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#1553716 - 05/19/11 03:39 PM Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing
QCL Offline
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I have two beautiful Oak rocking chairs. I put them on the porch last summer. Unfortunately they did not have an outdoor finish and the varnish is now cracking.

Both appear to have simple stain/varnish (polyurethane) finishes. Id like to strip the varnish, and then refinish them. Planning on a Thompsons Water Seal Stain (in either colonial blue or black). But Im not sure what product to take the existing finish off with.

I have started sanding them with my mouse sander its so cute smile but that seems to be taking forever.

Any advice?

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#1553723 - 05/19/11 03:46 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing QCL
Hrothgar Geiger Offline
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The sander will take forever. Using a chemical stripper for the varnish seems like it would be faster, but in my experience, the prep, the safety precautions, the mess and clean up still seem to take forever. (and you still have to sand the chair because the chemical strippers will raise the grain on the wood.)

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#1553727 - 05/19/11 03:48 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Hrothgar Geiger
#Just Jay Offline
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They sound like kindling to me.

Obtain two new chairs start fresh.
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#1553729 - 05/19/11 03:48 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Hrothgar Geiger
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So you're telling me to keep at it, huh?
That's seems like hard work.
Poop. laugh

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#1553731 - 05/19/11 03:49 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing QCL
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I have not used any of the new products most of the good stuff has been banned due to the smells.

Be advised that if you use the Thompsons it would be difficult for a any Polly to stick to the wood after use.

I have used Helmsman Spar Urethane (after staining)for outdoors with good success.
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#1553734 - 05/19/11 03:51 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Hrothgar Geiger
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I think if you sand the varnish you wouldn't have to worry about the stain.

But why not just go with outdoor paint? I seem to recall there's a base coat that would negate the need to sand at all. Then you just paint the chairs the blue or black you want.

There's also an outdoor Mod Podge that I used on a sand box I made for the middle gran years ago. I painted different things on the seats and then mod podged them. Last time I looked, five years later, they're just fading some from sunlight but not cracking.

Of course, in our winters, it might be best to find a place in the garage for these chairs when the snow flies.

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#1553738 - 05/19/11 03:53 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing QCL
Hrothgar Geiger Offline
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I have experimented with another option, but it's a little more dangerous. Faster, but greater potential hazard to the chair.

Use a pressure washer. I've used one to take paint off deck furniture.

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#1553746 - 05/19/11 03:56 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Hrothgar Geiger
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As long as we're outside cleaning deck furniture, what's the best cleaner for white PVC chairs and a swing that's getting grey? Short of replacing it, I mean.

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#1553747 - 05/19/11 03:56 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Truffle Royale
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I was thinking of using the Thompsons stain so I would not need to use a finish, Ed. At least that was my thought. Feel free to talk me out of it smile

http://www.thompsonswaterseal.com/products/product_detail.cfm?prod_id=15

Jay your idea is the best, but one of the chairs came from my mom, and she likes to look for it when she comes to visit. laugh
Last edited by QCL MamaBEAR; 05/19/11 03:57 PM.
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#1553759 - 05/19/11 04:06 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing QCL
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MamaBEAR, I suggest making it a project to do with the Princess! You sand one while she sands the other smile

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#1553760 - 05/19/11 04:07 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing QCL
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Maybe the Bear could 'break' it necessitating replacement? Surely Granma couldn't blame the Bear. wink

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#1553764 - 05/19/11 04:09 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Truffle Royale
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Originally Posted By: Truffle Royale
Maybe the Bear could 'break' it necessitating replacement? Surely Granma couldn't blame the Bear. wink


You're terrible! But it could be effective. Give the girl a power sander to help you with smile

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#1553770 - 05/19/11 04:12 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing QCL
edAudit Offline
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I have and usually use Thompsons on decks; however, they apear to have some type of wax in it. Great for decks not so sure for chairs where you may be sitting on with your new white pants (dress, shorts, skirt)

Like the pressure washer idea but you will still need to sand after but it will not be as bad.

Only try to remove the varnish with chemicals (or PW) lightly sand, stain a darker color and then use a marine grade polly. IMO
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#1553777 - 05/19/11 04:16 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing B_F
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Originally Posted By: B_F
Originally Posted By: Truffle Royale
Maybe the Bear could 'break' it necessitating replacement? Surely Granma couldn't blame the Bear. wink


You're terrible! But it could be effective. Give the girl a power sander to help you with smile
Hey, I've had to deal with my share of donated items/gifts that I'd later wanted to get rid of. As long as someone other than myself caused the removal, ie: beloved son-in-law or granchild, it was ok.

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#1553785 - 05/19/11 04:21 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing edAudit
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Since they have been varnished/polyurethane, unless you are committed to removing ALL of the varnish/poly down to bare wood - you don't want to use a stain.

The stain will not absorb evenly - penetrating the bare wood and not the remaining finished areas. If you are set on staining, get a good quality stripper and use it exactly per the directions. Keep it outdoors, but out of the sun while the stripper works it's magic. A light hand sanding will finish it off and you'll be ready to stain.

For the top clear coat, I recommend an outdoor water based poly.
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#1553788 - 05/19/11 04:25 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing thomasj
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For plastic chairs, etc I have found the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does a pretty good job.
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#1553794 - 05/19/11 04:28 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing TB 12
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Originally Posted By: Sox Stink in 11
For plastic chairs, etc I have found the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does a pretty good job.


I would second that but this thread is about Wood Rocking Chairs Try to stay focused Sox....
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#1553796 - 05/19/11 04:30 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing thomasj
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I was replying to TRs pvc question, but your objection is noted.

Good Day, Sir.
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#1553798 - 05/19/11 04:32 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing TB 12
thomasj Offline
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Good Day Mr. Sox smile
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#1553803 - 05/19/11 04:34 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing TB 12
#Just Jay Offline
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Perhaps the OP could could grant the go ahead to expand the scope of the conversation to include said PVC chairs, because I too would be interested in cleaning solutions for them as well.
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#1553805 - 05/19/11 04:38 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing #Just Jay
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Originally Posted By: Andy
A slight shift (in topic) that most people go with shouldn't be a problem.
Somehow I don't think pointing out the shift as a problem is what Andy was speaking to here, do you tj?

Thanks for the tip, Sox.

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#1553806 - 05/19/11 04:38 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Truffle Royale
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When I was Home Depot I saw a product that is liek a colored varnish that you can paint right over other paints. No clue hwo well it actually works and if it weathers well.

The pressue washer coudl be a good start if the stuff already on the charis seems liek its comign up already. But if the finish on them has just cracked, not sure hwo well the washer woudl work on getting it off.
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#1553807 - 05/19/11 04:39 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Truffle Royale
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Anytime. Just have a bunch on hand-they work well but break apart if you are too aggressive with them.
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#1553812 - 05/19/11 04:47 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing Truffle Royale
thomasj Offline
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Originally Posted By: Truffle Royale
Originally Posted By: Andy
A slight shift (in topic) that most people go with shouldn't be a problem.
Somehow I don't think pointing out the shift as a problem is what Andy was speaking to here, do you tj?

Thanks for the tip, Sox.


Going from wood rocking chairs to plastic patio furniture seemed like a stretch to me but I guess it's subjective. My fear was that we might drift into topics such as cleaning barbeque grills next eek Thanks for setting me straight once again. Carry on fellow BOLers, false alarm.... laugh
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#1553855 - 05/19/11 05:34 PM Re: Wood Rocking Chair Refinishing thomasj
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