Update for 4/9/18 – Dining Room and New Furniture

The ongoing saga of improvement in my dining room (and when I’m distracted, a few other things). I’ve decided to curtail the use of numbered parts of my projects as sometimes I have a lot to say about one thing, and other times, I do a lot of little things. (or ramble erratically).

You can read previous updates here – Dining Room Restoration Part 3

Sanding is the Worst

I picked my way through sanding the window frame, door frame, and china cabinet with increasingly fine sandpaper (started with 80, graduated to 100 and then 220/330 depending on the tool)  And was happy with the result.

Not terribly happy with the dust it generated, but the shop vac was able to cut through most of that.  No real visible changes from my last update so I didn’t photograph it.

A Pleasant Diversion

One thing that has been coming to the forefront of my awareness while working on the progress of the dining room. It has been the fact that my living room is cramped, and not very welcoming. The room is modest in size, but the real issue is the use of space was poor due to a scattered collection of furniture and a lack of planning when moving in on my part.


The cramped layout.

A major sticking point in everything involving my living room has been the aquarium. It’s very heavy, the stand is an exercise in ugly, and it takes up a lot of floor space. My resolution to this is to go with a larger corner tank with a smaller footprint (taller, but narrower).

Another element was to remove the media element (TV/Xbox, big stand) and current furniture in favor of something a bit more refined, and keep this as a sitting and social space. The TV and old furniture would do well in a “den” like space upstairs.

I struggled with the cost of Mission style furniture (a fitting compliment to the craftsman look I’m focusing on) as it is either cheap garbage or very expensive for hardwood.

then I stumbled across a couch and chair from the 1920s that had been refinished.

These quickly became part of the plan as well. I picked them up on Saturday as the price was too good to let go.

Sketchup helped me work out some of what I want to do. i’m still toying with the size of the new aquarium, but the general plan looks like this.


I had planned to pick up a rocker as well, but that sold. The moving of the aquarium to the corner opens up the floor, and I can put in a small faux fireplace. The table is the same one I had in there, (now upstairs) but I may bring it back or find something that is a better fit.   I’m not moving forward anymore until I have the dining room done, but it is definitely the next undertaking.

Dying to be Finished.

In the more immediate, I need to get the fixtures in the dining room done so I can sand the floor in a post-drip environment.  The pain of sanding complete, I got out my transtint, “dark mission oak” dye and mixed up a big batch.

2 coats later, the surfaces are all looking an even brown,

Next I will remove any raised grain with 000 steel wool, tack cloth, and begin polyurethane, which really brings out the contrast and color in thee dye.

I’ve seen some slight blotting in these larger runs, I may do a test area and if I’m unhappy with he color result, remove some dye with a wet sponge.  I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.

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