Keeping it Clean…Well, Trying to.

Let me just preface this by saying, Grandma told me to keep it clean. Now, this could be taken two ways.


No, I’m not going to shovel all of that into the hutch.
Two… my liberal use of certain curse words in this blog. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s One, because damn…


I can’t even handle the piles of boxes, tools, drill bits, drywall materials, Christmas stuff, bikes that double as coat racks….and that dolly. Yes. We have a dolly in our living room.

As for Christmas, this is our reality…it’s a no-frills kinda year at the Beard house.


But thank God for hutches and Christmas, and the Maine Correctional Facility prisoners. Prisoners? Yes. Prisoners. Because they crafted this hutch:


I’m sure it was bitchin’ in the 80s, but what is going on with that finish and hardware?
I found this gem on Craigslist in the early spring thinking it would be perfect for extra storage in the new house. But you know how things go…9 months later, and it’s finally getting some use.

Compared to the other pieces of furniture I’ve worked on, this is one solid son of a bitch. I mean, you could sand it for days. I did in fact…off and on for about 2 months…then all of a sudden last Sunday I decided to put some hustle on it. Because. Keeping things clean… you saw my kitchen table.

Here’s what I did:

  • Sand, and sand, and sand some more if your piece is covered in a thick coat of polyurethane. I used  the orbital and corner cat sanders with 80-120 grit.

In a moment of weakness I tried a stripping compound for the detail on the cabinet doors. I will never do this again. Removing the compound was arduous, sticky, and simply a waste of time.


A better idea? Wrap a piece of 80 grit sandpaper around a scrap piece of wood and sand the detail. It worked perfectly. No, I didn’t come up with that idea on my own, though I wish I would have. Thank God for Pinterest.

Disclaimer: Guess what?  I don’t have photos of the next two steps. I’m going to say that this was intentional, and that these steps are my secret on how to get this exact finish.

  • Grey-wash with leftover chalk paint from other projects.
  •  Wax entire piece with dark furniture wax by Minwax.


  • Stain with Minwax Dark Walnut. I know. Believe me I know. This step should have been done before waxing. But, I’m so glad I waxed first as the waxed protected the wood from the stain fully saturating it. Hence this sweet patina.


Sans doors and new hardware…but I’m totally using it anyway!
And BAM. I’m one step closer to keeping it clean, and making grandma happy.


2 thoughts on “Keeping it Clean…Well, Trying to.

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