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‘Staining wooden furniture’ is nowhere to be found on the very short list of DIY tasks at which I’d consider myself vaguely competent. It’s something I’ve never tried to do. Staining furniture has a reputation as being a messy and difficult task which carries a high risk of ruin.

Yet, our IKEA outdoor furniture was looking a little worse for wear, and it was obvious that re-staining was in order. I reasoned that I might as well give it a go—the worst that could happen would be a need to get new furniture, which would probably also be the result of not staining it. I visited my local Wilko and procured some Ronseal wood stain, a sanding block and some paint brushes.1

To further reduce the risk, I started with our table-top because IKEA sells those separately, so if I ruined it, I could easily replace it. I gave the top a very light sanding with the sanding block, just smoothing off any rough patches, and then applied the first coat of Ronseal with a paint brush.

I was surprised that it turned out to look absolutely fine. I went on to re-stain the rest of the furniture, and to complete the three recommended coats over the course of the day.

It doesn’t look perfect, of course, but it does look much better than when I started. I enjoyed spending six hours or so in the sunshine with nothing to do but a low-stakes, physically undemanding bit of DIY. It was a mental rest that I wouldn’t have given myself any other way.

The image at the top of this post was generated by Midjourney.

  1. Our local IKEA doesn’t stock IKEA’s own wood stain, which is a bit of a head-scratcher.

This post was filed under: Post-a-day 2023.

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