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When we first noticed this “lawyer’s chair” style rocker at an outdoor antique market we kept on moving. Covered in flaking paint (what I would call legitimate shabby chic) and with a water damaged seat, it didn’t seem worth the $85 asking price. But after wandering the antique stalls for a few more hours before heading home, we just couldn’t forget it. Though obviously neglected, it had such grand potential. We had to have it.

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Working around the schedule of a month-old baby girl, progress was slow. And what had looked like an easy strip-and-stain project turned into something else after the second coat of stripper failed to remove the stubborn patches of paint.  To make matters worse, the previous owner had not only painted the rocker, but had painted the rocker thoroughly. There were multiple coats, even on the undersides. But a third coat got us a bit closer and, as the weeks wore on, we managed to remove the rest via sandpaper.

Once the wood was clean, we rubbed it with boiled linseed oil and three coats of finish oil. By now, the rocker looked almost as good as new. Unfortunately, we weren’t looking for new. In the process of removing the paint, we’d removed all the lovely time-worn patina as well; not to mention created a striking contrast between what was healthy wood and what had been damaged.

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Furniture wax to the rescue! A coat of Black Bison Wax successfully mimicked age-darkened wood (and blended the dark water stains with the rest of the seat). After one quick polish to remove any excess wax, this grand old gentleman was ready to be welcomed to the family.

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