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October 26, 2009

Case of the Mondays

Whew! I had a super busy week last week and took some time off from blogging - I had another photo shoot at my house, so I had a crazy week getting the apt ready. I'm actually happy that the shoot came up - it forced me to get some projects done and get the apt in a more presentable state. I'm also super excited because I got to try my hand as a stylist! It was a lot of fun to style the shots - some with models, some without! Once I get permission, I will post the shots!

I also got another query about my Selig chair project, and thought I'd share my response:

Amanda,

Your chair looks great! Like some of the others posting on your blog, I've been inspired to restore a plycraft of my own. Can you give me some more details on the type of stain you used? Actually, any extra information about the sanding/staining process would be great.

Thanks,

T

Hi T,

I used Minwax stain and Polyurethane from Home Depot - both water based. However, since the chair was my first refinishing project, I've learned a thing or two! Now for my refinishing projects I use oil based products - wipe on urethane gel Gel Stain, and a wipe on urethane Gel Topcoat. Both of these I got at Rockler Woodworking supply the brand is called General Finishes. The gel stains are so easy to use, and pretty fool proof - they wipe on with a rag - apply a heavy coat and wipe up the excess! You can't really mess it up - just keep applying coats until you get the look you like, then repeat with the topcoat - do 3 coats. The finish is MUCH richer than the water based stains I used on the chair, the grain "pops" more and has a nice satin-y feel.

As far as sanding - I had decided to stay away from a chemical stripper at the time, and decided just to sand down the finish. I have a Black and Decker "Mouse" sander, and used that to sand down the plywood, going from coarse to fine grit. However, the sander left swirl marks, so I had to complete the finest sanding by hand. You should always sand with the grain of the wood, and be patient. If I had to do it over again, I'd use a stripper, (I like Citristrip) to remove most of the finish, and then hand sand the rest. Let the stripper do most of the work!

I hope that helps! What I know now, I learned by taking a refinishing class at my local community art center - I learned a LOT, and wish I had taken the class before doing the chair - if you can find something like that where you live I recommended it, although it's still a very doable project on your own. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Good Luck!



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