Many rush seats on dining room chairs look orange or brown. If you want to lighten the color you can do so with wood stain. I did this to a set of 6 rush seat ladder back chairs over 7 years ago and they still look great.
In this post you will learn the staining process I used.
I love these dining table chairs that I saw when I was out and about, but I have no need for them as I have a perfectly nice set of dining room chairs that were handed down to me from my mom and dad.
I like the styling of my chairs, but not the orange-toned wood. I made slipcovers for them when I first got them. You can find that post, here: How to Make Simple Slipcovers For Dining Room Chairs
I have updated the table that goes with my chairs with white chalk paint and a driftwood finish top, but was struggling to figure out how to makeover the chairs especially to change the color of the rush seats so they coordinate with the table. After some searching…
…I found a way. I couldn’t use the same product I used on the table since that only penetrates bare wood.
This post is step one in the makeover of my dining room chairs.
How To Stain the Rush Seat on Dining Room Style Chairs
- Rustoleum Driftwood Stain – One 8 oz. can was more than enough for 6 chairs
- Stiff stencil brush
- Paper towel or rag
- Painter’s Tape
- Minwax Polycrylic water-based sealer
Here is a chair before…It has nice lines…classic, but the orange tone just doesn’t excite me.
1. Clean off seat with a damp cloth, let dry and then mask off any areas you don’t want to get stain on. Since I am going to be painting the wood on the chairs, I didn’t take the time to do this.
2. Shake the can well before opening and then stir it once every few minutes as you work.
3. Dip stencil brush into stain and start applying the stain to the seat with even strokes. I did one section of the seat at a time. Make sure you get everything covered well.
The stiffness of the stencil brush allows you to move the rush cords apart to make sure you get the stain in all the nooks and crannies.
4. As soon as you finish applying the stain to one section, use a paper towel or clean rag to wipe away the excess stain.
5. You need to wipe the stain away to create transparent color. If you look closely you can still see the brown color, it is now just muted and the overall color is a soft grey.
6. Repeat steps 2 -4 for each section of the chair seat. Let dry.
7. Seal with a water-based sealer. 1 – 2 light coats. Let the first one dry before applying the second.
Before and After
Go to the link to see the second part of the Dining Room Chair Makeover
My dining room chairs have had lots of personalities over the years. You can see all the transformations here: