Easy Wood Stain? Sign Me Up!

The chairs are done! The chairs are done! And I can’t stop staring at them. I am completely in love:

Armchair After PhotoIf you don’t know the story behind these chairs, please check out my previous post Chair TLC. (I couldn’t resist doing a photo shoot in the late-March “blizzard” that hit this area a few days ago.)

So now that you have read my other blog post, you are caught up on what I have done to the chairs up to this point. Want to know how I restored the finish? Allow me to introduce you to my secret weapon:

Restor-A-FinishWe bumped into our friend Kathy (hopefully a future guest blogger! She has done some pretty amazing projects.) at New England Demolition and Salvage a few weeks back and she saw us carrying a can of Howard Restor-A-Finish and gave a few tips on how to use it properly. I may need to use some restraint because I want to use this stain on every surface in sight right now …

After wiping the chairs with a lint-free cloth, I used steel wool (Grade #0000) to apply the stain which helps conceal minor scratches (it’s possible I didn’t do the best job sanding the chairs). I applied the stain very lightly in the direction of the grain, taking care not to rub the steel wool too hard against the wood. Once I had applied the stain to both chairs, I left them in the garage to dry/cure for a couple of days.

Once the stain had dried, I applied Minwax Paste Finishing Wax. It’s best to use a small amount of wax and apply it to the surface in a circular motion. I waited for the surface to look a bit cloudy (about 15 minutes) before buffing the wax off with a clean soft rag. It’s so nice to be able to see the grain of the wood again:

Restored Wood FinishNow on to the fun part: reupholstery! I unscrewed the old seats before I began working on the chairs and stored the screws in a ziploc so I wouldn’t lose them. I removed the old fabric using a screwdriver to detach the staples on the underside. I used the fabric as a guide to cut out the fabric for the new seats. Fortunately I bought several yards because I made a mistake. It wasn’t until I had covered both chairs that I realized I didn’t center or match up the pattern on each chair. This is what the first try looked like (I have never covered chairs with a large pattern before so I didn’t think to plan where the pattern would land on the seat):

ArmchairRedoEven though it was annoying and I was kicking myself the whole time, I was happy after I had recovered the chairs with the pattern matching. I can’t wait to show you what the chairs look like in our bedroom but first I need to transform this pine end table we acquired from a friend who moved (you will hardly recognize it next time you see it!)

Pine chest:





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