We are half way through the One Room Challenge. Things are definitely still in construction mode and I get a little nervous at this point wondering if everything is going to come together. The last two weeks have been spent working on prepping the wood for our pergola build.
Generally we would not take two weeks to sand and stain our wood, but here me out. It’s spring and our weather has been cooler and wetter than normal. This usually doesn’t effect sanding. But it does effect staining. Here we’ve sanded all the boards. There are 4- 4x4x10 boards, 4- 4x4x8 boards and 8- 2x4x10 boards. The 4×4’s are for the top square and the legs of the pergola. the 2×4’s are for the rafters across the top.
When sanding the boards, we used 80 grit sandpaper and did a rough sand. Just enough to smooth out any scruffy areas. Because it’s outside and not being used as furniture we decided we didn’t need to make the boards completely smooth. We did sand the whole area of each board, not just the scruffy areas. We used a handheld orbital sander, it makes life so much easier.
When choosing the stain, we first looked specifically for waterproof and sealing in one. Behr has a great line of Waterproof stain & sealer. Next we looked for a color that we liked. We found Padre Brown to be the color closest to the look we hope to achieve in our outdoor spaces. Hopefully this fall we will be painting the house too, but first, we need to finish up this project. When looking for a stain color, keep in mind the overall look you are hoping to achieve, you may want to paint instead of stain.
After we purchased the stain, we thought we were going to be able to start the next day, but a storm system moved in and we ended up having to wait about 4 – 5 days before it was warm enough and dry enough to begin. Check the instructions on the label of the stain or paint that you choose. There will be directions and suggestions for temperature and humidity ranges to stain/paint in. We choose to apply two coats of stain. The label on the can suggested at least two coats and to allow the stain to completely dry before applying the second coat. Drying times will depend on the weather, so check the label and then touch test your wood before applying the second coat.
Tips and Tricks:
These are our tips and tricks that we use when staining. They are our personal preferences, you may find you like to do things a little different and that’s okay. There are a lot of different ways to do things.
- Wipe down your wood after sanding to remove any excess dust.
- Use long fluid strokes with the stain to avoid pooling and overlap.
- We use a lint free cloth instead of a brush. This helps with dripping, pooling and overlap as well.
- Wear gloves when staining to avoid stained hands.
- When finished staining leave the cloth and gloves out to dry completely before throwing in a trash can.
- Make sure to seal the lid tight on the container of stain when not in use to keep any foreign materials out of the can and to keep the stain from drying out.
- Make sure to stain in a well ventilated area.
I love the process of staining, I find it relaxing. I turn on a podcast or my favorite playlist, it’s kind of like me time. Make sure to take your time and you will love your project for years to come. To check out more projects happening this spring with the One Room Challenge head here: https://www.oneroomchallenge.com/orc-blog
Joleen & Jess