Refinished oak desk - reveal
I've posted about this desk in Kitchens, Woodworking, and HDD. I probably shouldn't be cross-posting so much, so I'll do my reveal here.
Cheapo oak student desk, circa 1988, my daughter's through middle school and high school. Sharpie on the top surface. I've been using it as a makeup vanity in my office.
I figured I'd have nothing to lose using General Finishes gel stain. It could only look better, right? I had moderate success with the first coat, but the second one took off most of the first. It was awful. I was furious. I considered chucking the whole desk, but I need its function and don't want to buying new stuff right now.
I stripped and sanded down to bare wood. Not a pretty sight.
I tried lots of stuff on the backs of drawers and pieces of threshold. I ended up with General Finishes oil-based stain in Mahogany. It's a little on the red side, but I like it. I decided I'd already had one failure, so I wasn't going to risk another one mixing colors. Two coats of stain. Then GF High Performance water-based poly, 3 coats everywhere and an extra 3 on the top and drawer fronts. Black knobs from Lowe's. I treated myself to a new Milwaukee drill/driver. :)
When the stain went on, I had an immediate epiphany: I love oak. I had been bashing oak like many are fond of doing, but I realized it can be beautiful.
Even though I used a satin poly, it's a little glossier than I'd prefer, but it's okay. I really prefer an unpoly'ed look, but since it's a working desk, I think it needs more protection.
Bare wood drawers after stripping
My favorite drawer:
Love the grain: