Before & After Console Table: Using Dark Wax as a Stain

A few weeks ago, my mom was at a thrift store in our hometown and found a console table she said was “slightly orange.” We had been looking for a slim lined table we could use as a desk in the master bedroom and the console table she found had all the right measurements. Honestly, when she sent me a picture the color didn’t look that bad. Then she told me the price, $30, and we both agreed it was worth taking the chance. Once I picked up the table from her, I could totally see what she meant by slightly orange. This finish is really common with pieces made from pine…

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There was some wear and tear on the top from water rings and scrapes

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but for the most part the console table was in great shape.

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We’re using warm grays and whites throughout the bedroom makeover and there are a lot of painted pieces already so I knew in advance we would need to find a way to warm up the pine too. The only thing standing in our way was the orangish stain. I wanted to get as much of the old stain off as possible so I sanded the table and legs down using 80-grit sandpaper with an orbital sander. Make sure to use caution, care and protective wear when sanding and using power tools.

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I also had to sand by hand around the drawer and around the corners because the sander was too big for those spaces. A mouse sander is definitely on my Christmas list this year.

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Once the console table had been completely sanded down, I went over the entire table with a piece of fine grade steel wool. You could also follow the 80-grit sandpaper with a 120 or 220 grit sandpaper until the table is smooth as well. Everyone’s version of rustic is just a little bit different, I completely understand.

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As you can imagine all that sanding creates lots of dust, so I used a shop vac to vaccum up the sanding dust. Again, you should be wearing a respirator and protective eye wear any time you sand even if it’s outside.

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You can use a wax brush or an old tee shirt to apply the dark wax to the furniture. I used an old tee shirt and worked in small sections to massage the dark wax directly into the pine. If for some reason, you use too much dark wax you can always layer in clear wax. Clear wax sort of acts like an eraser for dark wax. Sometimes it takes several tries before you’re able to get the look consistent, just a heads up.

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Keep in mind the dark wax may not adhere properly to some stains so make sure you get as much of the old orange stain off as possible.

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I decided to add a bit of white wax in a few spots on the legs just to give the console table a little extra patina.

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It’s very subtle but I love a layered look.

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I buffed the console table with a lint free cloth and allowed the dark wax to cure as directed.

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One of the easiest ways to warm up a space that has a lot of white is with wood furniture and wood accents.

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Given the board and batten is painted in Valspar’s Ultra White and it covers almost 2/3 of the bedroom you can see how this console table which we’re going to use as a desk contrasts beautifully with all the white.

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And for $30 (I already had the dark wax on hand) it was definitely worth taking the chance.

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See you guys back here tomorrow. It’s so hard to believe six weeks have gone by since we started this One Room Challenge. I’ll share another look at the bedroom and where the journey began…

Many blessings,

CoCo

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