Outdated Oak Ladderback Chair Makeover

These golden oak chairs were in serious need of an update.  One of my missions as a furniture refinisher is saving outdated oak pieces.  They are so well-made and these days almost impossible to find such quality furniture.  So, please don't throw out your outdated oak...just UPDATE it!

Some of my favorite projects updated golden oak are the Restoration Hardware-inspired pedestal table and the Industrial Apothecary Cart

Originally, my client wanted them stained (not painted) black but after a few setbacks, we decided to go in the direction of walnut or espresso. 

To start, I ever-so-lightly scuff sanded each chair to give the gel stain some "tooth" to adhere to.  Then, I thoroughly cleaned all the wood with a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and water to remove any excess dust or grime.

Using my favorite "One Coat Wonder," Java gel, I lightly brushed on the gel stain and wiped any excess with a clean cloth.

After one coat the difference was unbelievable!

Once all the chairs had a coat of Java gel, I let them dry for 24 hours and then applied polyurethane for durability. 

Going dark really changed these chairs from country to sophisticated. 

I'm always blown away by how much paint and stain can transform furniture.  Can you believe how much taking golden oak to a dark, rich espresso changed the look of these chairs?!

Keep an eye out for outdated oak pieces to rescue for me!