Seeking opinions on finish for mid century dining chairs

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by tcaz posted 05-26-2020 08:54 PM 224 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
View tcaz's profile


28 posts in 911 days

05-26-2020 08:54 PM

Our neighbors gave us a set of midcentury dining chairs that were in pretty rough condition. I disassembled them, sanded to bare wood, cleaned up epoxy/glue from previous attempts at patching, and replaced/reglued the dowel joints. Now, I need to decide on a finish…

The chair bases are oak, though I think some parts are another species (pictured below). Maybe they were replaced with a different wood sometime back? The grain pattern does not flow or look very appealing on some of the base’s pieces.

The chair backs are a walnut veneer in good condition, only needing small chip repairs. The plys are also exposed now but were previously not visible due to the dark stain.

I prefer to let wood grain speak for itself, and steer away from stains. I’m afraid my usual route of satin Arm R Seal or GF High Performance will not look too pleasing. There’s also a tinge of orange, and some deep seated stain in a few sections of the chair that I couldn’t sand out. Seat cushions will be reupholstered to match after finish is applied.

Should I go for a stain to match the walnut veneer back rests? If so, gel stain, water based, etc? Clear topcoat only w/ no stain? Take a different approach? Any recommendations would be great!!

1 reply so far

View ibewjon's profile


2406 posts in 3871 days

#1 posted 05-26-2020 10:58 PM

If the orange is shellac, alcohol might help remove it. Or orange shellac might be the original finish and it would blend with the old finish.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics