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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sand Baby Sand or Gitter Done!

I have been talking about repairing and refinishing my antique French bentwood breakfast nook chairs for two years. Guess what? I finally got around to doing it.

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For this job I used Minwax wood filler for the dings, nicks, and dents, wood stain and lots of sandpaper.

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First up I filled in all the dents and nicks using wood filler. It said to allow 3 hours to dry. Since I live in Phoenix I waited an hour.

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I then sanded all of the wood filled areas until they were smooth and level with the original wood. I then sanded down the entire piece so that it would take the stain better. I sanded, and sanded and sanded until I believe I sanded my fingerprints right off. (Just kidding FBI.)

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There was so much sanding residue that I could have written my name in the dust. Did I mention I was sanding outside during the month of August in Phoenix? Oh the things I do to create fodder for this blog.

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It was time for a wipe down. I am not sure if this is the correct thing to do, but I grabbed a bucket of water, a clean rag and went to work. I did wring the rag out until it was practically dry and wiped down every surface, including the nook and crannies.

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With the outside temperatures hovering in the 110 degree range the water dried instantly. The chairs were ready to be stained. But I waited until the cool temps of the early morning hours.

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So, this was my first attempt at staining and no matter how quickly I wiped the stain off, some areas of the chair grabbed more stain than others. I would love input as to why this was (ultra dry wood?) and how it can be avoided. I was also irritated to learn that the stainable wood filler is really NOT so stainable. Most areas remained the original product’s light wood color.

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I think I am ok with this as most of the areas will be covered up with the chair pads I am planning on creating. Here are a few lovely designs that I am pondering:

IMG_6668The ever inspiring Miss Mustard Seed.

Lauren-Ross-White-Dining-GTL0407-deLauren Ross for Country Living 

thebrickpathstudio_blogspot_comPleated loveliness from The Brick Path Studio

December 07 013 Stupendous scallops from an unknown genius.


Uber talented Lauren Ross, again!

What is your favorite chair pad?


Linked To:

Funky Junk’s Gitter Done


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Staining isn't easy....but I am thinking that it turned out good...and I am LOVING that "Pleated loveliness from The Brick Path Studio".....just yummy! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Mom in High Heels said...

I like the simplicity of the first chair cover, but I'd totally add the monogram from the last one. :)

Kim said...

Yes, wiping them down with a damp cloth is the right thing to do. Some wood just takes stain differently, that's happened to me, too. And, "blog fodder," I like it! Nice job, Laura. P.S. You are adorable on your previous post ;0).

The French Bear said...

Laura, what a huge job!!! I love the first chair with the white linen ruffles...they are all divine!!! Can't wait to see what you do!!!
Margaret B

Connie said...

Ooooh, if I only had the energy to do our oak dining table I'd be happy. Maybe soon, sugar. But yours will be gorgeous when you finish. Actually, I love them now. Our chairs are french looking so I've opted to cover them with a slipcover. I want new chairs but cannot justify the expense right now. Lovely photos on this post also. Gives me inspiration.

Blondie's Journal said...

You did a fabulous job, Laura, especially considering the heat!

Oh gosh, I love chair pad. I'd say anything with a ruffle is my favorite!! :-)


Debra@Common Ground said...

This is a great set of chairs and love the white base on the table. It will look wonderful with the chair slips, and I LOVE the previous post with your darling apron, you're really stylin' Laura, I do all my cooking and cleaning in kitten heels, te he!

Kelly Ballard said...

They are all will you decide?

Second Hand Chicks

Everton Terrace said...

The last one is tres chic - the monogram is just the right touch. That dining room looks like something my daughter would love!

French Basketeer said...

I'm interested to hear the solution to staining wood filler too; I think I like the Miss Mustard Seed cushion, with a bow at the back, but all the choices are really lovely....

Jeannine said...

Great job on the chairs. I had a pair of $5 chairs that I did in July her in Central Cal. Same thing. 100 degrees, water and rag. They were soo dusty from sitting in someones starage unit. I love the slipcovered chair with the monogram "R".

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

hi laura! you need to use conditioner on your wood before you stain and it will help the stain absorb evenly. i think it is just called wood conditioner, and it will say what it does on the label. it may be called prestain conditioner... can't quite remember!

northern cottage said...

oh my word!! LOVELY - you're making great progress and I adore the options you're considering for the finished projects! I'm so glad you visited - I think I've found a new awesome blog to follow! Heading off to read your archives!

