|The sectional after sanding but before finishing.|
Click to enlarge.
These are two of three pieces. The middle armless section I had refinished awhile ago and have been using as a chair in my living room. I finally got around to staining and lacquering the other two last fall. It had been such a long time since I'd done the first piece I wasn't even sure I remembered the stain color correctly but - PHEW! - it came out looking the same.
I gave the chairs a good sanding before applying the stain and then came two coats of lacquer. When finishing rattan or wicker it's always best to use lacquer as opposed to varnish or polyurethane because lacquer is flexible. The other finishes will crack over time given the way these furnishings flex and move. The other good thing about lacquer is that it's a non-toxic product, which is great if you have children or pets.
It dries to the touch in about 30 minutes and is water resistant. The label says it's also fruit juice and alcohol resistant, just in case you're, you know, having a little cocktail party and things get a little crazy. Use a good quality natural bristle brush. No sanding needed between coats. The lacquer will be self leveling without visible brush strokes, and it leaves you with a nice smooth durable finish. I used Deft Clear Wood Finish in semi-gloss. It was very easy to work with. Use lacquer thinner to clean your brush.
You can see the smooth finish and sheen in this picture.
|Stained and lacquered.|
I'm really happy with the restoration considering how weathered these were after sitting on a deck exposed to the elements for years. The natural variation in color of the rattan plus staining helps disguise the areas that I wasn't able to completely clean up by sanding.
The cushions for the sectional were left in the dumpster, for obvious reasons. I purchased new foam and in my next post I'll take you through the process of making cushions and getting them ready for the final zippered covers.