I can always pick up a little can of Dark Walnut to do the back of the couch and the table.
I am much happier with the darker color, and can't wait to see it with the cushions. The can says the stain dries in 8 hours, but I think I'll keep the cushions off for at least 24 because I don't want any transfer onto the aqua pillows. I have to say I think the coverage of the stain on the wicker was better where I used the wood conditioner- the backsides of the chairs are definitely more splotchy than the fronts. Still, they could be drying at a different rate and so that could be part of the issue.
I plan to spray poly the box at least- unsure it that is a good idea for the wicker or not. I did get some stain onto the concrete but I'm hoping I can scrub it off tomorrow to make it less obvious. I am delighted that I finally found the motivation to do this project, and hope it bodes well for the rest of the year.
Happy 2013 everyone!