Refinishing An Oak Table {A Dining Room Update}

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Recently,while doing one of my daily pinterest hunts, I came across several images of gorgeous pedestal tables. Since then, I have been on the search for a nice round table for my dining room, that was at least 48' in diameter. Since my dining room is small, I needed something that would look nice in the space, but not take up too much room. I checked a bunch of stores and online,  but was not feeling any pricing that these tables were going for. I was on the hunt for something like this:



So, I figured instead purchasing a brand new one for $700+, I would check local thrift stores and Craigslist for the perfect one. Well, a few weeks ago,  I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one from good old Craigslist for $60! Have a look...


It had the perfect curves, perfect height, but was a horrible orangey oak color that I hated. But, I figured since it was solid oak, and I mean SOLID, that I would stain it into a pretty rich espresso color. Here she is now!

I am so happy with how this project turned out, especially since this was my first time using stain. If I did this, then you can too! 
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Preparation

First I headed to The Home Depot to determine what I needed to complete my project. To stain my table, I purchased:
L to R-Citristrip, oil paint (Better) brush, Latex Protective Gloves, Varathane Stain + Poly (in-one) in Kona Semi-Gloss, Stripping Tools, 320-grit Extra Fine Sandpaper...Not pictured 180- grit Sandpaper, Odorless Mineral Spirits, Paper towels, Cheap Paint Brush (cheapest 2 inch brush is fine), Drop Cloth, and Dusk Mask.

Putting on my dust mask (safety first), I applied the Citristrip on top of the table, and around the table base to remove the varnish. For those of you not familiar with varnish, it is a hard, glossy, protective finish used on wood. This protective coat needs to removed by the stripper in order to prepare the surface for the stain. This stripper should be applied by pouring a manageable amount of stripper into a small bowl, and using the cheap 2 inch paint brush to apply in long strokes, making sure to cover all spots.


Once the stripper was applied, I let mine set in overnight, however the instructions on the back of the container only call for an hour of set time. 

When checking the table the next morning, the stripper dried the varnish and it was ready to be stripped. 

Taking my stripping tool, I began scraping across the top of the table, and the base. I scraped...and scraped...oh...and scraped. 

After I finished scraping, I swept off the varnish remnants with a broom. To be sure that all of the varnish is removed, I recommend shining light on the table along with running your hands across to check for any "slick" or shiny parts. Once I ensured its smoothness, it was time to remove the remaining stripper residue. I did this using Odorless Mineral Spirits and pouring it onto a scrubber. I used the back of this scrubbing sponge.


Since Mineral Spirits is a non-toxic paint stripper, and cleaner, it helped to prepare my surface for staining by removing all of the remaining stripper residue. I also used a few damp paper towels to ensure all of the residue was off, and I kept wiping until the paper towel was clean. 

Next, it was time to sand. Using my palm sander, we sanded over the table and base, following along in the direction of the wood grain, making sure to sand all of the edges and grooves of the table.  



 *Sorry, I don't have any pictures of us sanding the base, but we followed the same steps*

After we sanded, we wiped the table and base with several damp paper towels to remove sanding residue. To prepare to stain, we swept the floor to remove the sanding dust and any other particles from the floor.

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Staining
After wiping down the table one final time, I began to stain. I applied the stain using a good quality 2 inch paint brush that was compatible with the use of oil paints or stains. The stain was applied using even strokes from top to bottom, still in the direction of the wood stain.

Once I covered the table completely with stain on the top and base, I let it dry for an hour, per the instructions on the stain can. Then I sanded the table lightly using  320-grit sandpaper, to prepare it for the second coat of stain to stick. Again, this should be done very lightly. Just enough to rough up the surface so that the stain has something to adhere to. 

I then applied the second coat of stain. This photo gives a good side by side of the first and second coat, and the dimension that the second coat adds.


