The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Repair of 2 small oak footstools

My father-in-law, Lloyd Samuel Wells, made these 2 small oak footstools in the 1980s.  Although he was a great woodworker, Lloyd hated doing finishing work on his usually he stained them and gave them 1 coat of polyurethane.

Over the years, his 1 coat of poly wears off due to sun and water damage.  I have had to refinish many of his furniture projects 30 to  40 years after he made them.

I like his design, so I inputted it into Sketchup.

Before photo of 2 stools showing deterioration of finish on Tops

Before Photo showing saw burn on end of 1 table top

Removing the old finish

I was able to remove the old finish on the exterior of the stools using several tools utilizing sandpaper........

-drum sander on drill press

-orbital palm sander

-Dremel with 1/2" drum sander

I did not try to sand the interior of the stools, since nobody will see them........and you can not access them to sand them.

New Finish

I decided to use Golden Oak........oil stain.    And I will use Behlen grain filler on the tops to give a mirror finish.  The process I followed was:

1. Sand to 220 grit

2. Stain (then dry in oven at 120F for 15 minutes)

3. Rub on Behlen grain filler with fingers

4. after 15 minutes, use plastic scraper to remove excess grain filler

5. Dry Behlen's in oven

6. Stain top again

7 Dry stain in oven

8. Coat #1 of polyurethane

9. Dry in oven

10. Sand to 220 grit

11. Coat #2 of poly

12. Dry in oven

13. sand 220 grit

14. Coat #3 of poly

15. Dry in oven

Behlen's grain filler

After just a few days, the solids settle out from the liquid in the you have to stir it back up.

I made a small stirrer to fit on a 3/8" drill, which worked great for stirring it.

I used to use a big paddle stirrer on the drill press, but it was way to messy and spilled too much fluid.

Behlen's dry on 1 stool top