How to Refinish a Hitchcock Chair


The Hitchcock Chair Company is a maker of handcrafted furniture constructed of maple or cherrywood. Its signature Hitchcock chair features a simple structure with stenciled design on the backrest. Like all wooden surfaces, a Hitchcock chair is susceptible to general wear. Effects of gradual occurrences include drying and a loss of finish, which results in dull appearance. The chair requires a new finish to be restored to its original condition, color and texture.

  • Sand the wooden parts of the chair with a 100-grit sanding sponge to smooth out nicks, scratches and worn areas. Use a folded sheet of sandpaper to carefully reach the fine details in the backrest. This prepares the wood for staining while eliminating dirt and surface imperfections.

  • Dust the chair to remove the grit that was left after sanding. Wipe the wood with a tack cloth to remove the remainder of the sawdust.

  • Stir a can of wood stain with a stirring stick until all of the contents at the bottom have been thoroughly mixed. Apply an even coat onto the chair using a natural-bristle brush to renew and even out its color, then use a rag to quickly wipe away the excess product before it dries.

  • Brush a sanding sealer over the wood once the stain has dried overnight. Once the coat is dry to the touch, smooth it lightly with a 280-grit sanding sponge.

  • Seal and protect the wood's restored finish using a polyurethane wood varnish. Apply the product with a painter's rag or foam applicator brush. Allow it to cure overnight, then sand the chair with the 280-grit sponge.

  • Repeat the same procedure for at least one to two more coats of varnish to effectively seal the moisture in the wood; this will prevent future cracking, drying and warping. Do not sand the top coat.

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