I’m sure you all remember that rather pitiful video from the other day? I was on my third application of Citristrip and still had remnants of the SUPER THICK shellac on the farmhouse tabletop. In the process of scraping it off, I had gauged the wood in places. I was seriously ready to scream – but not quit. I had to win the battle.
I had some great suggestions from my fab viewers. Many said that I had let the Citristrip dry out too quickly. For the table leaves (yes, I have yet to attack those) I shall apply the Citristrip and wrap them in trash bags to keep the product wet for about an hour before trying to scrape it off – awesome tip!
I must add that this table has the thickest coat of shellac that I have ever seen. Seriously. No joke. Next time I decide to take off a one inch thick layer of shellac, I shall remember that I actually would prefer to stick a fork into my eyeballs.
Okay, drama over! I managed to get the last annoying, stubborn and frustrating bits of finish off and patched the gauges with wood filler. I let that dry and then used an orbital sander with 80 grit up to 100 grit. I then finished by hand sanding it with 220 grit. It felt smooth and the gauged pieces had been nicely filled and smoothed. Using a sponge brush, I applied the water based Minwax Pre-Stain conditioner.
After three coats of stripper plus all of that sanding there are still very dark spots left on the table. This made me think long and hard on the direction to take it. If I went darker to somehow incorporate the darker bits, it would look like it did before I started! If I went for a warmer tone, the dark would show through. I had originally thought of a gray stain but then thought – why fight it? I decided to use General Finishes Whitewash Wood Stain. It’s a water based stain and I love how it looks over the wood’s imperfections. Very rustic farmhouse.
I still need to sand it one more time, apply another coat of the stain and use a sealer over it. The sealer will darken it somewhat.
The top is smooth as silk to the touch and I am happy with it! Here is a video that I did a few months ago on how to apply the whitewash stain. On the farmhouse table above, however, I used a rag to apply it and really worked it into the wood.