It’s been a bit since my last before & after post hasn’t it? I’ve been caught up with building plans and playing in the workshop that I haven’t refinished anything (that I’ve shown on the blog) of late.

Time to rectify that;

Last week, while the stain and varnish was drying on the gallery wall, I was working on these office chairs for a friend:

Office chair makeover - refinished chairs

They were in excellent condition, but the colour of the wood didn’t work with the rest of the office decor, so Sue asked if I could do a chair makeover to change them up.

I’m hesitant to say yes to certain projects with ornate detail work or elaborate grooves and crevices that would take far more patience than I actually have… in this case though, the chairs had these beautiful clean lines and I was able to sand most of them with a power sander (my favourite is below in the supplies list). Not everyone is going to want to create their own office chairs as I did, but there are always options to buy office furniture in Brisbane, for example, London or even France. Furniture for the office can be found pretty much anywhere, so I guess this saves time when it comes to creating a comfortable office environment.

Office chair makeover - refinished chairs

If you are trying a chair makeover at home, start your sanding with a 60 or 80 grit sandpaper to get rid of the surface furniture polish, varnish and stain. Then smooth your piece/s over with 120, 180 and 220 grit sandpaper. If you have a power sander, this is short work and you can probably turn out two chairs like these in a matter of a few hours.

Vacuum the piece clean so that there is no dust residue and then coat with a pre-stain wood conditioner…. this is important on furniture pieces to ensure the stain absorbs evenly – you don’t want splotchy areas where the stain ‘took’ and other places where it sort of sat on the surface.

From there you are able to stain your piece almost right away.

Office chair makeover - refinished chairs

The floor sample you see is what these chairs needed to coordinate with. The chair on the left has two coats – 1 coat special walnut and a second coat, 1/2 special walnut and 1/2 dark walnut. The chair on the right is just at the first coat stage.

Once your stain has completely dried (overnight) you are ready to put on your poly or varnish. With a wood surface (not painted), I prefer this triple-thick varnish. It makes the stain so rich and warm and cuts your work time in half.

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Office chair makeover - refinished chairs
That’s dust on the arm, not a scratch.

Once your first coat is dry, lightly sand your surfaces with 320 grit sandpaper for an almost glass-smooth finish, then re-coat with another layer of triple-thick varnish. Repeat until you are pleased with the finish and protection – in this case, two coats of triple-thick is supposed to be the equivalent of 6 coats of regular varnish.

What do you think of the chair makeover?

Office chair makeover - refinished chairs


So for roughly $60 in supplies and a few hours labour, you can take your decor from bleh to BLAM!

Office chair makeover - refinished chairs


Have a great one!



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2 Responses

  1. The chairs turned out great! Love the new colour of the wood, it’s very warm and rich :-) Nice job!

    Thanks for visiting my blog from BNOTP :-)