Dipping Don't Dazzle! July 10 2015

The fastest way to remove an unwanted finish from a piece of furniture is to have it dipped in a caustic soda bath.  This will quickly remove whatever's on the surface, but what seems like a quick fix can just as quickly lead to all manner of problems, as you can see from this poor Ercol rocking chair that we rescued recently...

Superficially the piece looked good, but in fact:

1.  The glue in most of the joints had been weakened or disolved, so the arms were loose, the back spindles would fall out under the least pressure, and the rockers were only held in place by the weight of the chair.

2.  The seat had suffered from shrinkage leading to cracks, and worst of all...

3.  The stripping process had opened up the grain of the beech frame.

Problems 1 and 2 could be fixed by partially dismantling and re-gluing the chair structure, but all we could do for problem 3 was fill the surfaces and sand them smooth.

With the chair structurally sound but looking pretty ugly, it was over to our friends at Feather & Gray to get the chair primed and painted in gorgeous Autentico Scandinavian Blue, and we're delighted with the finished piece!