Do you remember the post about our farmhouse table that we built? If not, you can check it out by clicking here. We used 4, 2x10's for the top, and I stained each one individually before assembling. For the first few months, it was beautiful. But alas, the newness wore off and the wood stained top became dull and ashy. I found myself wiping it down constantly because I longed for the richness of the wood that only appeared when it was wet.
For this, and many other projects that I stain, I used my favorite:
Dark Walnut Wood Finish by Minwax (this is an affiliate link that will take you directly to the product page at Home Depot). Minwax also makes a stain with the polyurethane (clear protective finish that you put over your stain) built in. However, because I was going for the farmhouse table look, I didn't want the high sheen. I mean, how many real farm tables have you seen with a high gloss top? None, I would guess. Unless of course, you count those little faux farm tables that used to be sold at places like Fred Meyer and the like (I know because my husband had one in his bachelor pad when I met him), but let's be honest, those don't count. Now, if I were going for a truly authentic look, I would have opted for a barn board top like I did on our patio table. However this table is one we use daily, in our dining room, so I wanted it to be a little more refined.
So, to recap...we were going for a semi-authentic looking farm table with not too much shine, but just enough to really show the richness and depth of the wood.
You can see in the before picture (above) that the wood has some spots that look faded and dull. All I did was wash the table really well, let it dry, and rub in some Tung Oil Finish using an old t-shirt. I used Formby's Low Gloss Tung Oil Finish (you can hook yourself up through this Amazon affiliate link-and as an added bonus-it's a Prime item). The key here is that it is "low gloss". Formby's also makes a high gloss, so pay close attention to your labels.
It's really that simple! You just rub it in really well and let it dry. After a few hours, I went in with a different cloth and rubbed down any spots where it looked liked there might be still be some oil lingering. It does have a bit of an odor when you are working it into the wood, but it didn't last long. Overall, I was very happy with how this turned out. It was extremely fast, simple, and has given our table top just the look I was hoping for.
Do you have any projects that you've stained and are now in need of a little pick-me-up? Give this a whirl and let me know how you like it. Mine has been finished for a few weeks now and it still looks great!