brown wooden surface

How To Refinish A Wood Table In 7 Easy Steps

Refinishing a wood table is much like giving an old car a fresh paint job. It will take time, effort, and patience, but the end result will be worth it. You can easily bring back the shine and luster of your beloved wooden table with just 7 simple steps. Whether you have an antique piece passed down from generations or a modern table that has seen better days, a little TLC goes a long way to restoring beauty and function.

For those who’ve never taken on the task before, refinishing furniture can seem intimidating. Don’t worry! We’ll provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to make the process as stress-free as possible. With just a few tools and materials, you’ll be able to give your wood table new life in no time.

Ready to get started? Follow these 7 easy steps for refinishing a wood table and transform your furniture into something brand new!

Prepare The Table

Refinishing a wood table is no small task. With the right tools and dedication, you can have your project finished in as little as seven steps. Believe it or not, over 60% of DIYers report that refinishing furniture is one of their favorite activities. So, let’s get started!

To begin, we’ll need to prepare the table for an upgrade. Start by sanding the surface with medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections. Next, clean off any sawdust or debris using a soft cloth and vacuum up any loose particles. With the table prepped, it’s time to remove the old finish.

Remove Old Finish

OK, now we’re on to the second step of refurnishing the wood table: removing the old finish. You’ll want to start by giving it a thorough inspection. Check for any signs of damage like cracks or chips in the wood’s surface. Once you’ve identified any major issues, it’s time to break out some sandpaper. Sanding down a tabletop isn’t rocket science, but you do need to be careful not to apply too much pressure or you could end up ruining the wood.

Start with a medium-grit sandpaper and work your way up to a finer grade. Go over each area slowly, taking care that all of the old finish is removed from every spot on the table’s surface. Be sure to wipe away any dust created during this process so you can check your progress as you go along.

Once all the old finish is gone, take a look at how the table looks overall. If there are any spots that need more attention, give them one final pass with some fine-grit sandpaper and then wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth before moving onto the next step. Now that you’ve completed this part of refinishing your wood table, it’s important to inspect and sand it properly for optimal results.

Inspect And Sand The Table

So, the third step for refinishing your wood table is to inspect and sand it. This is an important step, as you want to make sure the surface is free of any dirt or debris that could interfere with the new finish. If there are any spots that need attention, use a medium-grit sandpaper to lightly sand them away. Don’t forget to also sand any corners or edges so they are smooth and won’t snag on clothing or skin.

You’ll know when all areas have been sufficiently sanded when the surface appears uniform and has a slightly dull texture. To make sure you don’t miss any spots, use a flashlight to inspect the table before moving onto the next step. Once you’ve finished this process, you can begin applying stripper.

When using sandpaper and other tools during this process, be sure to wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves. This is particularly necessary when using power tools such as belt or palm sander. TIP: After removing old finish and sanding, it’s important to clean off dust from the surface of your wood table before applying stripper for a smooth finish!

Apply Stripper

Refinishing a wood table can be like taking a journey into the past. It’s an exciting and rewarding experience, as you bring new life to an old piece of furniture. The fourth step in refinishing is applying stripper, which can be intimidating but don’t fret! With these handy tips and tricks you’ll be done before you know it.

To start, make sure your safety gear is on – this includes protective gloves, eyewear, and a respirator mask. Then you’ll want to pour the stripper onto the surface of the table and spread it around with a brush or applicator pad. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes so that it has enough time to penetrate all areas of the wood.

Once you’ve let the stripper dry, you’ll be able to scrape off the old stain and varnish with a plastic scraper or putty knife. Make sure not to use too much pressure – the goal here is to remove only what needs to go! Then use steel wool or a scrubbing pad with mineral spirits to clean off any remaining residue. TIP: Use painter’s tape when applying stripper around edges or between slats for easy cleanup later on!

Repair Damaged Areas

Ready to dive into the next step of refinishing your wood table? Let’s get started! Startlingly, you can make a huge impact with just some simple repairs. With this section, we’ll show you how to patch up any damaged areas on the table and get it looking like new in no time at all. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood filler

Now that you have your supplies, let’s begin. First, use the sandpaper to lightly smooth out any rough spots. This will give you a nice clean surface so that when the wood glue is applied it will make a strong bond with the table. Apply the wood glue onto the area needing repair and hold firmly until dry. Once dried, apply wood filler over top of the glued area and let it set for about 10 minutes or until completely dry. After it’s dried, use sandpaper again if needed to smooth out any excess filler or bumps from the repair.

And just like that, you’ve successfully repaired any damaged areas on your table! Now that your table has been restored back to its original condition, it’s time to move on to cleaning and conditioning the wood surface for a beautiful finish.

