21 July 2010

How To: Refurbish a Table

1. Find an expensive table that you really like.

2. Now, go find a table on Craig's List for really cheap.

3. Locate some safety glasses. "Remember, the most important part in shop safety, are these safety glasses." -Norm Abram of The New Yankee Workshop

4. Start tearing things up. I chose to completely strip the top of my table down. Beginning with an 80 grade sandpaper, I used a belt sander. When sanding wood, remember to go with the woodgrain. If you don't the wood will look scratched when you begin staining it.

5. Sand the table until smooth. If you use a belt sander watch the edges- they are very sensitive and easily get their feelings hurt. (They are thin and are worn down quickly.)

6. Wipe table down with a dry cloth. Make sure to get all of the wood shavings!

7. Start staining! Me gusta mucho Minwax stains. To stain, dip a clean cloth into the stain, then wipe onto the table. Don't let it pool, and be sure to wear gloves and "play clothes."

8. Allow stain to dry overnight.
9. To protect the wood, apply multiple coats of polyurethane. Dad recommends applying 3 coats and lightly sanding with a high grade sandpaper between coats.

10. Let polyurethane coats dry for 1 day before applying another. Humid conditions might make it take longer to dry.

11. I painted the pedestal of my table in an effort to copy the expensive table pictured earlier.


  1. I couldn't believe you wanted to paint over that beautiful wood grain on the bottom part of the table. Good job on the top part, though! Norm would be proud.

  2. You should be a school teacher Julziee! You are getting the demo thing down well!

  3. Oh girl, this is perfect-o! Loved the step by step photography...love the finished product. REFURB stuff rules. :)

  4. Norm would never steer you wrong. I hear he has a cousin, named Steve (last name).

  5. Hi There! I work for FITEC, a Forest and wood manufacturing organisation that develops study materials.
    Would it be possible to use the image in part 7 in a study guide showing staining furniture with a cloth? We are after a nice image to use and there are not a lot out there, and yours is perfect for our use.

    Please contact me via email, kathryn.wheeler@fitec.org.nz

    Many thanks