Sunday, March 10, 2013

How to Restain a Wood Chair - Partial Project!

NOTE: This post is not done, it only covers fixing wobbly legs at this point. It will be updated once I finish the chair!


-         Wood chair
-         Sandpaper
-         Stain
-         Poly coat (I use polycrylic, a water-based finish, instead of polyurethane)
-         Wood glue (to tighten joints)
-         Fabric-covered hammer or rubber mallet (to coax apart loose joints)
-         Clamp/rope (to hold joints in place while gluing)

Time Commitment:

  Ongoing for me (this post will be updated when I finish the chair)

So here’s the deal- it’s March, but it’s too cold to let the chair dry outside and I just moved…sooo, I’m just going to cover how to make the joints on your chair stable and secure for this post and update it when I actually finish the chair…

How to Make it Happen:

Today's patient

1) This is an old-fashioned kind of chair back that I love very much (it has two supports behind the back of the chair, and I think they’re really cute). First, check the joints on the chair- this one had two loose legs, so they need to be secured before worrying about appearances.

Poor chair- a science experiment gone wrong

2) Someone did a really horrific repair job on this leg. The metal bracket is actually split right at the corner, and someone tried to use what looks like wood filler or a combination of sawdust and glue. It’s all loose and wobbly.

Fixing the leg

3) I took the metal bracket off the chair and used a fabric covered hammer to knock the leg out of its socket (the fabric covering on the hammer head is to keep the hammer from denting the wood- you can also use a rubber mallet)

Gluing it back in place

4) Make sure the hole doesn’t go the whole way through the chair or you’ll have a puddle of glue on your furniture/floor. If it doesn’t (and it shouldn’t), fill the hole about halfway with wood glue and press the leg back into place. Glue that squirts out around the leg can be wiped away. Use a clamp, rope, etc. to hold the leg tightly in place while the glue dries.

Securing the legs in place

One leg is glued in place (you can see a blob of glue next to the leg in the lower right hand corner), and the other is being put into place. The chair is now sturdy, and when I update this post we will get to the restaining and refinishing of the chair…


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