How to refinish a coffee table

How to refinish a coffee table

Really, no– developers as well as woodworkers aren’t the just one that can redecorate a table. You can offer your trusty-but-a-little-beat-up flea market discover an entire brand-new lease on life in simply a couple of actions, despite whether you have actually ever before possessed sandpaper. (And also practically, you do not also require sandpaper if you ' re intending to repaint the surface area instead of tarnish it– below are your alternatives if you’re seeking to avoid that action.) As soon as you have actually redecorated your table, you can utilize every one of your newly found expertise on that particular one weak cabinet you have, on that particular could-be-really-great side table, on that particular second-hand sideboard. Go to community– below’s just how to obtain it done.

Initially, Purchase a Couple Of Products

All-purpose cleansing spray as well as a fabric or paper towels
Coarse sandpaper(60-, 120-, as well as 360- grit)
A block or mechanical sander
A tidy, completely dry tack fabric
Discoloration(or guide as well as paint)

Currently, Below ' s Exactly how to Redecorate a Table

1. Comprehend what you ' re dealing with. Furnishings developer Andrew Hamm warns you to “focus on the degree of information on the item prior to you begin. Superornamental furnishings is mosting likely to bore, so if you ' ve never ever redecorated anything, keep away from items with way too many hand-carved information, scrollwork, or dilemmas.” Strong timber is a far better prospect for redecorating than veneer, which often tends to be thinner. (And also for that issue, wear ' t effort to redecorate laminate either– it’s plastic, individuals.) If you’re not exactly sure what type of timber surface area you ' re dealing with, Hamm advises checking out the grain pattern: “If it duplicates throughout the size of the grain, it ' s veneer, due to the fact that it ' s been rotary-sliced off a solitary log to make a sheet.”

2. Tidy, tidy, tidy. The largest error first-timers make with refinishing is not investing adequate time prepping the surface area. Prior to you also reach removing the existing surface, extensively wipe any kind of dust, oil, or oil (or else, you’ll simply be grinding every one of that right into the timber as you sand). Utilize your typical cleansing materials below, like versatile cleanser.

3. Strip the very first surface. Beginning with your roughest sandpaper (60- grit), sand complying with the grain to do away with what gets on the table currently: varnish, old paint, whatever. You obtain incentive factors for doing this all by hand, sure, yet a mechanical sander will certainly make the work go, cough, much smoother. Currently clean down your table with a tack fabric so it’s without dirt, after that address the surface area once more, this time around with your 120- grit.

4. Use your shade or tarnish– or even better, no shade in any way. “As soon as I remove whatever off raw timber, I’ll go right for an oil,” Andrew states. “Furnishings oils sink in as well as shield timber past the surface area, can be reapplied in the future, as well as highlight abundant shades in the timber without luster.” Attempt teak wood oil for denser timbers, or tung or Danish oil for versatile ending up. If you do not enjoy the all-natural shade of the timber, discover a discolor you like, yet do not attempt to reproduce the shade of what the item made use of to be– as well as if there ' s a solitary broken area, you ' ll intend to redecorate the entire table versus trying to spot-refinish: “No tarnish will certainly match the method your granny’s walnut table matured in the sunlight of her dining-room for 60 years,” states Andrew. If you’re discoloring, clean whatever down, do one layer, allow it completely dry, and after that do a pass with your finest sandpaper (360- grit) as well as clean away any kind of dirt. Apply an additional layer, as well as an additional if you choose– everything relies on the deepness of shade you’re trying to find. (If you’re priming as well as paint, sand the guide layer as quickly as that’s totally completely dry, as well as after that wage paint. Yet Andrew cautions that paint isn’t as sturdy as an oil, specifically for a high-traffic furniture piece like a table.)

It’s clear that we below at Home Beautiful allow followers of vintage as well as antique furnishings—– all the a lot more so when it has an individual tale affixed. So, it must come as not a surprise that of our staff member hauled her granny’s midcentury Bassett Furnishings coffee table right from Kansas to Brooklyn, where it holds spotlight in her living-room. Yet, after some 70 years of wear—– in addition to the cross back road journey—– the table wanted a little tender loving care. So, we took the task on, bringing the table to the Home Beautiful workshop to offer it a refinish that would certainly bring it back to its previous magnificence—– as well as make sure at the very least an additional 70 years of usage. Below’s just how we did it—– as well as just how you can do the very same to that messy vintage in your garage.

