A Stainer Darkly

The Pits: On the way to church, I got frustrated with Weston who told me he went to bed crying last night because I didn’t give him a treat. We’d had a big pizza dinner!

The Peaks: The boys have, for some reason, become more crafty recently. This morning I tried to throw out their empty Tiny Toast cereal box and Turner asked if he could have it. With the use of a liberal amount of my duck tape, he fashioned a cardboard basketball goal for his room. He’d previously made one that wasn’t as sturdy that he ended up giving to Weston, who was pleased to hang it up in his room.

I connected our new HD antenna to the TV on our porch and we got to watch some of the playoff game on it. At least Traci, Turner and I did, under a blanket to stay warm. Weston stayed inside and played his Kindle.

Big Pit: I have to tell you, this tabletop is becoming a crash course in woodworking. I had another big setback today with this table.

Some backstory: A few weeks ago came across this weathered farmhouse table that was linked from this Ana White page. Traci and I both liked the stain and finish, so we decided to go with it. I should’ve taken notes before heading to Home Depot, but I knew how to access the page on my phone so off I went.

When I arrived to Home Depot, I tried to access the link from Ana White’s site, but the link was outdated and I wasn’t able to access an archived version of it on my phone, so I selected out the closest stain possible from my memory.

With tomorrow being a holiday (“King Martin Jr. Day”), I figured I could get the tabletop stained today and then apply the finish tomorrow. The boys were playing in the driveway with Hector and Traci was at the movies with Andrea watching Patriot’s Day (or, as Weston calls it, “Bomb Boston”), so I had plenty of time to allocate to getting started on the stain.

My personal struggle was that, before I started staining, I knew I should test it out on a smaller piece of wood and run it past Traci before staining the whole table. I knew it. But that would take more time and I was just excited to get moving on the project and get it done so that I could start on something else. As it turned out, I made the unwise decision to proceed with the stain.

Personally, I think the stain looks beautiful. It reminds me of rich coffee and straight whiskey, of the fine quality leather used to make gun holsters and journal covers. It’s how wood is supposed to look.

The problem is it’s too dark and doesn’t match anything else on our porch. That and none of the rest of my family likes it.

I was deeply frustrated when this was brought to my attention, mostly because I was mad at myself for a silly mistake that could’ve been easily avoided if I’d had more patience. Now, instead of getting this project done this weekend, it’s going to take even longer to correct the error.

I finally calmed down and accepted my mistake. I decided to embrace the opportunity to learn a new skill of stain removal. Won’t this be fun!

A Stainer Darkly
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