How to strip and repaint chair

Total rookie questions coming up!
The paint on our kitchen chairs is getting old, especially the arms where they bump into the edge of the table. The chairs have curvy lines to them, and the backs consist of wooden rods.
Questions: Do I use a sander or a paint stripper to get rid of the old paint? What type of sander or paint stripper is recommended? Any other preparatory work that should be done, either before getting rid of the old paint or afterwards? What type of paint do I use?
Any tips are appreciated,
Pete
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Pete, I suggest you leave it to the pros and take your chairs toa professional furniture stripper. Here locally we have a business called "the Happy Stripper". He dips the enitre peiece in a highly caustic solution and totally remove all finish leaving n othing but bare wood. The only downside I know of is you may have to re-glue the chairs.
Gary
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snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) wrote in

Some people pay extra for that 'distressed look'...;-)
Here's the question I have for you: What are you trying to accomplish here? Because this is not going to be a cheap way to restore your chairs, if that's the goal.
If you do it yourself, the chemicals, tools and time are pretty significant, relatively speaking. If you take it to a specialist, when you are done with their bill, you still have a fair amount of surface prep to do, before the next coats of finish go on.
That said, unless the chairs are of heirloom quality, you may be able to just clean the surfaces very well, glue any loose joints, and lightly sand the current paint down to a well-attached base. A good sealing primer, and another coat of the same type of finish that is on them now, and you're good to go.
But stripping chemically, or sanding off all of the paint, is boring and time consuming labor, when applied to a set of kitchen chairs.
If the chairs ARE of heirloom quality, then find a well respected refinisher, and consult with them. Don't have these be your first project.
Patriarch, who has at least $450 and maybe 100 hours into a dresser his wife bought at a yard sale as a teenager. And now we're grandparents. Cheaper to have gone to Berkeley Mills, but this has 'sedimental value.'
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The chairs are just your basic, ordinary kitchen chairs, nothing more. All I want to do, really, is just to repaint them. There is no gluing needed right now.
So, if all that is needed is to sand the chairs, what type of sander? And afterwards, how to proceed? Primer, and then a single coat of paint?
Thanks,
Pete
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snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) wrote in

If you WANT to buy a tool. one of those detail sanders looks really neat. Like the type that FEIN makes, although you may not need to buy the very top of the line. But really, all you're trying to do is clean up the edges, and break the glaze on the previous coatings, to put a 'tooth' on it, so the primer can do its magic. You likely don't need to go past 120 or 150 grit, and can do it with a hand sanding block, almost as easily.
If there is a color change involved, one coat may not be sufficient. Or you may ask your professional paint supplier (they deal with rookies all of the time - just go after 9 am) to tint up a batch of primer close to you finish color.
Have fun. Let the rest of the household help.
Patriarch
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Thanks for your tips, Patriarch. One question, though. With a hand sanding block, can you get to all the little corners and whatnot?
Pete
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snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) wrote in
<snip>

A sanding block should be whatever you want to make it. Sand paper wrapped around a dowel, or glued to an off cut or popsicle stick, or just folded in thirds. Woodturners often use abrasive cord, I'm told, to shape/smooth rounded portions of spindles and such.
When I go at these projects, I try to figure out how my grandfather would have done it, before running off to the tool supplier. I may still buy the tool, but I do so with an understanding of what the old process would have been, before small electrics were so available
Remember that the goal is to prep for paint, like Larry's post explained so well, and in such great detail. You just need to clean the surface, and make it ready for the next coating.
Patriarch
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snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) wrote in message

I use emery boards for the detail. Steal them from the wife. Return them with sawdust attached. Wait for her to scream :)
Sometimes, its the little things.
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On 28 Jun 2004 05:26:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) calmly ranted:

I just went through this for my kitchen cabinets. I didn't want to spend $1,000 to build new or 4 grand to replace them so I painted them.
If there is a horribly wavy buildup of dozens of coats of multicolored paint (my last kitchen, a 1938 farmhouse) and you -need- to strip them, use a heat gun, scrapers, and Scotchbrite. Expect to spend a long day sanding them smooth, too.