How to refinish a coffee table


1. Tidy

With any kind of redecorating task, you’ll intend to begin by guaranteeing your surface area is tidy as well as dirt cost-free. Clean it down with a moist fabric—– specifically if it’s been being in an attic room for some time.

How to refinish a coffee table

2. Eliminate Lacquer


If your table has a lacquer surface, you’ll require to eliminate that prior to you can re-stain the timber. Use a lacquer thinner, allow it rest for the moment defined on the product packaging, and after that scuff it off with a paint scrape. Proceed this procedure till all lacquer is gotten rid of.

How to refinish a coffee table

3. Eliminate Lacquer Slimmer


As soon as you have actually obtained all lacquer off, use Mineral Spirits to the surface area to liquify the excess lacquer thinner.

4. Sand

Sand any kind of unequal locations with 150 grit sandpaper till the shade is consistent. Sand once more with 200 grit to smooth the surface area. After that clean with a tack fabric so the surface area is dust-free.

How to refinish a coffee table

5. Discoloration

Currently, time for the tarnish. Prior to you tarnish, evaluate the period on an item of scrap timber or paint stirrer so you recognize how much time you intend to leave the tarnish for your preferred shade. When you have actually chosen, use the timber surface of your option in also strokes utilizing a paintbrush. Repaint towards the timber grain. Rub out the tarnish with a tidy tack fabric.

How to refinish a coffee table

6. Sand


Back to the sanding: Sand with 200 grit to also emerge.

7. Varnish

Apply varnish overcoat with a brand-new paintbrush, towards the timber grain. Allow completely dry over night.

8. Sand as well as Lover

Provide the surface area a last sand with 200 grit to enthusiast.

And also voilà! You have actually obtained a table that’s much like brand-new—– yet so better.

How to refinish a coffee table

Simple, strong timber coffee tables as well as even more elaborate, laminated ones all function as databases for beverages as well as treats, as well as they as necessary require a sturdy surface to shield them. Nitrocellulose lacquer, splashed from a compressed-air powered spray weapon, gives this defense without concealing the all-natural charm of the timber. To get the most effective outcomes, you need to remove the old surface from the table as well as prepare the timber by cautious sanding. Removing, fining sand as well as splashing are all treatments best carried out in a shut, well-ventilated room like a workshop, cellar or garage, yet you can likewise function outdoors on a tranquil day.

Establish the table in addition to numerous sheets of old paper or, if you have one, a tray huge sufficient to suit all 4 legs. Examine the existing completed with lacquer thinner so you recognize what type of pole dancer to acquire. If the thinner softens the surface, after that it’s lacquer. If the surface does not soften, it’s varnish or polyurethane. You require a more powerful pole dancer in the last instance.

Repaint the pole dancer over the whole table with an old paintbrush as well as offer it time to soften the surface as well as kind bubbles. If you’re eliminating lacquer, you need to have the ability to abrade the majority of the completed with crude steel woollen. If eliminating varnish or polyurethane, nonetheless, you’ll possibly require to scuff with a paint scrape. Use rubber handwear covers as well as safety glasses throughout this treatment.

Take the table outdoors as well as clean it with water to counteract the pole dancer. The most effective method to do this is to just spray it with a yard tube and after that rub out the water quickly with a dustcloth. If the top is laminated, clean it down with a damp cloth rather than splashing it, specifically if the laminate is raising. Allow the table completely dry prior to continuing.

Re-glue any kind of laminate that is coming loose by putting a towel over it as well as establishing a curling iron in addition to the towel. Establish the iron to regarding two-thirds of its greatest setup. The warm must reactivate the adhesive. Touch the laminate pull back with a wood club.

Sand the strong timber components of the table with an orbital sander as well as 100- grit sandpaper. Usage 120- grit paper on laminated areas. Hand-sand edges as well as holes in molding or utilize a rotating device as well as a fining sand drum device. Sand gently near the sides of laminated surface areas to stay clear of putting on via the laminate.

