Before the big, demolition project, there was a wall of cabinets between the dining room and kitchen. We took out the cabinets, top and bottom, and knocked out a large portion of the top half of the wall. Now, in the post about our demolition, I mentioned that we were adding a little breakfast area...and this is it. When we took out the cabinets, we needed extra storage, so we added a pine dresser base and had to lose our island. We used to eat breakfast and sometimes dinner at our island so this was something that we were kind of bummed about giving up. Never fear...we were able to add a little bar on the wall shared by the kitchen and dining room to make a great, casual place to eat.
There is a story behind the wood we used as the actual bar. When Adam and I got married (almost 3 years ago...can you believe it?) we decided to have our wedding reception at my parents' house.We built a pavilion to use for the band, tables and lots of dancing. Before construction started, a few trees had to come out. My dad had the trees taken out and taken to a saw mill to be turned into lumber that could be used for future projects. The board we used as our bar, is from one of the trees cleared for our wedding! Kind of sentimental!
Here is the process we went through this weekend to get it ready to use!
|Step 1: Sand. Always sand, stain, wax, etc. in the direction of the wood grain.|
We were able to find a very affordable palm sander at Lowe's that also had a filter to catch the dust. While sanding still produced some dust, clean up was made much easier with this little filter!
We wanted to stain the counter top to match our furniture, which is significantly darker than the beautiful pale pine. We chose an English Chestnut stain by Minwax and applied the stain to the wood using an old t-shirt (cut into small rag-size pieces).
|Rubber Gloves are a MUST when staining anything.|
After staining, you have to wipe down your stained surface with a clean, dry cloth to soak up any extra stain. Once you have done that, you let your stain dry for at least eight hours. After eight hours, you can begin applying your sealant. We chose a water soluble sealant with very little sheen. We didn't want to use polyurethane because we didn't want this surface to be shiny.
|Adam applying the first coat of sealant.|
With this particular sealant, you have to apply one coat, let it dry for two hours and then sand it. After it has been sanded, you apply your second coat, wait two hours and then apply your third coat. The instructions recommend at least three coats.
Now our breakfast bar is looking very sharp and matches all of the surrounding furniture. The stain really brought out the wood grain pattern. Our bar has beautiful character that was brought to life with just a few simple steps. Later this week, we will wax the bar, just to give it an extra protective coat.
This was a simple project that really made a huge difference! I'll post more once we've waxed the bar!