Advice needed on refinishing wood chairs.

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Forum topic by mgee76 posted 06-02-2014 09:46 PM 743 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 874 days

06-02-2014 09:46 PM

Hello, I’m resorting to asking for advice because I don’t want to screw these chairs up any more than I possibly already have. I’ve stripped them of lacquer and sanded them somewhat, but I’m worried that I possibly exposed them to too much moisture and am not sure how to proceed with the finishing aspect. I’m thinking I’m going to want to stain or dye them somehow a darker color to cover any flaws, but am not sure what the best method would be and if it would even work.

I believe they are beech, but I could be wrong. In sanding, there are gray areas that seem softer… is this moisture damage? Should I bleach this wood first, and if so, with what? Am I safe to stain these, or will I have difficulty in doing so? Should I sand more until they are all a light, even color? I’d rather not sand too much more than I need to, if at all, but I don’t want an uneven color at the end. The more opaque the better, I suppose, with some of the grain (there isn’t much anyway) saved. Would a gel stain work, or would that limit my options?

I have decided that I’d like to use Waterlox to finish them, but am not sure if this is the best product. I can’t spray them and would like a nice, Danish, hand-rubbed finish, albeit darker.

Here are some pictures… any help would be amazing, thanks!

Sorry if these are too large. I can resize if it’s a problem.

2 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1614 posts in 1737 days

#1 posted 06-02-2014 10:46 PM

I can’t tell with just a picture but before you try staining, scrub them with some lacquer thinner and Scotch-Brite and see if the thinner remains fairly clean. That gray could be left over residue.

In my own refinishing, I actually don’t do any sanding until after getting stuff clean with solvents. Sometimes I don’t sand at all if I’m trying to preserve the patina. Minor finish sanding is the most that should be required.

If you stain them darker, use a two step process with lighter stain colors instead of one darker stain. I like water-based dyes for the first step followed by an oil stain after the first stain dries.

-- See my work at and

View mgee76's profile


4 posts in 874 days

#2 posted 06-02-2014 11:57 PM

Interesting idea… I hadn’t thought of that. So a medium dye followed by a medium stain, or a medium dye and then the darker oil stain? Thanks.

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