Introduction: Barn Wood Table Refinishing

About: We're Mother Daughter Projects, sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

One piece of furniture Steph wanted for her house when she moved in was a farmhouse table. At the time, neither of us had the skills to make one. She found a shop north of Tallahassee and had one custom made of old barn wood with metal legs. The lumber the owner showed us along with the metal legs seemed like a perfect combination. The order was place; payment was made.

The table was delivered and set into place; we admired its beauty. We realized, too late, that the actual construction of the table was poor. There was nothing structural built into the table to keep it from wobbling which it did with the slightest touch. This annoyed Steph to no end!

Also, at my suggestion we had it waxed, which was a terrible choice. It didn't protect the wood from liquid at all and the table top suffered.

We now have developed woodworking and refinishing skills so it was time to tackle the top and add structural strength to the legs. Here's what we did.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Remove the Table Legs

Before: the table was in rough shape as the finish did not hold up. The spaces were crumb magnets, the wood was rough, and there were lots of water spots. We started by removing the legs which were simply screwed into place.

Step 3: Remove the Old Finish

We used canned air to clean out the gaps.

A commercial wax remover as well as mineral spirits was used to help remove the furniture wax. This was very difficult to remove. The chemicals were followed by lots and lots of sanding. We were unable to remove all of the wax as some was embedded into the wood.

Step 4: Prep the Table and Pour the Epoxy

To fill the gaps between the slats, we decided to fill them with clean 2-part epoxy. We prepped the table by taping the reverse side of the table with aluminum tape to keep the epoxy from dripping through.

We prepared the epoxy according to instructions and poured it into place over the course of a couple of days. Any drips were wiped away and the remaining drips were easily sanded away with 220 grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Wipe on Finish

We decided to finish the table with clear shellac which we wiped on with an an old t-shirt. In hindsight, we should have used a paint sprayer which would have helped to avoid brush strokes. We did four coats, sanding between each with 220 grit sandpaper.

Step 6: Attach Legs

During the planning stages of this project we had fully intended to solve the wobble problem by adding structural support to the legs. As we were working, we realized the sawhorses beneath the table top provided a very table, non-wobbly base. We then decided to search out metal sawhorses to use as legs.

The ones were chose had holes in the top which made it easy to screw the legs into the bottom of the table top.

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