How to Take Apart a Chair for Refurbishing

Taking apart a chair for refurbishing can be challenging and time consuming, but if you follow these simple steps and take your time with the project, your hard work and effort will be greatly rewarded with a beautiful chair.


Carefully examine every detail of the chair. Turn it upside down and examine the wood underneath the seat. After thorough examination is complete, find a clean, ventilated area to lay out your tools for the job.

Take apart the chair using a rubber mallet. If you must use a pair of pliers to pull out stubborn pieces, place a rag to act as a buffer zone between the metal pliers and the wood. When using the rubber mallet, be very careful in effort not to hit too hard as you do not want to damage the wood.

Label the underside of each piece with a pencil immediately following removal. Either label in numerical order or alphabetically. Here's a tip: If the headrest of the chair is connected to spindles, label the headrest A and the spindles A1,A2, A3, etc. Do the same if your chair has arm rests connected to spindles. Label one armrest B and the other C, and so forth.

If any of the chair's parts need to be repaired, make repairs now by using wood glue and allowing part to dry by using C-clamps. Wipe off excess glue that drips out of repaired area. Allow 24 hours for glue to dry completely.

After repairs are completely dried, begin sanding each piece with a medium grade sandpaper. Be careful so you do not sand over your pencil mark. After all of the individual pieces are sanded, wipe off excess dust with a damp cloth and take a well deserved break before stripping the old paint or stain.

Begin application of paint stripper (also called refinisher) with a good quality paint brush. Follow the directions given on the paint stripper can, as some products may differ from others.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber mallet
  • Pliers
  • Paint stripper
  • Medium grade sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • C clamps
  • Pencil
  • Old rags
  • A good quality paintbrush


  • Always use a rag or towel as a buffer zone if you must pound rubber mallet into the same area, otherwise, a gentle hit from rubber mallet should be enough to loosen chair parts.
  • Choose a location for your project that will allow you to keep your layout as is until the completion of the project. Try not to shuffle the parts around.

About the Author

Angela Robinson is a work at home mom who is currently pursuing a career in freelance writing. She enjoys the challenge of researching and writing on topics such as home and garden, travel, education and health issues. Angela enjoys the expansion of knowledge as well as the flexibility that freelance writing offers.