This sideboard was a mess when we bought it. I have been working on furniture for years but have never seen before the amount of grime that was on this piece. It was covered in a thick black substance. I am not sure what it was. Perhaps smoke? Also it was covered in cat hair! I think they had tried to put a lacquer on it when all the cat hair was still on there. It was a total mess and took me days to clean. I cleaned it with a few different cleaners. One one Krud Kutter which is a great cleaner. You can buy it here at my affiliate link. I also sanded down the entire top as it was solid wood. I wanted to make it beautiful again. I started the sanding with an 80 grit paper, then 120, then 220 to smooth it all out. The wood underneath the grime was so beautiful! I first put down a coat of wood conditioner. Then I applied General Finishes antique walnut gel stain. I think I put on 2 coats. I applied the gel stain with a white staining pad (you can buy them at Woodcraft) which I always cover with a knee high for smoothness. If I am working on a smaller piece of furniture I can just use a sponge brush. Follow the instructions on the cans for drying time. To seal that I used the gel topcoat wipe on urethane. It is made for the gel stains and is so easy to apply. I put on 4 coats of the urethane. I apply with a sponge brush. The rest of the sideboard was painted in the color duck egg. I then did a glaze on top of that to age the piece. The glaze I used was the Rustoleum java glaze and I did just one coat of that using a brush and a damp rag. I then sealed it with a little bit of wax. You want to make sure your rag is damp so you can move the glaze around easier.
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