Sand the whole table by hand with 150- grit sandpaper to prepare it for ending up. By fining sand along the grain of the timber, you need to have the ability to eliminate the majority of the swirl notes left by the orbital sander.

Get rid of the paper or ground cloth from your job bench, change it with a fresh treatment as well as established the table back in position. Spread tarnish, if preferred, by repainting it on with a paintbrush as well as rubbing out the unwanted prior to it dries out. Allow the tarnish completely dry over night.

Prepare a spray weapon by hooking it approximately a compressor as well as connecting in the compressor. Place on a respirator. Fill up the mug of the spray weapon to the 3/4 degree with lacquer fining sand sealant. Holding the weapon upright, spray a complete damp layer over the entire table, beginning with the legs as well as sides as well as conserving the top for last.

Allow the fining sand sealant completely dry, which takes much less after that 30 mins. Sand the whole table by hand with 220- grit sandpaper. This will certainly reduce the grain as well as produce a smooth substratum for ending up. Rub out the fining sand dirt with a dustcloth.

Put the extra sanding sealant out of the mug as well as change it with lacquer. Examine the spray to make certain it’s also as well as does not sputter. If it does, mix an ounce or even more of thinner right into the lacquer. When you are pleased with the spray pattern, spray a complete damp layer on the table.

Allow the lacquer completely dry as well as sand it with 400- grit wet/dry sandpaper. Rub out the fining sand dirt as well as spray an additional layer. Repeat this procedure at the very least once again. If you intend to accumulate the surface on the top, where even more defense in required, spray it numerous a lot more times.

Although some individuals favor the antique look of a made use of, damaged old coffee table, others favor to maintain that freshly-painted as well as new appearance. In time, all coffee tables endure damage that breaks down the surface as well as paint or tarnish. If you intend to improve your coffee table it’s a basic issue of redecorating the surface area as well as using your preferred shade to revive an old furniture piece.

Eliminate Old Paint

If you are dealing with a coffee table that has an existing layer of paint, you need to initially eliminate the old paint to subject the timber listed below. This removes high/low factors where the old paint has actually cracked off, leaving “spaces” without any paint. Furthermore, brand-new paint as well as guide stick much better to the raw timber than to an older, dried, broken as well as unclean layer of paint.

A putty blade is the device of option to peel off away layers of existing paint, yet a cord brush likewise can be found in convenient. For finest outcomes, utilize a paint pole dancer together with your putty blade. Saturate the existing paint with the remedy according to the maker’s guidelines to soften the paint for elimination.

If you require to utilize a paint pole dancer, make certain to aerate the space or operate in an exterior setup to stay clear of breathing in fumes. If the existing paint remains in great problem, you might repaint straight over it, given you sand it as well as utilize guide initially.

Eliminate Old Complete as well as Discolor

Discoloration is various than paint due to the fact that it drops right into the timber, not simply finish the top, which indicates you can not just peel off away the leading layer to subject the timber. While you can repaint over old tarnish, it is far more tough than paint over raw timber, which is an all-natural shade.

For finest outcomes, you require to eliminate the leading layer of tarnish to subject the raw timber below, along with eliminate the existing surface shielding the tarnish. This is done by fining sand. An 80 to 100 grit paper eliminates the surface as well as sands the leading layer of tarnish down. Do this by hand, or utilize a hand sander or belt sander for broad open locations of a table. If you intend to smooth the table down much more after elimination, utilize greater grits of paper to accomplish the degree of level of smoothness you want.

Prime the Surface Area

Although guide isn’t always needed on timber coffee tables where you use paint straightaway, non-wood surface areas need to initially be keyed to ensure that the paint sticks correctly. Guide is used equally as paint is: with a sprayer, roller or paint brush, based upon individual choice. For finest outcomes, utilize a guide made by the very same maker as the paint you select for your table. Constantly utilize a kind of paint made for the product of your coffee table, such as timber, plastic or steel.

Paint as well as Finishing

Paint application is greater than simply slapping on a layer of paint. Most of the times, numerous layers will certainly be needed to accomplish the last shade you want, yet it is likewise essential to utilize the ideal application approach for your selected surface. For finest outcomes, do an examination on a scrap item of timber or drywall.

