Wood furniture that is used on a regular basis can show signs of age and damage that make it look run down and outdated. Dining tables are no exception. With spilled beverages, hot serving dishes and chairs banging into it after each meal, dining tables take more abuse than the average piece of furniture. With a few supplies, some time and a bit of work, an old table can be renewed to its original beauty.
Steps to Refinish Your Dining Table
This project will take time and several steps to complete thoroughly. The time for each step may vary depending on the stain, paint or varnish currently on the table, the detailing of the wood and the fillers required.
1. Remove the Finish
The first step is normally the most time-consuming. All old layers of paint and varnish must be removed from the wood before anything else can happen. The most efficient way to do this is with chemical strippers. Each brand of chemical stripper varies, so be sure to read the instructions carefully before beginning the project. In a well-ventilated area, work in sections to apply a thick coat of the chemical to the table. After waiting for the time allotted by the manufacturer, one can use a putty knife to carefully scrape away the varnish. Stubborn varnish or multiple layers may require a second application to remove the majority of the old finish. Once the entire table has been removed of as much of the old finish as possible, one should clean the table according to the label on the chemical stripper.
2. Sand the Wood
If the chemical stripper worked very well, only a little bit of sanding may be required. Sometimes, stubborn areas don’t respond as well to the stripper, and more elbow work will be needed. One can with a 120 grit sandpaper, and sand all areas of the table until the varnish is fully removed. A 220 grit sandpaper will then smooth the table to perfection. Sanding should be done with the grain of the wood throughout the whole process.
3. Fill the Grain
Some types of wood have a tight grain that doesn’t require filler, while other types (such as oak and mahogany) have a looser grain that requires a paste to fill the gaps for a smooth finish. If a grain filler is required for the dining table, the appropriate colour of paste is worked into the grain with a cloth or stiff paint brush. Excess paste is removed with a putty knife, and then the paste should be allowed to dry fully. Table should be given a light sanding again to ensure that the dry putty is smooth with the wood of the table.
4. Apply Sanding Sealer
Many types of wood absorb stain unevenly. Sanding sealer will reduce the risk of that happening and will also reduce the number of coats of varnish that are needed on the table.
A heavy coat of sanding sealer should be applied to the table and allowed to soak into the wood for the time specified by the manufacturer before wiping off the excess with a clean, soft rag. Some manufacturers then recommend a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to finalise preparations for the stain.
5. Stain the Table
Most furniture that is being refinished is done so with stain. There are numerous types of stain available on the market, and they vary in ease of use and expected results. The choice of stain should be appropriate for the table, skill level and budget available.
Manufacturer’s instructions should be followed strictly in applying the stain. Achieving a darker stain sometimes requires multiple coats. Once staining is complete, it’s necessary to do a final sanding with 220 grit sandpaper.
6. Finish the Table
The final step is what really gives the table its fresh look. There are many types of finishes that can be used, ranging from natural-looking oil finishes to shiny lacquer and everything in between. Which type of finish to buy will depend on the desired end result, and it’s a good idea to do some research into the types of finish and methods of use for each.
Buying Dining Table Refinishing Equipment on eBay
eBay has a wide variety of supplies available to refinish a dining table. Using the search bar at the top of each page will yield many results. The bar on the left will allow results to be narrowed down more specifically. Competitive pricing and a variety of options in one online store make eBay the ideal place to shop.