How to Refinish a Wooden End Table
An amateur can refinish furniture.
A person doesn’t have to be a pro to give their furniture a facelift. Take it from someone that isn’t and that has. Throughout the years, I witnessed two end tables that my dad had stripped to the raw wood, travel through at least four moves, waiting for him to finish what he had started for my mother. The tables were in great need of being refinished and not in such bad shape that they couldn’t be restored. Time past on and so did my mom. The two tables still stood on the shelves in my father’s garage until the days after my dad’s funeral. Those same tables made their way to my domain, where anticipation of their future covered by spider webs increased. There was a time that I thought my son would pick up where my father lift-off. My sadness grew every day that I drove into my garage observing the same fate these tables would endure if I didn’t change their history.
From One Generation to Another
Works for me.....
The outcome may not look profession and that can be acceptable. If you look close, one can find the flaws. Compared to the unfinished and abandoned furniture piece that lead a stagnant shelf life; this table can now be useful and enjoyed while the history advances.
The other one however will be treated differently but loved the same. No stain in its future. The size and shape gives the table a unique charm. This one will have a chalky facelift for a beachy appearance that will complement the accessories the end table will be surrounded by.
"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”— Ben Franklin
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.— Thomas Jefferson
Either way, it means the same to me.
Do you know who really gets credit for this quote?
Sand, Stain and then PolyurethaneClick thumbnail to view full-size
1. Make sure the work area is well ventilated. Work under good lighting. Us protective gear: gloves (stain and Polyurethane) mask (sander)
2. Clean off table: Wipe off cobwebs, protect the area your table will sit on by covering it with newspapers, old sheets or plastic, etc.
3. Sand (fine – grade sandpaper. Move sander or sandpaper in same direction as the grain. Be careful not to damage the wood.) I have used a paint or varnish removal (stripping wood) before but in this case, my dad had already had taken care of this problem for me by using a sander.
4. Make sure all sand residue is off.
Fill in any cracks or scratches with wood putty. (Follow directions on the container.)
Stain (There are several different colors of stain to select from. Follow the directions on the can.) One coat may be good enough. I applied one coat, waited a day or two before adding the second coat. I used a foam brush.
Wood Stain Colors
- Wood Stain Colors - Minwax Stain Colors & Wood Finish Guide | Minwax
Minwax has the perfect wood stain color for every project. Use our stain color guide to pick the right stain color for your wood projects.
Allow stain to dry before adding Polyurethane. (This is a protector for the table and gives the wood a nice shine.) I used a foam brush.
* If this gets on your hands, it's very sticky and hard to remove.
Nose & Mouth
Sanding, Stain & Polyurethane