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How To Refinish And Personalize A Wood Table

by Perry Chapman

If you are a bargain furniture hunter, you may spend a lot of time searching for special pieces. You can find some great pieces of furniture for inexpensive prices at garage sales and auctions. Sometimes, this furniture will need a bit of work in order to have it look pleasing. Older pieces can be scratched or worn. Here are some instructions that you can use to spruce up a wood table, personalizing it along the way.

You Will Need:

  • Paintbrush
  • Paint stripper
  • Putty knife
  • Steel wool
  • Medium and fine grit sandpaper
  • Dusting utensil
  • Shop vacuum
  • Wood stain
  • Cheesecloth
  • Photographs
  • Polyurethane

Prepping The Surface

You will want to strip any paint that was previously put on the table using a paintbrush and paint stripper. Brush on a coat of the paint stripper and wait for the amount of time as specified on the packaging. After allowing the stripper to soak into the wood, use a putty knife to scrape away any remnants of existing paint.

Do not press too hard into the surface as you do not want to leave any indentations. After scraping, dip a piece of steel wool into your paint stripper and lightly rub against any parts where the paint was not removed. The wool can get into crevices that the putty knife could not handle alone.

You will now want to sand the finish. Use a piece of medium grit sandpaper to lightly sand the table with the grain of the wood. Do the same with a fine grit sandpaper to smooth any rough surfaces.

Recoloring The Table

After sanding, use a dusting tool to dislodge any sawdust that may be left behind. Use a shop vacuum to further remove the debris from the surface of your table. You will now be ready to add stain.

When staining, use a paintbrush for even application. As soon as you get some color on the table, use a piece of cheesecloth to rub it into the surface and to mop up any excess color. This can be repeated for the entire surface until colored completely.

Personalizing The Table

Pick out several photographs that you could like to showcase on the top of your table. You can use a craft glue that is intended for d├ęcoupage. Adhere the photographs in a pleasing positioning with the craft glue. You will now want to cover the entire table with a polyurethane coating in order to seal the photographs and the stain color into place.

If you are uncomfortable with DIY projects, you can always take your furniture find to a professional, like those at The Strip Joint.