I had a few days of filling holes and sanding but now it's when the fun begins.
I remembered to put a drop cloth down first this time. :) I haven't distressed the wood as much as I am going to yet. The purpose of the first coat was to try out the new wood filler with the stain on. The wood filler I used for my card catalog said it was stainable but I think it should have said "stain repellant." It took quite a bit of creativity to get the stain to look consistent and so the new stuff I got was Sherwin Williams brand. It adhered great and I can't even tell where I had previously filled the holes. I even remembered to wear gloves. (mostly)
It's too light and not the final texture and protected yet but you can see the pretty grain of the wood.
When it's all finished it will be beautiful and rustic looking. My next steps are to turn it upside down and make sure every inch underneath is stained and pretty. Then I will heavily distress it and do a second and (if needed, third) coats of stain. The key with stain is several thin coats and just to wipe on and wipe off.
Going from the light pine to a dark Jacobean finish makes it take on a whole new look.
After I get the staining and distressing done, I will let it dry and use a clear coat spray to seal and protect it. It will also add a consistent and beautiful sheen. Spring is right around the corner and if you are starting on projects, I would love for you to post your work! I have really loved the kind messages I have received in my inbox as well, thank you everyone.
Have a great day!