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Painting ornate dining room chairs

Got any tips on painting ornate mahogany dining room chairs? I was giving the table and 6 chairs. The table has 2 leafs (still in the cardboard crate) and is in pretty good shape, but the chairs are not. I an going to paint them white and recover the cushions. I am worried about getting a smooth coat of paint and getting them clean and smooth enough to paint. Help!


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Posted 2013-04-04T13:50:35+0000  by djgardner33 djgardner33

What a great project djgardner33!


I love reclaiming items that might have otherwise been lost.


Your project requires several, relatively simple steps:


1) On the flat surfaces, use 220-grit sandpaper to buff sand the old finish;

2) On the ornate surfaces, use 000 steel wool to abrade the surface coating;

3) Wipe off the sanding dust with a dry terry towel and a vacuum;

4) Use Zinsser Cover Stain to prime the entire surface and allow to dry at least two-hours;

5) Use long, flowing strokes with a saturated natural bristle brush to paint the surfaces with either:

    a) Behr Oil-based Semi-Gloss; or

    b) Glidden Oil-Polyurethane High-Gloss;

6) Allow each coat to dry six-to-eight hours;

7) Lightly buff sand and wipe off the sanding dust with a dry terry towel between coats;

8) Two or three coats will be required.



Oil-based paints self-level as they dry ... leaving that perfectly smooth finish you seek. 

Apply a generous coat using long, flowing strokes, then leave the surface alone for at least six-to-eight hours.

If you see imperfections, wait the full dry-time and then buff sand the imperfections.

Lightly buff sand the entire surface and wipe off the sanding dust before applying your next coat.



While some craftsmen use mineral spirits on a rag or tack cloth to wipe their surfaces, I do not recommend using either.

My DIY customers have much more success simply wiping with a dry terry towel.

Solvents often rewet oil-based paints and turn the surface gummy.

Tack cloth often leaves a waxy, paraffin residue.

Posted 2013-04-04T14:34:35+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL


I have long been an advocate of the use of spray cans for such projects. No brushed finsh will begin to equal the finish that spraying gives.


The procedure for preparation is much the smae as Pat has suggested for brushing. Clean, scuff sand with 220 sandpaper, but then spray with white undercoater. The old color of wood should be completely blanked out with the primer so that the finish coat will only be concerned with a nice finish, not trying to cover the old color.


The primer gives good adhesion to the old finish, along with blanking out the old color. Further, the primer has "tooth", that is, it feels slightly rough and will help grab the flowing finish coat and help keep it from running or sagging.


Home Depot carries the RustOleum line of primers and spray paints in flat, satin, semi-gloss and gloss finishes. There are also several off whites available.


Of course, you will need a relatively warm, dry place to make a little mess. A garage is the usual candidate, especially now that the weather is starting to get warmer in most parts of the country.  Cool and damp are not advantageous to spraying.  Wait until the warmest part of the day when the relative humidity is lowest.


Hope this has been helpful

Posted 2013-04-06T03:15:03+0000  by ordjen
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