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Chair stain touch up/restore

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Aubrey

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Hi all. I've been asked by a client if I can restore a chair, pics included. I was going to use wax sticks to fill the small dings and scratches, but I was wondering if anyone has any advice on whether I can match the stain to touch up the arms. It seems to have a lacquer or something on it so I'm a bit unsure what to do. What do you think?
Many thanks
 

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mrpercysnodgrass

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The chair is Beech with an opaque finish sprayed on to make it look like walnut or something. It is possible to mix up a coloured finish and touch it in, it will never be truly successful though and will depend a lot on your colour matching skills. A better way would be to strip the whole of the arm and use a coloured varnish to refinish, that way if the colour match is not perfect it will still look okay. Although I have very little experience with them I think Sadolin do a range of varnish with heavy pigments in them which might do the job.
An alternative will be to strip the whole chair and refinish it in natural beech which will improve the chair a hundred fold.
Looking more closely at the photo I think the seat might be Elm. In which case definitely go for the full strip!
 
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Aubrey

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Thanks for the advice, Ive done a few simple restorations but I'm a little out of my depth with this one.
While the arm ends are the largest areas worn away, there are lots of chipped away parts all over the back and rocker legs. So I could strip the arms but I'd still have to sort out the overall bits. I'm trying not to charge her too much to fix it up but it seems like it might be more fiddly and time consuming to try and match colours especially as it has grading throughout. What would you recommend for stripping and refinishing the entire piece? Specifically the finish as I know beech can be tricky.
The chair is Beech with an opaque finish sprayed on to make it look like walnut or something. It is possible to mix up a coloured finish and touch it in, it will never be truly successful though and will depend a lot on your colour matching skills. A better way would be to strip the whole of the arm and use a coloured varnish to refinish, that way if the colour match is not perfect it will still look okay. Although I have very little experience with them I think Sadolin do a range of varnish with heavy pigments in them which might do the job.
An alternative will be to strip the whole chair and refinish it in natural beech which will improve the chair a hundred fold.
Looking more closely at the photo I think the seat might be Elm. In which case definitely go for the full strip!
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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Stripping the whole chair is the way to go. You will need a proper dichloromethane based stripper like Paramose, number 2 wire wool and a pair of marigolds. The stripper will do most of the work dab it on generously and leave it to bubble up and soften the lacquer then wipe/scrub off with the wire wool.
Im not sure where you got the idea Beech is tricky to finish, its easy peesy as long as you don't sand it too finely, 240 grit will be just right. Beech takes a stain very well but also looks good without a stain. You could finish it in a number of ways, just one or two coats of sanding sealer followed by an application of wax will give a good finish. You cold also give it a couple of coats of oil either Danish or hardwax or a couple of coats of varnish.
I notice you are in London, if you are in the North you have W.S Jenkins in Tottenham or if in the South you have Mylands for your supplies.
 

Aubrey

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Stripping the whole chair is the way to go. You will need a proper dichloromethane based stripper like Paramose, number 2 wire wool and a pair of marigolds. The stripper will do most of the work dab it on generously and leave it to bubble up and soften the lacquer then wipe/scrub off with the wire wool.
Im not sure where you got the idea Beech is tricky to finish, its easy peesy as long as you don't sand it too finely, 240 grit will be just right. Beech takes a stain very well but also looks good without a stain. You could finish it in a number of ways, just one or two coats of sanding sealer followed by an application of wax will give a good finish. You cold also give it a couple of coats of oil either Danish or hardwax or a couple of coats of varnish.
I notice you are in London, if you are in the North you have W.S Jenkins in Tottenham or if in the South you have Mylands for your supplies.
Wanted to say thanks for all your advice!
Alright, so got hold of some paramose and most of the chair stripped quite nicely except for the seat which was a real pain and the spindles for some reason. Had to use coarse wool in the end and even resorted to sandpaper to really get it out in places. There were some areas that were green from really absorbing the polish that took a lot of sanding. It took a few days and in the end there were some parts that I couldn't sand down anymore without distorting the shape, but the client was happy. The seat came out very nicely!
 

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Argus

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Nice restoration of that chair must have knocked 50 years off it.

Not only that, a very handsome cat, too.
Can't go wrong with a cat showing you how it's done properly.
 

Sheffield Tony

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Why ever did anyone think that dark sprayed finish was a good idea. Looks much better now.

I collected a chair that was being thrown out at work, the upholstery was torn and the finish was similar, dark and in sad condition. But it was a nice shape and underneath was ash and oak. Stripped, re-varnished (eventually with proper spirit based stuff after a false start with water based that slowly went sticky on the arms), re-upholtered , it is still doing good service.
 
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