Refinished chair

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Project by BobTheFish posted 06-02-2011 02:43 AM 1517 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A coworker of mine quit his job last year in order to retire. It was bittersweet to see him leave, but mostly happy to see him able to pursue his hobbies. One of the first things he did, however, was tackle his basement. He had used the old dirt floored space for storing many many things, and along the way he contacted me to help him in passing along many of his books, knick knacks and other things which hadn’t seen the light of day for at least a few years. One of the first things he presented me with were a pair of chairs in a beautiful mid-century modern chromed steel frame with some interesting orange fabric. I immediately found a home for them with a friend, and he immediately found two more chairs for me in his basement. These two chairs he picked up at a yardsale many many years ago, and pretty much collected dust, clay, and a little mildew till he washed them off and presented them to me.

Now I must stress that he washed these prior to my taking ownership of them. They were QUITE ugly, and with black stain everywhere. (you can actually see the better of the two in pre-stripping status in picture 2).

I scrubbed and stripped for two weeks on the worst of the two (which also has the sleeker more modern frame) and was rewarded for my efforts with a GORGEOUS mahogany chair. There’s still some small spots (like between the spindles) where you can see remnants of the original finish, (which with the nicks and scars, I believe, adds character to this aged beauty). The only treatment either chair received was a hand rubbed semi-gloss poly and a coat of butcher’s wax to bring out a little bit more shine.

The “less dirty and ugly” of the original two turned out to be a bit of a dud. As you can see in the last picture there’s a fair amount of crap that just would not come off. I think it actually did get a bit of mildew or something in the wood, though can’t be certain. Hell, I can’t even tell what wood it is. Any ideas?

2 comments so far

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13600 posts in 3306 days

#1 posted 06-04-2011 01:16 AM

just tackling this work
makes you a better man than me

refinishing is not my forte

boy do i miss those old dip tanks

but you have given new life to these beauties

well done

and welcome to LJ’s

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2517 days

#2 posted 06-04-2011 05:56 AM

Why thank ya. Honestly, I think I start half of these projects not knowing what the hell I’m getting into, and by the time I realize, I’m halfway through and quitting just isn’t a pretty option.

With this one, once I saw the wood underneath in some of the spots, I just fell in love, and couldn’t let it go undone.

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