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Old 01-28-2012, 07:48 AM
 
173 posts, read 461,699 times
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I'm pretty new at refinishing also and I think this set would be an overwhelming amount of work. It's a very nice piece and I think changing the chair fabric would help. Also remember, even though oak is out of favor now, it will probably come back in a few years.

Couple lessons I learned from my current project of redoing oak rockers:
Those grooves and round edges are really hard to get into to sand.
It akes persistance to get the varnish off. I gave up on the idea of staining because I couldn't get the finish good enough and decided to paint.
It takes many cans of spray paint to get it covered. I ended up finishing the first chair with an oiled based paint I put on with sponge brushes. Paint brush strokes show.
Even though I painted, the grain is still a bit visible (I'm OK with that).
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 10,634,201 times
Reputation: 19502
OP, I clicked on and zoomed in to the last snapshot and do see that the furniture has a considerable amount of wear to it in areas. This isn't a permanent fix, but you might try lightly scuffing the surface with 0000 steel wool, or fine sandpaper and then applying a light brown paste wax to the surface? If you're going to consider this, please go online and look at instructions on doing this properly. There are several brands of finishing waxes out there, clear, light brown and dark brown. The light brown might just be what your looking for, to even out and even modify the tone a bit.

As many of us have shared, it's the DETAILS....those grooves and carvings that are going to really give you a run for your money. Getting in there to get all of the old finish out is a LOT of work and can be terribly frustrating. If you use the wrong tools, you're going to scratch the heck out of it. If you leave any of the old finish behind and your new finish doesn't match, exactly....you're going to have a blotchy mess.

My daughter and I just refinished a table and 6 chairs. There were very few details to ours and it took us 1-1/2 weeks. Fortunately, the chairs simply needed sanding and re-painting. (still a HUGE job) We repaired, sanded and painted the "posts" on the table, but the stripping and sanding of the table, feet and crossbar took about 8 hours of solid work. Once the piece is stained, it takes 5-6 coats of polyurethane (sanding with 400 grit sandpaper in between coats). Even with all of that work, there are still a few imperfections, due to some deep scratches that were on the table when we bought the set for $20. That's not a problem though, as paste wax hid them.

Again, if this is your first project, know.....going into it, that it's going to take you a great deal of time and the final finishing MUST be done in an area where you can keep dust and lint out. Research, research, research. It can be done, but it's going to take a lot of work. If you're going to paint, again....please practice first, as runs can be pretty darn hard to cover. If you want it to be beautiful, you have to be obsessive.LOL
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:39 PM
 
Location: NYC
1,723 posts, read 3,683,485 times
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I'm glad you mentioned wax. I was looking through some of the links that Elnina listed, and I think I'll try that in a small test area first. One of the links she posted led me to a site where a woman put a darker wax on her kitchen cabinets, and it did darken them enough and they lost that yellowy undertone. They turned out to be a pretty color. I'll pick up some brown wax today, dark and midtone, and test it on a small area. I read up on how to put on the wax and it sounds a little daunting. They say you have to use a very very thin coat of wax and buff it. I've never even waxed a car before so I'm way out of my league with wax, but I'll give it a shot and test it.

Today is beautiful and sunny. The sun coming in through my windows made the entire dining room set look orange. I thought it was just the cabinet that looked so orange, but it's the whole set. I'm so disgusted with it.

This whole mess started because we installed new windows. The old ones were so foggy that I kept them covered. But, now I can let the sunshine in.. the downside is I can see how bad my furniture really is.

I'll test the wax in a hidden spot, and if that doesn't work out to my satisfaction, I'm just going to paint the darn thing. I've done it before so I'm sure I can do it again.

I'll keep you posted.

I hate orange.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 10,634,201 times
Reputation: 19502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauriedeee View Post
I'm glad you mentioned wax. I was looking through some of the links that Elnina listed, and I think I'll try that in a small test area first. One of the links she posted led me to a site where a woman put a darker wax on her kitchen cabinets, and it did darken them enough and they lost that yellowy undertone. They turned out to be a pretty color. I'll pick up some brown wax today, dark and midtone, and test it on a small area. I read up on how to put on the wax and it sounds a little daunting. They say you have to use a very very thin coat of wax and buff it. I've never even waxed a car before so I'm way out of my league with wax, but I'll give it a shot and test it.

Today is beautiful and sunny. The sun coming in through my windows made the entire dining room set look orange. I thought it was just the cabinet that looked so orange, but it's the whole set. I'm so disgusted with it.

This whole mess started because we installed new windows. The old ones were so foggy that I kept them covered. But, now I can let the sunshine in.. the downside is I can see how bad my furniture really is.

