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Restoring an antique German stool in London

Listed under Blog, hand-painted furniture, Mark Nash, tikkurila Posted Jun 16 2020

This case study covers one of Mark Nash’s projects, restoring an antique German stool in London. It was quite the challenge, but well within Mark’s capabilities. It is part of a series on unusual painted furniture, musical instruments and other.

Mark Nash Restoring an antique German stool in London
This stool hasn’t looked so good in a long time

Restoring an antique stool, I thought you were a kitchen painter?

Traditional Painter Mark Nash specialises in hand painted kitchens and furniture. For almost 10 years now, since joining Traditional Painter, he has been hand painting older kitchens like this, day in day out. And furniture too. Generally furniture means fitted wardrobes, bedside cabinets, suites of dining furniture and the like. However Mark’s skill base enables him to take on the most varied painting projects.

Hence when the call came from a delightful couple in London…

“Can you restore this old German stool, Mark?”

Mark’s reply was, “Certainly.”

Take a seat and call 999

The client was a retired ex surgeon and his wife a retired doctor living in central London. They were very nice people indeed. When presented with the stool, the first impression was that it was a little shabby, or shall I say, well used.

I was already working out the painting process when they said it was an inch too low for them. That would take more than a couple of coats of paint to rectify.

I know lots of specialist artisans in the area, from a world leading marble worker to book binders and beyond. Luckily a great old friend is a master upholsterer. I called him up and asked if he could sort the issue and raise the seat? He knew all about stools from his time as the drummer for the great band, 999 and The Lurkers, amongst others. After much oohing and aah-ing and teasing…

reupholster a German stool

Of course he could rectify the problem.
He sorted it and raised the seat, no doubt listening to a few old punk tunes along the way. With 999 and then The Lurkers, where are they now? Marlborough!

Preparing and painting the stool

It was a small stool but it would need intensive work, with much painting in many colours, various gilding creams, antique gold, brass and more. Of course the first step was the preparation.


Once I had secured the substrate, so to speak, I lightly rubbed down with 600-800 grade Mirka Goldflex abrasive. It isn’t literally gold but it is a golden performer. At Traditional Painter we have been long time fans of these abrasives. So practical and ensure super fine finishes. For instance Lee Simone up in Yorkshire has the full Mirka abrasive range and of Goldflex Ron Taylor in Warwickshire says:

This is an excellent abrasive which makes a really thorough and efficient job of hand sanding. It lasts quite a while too.

Kiva lacquer as a sealer

Mark knows his Tikkurila products. In this case he used Kiva. It is normally viewed as a top coat lacquer. It has high adhesion properties, so he thinned Matt kiva lacquer and once dry, he had the perfect base for the array of paints and creams and metallics he had in mind.

An antique stool restored for the 21st century

Next, the application of various colours and gilding creams, using a mixture of various paint brushes and some delicate artists brushes.

Mark Nash restoring an antique German stool

Quite a change from the original paintwork

I sealed everything with Kiva satin lacquer from Holmans in Swindon.

The clients were absolutely thrilled to bits with their rejuvenated and restored antique German stool. It would be useable for many years to come and age gracefully once more, at the right height.

Thanks for reading about Restoring an antique German stool. I really enjoyed this project, a change from kitchens and an addition to plenty of other examples of “furniture” painting by Traditional Painter members around the country.

If you are in W or central London and would like to contact Mark about a challenging piece of furniture, send a message via the contact page on his website.

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