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Monday, January 14, 2013

Tips on Refinishing Furniture

As you know, I completely rearranged the furniture in our family room when we put all of the Christmas decorations away on New Year's day.  Once the furniture was rearranged I realized that the new setup needed an end table on one side of the sofa.  I decided to shop my house and brought up an end table I was using in the basement. 
It was the right dimensions and the right wood tone and even had a leather top.  It was my husband's grandmother's table and a few years back he inherited it.  
At the time I did a very quick refinish on the top.
One, because at the time I was exhausted from refinishing this dresser my husband also inherited...
and two, because I thought I could get away with a mini-makeover.  It was fine when the table was in the basement, where there is minimal natural light.  But once I brought the table into our family room where we get tons of daylight through all of the windows, I knew I would have to bite the bullet and actually refinish the top for real this time.
I started by covering the leather top with newspaper and taping it all around.  You can really see outside how uneven the finish was.  I had literally only sanded the corners originally where the most extensive damage was and did a band-aid stain job.  
This time I got out my electric sander and sanded the finish off to the bare wood.  I think it's easier to sand that to get involved in chemical furniture stripping products.  Maybe I'm using the wrong products, but I have never been successful using them.
One issue I did have was this corner.  No matter how much I sanded, I couldn't get rid of those lighter spots.  I ended up letting the stain sit on those spots a bit longer which evened out the finish.
Next I stained the top in red mahogany.  You can see how the corners took the stain a bit more than the middle.  With the second coat of stain I only went over the light spots and got everything to even out.  
Once the stain was dry I added a coat of wipe on polyurethane.  It wasn't shiny enough for me, so for the second and third coat I added clear shiny polyurethane.  Be careful with polyurethane... you don't want to put it on too thick or it will look all wavy.  Never shake polyurethane or it will create bubbles.   I used a foam brush since the amount of surface I was covering was minimal.  I was careful not to over brush the polyurethane, but at the same time brushed long enough to work out any bubbles and minimize any brush strokes.  I sanded in between each of the coats using 320 grit sandpaper.

Here's the top all prettied up now.
Not easy to get a good picture of the beautiful grain, but this gives you the idea.
I'm so glad I went to the effort of refinishing the top of this beautiful table.
She looks beautiful in our family room.

The only thing left to make this table perfect will be if I can find it brass feet.  When we took the table it only had two brass feet with wheels as the other two had been broken off over the years.  I have the two good ones that I removed so that the table could stand.  I have been searching the internet for a match but have been unsuccessful so far.   
-Judy
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9 comments:

Laura from Top This Top That said...

so glad that you were able to bring that table back to it's beauty. I love refinishing furniture but don't like the sanding part which it the most important part of the process.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Beautiful job and the table is stunning. Such a pretty piece. Hugs, Marty

Debbiedoo's said...

Beautiful job on the table Judy. Very good idea. Happy Monday to you!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

It's a beautiful piece, Judy! So glad you refinished it. Have a great week!

ehtesham hyder said...

Great tips! you have done great job.
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At The Picket Fence said...

It looks so beautiful Judy! And I absolutely love how you rearranged your family room! :-)
Vanessa

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

What a gorgeous piece...just the type of piece that is perfect for the refinishing you did....great job...looks wonderful in the room!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

You have done an incredible job on that table, it was beautiful to begin with but my gosh you sure brought out all the beauty and shine...I am a new follower and can't wait to see more projects...come on over for a visit...

Minnesota Medic said...

Check out Lee Valley online for brass toe caps or casters. Whitechapel is another, but more expensive (wider range though).

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