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Stripping and Sanding

No Dunking in Our Shop!

We don't use a dip tank to strip furniture.  It is too expensive to fill with stripper, and getting the sediment out can be a difficult task.  In addition, large pieces of furniture are usually too big for a dip tank.  Most shops are moving away from this system for these reasons and also because it really isn't good to soak furniture in stripper for a long time.  As a matter of fact our gluing warranty is void if a person places an item we glued for them into a dip tank.


rocker before work

Naked Furniture

We use a better system for stripping called a 'flow over' system. This is where we pump the stripper over the item, let it sit for a while, then do it again if it needs it. As the stripper flows over the piece it loosens all the finish without affecting previous repairs or damaging the wood. If the finish is thick (like the nine coats of paint we removed from one piece) then it just takes a little longer. Left is a painted chair before work starts (er, all its clothes on).  Notice the old style 'tv tray' plastic casters on the legs.

A Naked Chair (After Stripping!)

Once the finish is removed, the piece is rinsed off (the stripper blocks water from penetrating the wood). If we need to change the color, or remove stains like rust, we apply a color remover and rinse that off too.  Sometimes, though, the color will not come off, and in that case either we leave it alone and finish it like it is or apply a complementary color.

Right is after stripping and color removal (as much as possible - even using 12% straight bleach) and extensive sanding. You can see the areas of the curves still have a lot of color. Can you also see the 'tiger stripping' effect on the front horizontal piece in particular? This is because the pores are like soda straws and suck up a lot of color when applied. We decided to work with what we had, and apply a stain that was compatible with the color that wouldn't come out.

rocker after stripping

A Naked Chair (After Refinishing)

Once the finish is removed, the piece is rinsed off (the stripper blocks water from penetrating the wood). If we need to change the color, or remove stains like rust, we apply a color remover and rinse that off too. Sometimes, though, the color will not come off, and in that case either we leave it alone and finish it like it is or apply a complementary color.

Another option is to sand all the old color off, but this is very time-consuming and expensive, and even sanding doesn't always work to get all of the color off. This is especially true for areas where the ends of the wood pores are exposed, like on the edge of a seat or on a curve. For instance, look at the picture on the right.

This is the frame after we took it apart and reassembled with our glue, then refinished it with a pigmented cherry oil stain and lacquer.

rocker after refinishing

Fully Clothed Chair (After Upholstery)

Right is after the upholstery was installed (by others). Total cost of restoring this chair was a little over $1,000.00 (our part was about $650.00 or so). The maple rockers were added by us because the client remembered that when she was a little girl the chair was originally a rocker. The curved back has a lot of stress on it because of the shape and lack of reinforcement, at least before we glued it, and the wood had a frustrating tendency to split (probably mahogany). In fact, when it came to us it was very loose and had several cracks and splits already.

The end result of working with the color that was not removed is a beautiful cherry-stained rocking chair that the owners will be able to enjoy for a long, long time.

rocker after upholstery


Chair Doctor Finishing

Protect and enhance Wood's Beauty.

All you wanted to know about the re-Finishing service provided by The Chair Doctor of Grand Junction. From benefits and chemical bonding to sticky finishes and water damage find the answers to questions you didn't even know to ask by visiting our page on Finishing.

 


Wood Repairs by The Chair Doctor

Complete descriptions of all phases of a Chair Doctor repair of wood.

The Chair Doctor of Grand Junction has a 10-step process for making wood joints strong indefinitely. Our full-service repairs have a lifetime warranty (or as long as we're around) because our glue doesn't shrink or dry out.