Saturday morning we made our way over to the hardware store and got ourselves all the supplies we needed to get started in transforming the stripped bare exterior of the stereo cabinet into something more complimentary to our existing furniture with a can of stain, a bag of rubber gloves, staining sponges and a whole lot of plastic tarp...
We started off by cleaning the surfaces clean, inside and out, even vacuuming the crevices and cracks.
The goal was to best match our existing Bang & Olufsen rosewood cabinet, so we took a sample piece with us to the hardware store and found the stain colour "Red Mahogany" (which I always imagine would make a stripper's name) best matched.
After removing all residual sawdust, we began applying stain on the side panels and top, both taking time to do long and full strokes to avoid any buildup of stain. We wanted a deep and dark finish, but we started off hesitantly, and with good cause, as we discovered that the cabinet was built with different woods. The stain would sometimes require different amounts in different sections and details. One section would soak in the stain, while another area built with a different wood would remain lighter and would require more stain or an additional application coat.
The front panel was especially difficult. Despite being sanded evenly to a smooth finish, the front panel's weather damaged wood seemed to unevenly accept the stain. There are section that will likely require some light 220 grit sanding to even out the finish.
Of course, the one weekend I decide to work on the cabinet, the weather calls for light rain and drizzle. Fortunately, a friend helped me carry the cabinet up our stairs so we could let the stain finish drying inside. In the higher humidity the stain took more than a day to finish drying. And let me tell you, in a small studio apartment, inhaling wood stain fumes isn't as rave glamorous as it seems. But now it's ready to be coated with a semi-gloss matte finish which should bring out the wood without becoming too shiny in appearance, blending in well with our similarly finished tables and cabinets. We're also spec'ing out something we hope will result in a unique finish inside, but are waiting to hear back from a dealer to see if our idea is realizable.
And as you can tell, most importantly, our cats are eager to make this their vacation house.