1st step was to sand the thin layer of sealant on the wood and to cover the base of the nightstand to prevent unwanted paint mishaps.
I used Rustoleum stain in the American Walnut color. I had an old paint tray that I poured the stain into and used a foam brush after my 1st attempt failed using a stain cloth for application.
I applied many layers of stain so that it wouldn't have a thick paint appearance. It took a lot of patience and time!
=( This is what happened during the first day of staining. The cloth I was using started to shed and since the cloth and stain were dark colored, I didn't notice it until it was too late. I had to let it dry and then sand it all off the next day. Fortunately, the stain had set into the wood so I only had to apply 2 layers of stain after I sanded the top. Chalk it up to a learning experience!
On the 2nd day of staining I had to go out and get a new paint tray. Fortunately, our local dollar stores sells them. The check-out clerk advised me of a clever trick - line the paint tray with tinfoil for easy clean up and re-use of the tray! Brilliant!
For the knobs, I just rolled them in the tray of leftover stain and then used a brush for the bottom portion of the knobs. Anyone recommend a better trick? Although, this seemed to work fairly well.
Did I throw you for a loop with the Raisin Bran pictures? =) Look closely, it's actually a drying box for the knobs! I used an empty cereal box and poked four holes with a screwdriver and then pushed the attached nail of the knob through each hole to let the knobs dry.
After 1 major failed attempt to stain correctly (ie, application towel shedding and ruining the finish), 2 trips to Lowe's, 1 trip to the dollar store, and letting everything dry overnight, here are the newly improved nightstands!
Have you ever worked with wood stain before? Would love to see links to any projects you've completed similar to this one. Happy Tuesday!