How to Refinish a Wood Table
Why buy a new dining table when you can refinish your old wooden table? A new table will cost you hundreds of dollars while refinishing your old table may cost you close to nothing. This guide will show you the basic steps.
Wood table refinishing made easy
Refinishing a wooden table is just like refinishing any wooden furniture. You prep the surface, sand and apply primer before you paint the top coat and finally, apply lacquer finish. Get ready to create new furniture out of an old one with these simple steps.
What you’ll need
- Protective gear (gloves, mask, and goggles)
- Paint stripper
- Plastic scraper
- Fine, moderate and large-grit sandpaper
Prepare your working area
The area you are working on should be well-ventilated. Open windows and doors and power on fans to remove toxic fumes from the room or your working area. If you will be working indoors, cover the floor, walls and other furniture with plastic to protect it from paint and varnish spills and splatter.
Apply the paint stripper as evenly as possible along the surface with a paint brush. Let the stripper 15 to 20 minutes to work on the surface of the wooden table as well as the table legs.
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Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the stripper product. Usually, you must not wait too long to remove the paint. If this gets very dry, it would be very hard to work with.
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Strippers are available as liquids, gel-like or semi-pastes form. Liquid strippers are ideal for even or horizontal surfaces while gel or semi-paste products are ideal for vertical surfaces.
Remove the finish using a plastic scraper. Remove as much paint or varnish as you can using a scraper or putty knife. Follow with a medium grade steel wool.
First, soak the steel wool in the stripper and use this to remove stubborn spots. Some finishes, especially enamels will require a number of applications to completely strip paint and varnish off the table
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Sand the grain using fine-grade sandpaper. Sand it in the direction of the grain. Sanding will remove any discolorations or imperfections in the wood. Use a 120 grit sandpaper to remove the remaining finish and then try to smooth it out. Afterwards, use a 220 paper and sand the entire piece. Go over the entire piece and always go with the grain. Clean the surface with a cloth to remove remaining dust and residue.
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Filling and sealing your work
If the wood you are working on has an open grain like oak or mahogany you can fill it to improve it. But if your wood has a tight grain you can skip this and move on with the next steps.
To apply the paste filler, use a rag and then a scraper to move around the excess filler. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the packaging. Work the paste filler into the grain and let it dry.
Apply a coat of stain liberally all over the piece. Allow the stain to soak for a few minutes. Use a clean rag to wipe off the excess. This should be completely dry before sanding it with 220 grit sandpaper. Use a hand power sander if you want to, but work carefully so you don’t gouge the wood.
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Apply your new wood finish
Apply your stain evenly and remove the excess quickly depending on the shade that you use. Once you have applied your stain on, grab a piece of cheesecloth to dab the excess. If the stain is still too light, just repeat the steps but still be keen on evenness. Apply 2 coats of stain and sand in between coats to create a smooth and even surface. Use light- grade sandpaper for the job.
Protect the table with polyurethane, wax or tung oil. Polyurethane is very popular but pastes wax will do the work great as well. These will protect wood from water damage, rotting and molds so don’t overlook this step.
Stain the wooden table. Apply the stain with a paintbrush. When brushing stain, always work towards the grain of the wood. Let the stain soak for a few minutes and wipe off the excess with a cloth. Remember that the longer a stain stays on the surface of the wood, the darker it will be.
Wooden tables can be refinished and refurbished to make these look brand new. You can significantly improve the appearance of wooden furniture like a table by following closely easy techniques. Never overlook each step to ensure success in your refinishing project.