How to Refinish a Table [Updated Guide]

Whether you’re refurbishing or simply redoing your living room furniture, there are some tips you should follow to ensure you get the best results possible. These include sanding and removing the finish on your piece of furniture, applying stain, and then applying a top coat. Also, make sure you take safety precautions to avoid accidents.


Whether you’re looking to paint a table, refinish a wood table or stain a wooden surface, there are several steps you need to take. It’s important to start with a clean table, so you can remove the old finish.

To clean a table, you need a lint-free cloth and water. After rinsing the table, wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth. This is especially important if you’re going to paint a table. The cloth will collect any loose particles, which will help the wood stain adhere better.

If you are planning on painting a table, it is best to work in a well-ventilated area. This is because sanding can create a lot of dust. You should also use a vacuum with a brush attachment. This will remove 99 percent of the sanding dust from the air.

Depending on how much stain you’re applying, you may want to use fine-grit sandpaper. You can start with 100-grit sandpaper and then move on to 150-grit sandpaper.

Depending on the type of wood you’re working with, you can also choose to sand the table down to bare wood. Using a grain filler will help smooth out the deep grain lines. You can find this product at your local home improvement store.

Removing Finish

Getting rid of the finish from a table is not an easy task. There are many techniques and tricks that are used by professionals. For example, there is a soda blaster machine that is excellent for getting into small crevices. But, it is not recommended for home use. The machine can also be damaging to your furniture. It can cost between $30 and $200.

It is not recommended to use an abrasive stripping agent to remove a finish. You may end up with more of a mess than you bargained for. The best strippers are mild and will preserve your furniture. You can buy them at your local home improvement store. However, you should be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.

You can also use a plastic paint scraper to remove the old finish from a table. Depending on the finish, you might need to use a second coat of the remover.

One method is to use a rotary sanding attachment on an electric drill. It is a good idea to work slowly and carefully. You can also use a brush to brush off the excess.

Applying Stain

Using stain to refinish a table is not as hard as you think. You just need to follow some basic steps to get a quality finish.

The first step is to sand the surface. Sanding is essential because it helps to remove dust and to allow the wood stain to adhere. You can use an orbital sander or a hand sander. The sanding process may take several hours.

Next, you need to apply a wood conditioner to the surface. This will help the stain to sit more smoothly and evenly. You should follow the manufacturer’s directions.

After applying the conditioner, you should let the coat sit for 10 minutes. Then wipe the surface of the stain with a clean rag. It is a good idea to use a lint-free rag, which you can buy at home improvement stores.

You should wait at least 24 hours before applying the final coat of polyurethane. You should also use a protective coat that matches the finish you are using.

Applying Top Coat

Whether you’re refinishing a kitchen table, a dining room table, or any other wood surface, it’s important to apply a protective top coat. This will help protect your wood from dust and moisture and make cleaning your furniture a breeze.

For a beautiful finish, apply a coat of satin varnish. This is a water-resistant, gloss-free coating that protects the surface from scratches and condensation.

Once the table has dried, apply a coat of polyurethane. Start with the sides and edges and work your way outwards. Do not pressure the polyurethane along the grain. It’s best to follow the directions on the can.

Next, apply a second coat of polyurethane. This coat should be thicker than the first. Do not shake the finish, and be sure to wipe off any excess. It’s a good idea to apply this coat with a brush.

If you are applying a clear coat, allow it to dry between coats. You can use a tack cloth to wipe off any dust.

Finally, you’ll need to sand the finish. You can sand with a fine 180-grit sandpaper for the last sweep over the wood surface. This will smooth out any bumps and remove any air bubbles. You should also be careful not to sand over the grain. If you do, you can create an uneven finish.

Safety Precautions

Unless you are building a table from scratch, there are a few steps you will need to take before you can stain the wood. These include cleaning, sanding, and priming. The final step involves applying a coat of polyurethane. Using a top coat is a good way to protect the wood from bumps and scrapes. This step is a time-consuming affair, but well worth it in the end.

To get the most out of the process, you will want to do it in a well-ventilated area. This will require the use of a mask, goggles, and protective eyewear. It is also a good idea to wrap a tabletop with painter’s tape. This will prevent chemical burns from occurring. It may be a good idea to test out a small section of wood before plunging headfirst into the task.

The best place to do it is on a patio. A partially enclosed porch is also a good choice. This will also be the best place to dry out the table if you are using a power sander. You can even try your hand at DIY sanding if you have the inclination. This process will likely take several hours, but the results are sure to be worth it.

The stain and sanding process may be a bit on the tedious side, but if you follow the steps correctly, you will be well on your way to a brand-new table. Taking the proper precautions will ensure you are able to enjoy your newly-refinished dining room table for many years to come. The most important thing is to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid injury.

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