Water-damaged Mesquite Chairs (2 pics)

hosenemesisJuly 10, 2009

Hi y'all,

So I was driving down the street when I saw two hand-carved Spanish Colonial chair frames sitting in the gutter with a sign that said "FREE".

Now, these chairs were pretty water-damaged, all gray on the backs and bottom parts (rails? sorry- don't know the parts of chairs). I says to myself "no problem, heh heh heh, I'll just get some Wood Bleach and fix that".

$85.00 worth of Wood Bleach later, I still have two badly stained "FREE" Spanish Colonial chairs.

It seems that I need a new strategy, cheap as I am.

Does anyone have any creative ideas to share on a wood finish? I will paint as a last resort, but I love the "rustic" look, so perhaps a mottled grayish weathered look would work. I believe the wood is Mesquite. I would like to upholster them in leather or suede, if that helps, and I want to use rustic "clavos" of some sort to attach the leather.

Any hare-brained idea will be much appreciated and carefully considered before settling on a course of action, and finished photos will be posted for all to stare at in shock.

Yours truly,


Bad Photo of Free Chair:

Worse Photo of Water/Sun Damage:

Dang, sorry the photos are so big.

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If you live in/near a city that has a WoodCraft store, go to the store and see if one of the staff---or one of the instructors is proficient in wood dyes.

Or find a cabinet shop/woodworker who is knowlegeable.

Show them the chair(s) and tell them what you want to do.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 6:10PM
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What kind of wood bleach did you use?

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood bleaches

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 10:59PM
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Thanks for the tip, handymac. There is a WoodCraft store within an hour's drive. If it comes to it, I may go there. I didn't know there was such a thing as wood dye.

Hey, bobsmyuncle, Bob's my uncle too.
I used a two part solution, so I guess it was peroxide based. I also tried household chlorine bleach. The chairs look better than they did, but after two treatments, I'm about tapped out.

Thank you to both of you for responding to my question.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 8:02PM
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I might have tried oxalic acid, that is often sold as a "deck brightener."

I am in the middle of a project that was a "coffee stand" in a law office conference room and had numerous stains in the shape of equipment and water marks. I used the peroxide (A-B) bleach to get the residual stains out on it and it worked well. Very well, in fact, after the second application.

I'd be tempted to use an oil-varnish blend (AKA Danish Oil) on the result to give a nice, in the wood, finish. That would be my taste on this "rustic" piece.

Meanwhile, $300 later, you have a "free chair." :-)

One of my daughters is named Renata (same root as Renee) and her daughter's middle name is Renee. Small world ;-)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 7:15PM
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Hey renatasmydaughter/bobsmyuncle,
I think I'll take your advice on the Danish Oil. If I "weather" the carved areas a bit more by putting a little brown/gray wash on the chairs and then sand them a little, then apply the finish, some people may be fooled into thinking they were supposed to look that way. I'll post a photo when I'm done procrastinating...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 3:03PM
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