Clean And Condition The Table

Do you need to refinish that wood table? It’s a tough job, but can be done with patience and the right tools. But first, let’s talk about the sixth step in this process: Cleaning and conditioning the furniture.

Now, before you get started with this step, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right cleaning products for your type of wood. Any wrong move here can damage your furniture permanently! Juxtapose this knowledge against the rewards of having a beautiful wood table restored – it’ll be worth the effort.

To begin, use a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt on the surface of your piece. Then take a product specifically designed for cleaning wood surfaces and apply it evenly across the entire surface. Make sure to wait for it to dry before moving onto the next part – conditioning! You’ll want to choose a finishing oil or wax that is suitable for your type of wood in order to protect from water damage and scratches. Rub it in and then gently buff out any excess product with a soft cloth.

TIP: Always test all cleaning products on an inconspicuous area of your table before applying them across the entire surface, just to make sure you’re using something that won’t cause harm!

Choose A Finish

The final step of refinishing a wood table is an exciting one – it’s where the transformation really begins to take shape! Choosing a finish is the ultimate way to make your table look new and beautiful. Here’s a handy guide on how to pick the right finish for your specific project:

  1. Consider the type of wood and what kind of wear and tear it will get.
  2. Decide if you want a glossy, matte, satin or semi-gloss appearance.
  3. Think about any special needs such as moisture resistance or UV protection.
  4. Check that any finishes you use are compatible with each other before applying them.

As a handyman, I recommend using oil-based polyurethane to give your furniture the best protection against scratches and scuffs. This type of finish is also durable, highly resistant to moisture, and offers great shine without being too glossy. If you’re looking for something more subtle, go with a water-based polyurethane – it will still provide great coverage without sacrificing too much shine or clarity. Plus, it’s easy to apply and dries quickly!

When you’ve selected your perfect finish, it’s time to apply primer and begin the next stage of refinishing your wood table!

Apply Primer

Alright, now that you’ve chosen the finish for your wood table, it’s time to move on to the next step – applying primer. This step is essential for ensuring a smooth and even finish. It’s also important for helping create a barrier between the wood and the paint or stain. The primer will help you get a more professional-looking result in less time.

When it comes to applying primer, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, make sure you choose one that’s suitable for the type of surface you’re working with. Secondly, use a brush or roller to apply it evenly across the table surface. Thirdly, allow plenty of time for the primer to dry before moving on to the next step – applying stain!

Apply Stain

Staining a wood table is like painting a picture; it’s all about the details. As with any project, the first step is to prepare the surface. You’ll want to make sure the table is free of dirt and dust, then sand down any rough edges or spots. Once that’s done, it’s time to apply the stain.

Just like you’d use a paintbrush for painting walls, you’ll need a brush for staining your wood table. Be sure to pick one with natural bristles for best results. A foam brush will also work in a pinch. You’ll also need an old rag or cloth to wipe off any excess stain – always put on more than you think you’ll need and then remove what isn’t needed.

Once you’ve applied the stain, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step: finishing off with clear coat. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different colors and stains until you find something that appeals to your eye; after all, this is your masterpiece! With patience and practice, your wood table will look great in no time!

Apply Clear Coat

It takes a lot of effort and time to refinish a wood table, but it’s worth it. According to the National Home Improvement Council, around 90% of people are satisfied with their DIY home renovation projects. Applying a clear coat is the final step in the refinishing process and an important one at that.

This handyman guide will give you all the information you need to apply a clear coat for your wood table. To begin, clean off any dust or debris from the surface, then use a lint-free cloth to further clean up any dirt, oils, or stains from the wood. Once it’s dry and clean, you’ll want to apply a thin layer of polyurethane using either a brush or foam roller. Make sure to spread it evenly across the entire surface and let it dry for 3-4 hours before adding another layer.

After you’ve added two layers of polyurethane finish and let them both thoroughly dry, your wood table has now been fully sealed with protection against water damage and wear & tear. Now all that’s left is buffing and polishing so that your table can look brand new again…

Buff And Polish

The final step in refinishing a wood table is buffing and polishing. It’s the difference between a great project, and one that looks like it was done by an amateur. To make sure your hard work pays off, you’ll want to take the time to buff and polish your table.

Just as with sanding, buffing and polishing will require patience. Take a look at the surface of the wood after you’ve applied the clear coat; any small imperfections should now be visible. Use steel wool or a fine grade sandpaper to lightly buff and smooth out those spots before starting to polish.

