Most tables, like all other things in the world, deteriorate over time. Because they are used on a daily basis, tables usually wear out long before other furniture does. However, this is not a cause for worry since you can actually improve its appearance yourself. This article talks about how to refinish a table and make it look brand new.
Refinishing a table is a messy job so the first thing you have to do is to pick out a ventilated workplace and cover it with newspapers or tarps. When the workplace is ready, wipe the table with a rag to remove dust and debris and then remove the old finish by using sandpaper, electric sanders, heat guns, or chemical strippers. Chemical strippers or paint removers are usually the most used when it comes to removing old finishes since it is the easiest to use and it gets the job done much quicker. However, make sure that you use the correct stripper and that you follow the instructions that come with it. Also, use gloves and eye protection when working with these so as to avoid being contaminated by chemicals. Apply the stripper to the table and let it sit for as long as it says in the can. When it is ready, remove the old finish by using a putty knife and steel wool. After stripping the finish off the table, use a sandpaper to smoothen it and then clean it with mineral spirits or paint-removal wash. This job will be much easier if you can disassemble your table into parts.
How to Stain a Table
The next step in refinishing your table is staining it. Staining a table does not only hide any blemishes or scratches, but also allows you to make the table the color you want it to be. Like in removing the finish, staining a table requires you to disassemble the table and sanding the pieces until they become smooth. There are different types and colors of stains. Choose one the one that is compatible to your table’s wood and your color preference. Evenly stain your table by lightly brushing the stain on it. Remove excess stain by using a clean rag. It is also helpful to buff the stain within one to two minutes after applying it so that it soaks evenly. Let the stain dry for at least a day and then apply a finish. Try to avoid using the cheapest kinds of stains since they tend to become too watery.
There are many different kinds of finishes like oil or varnishes. Oil finishes are easier to apply but they offer less protection than varnishes. The most common finish is polyurethane, which makes the finish hard and durable. It is also comes in many types like satin and glossy, and is usually very easy to use. Apply a first coat with the grain of your table’s wood using a brush and then let it dry completely. Before applying the next coat, lightly sand the table with sandpaper of steel wool. Although the standard is two coats, you may opt to apply a third one so that your finish is stronger. You may also choose to apply finishing wax when the final coat is dry. If you do, wait for the wax to dry and then buff it with a soft cloth and reassemble your table.
Making your old tables look brand new does not have to be costly as long as you know how to refinish a table. You don’t have to bring your furniture to someone who knows how to refinish a table since you already know how to do it yourself. Refinishing your own furniture also entails staining a table, which is a benefit to you since you get to pick the color and shade that you want it to be. It may take some time and effort on your part but it is usually always worth the trouble.