If you've just purchased a wooden spindle chair or another type of solid wood furniture that is well made, has a nice design, but it's painted a horrid and gaudy color, then you don't have to simply paint over it with a more pleasing color. You can remove the paint and apply a stain that will bring out lovely grain pattern of the oak. Here is how to do it.
Apply A Paint Stripping Paste
You should get a paint stripping paste. The paste will cling to the underside of the chair seat, the sides of the spindles, and won't drip off like a liquid paint stripper. Paint strippers have very powerful fumes, so it would be a good idea to work on the chair outside. Pick a sunny day and set up drop cloth in your driveway, backyard, or porch. Then apply the paste and wait the allotted time and then remove it with a rag. Make sure to wear rubber gloves so that your hands don't touch the paste.
Sand The Spindles
The trickiest area on a spindle chair are the spindles. These are close together and can be hard to reach. The paste might not have removed all of the paint, so you will have to sand it off. You can use a sanding block on the seat and legs, but for the spindles you will need to use a flexible piece of sand paper. Wrap it around the spindle and run it up and down. It will take time, but this will give you the best result.
Clean The Chair With Mineral Spirits
Once you are done with the paint removal, you will need to clean the chair. There are going to be tiny bits of paint, sawdust, and paste stuck on the chair. These all need to be wiped off. Using water is not a good idea because it soaks into the wood and can even stain it. It will also require you to wait a while until the chair thoroughly dries. Mineral spirits evaporate off the chair much quicker than water. Take a clean rag and dip it in mineral spirits and wash the chair. When it is dry, you can begin to apply stain.
Head to the hardware store and pick a color that you like. When you return home, test a small area underneath the seat to see if the color turns out like you wish. If not, then it's in a place where it won't be seen and you can even sand it off if you like. When you are ready to stain the entire chair you will use a cloth. Purchase the cloth in the hardware store in the section that sells stain. You want a special cloth that won't shed lint. Lint that sheds will get stuck in the stain and look ugly. When the stain has dried for a day, you can apply a finished oil.
Apply Tung Oil
You might be used to applying poly on wood after staining, but for a nice spindle chair you should consider tung oil. It doesn't cure as shiny and hard as poly, it provides a deeper, richer looking protective coat. Tung oil penetrates into the wood, as opposed to poly which sites atop. You can get a can of tung oil and wipe it on with a cloth. In the future, if there are scuffs to the chair, you can reapply tung oil by wiping it on. You don't need to do a scratch coat like you would with poly.