Friday, December 9, 2011

Custom Finish for a Classic Rocking Chair

 This is a classic 70's era rocking chair with a few obvious repairs needed, and a few not so obvious ones.   The most noticeable  repairs were done first, the repair to the break on one of the rockers, and a repair to a break on the opposite arm.  After these were completed,  we stripped the entire rocking chair and then re-evaluated to see what else needed to be done.  We found that every single joint had to be re-glued!  That means we had a pile of 25 pieces, each had to have the old glue cleaned off, and then freshly glued back together with epoxy.

The rocking chair then needed to be sanded with 120, and then sanded again with 180.  All of that work, the repairs and the sanding is just the boring part.  Once that was all completed,  we got to the fun part.  The custom stain color and finish.   We started out with a water based Walnut stain.  Walnut is a greenish brown stain and when it was applied to the particular wood on this rocking chair,  it also had a little bit of a grey quality to it.   This green/brown/grey tone created a base color for our next steps.  We applied a Mahogany toner to the chair which has a vibrant red color.  We applied two coats to the seat and base, and 3 coats to the top and spindles.  This red brightened up the chair and cut out the grey tone.  The result is a reddish brown with a dark greenish undertone which brings out the wood grain much better then a single color of stain would have done.  The rocking chair is now just gorgeous.  The satin sheen finish give the chair a soft quality, the wood is vibrant and the color seems just right.  We had such fun creating this custom color that we are hoping we get to apply this kind of technique again soon.

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