How to Refinish a Dining Room Table – 7 DIY Money Saving Methods


It’s a simple task to restore the worn or old furniture within the home. You can complete this task using self-aid without the assistance of experts. You don’t require an expensive tool to accomplish this job, and it can be accomplished with basic materials. But, it requires an amount of time and works to finish tables for dining. So, this guide is primarily about “how to refinish a dining room table?” If you are prepared to tackle this task, you’ll find helpful tips to follow. It is important to set up the necessary items to get started. This article will help you to refinish a dining room table.

How to refinish a dining room table

Find out how to refinish a dining room table, remove the old finish, paint the legs, finish the top, and ensure that it lasts for many years. If you looked at my table from afar, you thought I was crazy to call it old. It’s an absolutely stunning table with stunning wood grain and stunning particulars. From a distance, it’s not quite as stunning as they appear.

Beware of safety measurements

Self-safety is the primary factor, and you should never overlook it. Whatever chemicals you use to complete the task, make sure you wear safety gloves and glasses to protect your hands and your eyes, skin, and allergic reactions caused by the chemical. Make sure you’re wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Make sure you select an area to refinish the table with ample air circulation.

Remove the tabletop

Begin refinishing the surface table using either a cotton towel or paper rags. This will assist in removing the grease and dirt from the table’s surface. By doing this, you can prepare the table surface for stripping or sanding to get rid of the paint that has been used up.

Peel the surface

Remove the varnished or painted surface of your table properly. This can help clean the table thoroughly. Make use of any of the recommended non-allergic stripping chemicals for this task. Spray the chemical for stripping all over the table, and allow it to sit for the time recommended. It can soften the surface of the table and, consequently, aid in easy stripping. Next, clean and strip off the table using the help of a knife. Remove the entire stain and old paint off the surface. Be cautious about squeezing the wood.

It depends on the coating’s thickness and the number of striping coats needed. To get the best smooth surface for sanding, make sure to strip it at least two times.

Use mineral spirits

After thoroughly stripping the tabletop, scrub the tabletop using the spirit. Make use of a clean cloth that has been soaked in spirit to clean the tabletop that has been stripped. Clean it thoroughly before letting it dry completely. Re-clean it if you aren’t sure about the cleanliness. Make sure you’ve created an attractive and clean area for the proper sanding.


After completing your stripping, cleaning, and polishing of the table’s surface, smooth it out. Sanding can be very efficient in making the surface of the wood smooth and polished for a perfect finish. Be aware of the roughing of the wood surface when you’re using the belt or orbital sander. But, a sanding set that includes 150-grit, 10-grit and 220-grit sandpapers is used to smooth out the finish to achieve the perfect finish or paint application.

In the beginning, smooth the surface using sandpaper with 100-grit. Then, do similarly using the sandpaper of 150-grit, and then use the 220-grit sandpaper, which will give the surface a perfectly smooth. Then, sand the surface until you’ve achieved an even surface.

After sanding the tabletop thoroughly, clean it using an old towel or cloth.

Colour the surface

After making your surface extremely smooth and clear, the following step involves applying the stain. Apply the stain using an empty brush. Apply the stain to the tabletop in a thick layer and allow it to soak for a couple of minutes. After a couple of minutes, remove the excess amount using the help of a cotton rag. Also, rub the stain into the cracks with cotton.

Keep in mind that the longer the stain remains on the wood and the longer it left on the surface, the darker its final shade. Apply the small amount slowly to ensure that it removes effortlessly. Apply stain in at minimum two coats for the best outcomes. But, you may opt for a higher coat if you like dark furniture colours. The staining causes wood to expand. Therefore you need to sand the wood after each coat to eliminate the wood’s swelling. This will aid in the proper staining.

Draining the table legs

I decided to paint the legs of the table instead of painting them for several reasons. I didn’t want to remove the stain from all the corners and crevices of the table. Luckily I love the appearance of a table that has painted legs in white and a wooden top. Although painting is easier than cleaning, you must follow certain steps. The first step in painting furniture is to clean it. It is essential to remove the greasy residue, crumbs and dust to leave a clean spot where the paint will adhere to.

After washing, I applied the painter’s adhesive and heavy wrapping paper to cover the newly stripped tabletop to shield it from damage during paint. For painting white furniture, I begin with a quality primer or sealer to stop the wood’s tannins from getting into the paint and causing yellowing of the finish. In this instance, I decided to spray Zinsser Bullseye Clare Shellac.

Because it is spray paint, it was fast to apply it to the details and turns of my table’s apron and legs. Apply it in two layers of sealer, and when it was dry, I applied General Colors’ Milk Paint Snow White. Two coats of the paint were applied with the HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer. Naturally, you could also use a paintbrush to apply your paint. It’s just taking longer. I used a paintbrush to fill in a few areas that the sprayer did not achieve a good job hitting.

Add the finish

After the stain’s final coat is completely cured (typically for 24 or more hours), apply polyurethane by the manufacturer’s instructions, or apply Tung oil. The table should be left after staining for at least 12 hours. But, a delay that is 24 hours between the application of finishing and staining could be extremely effective. After the table has dried thoroughly, it is time to apply the polyurethane or tung oil. You can buy one of these according to your preference to get more effective outcomes. You will find the process of applying this finish on the package. Apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cover the table with the chemical at least two times to keep it in good working order even after long-term use.

Another option for polyurethane to use for a finish is Citristrip. Based on the finish of your table surface, you may decide to wrap the table with plastic wrap after applying the Citristrip and allow it to sit for several hours (but not longer than 24 hours, following the directions on the label). After applying, finishing a minimum of two times, Let the table set to dry for a minimum of 24 hours. Following this, you can make it a dining table again.

How to refinish a dining room table: Tips

Varnish can be difficult to apply, and shellac isn’t durable. Tung oil is a slow-drying product and requires multiple coats. For the non-pro, I’d suggest an oil-based polyurethane wipe-on. I’ve utilized it on various tables that I constructed as part of the New Yankee Workshop and for personal use. It provides excellent protection and the look of an oil finish that is hand-rubbed and is simple to apply. It also dried faster than the brush-on polyurethanes. This means you’re less likely to see dust getting into the finish. There are wipe-on polys that contain water; however, they dry transparent as glass. I love the way oils-based formulas give hue to wood.

If I’m applying this finish, I design my own applicator using an unrolled, clean piece of cotton cloth held by a binder clip. The clip helps keep my fingers clear of the finish. I put the poly in the bowl of paper, dip the cloth in the finish, and spread it out on the table. The trick is to apply the poly in continuous, long strokes, one after the next, always keeping a damp edge.

Be careful not to apply too much at once. Thicker coats are easier to level and dry quicker than thick ones. Many manufacturers recommend three coats. I generally apply more. After each coat has dried for a couple of hours, scratch it using 220-grit sandpaper. Clean off the dust using the help of a cloth dampened with denatured alcohol. Once you’re finished, it should be an impeccable finish that is durable and food safe after drying.


Refinishing the dining table properly can help bring back the original shine and glow. This isn’t a daunting job and only requires effort and the right supplies. Careful maintenance and maintenance make the furniture of your home robust and beautiful. Therefore, you should give a good finish to your dining table, and it will appear brand new. After a thorough refinishing, you’ll feel a bit embarrassed because I try to steer completely clear of it when looking at furniture pieces. Hope that this guide can help you to finish your dining table properly.

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