Early this spring I was asked to refinish 6 dining room chairs for a friend at church. This was my first job where somebody commissioned me to refinish a piece. They were beautiful solid wood chairs she had picked up for a steal of a deal on Kijiji, but they had golden honey stained seats and the white paint was yellowing. The pick below is of the chair. She wanted the seats to be stained more brown to match her dining table, and she had a more Almond colour for the paint.
Thankfully the seats screwed off which made it relatively easy to sand down the seats with a belt sander and an orbital sander. I scuffed up the paint finish for optimal adhesion of the new paint. We have not finished our main floor so I did the painting in our living room and I did not have to worry too much about getting paint on the floor. This is one of my bad habits. I tend to drip paint ALL over, or hair dye for that matter, or stain, hot glue, you name it, and there are probably remnants of it on my unreno’d floors or my dining table that has endured many experiments and is still awaiting its completion. Painting in the unfinished living room allows me to still spend time with my husband while he watches the hockey game. I have oddly lost interest in watching hockey since we have been married. It must have been another one of those hobbies that I gave up on. It started when I met my husband and fizzled out when we married!
I used a BIN primer and then applied 3 coats of Behr Almond paint. It took me around 30 minutes for each coat for each chair. I hand painted them, which is more time consuming, but I have not invested in a good quality paint sprayer at this point. It is a labour of love, but I do love doing it. I find it relaxing and therapeutic to get lost in doing stuff like this. Well not so therapeutic when my kids are asking for a snack, or worse asking to help! I try to make it a habit to take out brushes and paper for them to paint while I work away. My husband, who I will refer to from this point onward as Derrick (like the oil rig) was glad I decided it was warm enough to do the sanding on the driveway and for the most part I tried to do the sanding while he was at work. He works at a lumber mill so to come home to the squealing of the sander does not help him to unwind after a long day. For me it is music to my ears, but to each his own. First I used a belt sander to take of the original finish and stain. Be careful when using these as they can wear down curves and edges pretty quickly. They can also cut marks into your wood. Save yourself time and follow the grain. Going against the grain can cause marks that will be time consuming to get out with the orbital sander or mouse sander. After the belt sander I switched to the orbital sander with a low grit paper like 60 or 80 and then worked my way up to 100 and finished with 150. I use finer grits for in between clear coats or over paint finishes, 150 is a good grit that allows for optimal stain saturation.
When I had finished painting the first batch of chairs and took an after picture, I thought they did not look that much different. I am used to drastic change, white to wood, wood to black, black to white. So I took a picture of the chairs beside each other, one finished and one not, and then I was able to really appreciate the change.
Definitely a lot less yellow! I thoroughly enjoyed the process and experience of working with a customer on a project that they had. I helped her pick out the stain that would best match her table. She picked the paint that complimented her home. Turning actual trash to treasure is great, but I am never really sure if someone will want the piece when it is complete or worse (according to Derrick) I end up loving it and need to find a place for it in our own home!