Consider this before before staining anything!
See how Two Tones of stain on a single piece can change it’s whole look!
We are loving this sweater weather! I hope you guys are enjoying fall as much as we are. So many things have been going on and we can't wait to catch you up on all of them. Today we are so excited to share a project we have been working on, in partnership with ZAR® interior stains and sealers.
Atlas has been asking to play an instrument for a long while now. For a bit I thought he was just trying to "make us happy" and "be like dada", but I really, truly believe him now. He's asked specifically for violin, cello, piano, and electric guitar and has been asking for instrumental music to listen to and wants us to identify what instrument is playing. He's convinced me he's ready for the commitment.
Then we saw this tiny and adorable piano, and it was all over. When we first saw it, it was $75 and we went home to talk about it and plan out how we wanted to refinish it and make it come to life again. Then when we went back, it had gone on sale, to the low low price of $45. Talk about fate. I really believe this little piano wanted to make a home with us, and we were so happy to have her.
We adored the gingerbread details, but it's dated and dinged finish was hiding its potential. There is something to be said for worn wood because when it's right, it's so good. When it's wrong and scuffed dinged up it can make furniture with the best lines look all wrong and even something to be dismissed.
For the piano, we wanted to lighten things up and make it more in line with another project we are working on that mixes a very light grey wash with natural wood. We also wanted to give a nod to its original all "natural" state. I felt that the state we bought the piano in was hiding its best feature, the cut outs. It all just kind of went invisible into the monotone of the brown. We really wanted to do something to make it pop!
We started with ZAR® interior oil base stain in Silk Gray, which can only be described as exactly what we were looking for. The color was perfect, and just like it shows on the website. Almost white, but just enough gray to make it unique. Applying the stain was very easy and incredibly satisfying to see all dry and pretty. You can use one or two coats depending on what wood you are working with or how transparent you want your stain, and we went for two so we would have more contrast against the natural wood. You can use a lint-free cloth, brush, or foam to apply the stain - but we have to recommend the brush/cloth combo. Essentially that means we dipped the brush into the stain, carried it over to the stripped and sanded wood, and then used the lint-free cloth to rub it into the wood evenly and get the corners precisely. It took about 3 hours to dry on a non-rainy day and 4 hours on the day it was raining before we added another coat. I also got tiny paint brushes to help get in the grooves of the carved detail a bit better.
Before we get too deep into how much we loved the transformation, I want to talk a little about the prep work. We first tried to sand the whole thing, which became incredibly labor-intensive to do by hand. Joey then moved over to a chemical stripper, which speed things up tenfold. Before doing either the sanding or the stripping, please make sure you have protected yourself with a mask. If you are like us and love to refinish old stuff you find, you have no idea what you could be breathing in. It's so important to be careful, even when you are really excited and just want to get down to business. We used gloves and a mask most of the time, even after we were done sanding.
Next, we applied the ZAR® Tung Oil, which we exclusively used a lint-free rag to apply. We didn't feel the need for the brush, it was just way easier to handle with the cloth. It's amazing to see the sanded wood instantly beautified by this stuff. It only took one coat to transform. We let this dry overnight before we touched it, which was hard to do, but worth waking up to see how great it looked finished.
We LOVE how it turned out and we loved even more how easy it was to transform into the two-toned vision we had.
The whole project didn't use very much product, so now we are thinking of doing a music room and using elements from the piano as inspiration for design details. We are also thinking of doing some two tone old non-working instruments made of wood to decorate the room.
You can check out the full range of ready mix colors from ZAR® here if you want some inspiration for your own project.
Thank you ZAR® for partnering with us on this project, it really turned out great!