Oak chair _restoration_Annterior

First “Quick & Dirty” victim on the blog is this beautiful (trust me!) oak chair,  rescued by my client from an attic. Though in an apparently bad shape, water and fire stained, luckily it showed no signs of woodworms attack. Generally oak, being a harder wood, is avoided by woodworms especially if the little animals have other options. I guess they had plenty of other options in the said attic so they left our chair alone. Nevertheless it has been treated now for future possible woodworm threat.

Second worry on my list were the multiple stains, of uncertain origin. Luckily it turned out most of the stains were not-too-profound water stains, pretty easily removable by the elementary cleaning process, and an easy sanding. The one which we chose not to insist on removing, was one stain burned into the wood, that could have been probably removed by chemical bleaching, but there were chances not to get rid of it completely so we decided to keep it. It adds character to the restored chair and it witnesses its history.

This being clarified, these were the steps of this particular restoration process:

1. Removing the old rotten leather

2. Removing upholstery nails;

3.Washing the chair with a light solution of water and domestic use bleach;

4. Light sanding with fine wire wool  and with 600 grained sand paper, with the purpose of cleaning but also to even out some edges

 5. Taking the chair apart, as it was a little wobbly, and re-gluing it back together with organic glue. (The organic glue is highly recommendable in restoration as it can be easily removed with hot water anytime, not risking to break the piece of furniture in future restoration, when taking it apart, because the glue was to tight)

6. Strengthening the joints

7. Replacing the bigger missing chips

8. Filling some small crevasses and holes with wood colored wax, and than sand the spots to the face to blend in and to have the appearance of the fiber of the wood

9. Applying around 30 shellac coats with the squirrel hair brush

10. Finishing off with 20 more shellac coats applied with the polishing pad (a shellac soaked gauze, squeezed inside a cotton cloth) and leave it dry for 1 -2 days (not in the sun and not in a very cold room).

11. The chair is ready for upholstery!

In this particular case, a very high gloss was not required, as the chair has a country house look. Rustic pieces are rather dull than highly polished, therefore a few other preliminary or subsequent steps which would have produced that very high gloss, were left out.

Stay tuned for the “Before & After”. 🙂

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