Project Pantry: Practicing Safe Staining

Good morning, all!  It’s 5:30 in the morning and it’s about 80 degrees in the house (our AC has been out since Tuesday night) so I figured I would finish Project Pantry since it’s too hot to sleep.  When I last left off, Greg had cut the proper lengths for the shelves and we called it a night.

By now in our project timeline, we are on Monday, July 4.  We woke up, grabbed some Dunkin’, and got to work.  Greg wanted to make our shelves pretty by routering the edges.  He headed to the garage to start on the task using his borrowed router.  I headed to the patio for a day of staining.  We decided to stain out there because it’s got proper ventilation and no bugs can land on the stain.

But first I needed to get the patio ready by setting up Pandora on my iPhone.  Apparently, you only have a certain amount of free listening per month which I found out soon AFTER we finished the staining.  Then I moved all the furniture to make room for the plastic tarp.  We reused the tarp from the man cave dresser since it only had a little paint on it (yay recycling!).

Ok, when staining do not pull a diane.  We picked a stain to match the floor and I started without shaking/stirring the can fully.  I thought it looked right and started staining the wine rack.  Don’t pull a diane on your staining project and always stir fully.  Thankfully, it didn’t casue an issue and looked better since it would have been too dark in the room if I did it right.

About an hour later Greg looked like this.

But look how pretty our shelf edge’s looked.  Yeah, my boyfriend totally rocks.  Sorry– just had to gloat about that fact.

He started bringing me shelves to stain.  We had a rhythm going– I would stain one, he would rout one and we finished about the same time. He brought the shelf out to me and went on his routing way.

Side note: When staining always practice safe staining by wearing rubber gloves.  Stain gets everywhere and it’s really sticky and it will stain you.

Several hours later, we had all the wood routed and two coats of stain applied and the shelves looked like this.  At this point, we were heading over to the parent’s for Laura’s birthday dinner and thought, “Oh we can stain the bottoms when we get back.”  By the way, it helps to get paint thinner if you want to get stain off your hands, legs, and brushes.  I was sticky, brown and not happy by the time we arrived at my parents begging for help.

I should have know not to think ahead like that because it didn’t work out.  The boards were still tacky and we didn’t want to flip them.  So we moved on to marking the wall for the brackets.  Originally we planned four brackets per shelf on the long wall and two per shelf on the short wall but the studs on the short wall didn’t want to agree with the plan.  It turned into three brackets per shelf on the short wall to accommodate the studs (mine and the one in the wall).

We marked up most of the wall and called it a night.  Fortunately Greg took tuesday off because he knew the DIY Gods like to mess with us.   I did not take off because I work from home and can help out when he calls.  We started around 6am (since I had to be at work around 7am).

So you remember those wall markings we made the night before . . . it would have helped if we saw what type of markings were needed for the brackets.  I left Greg to work and headed the the office.

Greg ended up remeasuring the holes for the first row by going one at a time and using the level to ensure they worked well.  Once he had the first row on the long wall in, I suggested trying out the board.  Good thing too because the end bracket was about a half inch too far out.

At this point Greg decided to go to Home Depot to buy more brackets, wall anchors, and an L-shaped bracket for joining the corners.  I requested a bagel if he was stopping at Dunkin for coffee.  Two hours later, he was back with his special fuel, and ready to go.

Hours later (and I mean hours), he had most of the room done.  But I still had to run back to Home Depot to get more brackets . . . we had too many of the one size but not enough of another.

Somewhere around 6pm, it was time to bring in the shelves.  The room looked like something out a Tim Burton nightmare but Greg did have a place to hang his hat.

Now I got help by being screw girl.  I counted out how many screws he needed and handed them to him.  Where the two pieces of wood met, he placed two l-shaped brackets to hold them together.  Slowly we went row by row until he had all of them assembled.  During this time, we figured Greg screwed well over 230 times that day.  Boy was his hand tired.

Look!  I do more than just take pictures but Greg did most of the work.

Ugh was he tired by the end but he needed to bring his friend, Mr. Level back out to check each row.  Every shelf was perfectly level.  Woohoo Greg!

After four days of working, we had to celebrate (after we cleaned up the room and changed the outlet/light switch).

And now for the big reveal— TA DAH!!!!

Close-up of the wine rack:


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