How To Refinish Chair? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
10 min read

Once you’ve invested in a chair, you’ll want to learn how to refinish it. Refinishing entails three distinct steps: stripping, staining, and sanding. However, this is somewhat dependent on the type of seat you use.

Refinishing a chair is a simple project that can be done right in your own living room. It is not always necessary to bring in an expert. Unless, of course, there’s a major problem that requires fixing.

Benefits of a Good Chair

If you’re like most people, you spend eight hours a day sitting at work or at home. After so long, your legs and back start to hurt. You spend a lot of time sitting on chairs, so it’s crucial that you find one that’s comfortable for you. Some justifications for shelling out for a high-quality seat are as follows:

  • One of the most significant advantages of investing in a high-quality office chair is the positive effect it may have on your physical well-being. Back, leg, and tailbone pain can all be alleviated with the purchase of a high-quality office chair. According to Apartment Therapy: “a good office chair gives correct lumbar and pelvic support, which results in your back muscles being less stressed.” You should always listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you have health problems, you should invest in a good office chair.
  • The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” doesn’t always hold true, but in the case of chairs, it’s worth thinking about. The more you spend on a chair, the longer it is likely to last you. Ten years from now, a well-made chair will still support your back, legs, and posterior the way it did when you first bought it. You have the improper seat if it is about to collapse under your weight after only a few hours of use. In the long run, investing in a sturdy chair will save you money since you won’t have to replace it as often as you would if you bought a less expensive model. Think about how much use the chair will get, and invest in something sturdy that will endure a long time.
  • To some, a chair may seem like a chair, but did you know that the right chair can significantly boost your productivity on the job? There is an average 17 percent improvement in productivity when all employees have access to office task chairs, as reported by the 3 Benefits Of. The more relaxed you are, the less attention will be paid to the pain. Keep your mind on the job at hand. In the end, a chair is still just a chair. However, if you shop about and find the appropriate one for you, it will show in your output.
  • Posture – It’s a given that if you own a terrible chair, your body will adopt a bad posture. If you don’t have a good chair, you could develop bad habits like slouching or leaning. “severe blood flow difficulties and potentially harmful spinal tension after just 20 minutes of sitting in a poor posture,” as reported by Inc. Improving your posture is another simple way to boost your confidence and assertiveness. If you invest in a good chair, you won’t look like a slacker at work and may receive that promotion you’ve been hoping for.

Reconditioning A Chair

With some sandpaper, stripper, and cleaning supplies, you can give your chair new life. Follow this checklist to identify the supplies you’ll need to complete the task at hand.

How to Refinish Chairs Without Stripping

It is crucial to use the correct materials, so be sure to verify if you already have what you need at home. If you already have the necessary supplies on hand, it’s not necessary to rush out and get more.

Put together your refinishing tools and get ready to work. Pick a spot that is convenient for you and simple to clean. Typically, a garage is the best place for these kinds of projects.

Step #1. Clean chair

As a mild cleanser, combine some dish soap with warm water. Apply cleaner liberally to the seat.

You can make your own cleaning product with just about anything. Bleach and other strong chemicals can cause irreversible damage to your wood, so it’s best to avoid using them.

To get the best results from the wood, it must be cleaned thoroughly. Oil, residue dust, and dirt are all examples of such contaminants. Get rid of them from everywhere they could hide in the seats.

Once you’ve finished cleaning, dry the chair with a fresh towel or cloth. Fabrics with good water absorption capabilities will make your work go more quickly.

Step #2. Apply initial fixes to the chair

There may be even more dirt that becomes visible after you clean the chair. If the chair is scratched, has paint residue, or a hole, it can be fixed.

Sandpaper can be used to smooth out surface damage like scratches and nicks. For this job, sandpaper with a medium grit is ideal.

Fill up holes and severe scratches with wood putty. Apply it using a stick to ensure uniform coverage and a tidy finish. Let it dry and then sand it down.

