Ikea Hacking. Staining The Frames.

Blancas's picture

It was a snowy cold Saturday in NYC, and I didn’t find anything better to do than another Ikea hack.

I had those frames in my bathroom forever and never liked the birch color. But once we painted the walls blue it stopped going with anything, so I just had to get down to them.

Here we go.

Step 1. Strip off the old lacquer. Thank you, Ikea, for a really thin layer – only took me about 30 mins for each. I normally use 180 grade sandpaper – it doesn’t leave the scratches on the surface, though it takes a while if the old paint is thick. Tip for cleaning up after – do it in the bathtub. 180 creates a very fine dust, which is pretty difficult to get out of the floor crevices unless you have a garage. We in NYC seldom do, and just washing it down the drain seems like a perfect idea.


Step 2. Wipe the frame clean. Damp cloth will do, after brushing off the residue. Let it dry well. Isolate the glass with the masking tape. I’m personally not a huge fan of dissembling things when it can be avoided.

Step 3, my favorite. Stain it. I use water based stain for the following reasons – no odor, easy to correct, easy to clean up the tools after, wide palette of colors (oil based would normally have just the regular wood tints).

It goes off with soapy water. Dries pretty fast too, so don’t let the can sit open long. Stir from time to time, the pigment gathers on the bottom. To illustrate the last statement:

The can I’m using is the same I used while working on this table. Didn’t stir well for the table, and was rather disappointed with my charcoal gray choice.

All right, apply the coat of stain with a sponge, just put small amounts of stain on it and wipe at a moderate speed, don’t hurry too much, try to go with the straight strokes. This is what I got after one coat, you can spot the areas that I didn’t sand well, the stain just doesn’t go through the lacquer. So in case you’re a lazy bastard, use acrylic or latex paint ☺

I usually recommend following the instructions from the manufacturer for the paints, stains and lacquers. However, I’m too impatient, and I didn’t wait an hour or two to let the first layer of stain dry completely and applied a second coat right away. There we go:

As for the finish (I used satin) I prefer to do as commanded.

After couple of hours waiting for the stain to dry we get here. Get a brush, use small amounts and cover them bitches. Do not shake the can, the contents will get bubbly with air, and we want an even surface.

So three and a half hours later - voila!


And here's my reward for the effort ☺

PS. Masking tape provided an interested effect – when torn off, it took bits and pieces of the original mist on the glass. It was a nice surprise, watch out if you don't want it ;)

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