Last month I left you with our progress on the double desk in our office/bonus room. At that point it was looking like this:

The desk was complete but in need of stain (if you are new to this blog you may wish to catch up on the vision for this space here).

Well, wait no more. Ta da!


We went with a nice rich brown that was deep, but not too dark. Here is how we did it…

First, I taped around the wood desk top along the walls and cabinets. The desk is fixed to the wall so I could not pull it out.

Then, I gave the desk a thorough light sanding (220 grit sandpaper) and followed that with a tack cloth to pick up all the dust.

Next, I did a coat of wood conditioner. Wood conditioner is great for prepping your surface to receive the stain uniformly. I used Miniwax Water based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. I chose the water based product because it has less fumes and clean up is easier.

I applied the wood conditioner with a brush and used a rag to rub it in and pick up the excess conditioner. After it dried I did another light sand and followed again with a tack cloth.

For the stain, I tested a water based stain (on a scrap piece of wood) but was not happy with the results. In the end I went with a oil based version as I liked the finished product better. I chose Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain in Chocolate.

To apply, I used a foam brush and applied quickly in sections. Then I followed with a rag to rub it in and pick up the excess stain. You can use a brush or rag to apply but I opted for a foam brush because I could just throw it away when done. I hate cleaning brushes after they have been used with an oil based product. Blech.

I only needed one coat of the stain, so once that was dry I applied my first coat of polyurethane. The poly protects the surface and helps seal in the stain.

For the poly, I went with Miniwax Oil-modified Polyurethane.

I brushed the poly on in thin coats. Since I didn’t need to follow with a cloth to rub in and pick up excess (as in the previous steps) it went quickly. After the first coat dried, I again sanded and used my tack cloth. Then I did a second coat of poly.
Once that was dry, I removed my frog tape. Oh, and luckily I had the foresight to tape UNDER the holes that were drilled for cords. Just to, you know, catch any wayward stain (cough cough). Phew…

And here it is all conditioned, stained and poly’d up!

I love how the stain really brings out the grain (hey, that rhymes!)

And the black desk grommet – meow. Looking good kid.

Now I just need to load it all up and get busy. Oh, and get chairs. Maybe that should be one of the first things I do at the desk. Chairs. Look for chairs…
Stay in touch and follow along…