How to Refinish a Wood Table Like a Pro

This is instruction on How to Refinish a Wood Table Like a Pro.

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I recently took a look at my wooden kitchen table and realized it was time for an update or upgrade. It is a sturdy set that is just the right dimensions for my kitchen. The chairs seemed to still be in pretty good condition, so I decided to go with an update. I had refinished furniture before, but mostly by stripping down the original finish and refinishing with a stain and a polyurethane. This project was going to be a little bit different.  I have a bar with a light-colored stained top and chair bottoms with cream-color paint everywhere else. I wanted to attempt to match my table to that bar set. Thus, this is instruction on How to Refinish a Wood Table Like a Pro.

The first step was to remove as much of the old finish as possible. This would require steel wool or sandpaper in different grades. I decided to go with the steel wool. The package that I bought contained 3 different grades which I recommend. Start out with a rough grade and gradually go down to the finer grade. Be sure to move in the direction of the grain of the table. Also, do not sand so well that you start removing the color of the stain unless that is what you want to do. You will want to clean off the residue from the table often to be able to see your progress.

How to Refinish a Wood Table Like a Pro:

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Once I had sanded with the steel wool on three separate passes using the three grades of steel wool, I inspected the finished product to see if I still needed to paint. Were the scratches gone?  No, not completely. At that point, I knew it was time to move on to the painting stage.

Applying the Paint:

After completely removing the residue and wiping it clean, it was time to start painting. I did not have on hand the color of paint I wanted, so I decided to mix paints. In my garage, I found two different latex enamels with a satin finish in white and a light beige.  I mixed about 1/2 cup of the white and about 5 cups of light beige in a paint pan. I wanted to use a roller with a nap in order to further conceal the scratches. The roller really sucks up the paint, so it takes much more than you would think it would.

After one coat, I covered my paint pan and roller to prevent drying out.  After the first coat dried, I did touch-ups on any spots that did not cover completely.  It might have been easier just to do another coat, but I underestimated the amount of paint I needed.  Therefore, I had to do retouches.

Applying the Polyurethane:

I let the table completely dry overnight. The next day, I did a very light sanding with a fine-grade sandpaper in order for the polyurethane to adhere. I applied the polyurethane with a paint brush in smooth strokes.  I allowed this coat to dry for four hours and lightly sanded again for adhesion. After checking for dryness, I applied a final coat of polyurethane and let dry overnight before use.

I was very happy with the outcome of my project. With a little time and patience, you too will know How to Refinish a Wood Table Like a Pro.

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