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How To Makeover your Wood Furniture with Eco-Friendly Stain

Have an old piece of furniture that doesn't quite match your room? Stain it! See a changing table transformed from blah to boutique-quality with eco-friendly stain products

Expectant mom Leeza Hood had a hand-me-down dark wood changing table that didn't quite fit the theme she was going with for her baby's room. Sure she could paint it& but instead she stained it! It's one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to update an old piece of furniture.

According to Raffi Cohen of The Green Painter, all you need is a little bit of paint, imagination and some used furniture to design the room you want.

Here's how you can do it at home:

1. Remove hardware and take the drawers out and the doors out.

2. Next, sand the furniture using a 50 grit sandpaper. When you sand, go with the grain. The first round of sanding is going to dive into the wood and really pull out the material that is soaked into it.

3. Move to 150 grit sandpaper and sand lightly. This will smooth out scratched or abrasions that were created from the first round.

4. After you're done rough sanding, go back with a thinner grit so that when you rub your hand over the furniture, it will feel nice and smooth. Really, there is no wrong way to do it. Sand as much as you want, leaving as much wood color as you prefer.

5. Wipe down the entire piece with a damp cloth to pick up dust and grime. Don't forget the drawers and doors. The grain absorbs the water and opens up the wood. The water will evaporate before the grain closes back up, so if we apply a stain while the grain is still open we have the ability to have a richer stain.

6. Now it's time to give it a test with the stain. Find a small inconspicuous area and apply the stain. Try out a few colors to be confident in the color you choose.

Raffi and Leeza decide on a grey/white stain combination. The product they use is called Loba. Loba is a natural based product made of tongue-seed oil and plant parts. Check online or the phone book to find stores that sell Loba or paint products similar to them. After mixing their two colors together, they created a driftwood look.

7. Using their hands and a rag, wipe off and buff the colors to get the look you want. Using a rag or towel instead of paint brush when staining helps avoid streak lines. Note: you may have to work with it a little longer and it will take longer to dry. So plan accordingly! The good part about this is that you have a longer amount of time to play with your colors and any designs you want to create.

8. Once you're done staining and the piece has had time to dry, reattach the hardware. Put your cabinet drawers back in, screw in your doors.

For more from Raffi Cohen, visit greenpainter.com.
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