I'll test the wax in a hidden spot, and if that doesn't work out to my satisfaction, I'm just going to paint the darn thing. I've done it before so I'm sure I can do it again.

I'll keep you posted.

I hate orange.
LOL....I'm on the same page with you on the dislike of orange. LOL The thing of it is, if you can't afford to have a pro refinish that furniture for you, the wax just might work out. I hope it does! Your set really is a nice one and I'm sure that it was absolutely beautiful when you bought it! As we said too, changing out the fabric would make it look like an entirely different set as well. I mean, to make the job go much, much easier, you're going to want to remove the seats and chair backing anyway...so?

As I mentioned in my earlier post, we picked up a $20 table and chairs. The table is has two butterfly leaves and is a double post trestle style. I've been looking for one of those, because I HATE corner legs...due to them getting in the way! One of the posts was split in several areas, the chairs did not match the table, so we painted the posts Swan White (using Glidden Duo) and painted the chairs the same color, then recovered the chairs. The top, feet & crossbar were stripped, sanded, stained (Shaker Pine) and polyurethaned, then a paste wax applied. The table had some serious damage, including gouges and stains. It is nearly perfect now. Mind you, if my set had all of the extensive carvings & relief that YOUR set has, I don't think I would have gone to the trouble. I most likely would have tried sanding/steel wool, then paste wax. If that didn't work, I'd clean the h*ll out of it and paint it. LOL

Good luck....and please DO keep us posted!!
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:56 PM
 
Location: NYC
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I'm in the process of looking for material for the dining room set, but I keep waffling on what color I want and if it goes with the oak as is, or how will it look if the set is white..
I'm driving myself nuts.

Taking off the seats was easy. Just unscrew 'em.. but the backs.. oysh.. The've got so many staples in the chairs because the back of the chair has fabric on it too, but you've got to attach it from the front. Then there's a layer of foam, then theres the front material, and then the cording. So many staples. It took me so long to get them all out and they were in so deep. I really messed up the backs when I took those staples out.

I'm so glad that there's only 2 that have the upholstered backs on them. The rest are all ladder back.

Equinox. I don't think there's any vanish on this set. Maybe there is on the table top because that finish seems harder, but the chairs are soft. It's hard to explain. I'm wondering if they used a wax on it way back when I bought it.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 10,634,201 times
Reputation: 19502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauriedeee View Post
I'm in the process of looking for material for the dining room set, but I keep waffling on what color I want and if it goes with the oak as is, or how will it look if the set is white..
I'm driving myself nuts.

Taking off the seats was easy. Just unscrew 'em.. but the backs.. oysh.. The've got so many staples in the chairs because the back of the chair has fabric on it too, but you've got to attach it from the front. Then there's a layer of foam, then theres the front material, and then the cording. So many staples. It took me so long to get them all out and they were in so deep. I really messed up the backs when I took those staples out.

I'm so glad that there's only 2 that have the upholstered backs on them. The rest are all ladder back.

Equinox. I don't think there's any vanish on this set. Maybe there is on the table top because that finish seems harder, but the chairs are soft. It's hard to explain. I'm wondering if they used a wax on it way back when I bought it.
There are some GREAT adhesives out there these days. You can get away with a whole lot less staples in the back than they originally had. How exciting! You've started!
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,990 posts, read 49,276,136 times
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I would not buy fabric until you have the wood stained or painted the color you want.

This blog shows examples of updated oak dining sets that show the variety of ideas you could use.

http://strictlysimplestyle.blogspot....ining-set.html
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,877,408 times
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I hate my husband. OK, not really - but I sanded and refinished an antique maple table and chairs, mostly by hand because of the detail... it turned out ok (I like the dark red maple). I put three coats of polyu on too... it looked brand-new, but the little tiny corners bugged me because they weren't perfect.

Then he showed me his Dremel tool with the sanding head...

If you want to sand and get into corners and detail work, a Dremel rox.
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: NYC
1,723 posts, read 3,683,485 times
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nice site, thanks. There's a few that I like on there. I'm even thinking seriously about doing them in black. Black is so out of my comfort zone though so I really have to get up my nerve to do that.

Went to HD tonight.. and of course they didn't have tinted wax.. they just had the clear so I didn't buy it, BUT right next to the paint section is the carpet section so I had to go check out area rugs.
I bought one that is mostly black and so pretty. Unfortunately, it's too small, but I decided that I'll use it in my office.

I have an old tv cabinet/hutch that we had no idea what to do with, so I'm going to paint that black and put it in there.

That will be my test piece to see if I'm comfortable with black furniture.
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:21 PM
 
Location: NYC
1,723 posts, read 3,683,485 times
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My wonderful children bought me a Dremel for my birthday last year. Im glad you mentioned that. I didn't even think to use the dremel to sand the tiny areas.

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