If you've found a wonderful Mission Style arm chair at your local flea market, but are dismayed that the previous owners painted it, then take action and bring the original wood back to life. The Mission Style was known to take advantage of the beautiful grain of the wood that was being used to make furniture. So, it's best to use a stain and not a paint. Paint hides the grain of the wood, whereas stain helps to bring out the natural beauty of the oak, maple, or pine.
Here is how to remove that ugly paint and apply fresh stain.
Apply A Gel Paint Stripper
A gel paint stripper is the best way to remove the old paint. If you use a sander you risk damaging the chair. Sanding is fine for experts who have worked on furniture for years, but it can be dicey for a novice to attempt without harming the wood. A gel stripper is also easy to apply. You can use a foam paint brush and apply it to the wood. Gel strippers are better than thin liquid style paint strippers because the gel "sticks" to the wood. This makes it perfect for the underside of the chair and in other spots where a liquid would simply drip off.
Leave the gel on for the amount of time suggested on the directions. After it has been on the set time use a rag and remove the gel. Make sure to use gloves when working with the stripper so that your hands don't burn.
Clean The Wood
Let the chair dry overnight and then use a small piece of steel wool and clean the chair with either mineral spirits or paint thinner. You are doing this so that any excess bits of gel stripper, old paint, or other debris. Do not use water because the water will soak into the wood and cause it to swell and delay the staining process.
After you have cleaned the chair, let it sit overnight before beginning the staining process.
Stain The Wood
Choose a can of rub on stain. This sort of stain is designed to be applied with a cloth and not paintbrushes. It's much easier to apply stain to a chairs odd angles, spindles, and hard to reach places with a cloth. Get a clean cotton cloth and dip it in the can of stain and then rub it into the wood in circles. Make sure that the stain does not go on too thick in any one spot. Completely cover the chair and then let it sit overnight before putting it out for use.
For more information, contact a company like Painting By Jerry Wind.