How to Refinish a Hitchcock Chair

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Refinish a Hitchcock chair with a stain and varnish to preserve its condition.
Refinish a Hitchcock chair with a stain and varnish to preserve its condition. (Image: chair image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com)

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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