All Articles, Bar Stools, Contemporary Ideas

10 Tips for Refinishing Wooden Barstools

Wooden barstools are beautiful pieces of furniture that add warmth and personality to your home.  If taken care of properly, they can last for many years without losing any of their appeal.  But, like all furniture, wooden barstools eventually need to be rejuvenated.  Lots of factors influence how your wooden barstools appear, but over time the finish is sure to wear off due to weather, exposure to sunlight, and use.  They are also susceptible to stains from grease, ink, and other substances that can be impossible to remove without refinishing the piece.  Follow these tips to help restore your wooden barstools to their original glossy state.

  • Choose a stain, lacquer, or other finish carefully.  There are lots of resources that can help you choose a recipe for success.  If nothing else, as the clerk at the hardware store.
  • Refinish the whole piece.  It is sometimes possible to refinish only the worn or damaged surface, but if you barstools are old or sunbleached, it will be obvious what happened.  For a uniform finish, strip the original finish from the whole piece and redo.
  • Use the least abrasive stripping solution that will work.  This is better for both you and your barstools .  Old wood needs to be treated kindly.
  • Sand after stripping.  This will give you a smooth, perfect base for your new finish and get rid of any remnants of the old finish that just wouldn’t come off with a wood stripper.
  • Consider a new wood stain.  Stains are great because they allow the natural beauty of the wood to show through.  They add depth and character to your furniture as well, and the bar is the perfect place in the house for character.
  • For all types of finish, test a small area of one barstool before proceeding.  The bottom of the seat is a good inconspicuous place to test new finishes.  Use it to test your stain and your finish, and don’t forget to try out the stain and the finish together to make sure they will create the desired effect.
  • Don’t stop at one coat.  The more layers you pile on, the richer and more luxurious the final result.
  • Don’t rush.  You are probably very anxious to see the results of your handywork, but keep in mind that your “new” barstools are meant to last, so they should not look as if they were done in a hurry.
  • Let them dry!  Just as you shouldn’t be in a big hurry to finish sanding, staining, and finishing, you should not be in too big a hurry to use your refinished barstools .  Make sure the lacquer has dried to a hard finish before you allow anyone to sit on it.  You don’t want all your hard work and patience to be ruined.
  • Be proud of your work.  Refinishing can be a hassle, but if you love your barstools then it is a great way to show them off and revitalize your living space.