Tuesdays are my picking days; my treasure hunting, get-all-dirty me time. During last Tuesday’s outing, I came across several white oak chairs. (I think they’re white oak. Please correct me if I’m wrong.) They looked so worn out and tired from what appeared to be gross negligence and outdoor use. Though, when I picked up one of the chairs and felt it’s heft, I knew they could make a full recovery.
I decided to start with the smallest chair because that seems to be all I have time for this week. The wood looked soooo thirsty, I knew I had to stay away from water or else the grain would rise, and I’d risk loosing any wood glue that still existed between joints and slats. So, I gave it a good dry scrubbing with corse steel wool. I didn’t sand it too much for fear of loosing some of its weathered character. A piece of furniture that looks like it has some stories to tell has swagger.
Once just enough dirt and stains were rubbed off, I doused the chair with natural color wood oil, and let soak for half an hour. Then, I went over the wood with medium grade steel wool, wiped it down, and doused it again. After fifteen minutes, I rubbed the wood with extra-fine steel wool, and gave it a final wipe down. The extra-fine steel wool is what gives the wood a luster and smooth-to-the-touch finish; just like buffing your nails (or your car).