Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Resurfacing an Oak Dining Table

Hey there folks! Hope you all had a wonderful mothers day. I almost forgot about it out here in Dubai, but still got a nice dress and the best hugs and kisses from the kids. Isn't that what it's all about?

Speaking of forgetting, I had a project that has been long overdue for sharing. It was a project I did during my first trip back to the States. While staying at my mother-in-law's house, I noticed her dining table was extremely sticky, I tried scrubbing it down with soap, water and a coarse scrub, but nothing worked. I realized the 30+ year old table needed to be sanded down and stained.

Thirty years of collecting grime, dust, oils from food and what not left quite the surface for me to sand down. The before and after may not seem so shockingly different in the photos, but if you can just imagine the difference between a brand new table and sticky paper fly trap then you'll get the idea.


You can see up close the grimy sticky coating that plagued the surface. 

50, 100, 150, and 200 grit sanding paper. The smaller the number the coarser the paper
Taping (joint) knife, for scraping off the thick coating
Couple of foam brushes
Tack cloth
Wood conditioner
Wood stain

Start with pre-stain wood conditioner, followed by the oak wood stain, and seal with a protective polyurethane coat. I used three different brands and was pleasantly pleased with the quality of all three. 

I started off with sanding, but quickly realized it wasn't cutting it. The black spots accumulated on the sandpaper  within seconds of sanding. The guck was prematurely coating it making it useless. I had to pick of the black dots of guck so the coarse paper could make contact with the table. Basically I was sanding the sand paper lol. I decided to use the taping knife to remove the access grime first and then continue with a very coarse sanding paper 

If you ever wondered what tack cloth looks and feels like, it's a sticky mesh. I recommend wearing gloves as it's hard to wash off the residue. 

After the table had been sanded REALLY WELL and wiped down I applied the wood conditioner. Conditioner is supposed to help the wood absorb the stain evenly. I imagine this makes up for spots as a result to uneven sanding. 

Looking better already and that's only conditioner. 

Kid's always have to help. 

First coat of stain. 

I applied two coats of stain. After applying to the entire table I went back and wiped off the access. 

One coat of conditioner plus 2 coats of stain and one coat of polyurethane and I got a brand new soft and smooth surface. 

The whole project took about a weeks worth of time, but it was totally worth it. If you plan on resurfacing a very old table like this one just keep in mind it will take some elbow grease to sand down the old surface and you will need coarser sand paper than what is usually recommend by other bloggers. A newer table shouldn't take as long nor will it require such coarse sand paper. 150-200 grade paper is all you will need for a newer table.  

If any of you were wondering, I did not do the legs. I just didn't have the time or energy. Look at all the crevices of in the legs, just thinking about it makes me tired lol. Maybe on another trip I will get to them, but the priority was definitely the surface area. 

So what do you all think? Can you see a difference? Would you take on a project like this? I say do it! Under $100 for all the supplies vs. a few hundred for a brand new (and most likely cheaper quality) table is a steal. A big thank you for stopping by! 


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