When you’re done, return the primer to its seat in the chair. If the chair has any tiny spots, you can wedge a thin stick or cloth through them. Wait till it is completely dry before proceeding.

Step #3. Strip the chair

The chair stripper is the one who puts themselves in harm’s way. Eye, skin, and respiratory protection are required. Wear protective gear such as long sleeves, a face mask, and goggles if you must perform this task.

However, there are circumstances in which it is necessary to undress. If it has been painted before or is in very poor condition, that counts as one of the conditions. If the chair has plenty of crevices and you want to give it a new, lighter color, stripping is another option.

If the damage to your chair is little, such as a few dings or scratches, there is no need to throw it away. Even if your chair needs a lot of wood filler, there’s no need to strip it. If you intend to paint it, there is also no need to perform this step.

Determine whether or not you need to remove your chair’s upholstery and proceed carefully if so. You can bypass this procedure if it isn’t essential.

Step #4. Sand your chair

If your chair needs sanding, try using 180-grit paper. The stripper and any last traces of the original stain would be eliminated if you took this step. Remove the sand from the chair by wiping it down with a damp cloth.

Step #5. Apply the stain

Staining sponges are a useful tool to have on hand while applying stain. When compared to brushes, it allows for greater precision. However, you can make do with what you have at home.

Stain should be rubbed in the direction of the grain. Don’t touch it, as it requires minimal attention to blend in. Stain lightly and avoid overlapping strokes.

Taking a break will allow the chair to dry off on its own. It is recommended that the chair be sanded with progressively finer grit sandpaper prior to the second coat of stain being applied.

Step #6. Seal the chair

Now that the project is over, you may relax. The final step is to ensure a tight seal.

Let your chair dry after applying a sealant with a brush or spray. This stage can take longer in wetter places because the light is a helpful aid in these endeavors.

Is It Worth It To Refinish Your Chair?

No, you need not refinish each and every chair in your house. We also need new chairs. It’s also important to note that not everything can be fixed by hand.

How to Refinish Wooden Dining Chairs: A Step-by-Step Guide from Start to Finish

To begin, the refinishing of antique chairs requires a trained set of eyes and hands. Doing so without the necessary expertise may cause more damage to the home.

It’s also important to think about how the chair is built and how sturdy it is. Check the stability of your chair by rocking it back and forth a few times. Books can be used as a weight to test its durability.

Chairs in need of repair have been sent out to expert carpenters. It’s important to check them out before getting started on a job to make sure there won’t be any major problems. Avoid the hassle at all costs!

Chair Care Fare — Office Chair Maintenance Tips

The Nuts and Bolts of Office Chair Maintenance

Contrariwise, I mean the nitty-gritty details. Chairs that aren’t securely held in place may start to make noise or feel less comfortable, increasing the likelihood that you’ll get back pain or that the chair will break down completely. None of those are desirable outcomes from an office chair, which is why it is important to check for loose parts on a regular basis and make necessary repairs promptly.

Smooth Operator

Wheels, height adjustments, rotating gears, and other devices are commonplace in today’s office chairs. Get the most use out of your chair by making sure all the moving parts are in good working order. Cleaning the wheels on a regular basis is necessary to prevent them from being clogged with dirt, debris, or pet hair from the carpet. Other than that, you might wish to lubricate these moving parts occasionally to keep them from squeaking or sticking.


Your office chair will last longer and look better if you clean it regularly. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you should consider vacuuming your chair once every few weeks. Your chair will look and feel like new with regular thorough cleaning. Cleaning your office chair regularly will keep it in good condition and prolong its useful life.

Regular care for all of your office’s seating is essential if you want to get the most use out of your investment. If you have any queries about the care and upkeep of your specific piece of office furniture, please give us a call.

Refinishing Old Dining Room Set : 12 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables


Have any more concerns about reupholstering a chair? Review the instructions and the article again.

It’s never too late to start blooming in your chair. If you took the time to refinish it, it would shine like new again.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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