I should know myself better by now than to just go with my gut when choosing a stain or paint color. I absolutely need to test anything before I apply it full-blown. But the weather was so perfect this weekend, and I didn't want to waste a day of it "testing", so I bit the bullet and just went for it. I should just ignore the fact that I about fainted when I opened the can and this was what it looked like.
So I went around the side and started applying it in an inconspicuous place and when it dried I thought, that doesn't look so bad. Man it's a pain to paint spindles. It took me over 2 hours just to do that little section. As I was painting the spindles, I kept stepping back and looking – I didn't hate it. It was the right tone if not exactly the right tint, so I kept going with the floor.
You can see here why I almost fainted a second time as I was applying it and this is what it looked like going down. After I did the short spindle section, I got panicky about how much of it I was going through. I wanted to at least coat the main floor with it before I ran out – I only bought one gallon. That's all the paint guys said I'd need. Thankfully, my trusty neighbor Jim was there to let me know why it didn't max out on coverage, "You went through a whole gallon already?? That dry, neglected, previously-never-treated wood is really soaking that up!" Thanks, Jim.
Anyway, you can't tell from this picture, but as it dried it got better. When the sun isn't beating down on it, bringing out the blue, I don't hate it. It looked okay this morning, but I don't love it at all. In fact I feel defeated a bit. But I have a plan. I'm going to trade in the $45 gallon of Benjamin Moore clear coat for a second gallon of stain to finish up the areas where I ran out and touch up some of the bad blends on the floor next weekend. Then I'm going to let it weather all winter, only semi-protected, and revisit this project again in the spring.