Wednesday, June 6, 2012

refinishing a wood table, we've only just begun

I love having a round table but finding one has been nearly impossible so I jumped at the chance when we found this old 70's dinette online
My penny pinchin self has been searching kijiji for a multitude of items and over the winter I came across this sweet little table
More of a hexagon which I quite like and that pedestal is so cool, they just don't make them this way anymore
and 2 leaves!

I also adore the 5 chairs that came with the table, they might just be my favorite part but I will save that for another post. For a total of $120 we are the proud new owners of a solid oak table with 5 super cool chairs. This might be one of the largest project Ive attempted,
Here is how it started:

Be sure to wear a mask as this will prevent you from inhaling nasty dust while sanding. This cute little accessory will also scare your children since its clearly creepy. This will assist in preventing your kids from bugging you while sanding :)

Working with what my mama gave me.. (or my mother in law in this case who gave me this cute little sander  for Christmas a few years back)  I tackled sanding with my Black and Decker Mouse.

This is how far I got with the mouse, I think it took almost 2 hours before little mousie died.

At this point I purchased a small circular hand sander and got the rest of the table sanded in about one hour. I highly recommend having the right tools before you start.

Make sure your table top is completely sanded and all residue has been wiped away. I also used a damp rag a few times to wipe away excess dust.

Time for the stain, this was a hard decision as I really love dark walnut but thought ebony might be kind of cool since we already have a black table and the color works well

Using a brush I applied a generous amount of stain to the table and wiped it off with a clean dry rag almost immediately as I wa a bit nervous about the color . I quickly realized I was better off to leave the stain on for a few minutes at the very least least (the can suggests 5-15 minues). I reapplied the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before lightly rubbing it off with my clean and dry rag

Once the entire table had been treated and wiped, the stain directions ask that you wait a minimum of 4 hours for it to dry before adding a second coat.

I might also suggest wearing socks and old pants while staining instead of short shorts and flip flops. The splatter effect goes all the way up to my thighs and I'm sure this will be the next trend. Just remember you saw it here first.

The ebony stain was not what we expected....

another sanding was in order, this time using 60 grit paper rather than 120 and this cut sanding time almost in half!

the new sander also helped timing

The grain remained dark from the ebony stain even after sanding

This time I applied Dark Walnut Stain by Minwax and let it sit for 20 minutes before wiping it off

results after 1st coat of dark walnut

After 2nd coat

So after weeks of working on this table (free time is pretty limited these days) I finally got the tabletop a perfect shade of walnut and applied the polyurethane. I used fast drying semigloss by minwax and the directions read that I was to apply one light coat of poly, and sand the table once the poly dried using a 220 grit sand paper.
The sanding removed the poly and part of the stain.. just when I thought the finish line was near I had to sand the entire table again and start over. Perhaps Ive started over one too many times as the table is rejecting stain in some areas, luckily I wanted a distressed look for the base so a matching top it will be. 

After a trip to Home Depot they suggested that I skip sanding between coats of poly but if I felt it necessary I should use 400 grit paper very lightly.. I'm starting to HATE this table

Off I go to apply another coat of polyurethane.. wish me luck!


  1. Hey Amanda....sorry you are having such a trying relationship with this table...keep calm and carry on! It will look great and be worth it in the end, and think of how much you have learned.

    1. Finally finished! cant wait for you to see it


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