Monday, January 27, 2014

Fun with Stain

Our house doesn’t have a coat closet. People didn’t wear coats 100 years ago, I guess. When we first moved in we mounted a small coat rack near the front door, which was useful but couldn’t bring complete order to our entryway.
It always looked at least this bad, and usually much worse.

This past summer I commissioned Nemo to build a larger coat rack for the coats and a storage cube to hold the hats/shoes/mittens/earbuds/random junk that is always cluttering the floor in the entryway.

After Nemo got all the pieces cut, things started to get pretty busy at work and the project had to be put on the back burner for a while. To speed things along I decided to do take the matter of staining into my own inexperienced hands. I was scared, but also desperate for some organization.

It was a long time coming, but I finally got my revamped entryway!

I am especially proud of the fancy stain work I did on bench/storage cube.
It all started with a can of Valspar clear sealer that I had lying around.

I picked up this cool stencil at the craft store (Martha Stewart brand), then laid it on the unfinished wood that was destined to be the top of the storage cube. I weighted down the edges and covered any exposed wood with newspaper.

Then applied a very, VERY thin coat of the clear sealer. One pass was enough to fulfill the purpose. If you put it on too heavily, the lines will run and the edges won’t be as crisp.

I gave each completed section a few minutes to dry before lining up the stencil to do the next section.

When it was all completed it looked like this:

Next I started applying the walnut stain with a cotton rag. The wood coated with the sealer couldn’t take the stain as well, which resulted in this cool effect:

And after a couple coats of polyurethane, it looked like this!

There is a storage basket for each of us to keep all that stuff that used to clutter up the entryway. It also makes an excellent time out spot.

The stain on the coat rack ended up matching the original woodwork pretty well. Looks like it belongs, wouldn’t you say?

So there you have it.

entryway collage

It may not be one of the glorious mudrooms I see every month in This Old House, but I dig it anyway.
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  1. This is SO COOL! I was wondering how to stain using a stencil - this is exactly the effect I want! Your new mudroom looks awesome. Pinning this to save for later!

  2. Your shelf/coat hanger and shoe bench are perfect, what an ingenious way to expand on the original idea. You did great job staining and love the stencil on the bench. The cubbies are great idea to keep everybody's boots, etc. tidy.
    We don't have an entry way except right into our living room and a mud room at almost end of house. Not as easy to get to however so we use front door unless we're in back yard. We had to fence yards in due to a certain dog named tommy.
    No room for any shelf in hallway however. I'll have to see if we could squeeze something like that in mud room.
    Great post, really enjoyed seeing how you solved your problem, well done. Happy week

  3. WOW! What a great transformation! Our entry is currently empty bc I stole the furniture from my office, so this has me thinking in big ways! And that staining job is perfection. Thanks so much for sharing at Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Eva! Have a great week!

    ~Abby =)

  4. Oooh...I am loving how the stained stencil turned out! And your entryway looks Awesome too...We used to live in an 1800's Farmhouse and I wish I would have seen this post then. I was always looking for storage!