wipe the wood down
get rid of the sanding dust
leaving the Alder baby-bottom smooth.
Natural bristle brush leaves no streaks
drops no stray fibers into the oil.
Slather it on, then a bit more
where it's already sinking into the wood.
Pungent varnish smell brings back
childhood memories with my dad
puts a wistful smile on my face.
Set the timer for thirty minutes and wait.
Watch the golden liquid seep in,
Creep inside the pores, deep inside
strengthening, protecting, glistening softly
hoping for a deep natural glow.
Hoping for not a fake-y plastic
high-gloss glassy mirror-like finish,
but just a gentle sheen bringing
out the natural beauty of the wood.
And then a bump in the road.
Wipe it dry after thirty minutes,
uh-oh, very tacky, impossible to wipe
fibers from the cut-up t-shirt
stick to the wood. Damn!
Good thing I started on the underside
of the bed frame, a piece of plywood.
Will let it dry for a while more and
then try and figure out what to do next.
Sometimes just backing off and letting
thoughts settle and experiences ripen
is all that's needed to set things straight.
Of course reading & rereading the instructions
helps a bit as well. A few days go by.
Then, paying very close attenction to the
details, I start on the inside of a side rail,
just in case I still have it wrong. This time,
slather it on, wait exactly thirty minutes,
slather again and wait for fifteen minutes.
Now wipe it off. Still not right, sticky enough
to grab some lint from the rag I'm using.
With sinking heart, I keep on rubbing, trying
to get all the lint out of the finish.
And then the magic happens. Once the rag
is damp enough from the rubbed oil, suddenly
it's gliding over the wood like a waxed ski
over fresh snow. Hot Damn. Not Tacky! Not Tacky!
I'm enboldened to try another piece.
Even better. Then another. In my zone.
Over the next few days, I complete the
several pieces of my new solid-wood
It's look awesome, and I'm feeling great.
Now to wait a few days to get the smell out
before I put the bed together and get
a good night's sleep on my new bed.
(It looks something like the bed in the picture.)