This week I thought I would share a makeover of my client's baker's rack. In her breakfast nook, she had a baker's rack that she loved. It also fit her space well. There was just one problem. The wood shelves were an orange oak colored stain. In her now newly renovated gray/beige kitchen, the orange oak color wasn't the look she wanted. I suggested that we strip the shelves of the old stain and re-stain them in her new color palette. She loved the idea, and now it compliments her new design perfectly. Check out these before photos of the orange oak shelving below.
The process for the baker's rack makeover was pretty simple. I thought I would share it with you today. Here are the steps we followed:
First we set up the work space outdoors on a table in the yard. We covered the table with a thick plastic sheet to protect it from any of the stripping product. We used Citrus Strip paste, remover, rubber gloves, about 4 plastic bowls ( I suggest dollar tree for these) a package of very fine steel wool, a pkg of lint free white rags, white distilled vinegar, a mason jar, dark gray/black paint (we used SW Iron Ore), Minwax polyurethane sealant and some disposable paint brushes. After we took the shelves and the wooden cabinet with drawers off of its iron support frame, we laid out all the pieces on our work table. We emptied the Citrus strip paste in a plastic food container. We brushed the citrus strip on all the pieces using our disposable chip brushes. We made sure that a good amount of the paste was covering any place where the old stain needed to be removed.
Next we let the paste sit for about 20 mins or so, (I recommend following the directions on the paste can). After the time was up, we used some of the very fine steel wool pads and with rubber gloves on hands rubbed all the pieces in the direction of the wood grain until the old stain was removed. We also used a metal spatula on a few spots that needed a little extra scraping.
(Once you begin to remove the old stain, it becomes pretty easy to see it lift off.) With that step done we poured some of the Citrus strip wash remover liquid into another plastic container and generously brushed it all over the pieces. The remover wash lifts up any remaining left over paste. You just keep washing it on until the pieces of wood all seem paste free.
At this point, we let the pieces dry. We let them dry over night, but you could just wait a few hours however long it takes for the piece to no longer be damp. For our new stain, I suggested that we try a natural vinegar and steel stain that I had seen on Pinterest where you can age new wood. You make this natural stain by filling a glass mason jar with a cup or two of vinegar and adding a piece of steel wool to the vinegar, then you let it set overnight. The vinegar mixture will turn a brownish/grayish color. The next time we met, my client had brushed all of our stripped pieces with the new vinegar steel mixture. This left our pieces with a new brown stain that was more in our color tones, but still not quite the color we had in mind. We wanted our pieces to have both a brown and a gray look to them and we wanted to be able to see the wood grain.
For our next step we purchased some gray paint from Sherwin Williams called Iron Ore. We put some paint about 2 cups in another plastic container. We thinned the paint slightly with a little bit of water, about three or four table spoons. Next, we applied the gray paint and water mixture over our brownish stain and wiped the excess off with lint free rags. (This is a wipe off and on process. You don't want the water based mixture to sit on the wood in one place.) We did one coat and loved the result. My client wanted it a little darker look so we applied a second coat which gave it a more uniformed look. Then we let all the pieces dry again.
After the pieces dried, the final step was to apply a coat or two of clear satin polyurethane sealant to protect the pieces from any future water damage. We used a Minwax poly top coat which was applied with a foam brush. We were also careful to make sure that our strokes when applying the top coat were even and continuous. This ensured that we didn't end up with any strange lines in the top coat finish. Once that was dry the pieces were re-assembled and placed back on the iron support. The end result was a completely updated baker's rack. The new baker's rack fits beautifully in my client's new kitchen.