You can easily change the looks of an ugly table by refinishing it. It doesn’t matter what kind of finish the table has-paint, lacquer,etc.- you can turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture by simply following the basic steps listed in this article.
The first thing you will need is a can of easy-to-use wood stripping solution. There are many products on the market, so it would be advisable for you to ask the clerk at your local hardware or do-it-yourself center which brand and type of wood stripper they recommend.
Before you begin to strip the table, if itis a small piece of furniture, place it up on a work bench or other suitable area for easy access. Cover the work bench with a tarp or old tablecloth first. If it is a larger table, set it up on wooden blocks in order to elevate it up off of the ground. Then, remove any and all drawers, doors, and hardware. You will need to strip the wood drawers and doors separately after they are removed from the table, if there are any.
Before you proceed any further, put a pair of gloves on your hands for protection. Do not wear cloth gloves. Make sure they are resistant to harsh chemicals such as the stripper you will be using.Also, a vinyl or heavy apron would be a good protective covering for your clothes. Finally, wear safety goggles in order to protect your eyes from splashes or spills.
Have plenty of rags on hand and then follow the manufacturer’s directions on the stripping solution container in order to use the product on the table in the correct manner. Strip one small area at a time until the entire table is done.
After you have completely stripped the table, make sure you have removed all of the stripping solutions from its wood surfaces, especially around table legs and corners. If you don’t, the finish you want to put on will not adhere to the table properly.
Next, after the table’s surfaces are completely dry, lightly sand the entire piece of furniture with a fine piece of sandpaper. As you are sanding the table, look for gouges, nicks, or scratches and repair them with a good commercial product. Again, consult your local hardware clerk for a recommendation on what product would work the best. Wipe off the dust with a damp rag.
Next, you will need to decide what kind of finish you want to put on your table if any. If the wood is in good condition, you might decide to leave the original wood shine through and simply add a good layer of lacquer or polyurethane, or wood oil. Or, you could paint it any color you desire, or, you could always stain it-the choice is yours.
How ever you decide to finish it, there are a few basic tips for applying finishes that you need to know. First, in order to achieve the best results, you should always brush the finish on in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Second, don’t try to get the job done quicker by applying one thick coat of finish.
Whatever finish you choose, you must apply several thin coats to the table, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly first. And, lastly, apply the finish to the table’s surface in an even coat. Do not leave puddles or runs on the wood surface.