Paint brushes, despite just how great the brush, leave mild imprints, or touches, from the brush strokes. Rollers can leave a somewhat pock-marked surface area, although the greater the top quality of the roller, the smoother the surface. Spray-on layers, either from a spray weapon or a spray can, leave one of the most also, consistent finish, as long as you take your time as well as do not permit drips.

Various other techniques consist of rag-daubing, sponge-daubing, pattern sponges as well as splatter techniques where a brush is trembled over the surface area to splash paint. Later on, use a layer of surface to shield the paint.

You discovered the excellent coffee table. The only issue? It requires a little love to bring it back to life. Believe you require to work with an expert? Reconsider. Redecorating an old table calls for a couple of actions, yet it is less complicated than you assume. You can do this! With our easy-to-follow overview on just how to redecorate your timber table, you can take your own from worn-out to posh in much less than a week.

Initial points initially, prior to you start your timber table remediation, offer the item a detailed assessment to make sure absolutely nothing requirements to be fixed. Enhance shaky legs with concealed screws. Bear in mind that strong timber items are much better prospects for redecorating than veneered ones. Likewise, keep in mind that the even more information an item has, the more challenging it will certainly be to tarnish or repaint. Preferably, you desire a table with very little sculpting as well as cleaner lines. Do not fret about scrapes as well as watermarks– they will certainly all be fined sand off later on.

Following, you will certainly require to choose if you will certainly repaint or tarnish the table as there is a somewhat various procedure for every. Tarnished items often tend to be a lot more sturdy as well as stand much better to utilize than repainted ones. From a layout viewpoint, all-natural as well as discolored timber serves as a neutral as well as will certainly bring heat right into a space. Repainted items offer you a lot more alternatives as well as can be made use of to lug a shade tale throughout an area.

Have an item you enjoy the surface on, yet it has damages? Simply understand that you will certainly not have the ability to match the surface from a 50- year-old table exactly, so if you are discoloring, take a look at this as a new beginning. You might have the ability to obtain it close, yet you take the years old as well as personality with it anytime you redecorate an older item.

What you require:

  • All-purpose cleanser
  • Fabric towel or paper towels
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • A completely dry, tidy tack fabric
  • Furnishings oil, tarnish, or guide as well as paint


Among one of the most essential actions that lots of new refinishers avoid is cleaning up. This is where the all-purpose cleaner as well as towels enter into play. Utilize some effort to cleanse away any kind of dust as well as particles. Enter every edge to make certain the whole surface area is extensively tidy.


The following action is to remove the existing surface area– tarnish, repaint, or varnish– so you have a fresh one to collaborate with. Begin with 60- grit sandpaper as well as select the grain of the timber. You can do this with a mechanical sander or by hand. As soon as you have actually discussed the whole table, clean it down with the tack fabric, and after that review it once more with 120- grit sandpaper.

Use brand-new surface

This is the factor where you have alternatives. Below are your leading 3:

  • Usage furnishings oil to shield the timber as well as highlight the abundant shade without the luster. For a denser timber, usage teak wood oil as well as tung or Danish for versatile ending up.
  • If the all-natural shade of the timber does not collaborate with your visual, you can tarnish your coffee table. Include one layer of tarnish, allow it completely dry, review it with the finest sandpaper, as well as include an additional layer of tarnish.
  • For repainting your coffee table, you will certainly intend to use a layer of guide. Allow guide totally completely dry as well as sand with great sandpaper. Wipe tidy as well as use paint.

Last action

If you select to utilize oil, your item is full. If you picked tarnish or repaint for your coffee table, a clear layer is advised to offer the item better long life. You will certainly intend to try to find polyurethane or polyacrylic. Both of these items will certainly require 2 layers, as well as you need to allow them completely dry as well as sand with great sandpaper in between every one.

Whether your table is a second hand shop discover or a family members prize, providing any kind of item brand-new life will certainly offer you an unique aspect that can be completely customized to enter your room. Not just is sprucing up older items a significantly minded point to do, yet it likewise provides the total layout a lot more individuality as well as rate of interest. As soon as you see just how very easy this do it yourself task is, it might simply have you reconsidering various other items throughout your house.