Refinish? Refurbish? What to do?

oldstuff4meJanuary 16, 2012

I bought 2 Stratford Chair Co. chairs yesterday. One is a captain's chair and as you can see, the other is not.

I want to use them as my every-day-kitchen-chairs. The captain's chair has a bit of a loose arm, but it's nothing that some screw tightening and a bit of glue won't cure.

However, the finish on them is pretty rough and the seats are in rough shape as well. (the smaller chair's seat is ripped at the bottom and the straw is starting to fall out)

Anyway, my question is... What would be best for these old oak chairs? Strip them right down? (if so, with what?) ... What about the seats? Repair the bottom on the one and leave the beat-up original look or replace them?

Your opinions are appreciated. Thanks!!

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That finish will clean up beautifully! Mix up some Denatured alcohol and lacquer thinner....3 to 1, wearing rubber gloves and in a well vented place free from fire, rub some on with a rag....being careful not to get any on the seat.....and wipe off the goo. You may then want to reapply some rub-on tung oil or another oil finish.
I would spruce up the seats with a dye like india ink ( something that won't rub off on your clothing) then give it a good coat of wax, apply some black fabric over the bottom of the seat....and call it good.
they won't look new....but then you wouldn't be buying antiques if you wanted new stuff would you?
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Thanks for the advice.

Do I need to clean the chairs first? (with Murphy's oil soap or something?)

My husand really wasn't keen on the idea of leaving the seats the way they were. He thought they were too far gone and he would have forever been suspect about sitting on them. So, I had to give in and agree to having them re-done.

At the moment they've been taken apart and re-glued, so now, before any leather gets put back on, it's time to clean them up.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 10:11AM
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FYI.... I tried what you recommended... However, you can't buy denatured alcohol anywhere in Canada, so the associate in the store sold me Methyl Hydrate and said it's the same thing. Well, I'm not so sure about that... because there is no "goo" and nothing seems to be happening to the finish of these chairs other than a dulling and clouding of the finish in some spots.

Any other ideas?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:46PM
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Can you buy shellac thinner?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Can you buy shellac thinner?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Methyl Hydrate is just another name for wood alcohol, so if that is not having any effect on the finish, it is not shellac.
Try lacquer thinner.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 7:20PM
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I suspect the finish is varnish.....will lacquer thinner dissolve it?
Did you mix shellac thinner and lacquer thinner? Never saw a finish that wouldn't "take".

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 7:59PM
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