Once you’re satisfied with how the surface looks, grab some rubbing oil or furniture wax, which can be found readily available in most hardware stores. Rubbing oil or wax helps to protect the finish from dirt and oils while giving it a beautiful sheen. Make sure you follow all instructions on whatever product you use for best results – like working in circular motions when applying – and don’t forget to wipe off any excess before moving onto the next step!

Reattach The Table Legs

It’s almost time to finish off your project! If you’ve been following along, you’ll now be ready to reattach the table legs. But don’t rush it – there are a few things to consider before you get started.

First off, make sure the legs of your table fit correctly into the frame. Measure them and if they’re too long then you’ll need to trim them down so they fit snugly. You may also need to adjust the screws that hold the legs in place, so make sure they’re not sticking out beyond the surface of the wood.

Now for some handyman tips: use a drill bit that matches up with the size of your screws, and make sure it’s lubricated with oil before you start drilling. This will help prevent any splitting or cracking of the wood as you reattach each leg. Once all four legs have been fastened in place, take a look at how stable and secure they are – if any wobble or feel like they’ll come loose soon, go back and adjust accordingly.

You can now proudly stand back and admire your newly-refinished wood table! From here on out, it’s just a matter of keeping up regular maintenance by wiping down surfaces and treating spills right away – but if any issues arise then check out our Troubleshooting Tips section for more info.

Troubleshooting Tips

Tackling a wood refinishing project on your own can be quite a challenge. But with the right guidance and some elbow grease, you’ll be able to make that tired old table look like new in no time! And when it comes to troubleshooting, you’re not alone. Here are a few tips that will help make sure your project goes off without a hitch:

  • Look for loose or damaged parts – Before getting started, give the table a thorough inspection for any pieces that may need repair or replacement. Check the legs and tabletop for any signs of wear and tear.
  • Test stain before applying – Once everything is in good shape, it’s time to start staining. Before fully committing to one color, try out different stains on some scrap wood until you find just the right shade.
  • Sand between coats – To ensure an even finish, sand lightly between each coat of stain and varnish. This will help remove any imperfections and make sure you get the best results possible.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to completing your project with confidence. And if you ever find yourself stuck, remember that there’s no shame in calling in a professional refinisher who has the experience and expertise needed to get the job done right!

Working With Professional Refinishers

When it comes to refinishing a wood table, sometimes it’s best to call in the professionals. Working with professional refinishers can be really helpful if you don’t have the time or know-how to tackle the job yourself. If you do decide to go this route, here’s what to expect.

First off, they should inspect your table for damage and provide an estimate for their services. Make sure you get a few estimates from different companies so you can compare and choose the one that fits your budget and needs best. Then, the refinisher will remove all old finish from your table. This is usually done by sanding down the surface with a belt sander before applying a new finish of your choice.

Once that’s done, they’ll apply at least two coats of finish and then allow it to dry completely before sanding it again. This is done to ensure that there are no bumps or ridges in the surface after drying, as well as adding extra protection against scratches and wear over time. After that’s all taken care of, you’ll be left with a beautiful new look for your wood table!

Making sure your refinished wood table stays looking its best is just as important as taking on the task of refinishing it in the first place. With proper maintenance and cleaning techniques such as dusting regularly, avoiding moisture exposure, and using furniture polish every so often, you’ll be able to keep your wood table looking like new for years to come.

Caring For Refinished Wood Tables

Once you’ve gotten your wood table refinished, you want to make sure it stays looking nice. Caring for a refinished wood table isn’t too hard, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, make sure to keep your refinished table out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause discoloration and fading of the finish. If possible, try to place it near a window with curtains or blinds that will help filter the light.

Keep your table clean by wiping it down regularly with a slightly damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners, as they can damage the finish and cause it to wear away more quickly. Additionally, try not to drag items across the surface of your refinished table as this could scratch or scuff the finish.

Finally, if you want your refinished wood table to last for many years to come, consider applying a protective finish at least once per year. This will help protect against scratches and other damage and ensure that your refinished wood table looks beautiful for years to come!


The last step to refinishing a wood table is caring for it. Your hard work will be for nothing if you don’t take the proper steps to maintain your new finish. Regular dusting and cleaning with mild soaps and water are necessary to keep your table looking beautiful for years to come. Waxing or polishing the surface every few months will help protect against scratches and normal wear and tear.

Are you ready to show off your woodworking skills? With just seven steps, you can take an old, tired looking table and turn it into something special that adds charm and character to any room in your home. So what are you waiting for? Grab your sandpaper, put on some safety glasses, and get ready to refinish!

Refinishing a wood table is a great way to give an old piece of furniture new life. Not only does it save money, but it can also be an enjoyable experience that yields amazing results. Have you ever tried refinishing a piece of furniture? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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