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), this time in "dark walnut". We picked the stain because on the sample board it looked like the same ashy brown hue as the arms.
Before we delve into that, here are the application details:
- Hubs and I sanded the legs, removing the previous coating entirely until we had bare wood.
- 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).
- Once the whole leg was covered in stain, I wiped off excess with a clean, lint-free rag.
- I let it dry overnight and then applied a second coat.
- I let it dry overnight again, then Hubs applied Danish Oil as a finish coat (I'll explain the oil below).
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:
- I applied a really thin coat with a lint-free cloth.
- After 5 minutes, I wiped off the excess.
- I let them sit overnight, then I rubbed the arms with a cloth to "burnish" them.
- 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. I love the arms (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 again, or just 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 (also available at Canadian Tire) and Tried and True Danish Oil (also available from Lee Valley).