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  1. #1
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    Default changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    I have two "APPLARO" outdoor armchairs from Ikea. (Please Google for a pic.)

    I like them so much that I want to bring them inside and use them in the living room. However, they do have that reddish lawn furniture color.

    What's the best way to change the color of the chairs, to get rid of that reddish color? Is it possible to go lighter without using paint or am I restricted to going darker if I want to use a stain?

    Any ideas would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    I don't know what, if any, finish has been given to your piece. These outdoor pieces are normally not given any finish, but are intended to be oiled periodically, like teak wood.

    You can try to lighten the wood by using oxylic acid as a bleaching solution. Many deck cleaners contain oxylic acid. Behr's 2 In 1 Cleaner is one of them. It should lighten and somewhat reduce the red tone.

    Use of a slightly greenish stain would lessen the
    reddish look of the wood. Similarly, a pigmented varnish with a little green added should lessen the red look. As your chairs will be used strictly for interior use in the future, you certainly can put protective varnish coat. Minwax sells such tinted varnishes. However, my preference would be a penetrating stain with clear varnish as a top coat.

    I would suggest you practice on one of the obscure underside areas of the chair. Should you not like the results, you can sand off the negative result.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    BlueberryPie:

    I Googled Ikea Applaro and saw a picture of the armchair you have.

    Ikea has applied a weather resistant finish to the wood before it left their factory. In that case, using any sort of bleach to lighten the colour won't work unless and until you remove that factory finish coat. That's because the normal procedure is to stain the wood to a certain colour, and then apply a clear coat (typically marine varnish or polyurethane) to protect the wood.

    That factory applied clear coat is a physical barrier which will prevent any sort of bleach from lightening the wood colour, and prevent any sort of stain from darkening the wood.

    My best advice is to simply use the chairs indoors exactly as they are. In order to lighten any stain applied to the wood at the factory, you'll have to remove any clear coat on top of the wood, and that's likely to make a mess of your chairs.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    Nestor could well be correct that some clear coat has been applied at the factory. A simple test for this would be to wet the wood and see if the water absorbs into the wood within a couple minutes. If it does not, neither will any bleaching solution or stain. Of course, a topical colored urethane, such as Minwax PolyShades,could still be used to alter the color. I would test for compatibility of the Minwax to the existing finish. If compatibility problems exist, spray a light coat of BIN's de-waxed shellac on the piece as an bonding coat first.
    De-waxed shellac will stick to almost anything and almost anything will stick to it!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    This is from the IKEA website.
    Care instructions The furniture has already been treated with glazing paint, but should be re-painted at regular intervals when in use. Note! Be sure the furniture is clean and dry before re-painting.
    After the season, store the outdoor furniture indoors or protected from the elements to retain its condition.
    What this tells me is that it likely is a natural wood color with a clear coat finish. IF it has any coloration added to it, that color is likely to be in the clear coat finish rather than the wood being stained first, then clear coated. The difference is that with stain coats, the color is retained in the finish coat, similar to paint, very little if any coloration is added to the wood. The reason for this type of finish is that it is cheaper and faster to mass produce with a single finishing step rather than two or more steps that it takes with conventional staining and top coating.

    To change the color you're going to have to either use a full bodied paint and completely cover what is there, or strip the existing finish, then address whether you need to lighten/darken the wood before reapplying a top coat finish.

    You might be able to use a one step stain/top coat finish and apply it right over the existing finish. This will certainly work to go darker, but probably not as well for going lighter unless you go for more of a pickled or white-washed look.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    I had the chairs on the side balcony during last winter and there are what look like a few water stains on the arms.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post

    You might be able to use a one step stain/top coat finish and apply it right over the existing finish. This will certainly work to go darker, but probably not as well for going lighter unless you go for more of a pickled or white-washed look.
    I don't have a problem with going darker. It would be nice to go lighter but more than anything I want to get rid of the reddish look. I think even a very dark color would be OK.

    Can you direct me to a product that would be a one step stain/top coat finish?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: changing color of IKEA lawn chair

    Quote Originally Posted by blueberrypie View Post
    I had the chairs on the side balcony during last winter and there are what look like a few water stains on the arms.
    The original finish was poor at best. The stains are likely the result of a failed finish allowing water under it. Short of sanding to remove or diminish the stain and refinishing, there isn't much you can do about it.

    There are several brands that combine stain and finish coat into one product, Minwax is one, though I don't recommend Minwax top coats for anything, they're pretty much garbage. Minwax stains are good, it is their top coats that are bad. They are hard to work with and result in a poor finish quality. I really like McKloskies products, I'm not sure if they have this particular item or not as I prefer to stain and then seal my projects.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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