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Chair Refinishing, Getting Smart With An Old Idea That's New Again

Aug 17, 2007
Chair refinishing is a great idea because everybody has chairs. There are as many kinds and styles of chairs as you could possibly think of. In The united states alone there dozens of different kinds and materials to choose from, there are stools, benches swivel chairs reclining chairs wood ones metal ones wicker and rattan, Thomas Chippendale chairs, Duncan Fyfe chairs too, and Sheridan chairs as well, just to name a few. By far the most common would be some type of Classic wooden chair.

Wood is a valuable and renewable resource that has been used extensively for thousands of years and continues to be a good choice and that is the material we will be focusing on today.
Of the multiple millions of wooden chairs currently in use today, thousands and thousands will be discarded for no better reason than their owners don't know what to do to keep them in good and serviceable condition. In days gone by the idea of discarding otherwise good stuff just because of issues of wear was unthinkable. Thankfully there has been a trend toward better stewardship and most people have understood the folly of the disposable mindset of the eighties and nineties.

When an otherwise good set of chairs begins to show wear and the finish becomes ugly, there is a process where the worn finish may be removed and another fresh finish can be reapplied, this is what is meant when we speak of refinishing. The variety of finish colors and sheens are almost endless. Often through refinishing your chairs they take on the appearance of completely different chairs, almost unrecognizable to most people as the previous pieces. For example, in the 1960's the use of early American decor called for an extremely orange color that was commonly used on birch and maple chairs. The early American stain became so identified with that period that when the early American phase passed, nobody seemed to want those old orange maple chairs, so we refinished hundreds of them.

Then again around 1970 or so the phase of dark pine furniture came into vogue, many people never even noticed that the same chairs from the sixties were now being finished in a tone more in keeping with the design trend of the day and millions of chairs continued to be sold with almost no design change, the only real difference was the color. Again in the late eighties the trend toward Cherry reached full effect and furniture colors changed again.

So it becomes more and more understandable, that when one owns otherwise good chairs that have become a little worn, it makes good sense to consider refinishing.
Although great chairs are available at finer stores today, the Older chairs typically offer well-seasoned wood, good quality joints and workmanship of a higher level than most made today, so think twice before you decide to pony up your hard earned dollars for new ones, and you too can enjoy better quality chairs for less money than you thought Possible.
About the Author
John VerHines, Master restorer and president of Gramco Furniture Restoration. With 40+ years experience in the craft of furniture restoration.To learn more visit http://www.GramcoFurnitureRestoration.com
Copyright 2006Gramco Furniture
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