Provincial Rub Down

November 21, 2012   //  Posted in: Bathroom, DIY   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

Being without a bathroom step stool with a petite 6-year old in the house has proven to be very hard; without it, it’s hard for Julia to reach the faucet, harder for her to wash her hands, and almost impossible for her to spit her mouthwash over the edge of the sink without it cascading down the front of the vanity.

It’s not her issue though, it’s mine. I just couldn’t bear to bring her cute little step stool back inside the bathroom while it looked all splotchy and dirty and continued to smell like aging vinegar, or the aftermath of Easter egg coloring, or a yummy bag of salt and vinegar chips (bad, or bad, or just plain mouthwatering). If you missed the deets on this staining failure, check out the tale over here.

The stained step stool is... not that stained.

Onwards with correcting this problem. This was nothing that a nice thorough staining wouldn’t fix, although it couldn’t effectively be a stain too light in color since the distressed vinegar areas were bound to take the new stain color noticibly different than still-natural pine. Dark stain, it would be. The opportunity of having a nice, lightly stained piece that would match our birch vanity and shelving was long past.

Last month, our friends at Minwax gifted us with an incredible tool box full its products as a wedding present (I know, get out, this was blow-my-mind thoughtful), so from that bin o’ happiness, I selected two samples of stain that I’ve never actually tried before: Early American and Provincial.

Comparing two minwax stains: Early American vs. Provincial.

They looked pretty similar on the can, which may or may not go to show how little I know about mid-range browns, so I tested both out to see which shade I liked more for our bathroom stool.

Early American, 230. Note the darker-stained areas on top. That’s how Early American covered the old vinegar stain.

Minwax Early American stain. Looking good, a little yellowish.

Provincial, 211. Warm and rich!

Provincial, 211, a warm and rich brown over the natural pine wood.

Regardless of the lighting in these photographs (I was working on the basement workbench under florescent lights), Provincial was the easy winner in my eyes, as it was a little warmer and less yellow than the other sample.

It also seems to cover the vinegar dye mistake, taking to both the “stained” and unstained areas equally well.

Covering old stain with minwax Provincial.

With a rag and a foam brush, I was able to get in all of the nooks and crannies with ease. I left the stained stool to sit and ventilate outdoors for several days. It looks a lot different in cloudy daylight, where’d all that red come from?

Can I just say again how much I love the look of Provincial stain on this little step stool?

When it was complete, I also attached little felt footies to the legs with some wood glue to help protect the bathroom floor because we’re sliding it from in front of the sink to beneath her mirror at least 3 times on any given day.

Each foot of the stool was lined with felt to cushion against the floor.

Happily, it looks good in the bathroom alongside the light floor and light walls, even if it is the darkest wood in the room.

Updated step stool, looking all chocolatey in the bathroom.

And is back to helping us productively, too.

Love our functional DIY footstool.

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