I have officially marked two milestone off of my adulating list.
The first task is using Gel Stain for the first time. DIYers and professional cabinet refinishers swear by this stuff, but as usual, I was late the the party and had not given this ingenious new product a whirl.
The second milestone was switching my 3-year old out of his crib into a toddler bed. I had dragged my feet to accomplish this one simply because he was perfectly happy in his
baby jail crib. But at the ripe age of 3 years old I knew it was way past the time to transition him.
I starting researching toddler beds because this was new territory for me. With my oldest I had bought a convertible crib so he went from a crib, to a toddler bed, and then eventually to a full size bed. I knew I wanted to go a different route this time around but the selection of cute and unique toddler beds were slim.
After much Pinterest browsing I found that most Europeans use Montessori Beds (also known as floor beds.) It’s even common for adult to sleep on floor beds across the pond.
This solved a lot of my hesitation in moving Shepherd to a traditional bed.
For one, he is a roller offer. It never fails, if we are on vacation and sharing a bed in a hotel room he falls off in the middle of the night.
Heck, the kid even falls off the couch if he dozes off.
He’s just not a good off the floor bed sleeper.
My husband and I looked at many floor bed plans online but then came across someone selling them, unstained, on Craigslist for $65.
B.I.N.G.O. and floor bed was his name-o.
We were sold.
If you want to see some day drinking, floor bed talk, and staining the bed in Heirloom Traditions Paint’s Gel Stain watch the video below.
I also got a lot of questions about the shirt I am wearing. It’s from the boutique I co-own in Edmond, Oklahoma – Spruced Cooperative. You can purchase it in our online shop here.
As a first time Gel Stain user here are some of my initial thoughts.
These thoughts are in comparison to using a traditional oil based stain (which I loathe… for so many reasons).
#1: The process is super easy. You can brush on or wipe on with a rag. I chose to use a brush. I wanted the wood grain to show through so I wiped the excess off.
#2: Tempering the color consistency is much easier to manage then regular stains. I always ended up with an uneven looking finish with gel stains and Heirloom’s Gel Stain was a Montessori level of difficulty. Heirloom Tradition’s Gel Stain is a full coverage formula so it gives you the freedom to show off the wood grain or apply it like you would paint for a more opaque finish. It can be used over raw wood or even over previously finished pieces to make covering old cabinet stains a breeze.
#3: There is no top coat needed. Wipe on. Have a sip of your mimosa. Wipe off. Have another sip of your mimosa. Call it done. And then have another sip. That’s my kinda DIY project.
The Heirloom Traditions Gel Stain comes in 3 different colors, Walnut (which is what I used for my project, Carbon (a black) and Charcoal (Grey). My initial thought was to use Charcoal but I was worried it would blend in with the grey wall color so I chose Walnut to make sure there was a contrast.
The bed came unassembled and we transitioned Shep to his big boy bed back in November. Because I have the patience similar to a three year old, we went ahead and put the bed together and left it unstained until now. Because of the width of his bedroom door we had to assemble it in-room, otherwise it wouldn’t fit through the door.
In hindsight I wish I would have stained the wood pieces first and then assembled the bed. The Gel Stain product does have VOCs. Our older son is on the Autism Spectrum and is sensitive to smells and he was a little grumpy about the fumes. Since I didn’t have a choice but to stain the bed in his brother’s bedroom we had to live with the smell overnight. We just put a fan in the room for circulation and stayed away from that part of the house. By morning the smell was gone.
I loved how the Gel Stain showed off all of the beautiful wood grain and added some warmth and texture to the room. You can see his nursery, pre-big boy bed here (it was even featured on The Huffington Post and Apartment Therapy!)
His new mini dresser is working out perfectly and marks the finishing touch to moving into big boy territory.
He immediately grabbed his favorite books, snuggled up, and thanked mommy for being such a wonderful artist.
Seriously, what a sweetie.
He has slept through the night ever since his transition and this sweet bed makes the whole experience even more fun for him. Thank you Heirloom Traditions Paint for Sponsoring this blog post. I love their products and the people behind the company.
You can purchase Heirloom Traditions Paint’s Gel Stain in 3 colors on their website HERE.