Now we are up to the part I **HATE** with a passion, & that is staining & varnishing.
over the past 30+ years I am the one stuck with the job. I must have stained thousands of board feet, & it mostly turns out fairly well. I had started with /sherwin williams stuff ( I loved the danish walnut color) but they stopped making their own brand over the years & I was pretty much stuck with Minwax.
Now, we have ALL seen some pictures on the web of some pretty bad staining jobs, (you know what I mean) with streaks & whatnots, I knew I never had problems with that before, so thought even though this was going to be a massive stain project , it should also be a no brainer. ha. little did I know, some *thing* decided to work against me on this project.
The 1st things I started was the wainscote... staining went ok. THEN I went to put on the minwax poly. it went horribly. it all applied with tons of little bubbles.. nooooo NOT the bigass bubbles you would get if you shook the can, it was like foam. now I had just , this past year did hundreds of feet of wainscote with minwax poly & no problems,, so could it be cause it was inside, in the middle of winter? smoothed it out best I could, but still looked like *yuck*. tried a foam brush, 2 other brushes, etc. called minwax, they said air must be getting in the brush, soak it in mineral spirits *sigh* ok, but that didn't work. I don't get it (hear me scream????)
after some other web searching, I decided to try general finishes wipe on poly. alrighty, that goes better, but still I can get it foaming in the cloth if I wasn't careful. & I wasn't too happy that it will take double the coats to get the same results as minwax.
at least I started with the pieces that don't matter that much & could be hidden behind furniture. Now as we went along, as I was starting to do the large sheets of oak veneer plywood, It looked pretty good. BUT when we put the pieces up next to each other on the bar front, it was very noticeable that something was wrong,,,,,,,,somewhere.
One piece was wayyyyyy darker that the others, & later on we noticed it was actually stripes of mismatched wood grain next to each other. what the heck? when we bought the plywood, we asked what was the better side? they said both were "A" side, personal preference. so we decided to use the side that did not have the stickers. now as I said the pieces looked fine laying down after staining & varnishing, but after upright next to each other, you noticed it.
It became obvious that we ("I") stained the wrong side. there was nothing we could do with the bar front, as that was glued, but the booth benches we took apart, & redid the other side. that resulted in some bad edges & holes where the screws were, but we are working to cover those with moldings.
Now I have seen on a few of the web bars of mismatched grain panels, does it matter to you? One I noticed on HeyNow^'s front BEFORE he stained it, , I can't tell if you can see a grain difference afterward, HeyNow^ maybe you can fill me in on that??
So, since it is the middle of winter when we started this project & I did not want to work in a bullet heater heated garage...... I stole the dogs room to stack up my staining. It wasn't a very big room, & spent weeks going through laying out boards/staining/varnish & moving them into any other room I could till we put them up. I never really had stacks of wood, as we pretty much purchased the stuff as we went through them.
I only had so long to use the Dogs room, since I was going to be kicked out of the soon since one of our dogs was about to deliver puppies... I then had to move the wood finishing into the bar area, ( the last thing I planned to work on was the bar top, so I just laid the wood on top for now to finish.)
The Dog room
Below: In case you are interested......
this is the mom.
Ok, back to building.
here is the first wall of the bar itself, you can see the far 4ft sheet of oak plywood that is darker.