How To Refinish A Wood Table

Woody Jackson | Last modified on January 5th, 2022

Refinishing a wood table is an easy, cost-effective way to give your furniture the look of newness. It doesn’t take much time or work, and it can be done without hiring help. To refinish a wood table with no fuss, you should strip the table and remove the finish, sands a surface, then apply the stain and protective finish on your preference. This article describes each step you should make to refinish a wood table with ease. Keep reading to learn all the details.

How To Refinish A Wood Table Guide

Why Should You Refinish A Wood Table?

Wood furniture is an investment that can last decades with the proper care. When it starts to look old or dirty, that’s when many decide to replace their tables or chairs rather than spending money on refinishing them. That’s not smart.

Why Should You Refinish A Wood Table?

It costs less money and time altogether to refinish the furniture yourself than buy new pieces of furniture altogether. It will help you renew the furniture and save a lot of money.

5 Steps To Refinish A Wood Table In An Easy Way

The first step to refinishing a wood table is to protect the surface surrounding it. If dealing with a valuable piece of furniture that you don’t want to harm, the best thing to do is always cover the parts around it with cardboard, plastic, or some other protective material so that you don’t accidentally get any of the strippers on them.

Apply The Stripper

Put on your safety gear, like rubber gloves and a mask. You should have all of this lying around in your house anyway, no need to run out to the store or anything. You should also protect the area you are working in with a drop cloth or newspaper so you don’t spill any stripper on your flooring.

Apply The Stripper

Now that you’re ready, pour some stripper into a can and apply it directly to the wood with a brush, foam roller, or paint roller, depending on the wood piece and what’s easiest for you.

Remove The Finish

Let the stripper sit for a few minutes to break down the finish, and then use some scrapers and/or sandpaper to remove it. You may need to reapply more stripper if you notice that you didn’t get all the finish off, but don’t overdo it, or you’ll damage your table!

Remove The Finish

Sand The Grain

A table that is made of wood with a grain-like oak has thousands and thousands of tiny lines in it when you zoom into them, so when sanding, make sure not to get too close, or else those lines could show through on your finished product and make it look like you didn’t sand enough.

Sand The Grain

Apply The Stain

After you’ve removed the finish and sanded the surface, apply stain to your wood. You can either go with a high-end brand of stain (like Minwax’s products), or you can mix up some homemade stain that has the chemical match your wood’s color.

Apply The Stain

Apply A Protective Clear-Coat Finish

It’s essential that you use a clear coat after you’ve stained the wood so that it will continue to last for decades and not chip off in one day. There are many different types of clear coats, including Lacquer and polyurethane, but they all work very well in protecting your table from scratches and other damage. You may want to consider spray painting it, though. That will save you a lot of time.

How To Refinish A Wood Table Without Sanding

If you don’t feel like sanding, then you can just apply the stain and the clear coat without sanding at all. Some people prefer this method because it takes less time, and they don’t want to mess up their sandpaper or don’t want to get called out by their significant others for leaving big footprints in the room where they work on refinishing projects.

How To Refinish A Wood Table Without Stripping

If you’d rather not strip a finish off of your wood table but rather simply apply a top coat of stain and a top coat of clear coat over it for protection, then that’s an option. However, it’s not recommended because the previous finish will take away a lot of the color of both the stain and the clear coat, leaving you with a table that doesn’t look as good as it could. It’s also just not as protected from possible damage in the future.

The Bottom Line

Now you know how to refinish a wood table. Just follow the steps, and you’ll have a great-looking table in no time! Use this article whenever you need to do woodworking on that project. Simply search for the relevant topic and use these tips as your guide.

FAQ

How Do You Strip And Refinish A Table?

It is unnecessary to strip the original finish of a wood table. However, if you want the wood to be sanded and stained to have a fresh, new look and feel, you will need to remove the old paint on your table.
To strip a wood table, remove any old caulk or residue first. Caulk can be challenging to remove because it may fill small holes in the tabletop where screws or nails were used before. Then use mineral spirits (mineral oil) and a clean cloth to wipe away all remnants of any other previous finishes that are still left on your surface, so the paint goes on smoothly.

Is It Better To Sand Or Strip Furniture?

Sanding is a better option than stripping because it removes the natural surface only and leaves the wood’s durability intact. However, sand furniture is not always necessary to have a smooth finish. Stripping furniture removes the natural wood and exposes some of its inner beauty, like valleys which can be seen on unfinished wood surfaces. Staining also adds gloss to your piece or repairs damaged areas for a new look entirely.

What Is The Easiest Way To Strip A Table?

Wood tables can be stripped without too much effort by using a chemical stripper. A chemical stripper will remove paint and varnish and eventually bring the natural color back to the wood. The best way to use a chemical stripper would be to put it in layers for about 10 minutes. This allows the stripper to work its way into cracks and other tight spaces, as well as giving you time for it to do its job if there is any hesitation about stripping down an old wood surface.

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