As much as I enjoy digging through antique shops, I continue to shop online, which is where I found this c.1910 Arts and Crafts stool with fabulous deep carvings.
But the oak was very dry, and the old, original finish needed protection against water, pets and guests. I knew immediately the best – and fastest – solution would be a thin coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax.
Minwax® makes a high quality paste wax in two colors: Natural and Special Dark for darker woods, such as my vintage stool.
All I needed to apply the wax was a soft cloth, which I used to work the wax into the pores of the wood. The dark stain in the wax also repaired some of the scratches and wear to the stool.
After letting the wax dry for about ten minutes, I took another clean cloth and buffed it up to a satin sheen. Less than thirty minutes from start to finish, my Arts and Crafts stool is already in our living room.
As you may have discovered, furniture in storage does not fare well. I had used this stool for a staining demonstration on a television show I did last year, but afterwards it ended up in my storage room. Before long it had creeping mildew, not to mention, a colony of spiders living on it.
A friend turned me on to the “dipped” look which is now popular. After a light sanding to erase the mildew and scare away the spiders, I measured four inches down from the top of each leg, then wrapped it several times with masking tape.
I then opened a can of “Island Water,” a Water Based Minwax® stain, and applied stain to the area above each of the four taped legs. I then gave the top a fresh coat of stain to match.
After the stain had dried, all that was left was to spray on a coat of aerosol Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. Since both the water-based stain and the Polycrylic dry quickly, before the day was done I was able to move my “dipped” stool into the house and near our fireplace.
I love antiques, but that doesn’t mean I won’t pass up a bargain on a recent reproduction, like this slightly-used oak Arts and Crafts Morris chair Leigh Ann and I spotted at a local thrift shop. The finish was slightly worn, but I knew how to handle that problem.
First we put it up on our workbench, which seems logical, but for those of you still working on the floor of your garage, trust me: a sturdy workbench makes every project easier, more enjoyable, and more successful.
So how to protect and restore a worn finish? With a fine synthetic pad dipped in Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax, then gently rubbed over and into the existing finish.
In just a few minutes the Paste Finishing Wax will have begun to harden. And here is where a clean soft cloth is better than a paper towel, for a good buffing will make the Paste Finishing Wax simply glow like a cherished antique. Which leaves only one question….
Which of my office assistants will get first dibs on the chair? (Looks like Percy won.)