Left is with the second coat, right is the first coat

And here it is finished with the second coat. Since the stain already had polyurethane in it, there was not a need to add. So I was left with a beautiful, shiny "new" dining room table!


For some reason the base looks darker in the photo, but it has the same amount of coats as the top.

Here are a few more finished pics...




I am very happy with the finished product and I would highly recommend this stain. For the table and all of the products it took to properly stain it, my project total came up to about $85, which I would take over the cost of a brand new table! All in all, staining is actually pretty easy, it just requires quite a bit of  prep work. Now I need some chairs, a rug (this one was a test from another room), a small buffet, and other accessories. Since we are fixing up this room and the kitchen at the same time, I vote to make my backsplash my next project, but knowing me, I might end up doing something else (scatter-brained). I hope to have some updates soon!

Have you ever stained any furniture? I plan to do more in the future. I would love to hear your experience. Thanks for stopping by!

I'm linking to the following parties!





37 comments:

  1. Looks great, I have this table in the lovely orange oak (note the sarcasm) and have been thinking of painting it. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thanks Ches! Yes! Dont you just love the rich orange color? I just say go for it. Im sure it will look great!

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  3. Lory @ a designers tale

    Love it! A lotta bang for the buck.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Lory. I have been stalking craigslist ever since!

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  4. This looks great. The dark stain is just gorgeous!

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  5. Thanks Tamsyn! I highly recommend this two in one stain.

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  6. Very nice! Great transformation. I like refinishing old furnitures because after doing it the feeling is so rewarding. - belfab.net

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  7. I love that painting in the background. Did you create it?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. My sister is a professional artist and sent me the picture as a Christmas gift last year. She is in a gallery and does commissioned work as well. Her website is danatoddpope.com.

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  8. This looks great I have a similar table in my kitchen and like the dark color. can you post what you have for chairs?

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  9. Dining Room Furniture needs to be exclusive for your house. The dining room is an area where whole family sits together and share daily activities with good food.
    Thanks!

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  10. LOOKS GOOD, IN FACT I HAVE THE EXACT SAME TABLE, AND MY WIFE AND I ARE GOING TO TOTALLY REDUE OURS ALSO BUT WITH AND ANTIQUE OIL STAIN FINISH, IT'S GONNA LOOK BEAUTIFUL ONCE FINISHED. IF YOU DON'T MIND A LITTLE ADVICE I'VE ALWAYS HAD BETTER RESULTS USEING A PASTE WOOD FILLER BEFORE I STAIN, DO TO THE FACT THAT OAK (AMUNGST OTHERS)IS AN OPEN GRAIN WOOD

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  11. Thanks for posting this! I'm about to attempt the same thing on an oak poker table with the same hideous golden-orange stain. I might choose an opaque black or white rather than another stain, but I really appreciate your step by step, since the whole thing, especially the stripping, seems really intimidating to me. (But for $300 for the table and 8 chairs, how could I not??) One question: do you think the shine level on the finish is as good as a separate polyurethane would provide? Thanks!

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  13. Your blog has blessing effects on one's daily life...!!!Oak Bunk Beds

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  15. I just bought a solid oak table for 50 bucks and am so looking forward to staining it. I love the color of the stain that you chose. I will keep you updated on my project.

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. I just bought a solid wood table at Aunt Sally's aka The Salvation Army Store. I paid $50.00 and look forward to seeing it refinished. My problem: it's cold here (it's gonna snow again tomorrow night) and I don't have a heated garage. So, how much time/many days might it take to finish it before I'll be able to use it. Btw, love your table's transition.

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  18. Love love love. You made that table look brand new and expensive. I love a dark stained table.

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  20. I have some outdoor furniture that I need to stain but I've been pretty petrified of the process. Thanks for the tutorial, will use it to move myself forward.

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  24. Can you share how the finish on the table has held up over the past couple of years?

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  26. after seeing this blog I can create my own Antique Dining Table, thanks and success to you :)

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