August 9, 2013

And Now the Carpet Doesn't Match the Drapes

We ordered the velvet (woot) and we'll be dropping off the chair at Kessels Upholstery soon (woot, woot).  But first our little garbage chair needed some love.  We stripped and re-stained its light wood legs and sanded and oiled its solid wood arms.  But somewhere along the way I goofed . . .


First up, the legs.  They were weird light wood, did you spot that?  They didn't go with our other furniture and they didn't go with the chair's arms.  We unscrewed them and gave them a good sand (using 120 and then 220 grit sandpaper) and applied stain.  For the stain, we used the same brand that worked wonders for Hubby's DIY welded desk (Saman) in dark walnut.  We picked the stain because on the sample board it looked like the same ashy brown hue as the arms.  Nope.


First, here are the application details:
  1. Hubs and I sanded the legs, removing the previous coating.
  2. Using a foam brush, I applied the stain along the entire length of the leg (I started doing only the bottom or top half and then they didn't match, so I worked the whole length, and applied stain all the way around).
  3. Once the whole leg was covered in stain, I wiped off excess with a clean, lint-free rag.
  4. I let it dry overnight and then applied a second coat. 
  5. I let it dry overnight again, then Hubs applied Danish Oil as a finish coat (I'll explain the oil below).
Easy.  They look amazing and the darker stain hides some of the dints and scuffs we couldn't sand out.  We never got them perfect, but the dark stain covered all problems areas.  This is also why I like to wear dark pants.  The problem is, now the legs are darker than the arms!


The arms were trickier because they were stained and marked.


We gave them a really good sand - first with a 120 grit and then following up with a 220 grit.  I used a sanding block to help keep the pressure even.  It took some love (we each took an arm and sanded for an hour or so), but it was worth it!  These solid wood arms looked gorgeous again.  But really, really light.  Something made abundantly clear once the legs had been stained really, really dark.


After sanding, we wiped them clean with a damp rag and let them dry.  Then I applied some Danish Oil, which is a lot thicker than Teak Oil, as per the instructions:
  1. I applied a really thin coat with a lint-free cloth.
  2. After 5 minutes, I wiped off the excess.
  3. I let them sit overnight, then I rubbed the arms with a cloth to "burnish" them.
  4. I repeated this process, adding a second and third coat.

Here's the other side, all oiled and lovely:


The arms turned out lovely.  But still a bit lighter than anticipated and a much warmer hue than planned.  I thought even after oiling they would stay ashy, but the oil has a yellowness to it.  Now the dark/light clash has switched!


Oh well.  The arms I love (the wood grain is gorgeous) and if, when it's all upholstered, I don't love the legs I can remove them and re-finish or replace them.  What I learned from this is to buy the stain after the wood I'm refinishing is stripped and sealed, for a better match.  I also learned I love Danish Oil!  We also applied some to our little random stool/table and it made the wood that much richer.  Supposedly it builds a durable, water-resistant finish (and has a satin sheen when it's dry, so nothing too glossy). 


P.S. Here are the two products were used: Saman water-based stain in Dark Walnut (from Canadian Tire) and Tried and True Danish Oil (from Lee Valley). 

17 comments:

  1. Wow, those arms are brand new! Well done, that takes some muscle sanding for a straight hour!!

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    1. I'm so happy with how the arms turned out because they are such a major part of why we love this chair! I should stipulate, a lot of our "one hour" on sanding involved standing back, brow furrowed, inspecting our work while another chunk of time was spent standing back, complaining. Maybe only about 40 minutes, real hard work??? We also worked carefully, to avoid adding scuffs or sanding too much. We also worked hard to make it really smooth with a finer grit. All in all, we deserved the creamsicles were rewarded ourselves with, even with all the complaining.

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  2. Also, just a quick question about kessels -- did you choose your fabric from them? Or elsewhere?

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    1. Fabric is from them too! They also helped me pick the fabric for my beloved mint & turquoise teak chair. I also bought the houndstooth on the kitchen chairs from them. I always walk in with a specific idea, and they always have what I want (soooo many samples) but 2 out of 3 times, they've suggested something different, something bolder, and I've loved it more than my original idea or pick. They are amazing!! Definitely take the gals up on their offer to help and be open to their suggestions.

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  3. I have an antique walnut trestle table in the kitchen that's in desperate need of refinishing...rather than staining I think I might give danish oil a try!

    Gorgeous arms on that chair. Can't wait to see it reupholstered.

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    1. I definitely want to oil everything in sight now. It was easy and really brings out the natural beauty in the wood. A little fume-y though, so I recommend doing it in the garage with the door open.

      Also, I read it needs to be re-oiled every few years.

      Good luck making over your antique walnut table! I bet it will look beautiful when you're done with it!!

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  4. Those arms look stellar! To tell you the truth, I probably would have just thought shadows were making the legs look darker if you hadn't mentioned it.

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    1. Thanks Dana! I'm glad you day that. I think darker legs and lighter arms looks better than the reverse, so if they have to clash, I prefer this :) I think with the richer fabric, too, the cloth and arms will be the focus, not the legs, which is the right order I think. I'm excited to see it all done, but the fabric isn't even in yet!!

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  5. You did such a great job with that chair! I love it. Can't wait to see the final result

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    1. Thanks! Solid wood is very forgiving, veneers are trickier! I also refinished some teak (details soon) and those didn't turn out as well because the veneer is thin, so I couldn't go to town sanding.

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  6. Hmm... Danish oil eh? Good to know! I just refinished our mid-century modern credenza with restor-a-finish (http://lamourcheznous.com/2013/08/09/our-gorgeous-and-restored-mid-century-modern-credenza/), but I'm still happy to find other wood finish products! Looking forward to seeing the velvet :)

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    1. Ooo, your credenza turned out so beautifully. What a great piece!

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  7. danish oil is my fave and sooo much easier than a poly finish! can't wait to see the finished product.

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  8. Hello Tanya....
    I just saw the lovely conversation between you and Amy above.
    I wanted to mention it would be our pleasure to offer 10% off all fabrics to any of your readers that heard about us on your website.
    They would just have to mention you.
    Have a great day. :)
    Ria

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    1. Oh, that's lovely!! I'll be sure to mention that when I share the reveal!!

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  9. Tanya, that velvet is stunning!Saw the before and after over at AT. I'm with you on the turquoise wagon! I would love to have the fabric for something in my room. do you happen to have the name or maker??
    PS they featured my dresser makeover about week after yours. Mine was the Drexel MCM that was used as an ironing board! lol

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    1. Thanks Beth! I have the name and maker in this post (if you also want to see more photos of the velvet):
      http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-velvet-chair-is-done.html

      But here's the info: Elite Textile Renaissance, the colour is 760.

      If you like velvet, I rounded up some inspiration (and narrowed down my choices) in this post:
      http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2013/07/velvet-volition.html

      P.S. Your dresser turned out so beautifully!! I love how you painted some white, but then let the wood shine on the drawers. It's a shame you had to replace the top, but it looks seamless. I can't believe someone ironed on it!!

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