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Lovely old bench...but need advice

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by magsy01, 28 Oct 2017.

  1. magsy01

    magsy01

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    20171024_153709.jpg Hi all
    Hope the picture is not too big.
    Bought this old bench and would appreciate some advice, tips or suggestions from you expert folk.
    I dont know what to do now.
    Not pictured but I just tried wood stripper on the front edge and legs but it didnt work. Left it on for 15 mins then another coat of stripper and left for 40mins +, the brown paint is still there just roughed up a bit lol.

    Would sanding to bare wood be the best bet now?
    Not sure whether to stain or oil, the seller said it was oak but I dont know.
    Dont want to paint it as I like the natural look. Just need to know the best way to protect the wood.

    The paint is in good nick underneath and I was thinking of leaving it as is.
    Thanks for your help.
    Mags
     
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  3. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Almost definitely oak - you can tell by the way it turns grey although some teaks do the same.
    I'd guess the original finish was some sort of stain, which is why the stripper won't touch it....it will always be there to some degree.
    Consider sanding it down with a detail sander and then refinishing with a stain from the Sadolin range?
    John :)
     
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  4. magsy01

    magsy01

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    Thanks John.
    Is there anything I should do between sanding and staining?
    Some sort of wash?

    Thanks again
    Mags
     
  5. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    No real need to go overboard really, maybe a wipe over with white spirit will help shift some of the dust after your sanding.
    You may find that the grain will lift and feel rough after the first coat.....sand it very lightly by hand once the stain has dried if it's important.
    The darker the stain the easier any blotches will cover - I use a rosewood finish on mine but its obviously your choice. I also cover mine with a tarpaulin, and space the legs off the ground for the 10 month winter we have up here......:ROFLMAO:
    Its a nice looking bench - better made than the usual stuff and worth preserving.
    John :)
     
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  6. crank39

    crank39

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    Probably overkill but how about getting it soda blasted
     
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  7. magsy01

    magsy01

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    Thanks John, yes its a good one, quite unusual details, just one leg is a bit rotten at the bottom, it may need replacing, Ill see how soft the wood is when I turn it over next.
    I thought it was a bargain at £40 at an antique and collectables centre (y). Good tips re the legs and cover.
    Thanks crank39, never heard of soda blasting, it sounds expensive lol.
     
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  9. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    A reasonable solution to a rotten leg (!) soak it in Ronseal Wood Hardener......being shellac based it sort of sticks the timber fibres together and is probably all you need, providing you treat the timber afterwards. Keep the bench off the concrete with a piece of timber during the winter.
    Soda blasting is probably the least savage of any blasting process and Crank is spot on.....basically a grit plus water is shot at the timber and all surface fibres are removed. It won't be peanuts though, unless the blaster is already working nearby.
    John :)
     
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  10. crank39

    crank39

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    Pretty sure there are mobile blasters, that would be cool if they'd come to you, maybe even ask for a go yourself, Google for soda blasting in your area to see who's about
     
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  11. JohnD

    JohnD

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    the finish looks to me like "shed and fence stain"

    you can clean it off with a jetwasher and plain water.

    On softwoods it raises the grain a bit, if yours is hardwood then hand sanding may be enough.

    I'd consider an oil finish. I use linseed, which smells attractively of cricket bats on sunny days.

    I'd soak the feet in jars of spirit-based timber preserver such as Cuprinol.
     
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  12. magsy01

    magsy01

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    Thanks everyone, all good advice there.
    Will probably sand it, son in law has a sander, and will soak the feet.
    Three feet look ok but one of them has a hole going up the leg, dont know yet how far and it all looked a bit soft when I had a quick look this morning.
    Ill post pictures when I get time.
     
  13. StephenOak

    StephenOak

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    We have an old bench (inherited with the house) that we had not looked after and the bottom of all four the legs was rotten, but mostly only for an inch or two.

    This is nothing fancy and I wanted it to be usable rather than decorative. I cut off / dug out the rot, used wood hardener and then a two part wood filler to fill the voids and make the legs even. I stood the four legs in 2pt milk cartons and then filled theme with creosote substitute for a week, then took it out and turned it upside down to dry.


    Once it is treated and looking good I think the tarpaulin that John suggests is important to keep it that way. I sanded all of the surface and my wife used a combined stain & coat (I can't remember which one) that said that three coats would mean nothing more needed to be done for three years. Well it lives outdoors uncovered and in a more benign climate, albeit south facing, and 18 months later it clearly needed doing again.
     
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