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Furniture Rehab and Repair

How to Paint Wood Furniture With an Aged Look (page 1 of 2)

See how to strip paint off an old chair, then repaint it with an aged-patina look.

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Step-by-Step Instructions:

We used a midcentury modern color scheme even though the design of the piece suggests another era. This gave us a more interesting and eclectic look.

See the Before and After

This chair is indeed an antique made from oak, a very stable material, which looks beautiful when stained. This is most often the approach most refinishers would use and what we most often see when visiting antique stores. The thought of a painted antique usually causes us to cringe. However, when it came to this chair, we wanted to paint it a solid color to open up the possibilities for something unique and interesting.

Please always keep in mind not only to follow all the safety precautions and instructions found on the products that you are using but to have fun and allow yourself to be creative!

Apply Stripper and Scrape Off Finish

This chair has been painted many times over the course of its life. The finish is cracking, peeling and unstable. Be sure to protect yourself with gloves, a mask and goggles. Apply stripper to all painted surfaces with a chip brush – we used an old cooking pot as a reservoir for the stripper.

Wait 5 to15 minutes and then use a putty knife to scrape off the paint as it bubbles up. Be sure not to scrape too hard or you may scrape the wood. Work with the grain to prevent gouging the wood. Remove as much of the stripper as possible with the putty knife.

Hint: Another method is to apply stripper to the chair, then quickly cover the entire chair with a large garbage bag. This traps in the chemicals and allows the stripper to work more effectively.

Brush Off Remaining Finish

Use a paint pan with a pan liner to dispose of the waste (stripper and paint). On this project we had to reapply the stripper 4 to 5 times. While the stripper is still wet, use the brush to remove paint in areas the putty knife cannot reach and to give it an overall scrub. We used three different sizes of brushes: a brass brush the size of a large toothbrush, a medium brush and a larger brush (the size often used for scrubbing floors).

Once you have the majority of the paint off, wipe the chair down with a wet rag and/or steel wool to remove any remaining stripper and paint, and to prevent the stripper from drying on the wood surface.

Sand It Thoroughly

The surface of the chair is now ready to be prepared for the new finish. Begin with the 150-grit paper on an electric palm sander to smooth all the areas that you can get to. Use a sheet of sandpaper in the areas the sander will not reach. Always sand in the same direction as the grain of the wood to minimize sanding marks. Move up to the finer 220-grit sandpaper to further smooth out the surfaces.

Tool on chair
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