You can get by with a 1/4-sheet orbital sander, the $20-30 Black and Decker type. I'd use 120, 150, and 220 grit sandpaper: 120 to smooth, 150 to feather, and 220 to finish smoothing. Having tried them once, I now avoid the cheap Chinese papers from places like Harbor Freight, Big Lots, and Homier. Glue strips to tongue depressors/popsicle sticks for getting into tight corners and around spindles. The crocus cloth sandpapers from HF are OK and would work well on the spindles. Scotchbrite pads (or coarse steel wool) also work well in those fine or curvy detail areas.
If the existing paint is enamel (glossy), you'll also want to use TSP (the real stuff) or a canned paint deglosser. It's used to make the new paint stick to the old.
Avoid cheap paints. They're as bad as cheap sandpaper and won't hold up for years. They stink less, dry harder, and look better. With top quality paints selling for under $20/gal, you can afford to use them.
Suggested steps:
1) Clean with soap and water, rinse well, let dry.
2) Clean with mineral spirits, let dry.
3) Sand, feather, and smooth the painted surfaces.
4) Degloss the paint.
5) Just prior to painting, clean once more with denatured alcohol or mineral spirits, let dry.
6) Put on a thin first coat of paint to seal any bare wood and act as a primer for subsequent coats.
7) Wait 24 hours, denib with fine scotchbrite, blow/wipe off, then put on a second coat of paint.
8) Repeat step 7 as necessary.
Let the paint dry at least two or three days before using. Allow more time if you use an oil-base paint or if you can. It will take time to cure, to harden to full strength, especially when it's put on in multiple coats. Since so many people rush finishes, if you get marks in soft paint, wait at least a month before trying to repair them. It takes time for the paint to completely offgas.
------ We're born hungry, wet, 'n naked, and it gets worse from there. - http://diversify.com Website Application Programming -
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(hedrew3) calmly

Thanks for all the detailed steps that you have provided. That's kind of what I was looking for!
Now I have got to go do some research on the meaning of some of the terms you mentioned -- degloss, denib, scotchbrite :)
Pete
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On 29 Jun 2004 05:08:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) calmly ranted:

I figured so.

Poor boy. You lead a sheltered life, don't you? ;)
Degloss: making paint 'not shiny'; chemical roughing.
Denib: "orange peel"; bumps; when you run your hand over a surface, the sharp points you feel are the nibs.
ScotchBrite: synthetic (plastic) steel wool.
------ We're born hungry, wet, 'n naked, and it gets worse from there. - http://diversify.com Website Application Programming -
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(hedrew3) calmly

Thanks for all your answers. Not only do I now have some great chair reclamation tips, but I learned three new words to boot!!!
Pete
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On 29 Jun 2004 16:48:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) calmly ranted:

That'll be $67.50, please. I take Paypal. ;)
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(hedrew3) calmly

The check is in the mail...
BTW, I went out and bought the Black & Decker mouse sander for $40. I had my son start on this old dresser first, mostly to practice on, before starting on the chairs themselves. What he tells me is that the sander is hardly taking any of the paint off. I am at work so I can't tell if he is doing it wrong, or it's just a case of you get what you pay for when you buy a low-end product.
Pete
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On 30 Jun 2004 11:49:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@garlic.com (hedrew3) calmly ranted:

Crap. I forgot to remind you that the teensy sanders are the most expensive pieces of sh*t you can possibly use. The small area wears out the expensive adhesive pads in seconds.

The Feins are as inefficient as the cheapos. It be Physics, mon. Half a square inch of sanding disc will wear out in 1/16th of the time, no matter how good the sanding disc is. The harder you push (and you push harder because it doesn't take paint off) the faster it wears out. Well, live and learn, eh?
Go to your local (hopefully) Harbor Freight store and grab one of their heat guns. They're on sale for under $15 and work well in the little areas you would otherwise try to use the Mouse.
OR, forget the hidden spaces. They're usually not bad and don't need stripping anyway. YMMV.
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I seem to recall warnings about heat guns and lead paint.
On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 20:50:10 -0700, Larry Jaques

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Some good advice already offered, but one more thing you may wish to consider. If they were made/painted before 1978, chances are good to fair that they have lead paint on them.
So if you sand to remove the paint, be sure to do it in an appropriate environment, cover your skin as much as possible, and use a good respirator and eye protection. It's not so critical for adults, but lead dust has disastrous effects on children, so do them a favor and look out for them when you do this.
If you're unsure, lead test kits are available at most any hardware store.
Good luck H.
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snipped-for-privacy@sewanee.edu (Hylourgos) wrote in message

Thanks for the tip. I am not sure but the cabinet may be pre-1978, and my 14-year old is going to do the work. So this is very helpful.
Pete
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