Since new dining room furniture isn’t likely to make an appearance in my life anytime soon, and I couldn’t stand my shabby table any longer, I decided to refinish the top of the table. Fortunately, furniture refinishing was one of the skills my mom taught me when I was growing up.
She tried to teach me housekeeping too, but that one didn’t take very well.
I don’t ordinarily take on projects like this anymore because of my health problems, but this one would be manageable. I could take as many breaks as I needed and rest for as long as I needed, and no strength was required since I wouldn’t be moving the table.
After just three trips to Home Depot I had everything I needed. Note to self: make a list before going to the store. I purchased: sandpaper (coarse, fine, and super fine), masking tape, disposable gloves, a protective mask to wear when sanding, wood stain, a brush, and polyurethane (I chose spray). I already had an electric sander, rags, and drop cloths.
I would need to work on the table outside (no room in the garage), so I used a tent-like enclosure with screened sides to protect it while allowing for good ventilation.
Here’s the table before I began:
I began by sanding with the coarse sandpaper to remove the old finish. Then I sanded with the fine sandpaper to smooth out the surface followed by a final pass with the super fine paper. I carefully dry dusted the table to make sure there was no remaining sandpaper. Instead of finishing with a tack cloth, I got my hand wet, then dried them on a clean rag. This very slightly damp rag was used to remove the last traces of sawdust from the surface of the table.
I masked off the table edge then brushed on the wood stain. Following the directions on the can of stain, I waited 15 minutes, then used a clean rag to wipe off whatever stain remained.
The next day, I sprayed on five coats of the polyurethane, again following the manufacturer’s directions.
The following day, I lightly hand sanded the table top with the super fine sandpaper. After a coat of furniture polish, the table was ready to be moved back into the house.
It was a lot of work to refinish this table but worth the effort.
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