Friday, February 28, 2014

Refinishing a Dining Table

*I am linking up my table project to the DIY Show Off's That DIY Party

My latest project has definitely been a learning process.  This is project #2 from this post.  I knew that I have wanted to refinish this dining set since I bought it on Craigslist over a year ago.  The set is made by Basic Witz furniture company and I am guessing that it was made in the mid-1960's.  We bought the set for $200 and it included 3 leaves (2 were homemade and warped so we got rid of those) and 6 chairs.  The table was in extremely good condition with only a few water stains on the table top.  My cat added a huge water stain to the table top, however, because he has a propensity to knock over any water container in his reach.  The chairs have a little bit more noticeable wear especially in the places where the wood veneer is chipping off.

I loved the shape of the table but I wasn't a fan of the orangy hue of it.  I considered painting but after seeing several other bloggers strip and stain dining tables I decided to give it a go.  The first step was to strip the table of the old finish.  The table has a wood veneer but thankfully it is nice and thick.      I used Citristrip, some scrapers, steel wool, and a couple of old t-shirts for this step.  I'm not going to lie, it was definitely some messy business.
Then I hand sanded the whole table with varying grits of sandpaper starting with a coarser grit ending with the least coarse grit.  After that I cleaned the table making sure to remove all sawdust.

The next step was applying pre-stain wood conditioner.  This step helps raise the grain of the wood so that the stain will be absorbed better. 
Don't mind my palm sander in the pic above.  I did not actually use it because I didn't want to damage my table.  Then I applied the stain. I used Minwax wood stain in Espresso.
After 20 minutes I wiped off the excess stain with paper towels.
Then I left the table to dry.  At this point I hit a bit of a snag because after more than a day it was still tacky.  So I wiped the whole table down with mineral spirits which left the table a little lighter than I had originally intended but I was still satisfied with the results so I decided to leave it.

I decided to add a fun little detail to my table and taped off the bottom 10 inches of each leg, primed, and painted them with leftover Martha Stewart Vintage Gold paint from this project.  My final step was to apply a rub-on poly coat.  I did two coats total.  Here is what I ended up with.

One other thing that happened in the course of this project was a giant diy disaster.  I decided to refinish the table in the dining  room since moving the table would be hard and it is cold in North Dakota at this time of year so both the basement and garage aren't very pleasant options.  I put a tarp under the table but I am wishing that I had selected a bigger tarp.  I accidently tipped over the can of stain and watched a giant dark puddle ooze all over my hardwood dining room floor.  I was kind of in a paralysis for a moment and then I was frantically wiping up the puddle with anything I could find.  Thankfully, I opted to buy the large jug of mineral spirits because I definitely needed it.  My socks were covered in stain as was various spots on my body.  It was definitely not a shining moment in my diy career. 

I think that I am happy with the results.  I like the depth that the stain added to the tabletop even if the job isn't totally perfect.  My next phase of this project will be to redo all of the chairs that came with the set.  I plan on painting these because of the damage to the wood veneer on most of the chairs.  I am also going to be recovering the seats.  I ordered some fabric swatches a week ago and found one that I think will work perfectly so I am excited to get the fabric in and start on those.  Stay tuned for an update of phase two of this project later this month.


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