InMyOwnStyle said...

Hi Laura-

Your chairs will look beautiful with any of the treatments you showed on your post. Did you buy the fabric yet? Once you have that it is as easy as sewing a cover for each chair. Easier said then done! Looking forward to seeing what you do with them.

My best-

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I love all these little slips, Laura! Kelly at Much To Do About Nothing blog also does a mean slipcover ~ I love her pleated skirts.

Deede said...

Hey Laura! Thanks for visiting my blog today. ...and thanks for posting the picture of our chair slipcover with the box pleated edging. Well, guess what? We are also the "unknown geniuses" mentioned for the country French chairs with the scalloped skirts. There was a set of 10 of those! (2 were armchairs)They went to a beautiful French-style farmhouse in Columbus, Georgia. The material was a high-quality woven fabric with embroidered leaves here and there...very expensive! The fabric for the box pleated slipcovered chair is a heavy linen that we pre-washed first.
Please visit us again.

designlove-cynthia said...

I love the one from "mustard seed" I find it simple, and elegant. Like the way it flows....I was hopeing to see you strike a pose


Craftymoose Crafts said...

You're a trooper, Laura, doing these in 100+ degree weather! After looking again at the spot where the chairs live,I like the scalloped seat cushions the best!

Blarney said...

I'm currently in the process of revamping my bedroom set which requires wood fill and stain. I have found using a scratch marker on the wood fill before staining helps to pre-color the fill thus hiding some of the contrast. BTW ~ I'd appreciate your help pricing a re-vamped dresser currently on my blog. I'm thinking of selling but haven't re-sold before.

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

For me it's a toss up between 1,2 & 5! Today I've been getting some things done myself that I'd put off...It's such a great feeling!
Congratulations! You can mark this one off your list!

The Boston Lady said...

First of all - LOL. I love your descriptions of the AZ dry heat and it's effects. I feel that I have the opposite problema, so I can relate!! Just exactly what is the "cool morning temp" in Phoenix in the summer? You did a fabulous job and I am now inspired to do something with my dining room chairs! I vote for Miss Mustard Seed's seat treatments. I like her relaxed style. said...


To prevent an uneven stain penetration, you should have used a pre-stain conditioner. They come in oil based or water based, depending on what type of stain you're using. Minwax makes a good one.

I have been lusting after the Lauren Ross chair covers for months. I know yours will look wonderful once you wave your designer wand over them.

Your Friend,

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Thanks so much for the mention. Some of those chairs are amazing.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Those chairs are really cool! Very neat shapes and unique seats. Sorry they didn't turn out exactly as you had hoped. Bet Miss Mustard Seed knows why. :)

Only 2 years, eh? LOL


Bettyann said...

Laura I have very simple Ikea cream cushions for my kitchen chairs...but as your table has scallops love the scolloped covers..

Linda said...

They're all lovely. My style however, is more like the first one from Miss Mustard Seed (appropriate name for me).

I'm sure whatever you come up with is going to be fabulous as always. :)

Karen said...

The wood filler is just bits of various wood particles mixed with "glue" to stick and they never match because it is not the same "wood" that you applied it on(the chair). The alternative is colored filler that you can pick out after you stain so that you can match the stain as closely as possible. With this method you would apply it and sand a little after it is dry. This is never a perfect match either.Sometimes it is just better to sand like crazy and live with the bumps and bruises. I vote for the scallops because they would repeat/echo that design element in your valance. But the mini pleats look fabulous!

Whimsey Creations said...

I vote for Miss Mustardseeds chair style. You said: I was also irritated to learn that the stainable wood filler is really NOT so stainable. Most areas remained the original product’s light wood color.
Don't you just hate that, especially if it's something that will show? I think they should be required by law to put that on their filler containers! LOL

mrsben said...

Wonderful job you did on the chairs! (If you have a moment check out the Blog "Much To Do With Nothing" by Kelly. She is one talented seamstress when it comes to slipcovering. I think you'll be impressed and may have much in common.) -Brenda-

Elizabeth Ann said...

Can't wait to see the finished product. So many choices to ponder, but I agree Miss Mustard Seed with a monogram.

Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth Ann's, hope you'll come back again soon.

Elizabeth Ann

Lindy said...

I 've never seen bentwood chairs just like these. They're beautiful! -- even before the refinishing!