How to Refurbish Your Kitchen Table




Do you own a table that over the years has gotten burn marks, paint marks, and other faults? This instructable will give detailed instructions on how to refurbish the table on your own. Refurbishing the table will bring a higher value for it, and will make it more eye appealing in your household. This project will not be hard to accomplish, and requires no educational experience in refurbishing wooden tables. The project will also be inexpensive to complete. A decent amount of time is required to complete the finished project. However, this allows you to spend quality time with your kids, marriage partner, or just friend. The approximate amount of time it will take depends upon you, but should only take between five to seven days. The amount of actual working time on the project will only be about eleven to fifteen hours. The rest of the time is for the table to dry and cure. This project will allow you to have nicer furniture. The next time you have guests over they may also compliment you on what a great job you have done, and will allow you to show them how they may go about refurbishing there wooden furniture.

Step 1: List of Tools, Stain, and Clear Coat Needed to Complete Project

Before starting this project you will need to go to your local hardware store, and purchase the proper tools, stain, and clear coat. The total cost for the entire project will not exceed more than twenty five dollars.

Warning: This project should not be done inside the house due to the dust, and fumes produced from sanding staining, and clear coating. These fumes can cause injury, and safety eye wear should be worn at all times.

1. Sand paper ranging from 60 to 150 grit
2. Sanding block
3. Horse hair brush
4. Foam brushes
5. Stain
6. Clear coat
7. Paint thinner “optional”

Step 2: 60 Grit Sanding

By this time the table should have been moved into a well ventilated garage or shed, and sanding can begin. You will start with the 60 grit sanding paper. This paper is very coarse, and will remove most of the old stain, and all of major burn, and paint marks. Always remember to follow the grain of the wood, and never go across the grain.

Caution: Sanding makes the air very dirty. It is suggested that you wear a dust mask during sanding, and proper eye wear to prevent from any dust going into your eyes. 

Step 3: 100 Grit Sanding

After the 60 grit paper you will move up one step to the 100 grit. With the 100 grit sand paper you will be removing all of the old stain that remains. The wood should also be feeling smoother, and not have as many rough spots in it as before with the 60 grit paper. Again make sure you do not sand across the grain of the wood; always go with the grain.

Caution: Sanding makes the air very dirty. It is suggested that you wear a dust mask during sanding, and proper eye wear to prevent from any dust going into your eyes.

Step 4: 150 Grit Sanding

The last step in sanding will be using the 150 grit paper. This sand paper should make your table slick to the touch. If the table is not slick when you have finished sanding then you will need to keep sanding the table untill it is. Once you have completed sanding, you will need to use an air compressor to blow the particles off. This will ensure you that there are no dust particles left on the project. However, if you do not own an air compressor, you may just dampen a paper towel and lightly wipe the project down.

Caution: Sanding makes the air very dirty it is suggested that you wear a dust mask during sanding, and proper eye wear to prevent from any dust going into your eyes. 

Step 5: Staining

The project is now ready for staining. You may use one of the foam brushes that you have purchased for applying the stain. Though what I have discovered works the best is just cutting up an old t-shirt and using a 6x6 square of it. When you start to stain the table, you will want to put an even coat across the entire table this coat may be thick. Since in about ten minutes you will come back with a clean piece of cloth, and wipe off any extra stain that remains. The actual staining will only take around 20 minutes per time, but will need to set for an hour before next coat is applied. When desired color is obtained the table will need to dry for at least 8 hours.

Warning: Make sure proper eye wear is worn during this step, and you are in a well ventilated building.

Step 6: Clear Coat

After you have stained and let the table dry for the correct amount of time, clear coating the table is the next step. Just like staining, this process will only take around twenty minutes, but must dry for at least six hours in between coats. Before the next coat is applied, you will need to gently sand the top of the table with the 150 grit paper. You are not trying to sand off the entire clear coat. You are just trying to sand out the bubbles that might have occurred during the process of clear coating. The more coats you have applied the smoother the table becomes. I have clear coated this table three times to get what is called a bar top finish. This means that the table is very slick, and you could slide things across it without them spilling over, due to the thickness of the clear coat. As well the more coats you apply will give you a better protection on the table so the stain is not ruined. You will want to use the horse hair brush to apply the clear coat. Once you finish with each coat, cleaning the brush needs to be done by either throwing it away and buying another, or allowing it to soak in paint thinner. After you are happy with the amount of clear coat on the table and without needing to sand any spots out, it will need to cure up to 2 days before being used.

Warning: Make sure proper eye wear is worn during this step, and you are in a well ventilated building.

Step 7: Finished Product

Congratulations! You have finished refurbishing your table, and after the two day curing process, the table will be ready to be moved back into your home. At this point you may set the table, and eat off of your newly refurbished table that you completed, on your own, with no specialist.



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    To my amazement, I was able to completely remove clear coat and stain from an oak table without using toxic chemical removers. Your tutorial is great!


    8 years ago on Step 7

    Excellent instructable! Exactly what I needed. I'm just starting to learn how to work with wood, and your clear and simple step-by-step instructions were very worthy. Thank you.


    8 years ago on Step 5

    Nice Ible. My only suggestion is that applying the stain can cause some wood fibres to be raised a little and you might want to sand them down with very light pressure and 600 or 800 grit then clean off with a tack cloth. This gives a much smoother finish and doesnt lift any of the stain.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the compliments I really enjoy doing this kind of stuff. I do not have any high tech tools other then my two hands, but I have found some very unique ways in crafting this stuff so I am always proud of my work.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful finish! I need to do this to our kitchen table once our kids are a little older. It is currently riddled with scratches from silverware and scribbles from permanent markers.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice brightness! And very nice wood grain, too. Good work!