How to Refinish a Chair Seat With Rush Weaving
A well-used seat seat tends to eliminate luster over time and the usual solution is to refinish it. You can’t refinish a seat made from woven rush in precisely the same manner you refinish a wooden seat, however, because rush damages easily. It may unfurl or stretch if you get it wet or use paint stripper on it. The old finish is generally either shellac or linseed oil, however, and both of these finishes necessitate a brand new coat with no need for elimination. A great cleaning of the old finish is always in order if you aren’t stripping it.
Cover all of the wood surrounding the seat, including the lower portion of the seat back, together with masking tape. Use painter’s masking tape, which can be blue. You can pull it off without bothering the finish on the wood.
Rub the seat using a rag dampened with denatured alcohol. If the seat is covered with shellac, the alcohol emulsifies it and allows you to wipe the surface layer. It won’t emulsify linseed oil, but it will not remove the dirt.
Wipe the seat using a rag that is dry the moment you are finished rubbing it with alcohol. Inspect the rag, and when it is dirty, wipe the seat again with alcohol. Continue alternating rags until the dry rag is clean once you wipe the seat.
Inspect the seat to determine what type of finish material to use. After the rush has lightened appreciably, it’s probably finished with shellac and also you ought to use shellac to refinish it. When there isn’t much change in the color, the finish is probably linseed oil and that is what you ought to use to recoat it.
Create a shellac solution by dissolving 1/4 cup of orange shellac flakes, available at paint and hardware stores, in one single cup of denatured alcohol. To apply an oil finish, mix 1/4 cup of boiled linseed oil with 1 cup of paint thinner.
Scatter one coat of shellac using a paintbrush and let it dry — that takes about 20 minutes — then spread another coat. When you are applying linseed oil, then rub several thin coats using a rag. Rub the excess off with a clean rag after each coat and await the oil to dry before applying the next one.
Peel off the tape the seat carefully once you are done spreading the finish and let the seat sit for 24 hours prior to using it.