How To Refinish A Table: A Complete Guide

  • 5 min read
  • Oct 14, 2023
A StepbyStep Guide To Refinish A Kitchen Table Love Love Love in
A StepbyStep Guide To Refinish A Kitchen Table Love Love Love in from

Greetings, Ihsanpedia Friends!

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to refinish a table. Whether you have an old table that needs a facelift or you simply want to revamp your furniture, refinishing a table can be a rewarding and creative project. In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of refinishing a table, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages along the way. So, let’s dive in!


Refinishing a table involves stripping off the old finish, sanding the surface, applying a new finish, and giving it a final touch. It’s a meticulous process that requires patience and attention to detail. But fear not, with the right tools and techniques, you can transform your table into a stunning centerpiece.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know, from selecting the right table for refinishing to choosing the perfect finish for your desired look. So, let’s get started on this exciting journey of table refinishing!

1. Selecting the Right Table

Before you begin refinishing a table, it’s important to choose the right one. Consider the size, style, and material of the table. Make sure it’s a table that you love and want to invest your time and effort into. Remember, refinishing a table is a labor-intensive process, so choose wisely.

2. Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

To successfully refinish a table, you will need a variety of tools and materials. Here’s a list of the essentials:

Tools Materials
Paint scraper Paint stripper
Sandpaper (various grits) Wood filler
Sanding block Stain or paint
Paintbrush or foam applicator Clear topcoat
Tack cloth Protective gloves
Masking tape Eye and respiratory protection

Make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials before starting the process. This will help ensure a smooth and efficient refinishing experience.

3. Stripping the Old Finish

The first step in refinishing a table is to strip off the old finish. This can be done using a paint stripper, which helps remove layers of paint or varnish. Apply the stripper evenly on the surface, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the finish starts to bubble, use a paint scraper to gently remove it. Be careful not to damage the wood underneath.

4. Sanding the Surface

After stripping off the old finish, it’s time to sand the surface. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining finish or imperfections. Gradually move to finer grits to achieve a smooth and even surface. Sand in the direction of the wood grain for the best results. Once you’re satisfied with the smoothness, wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris.

5. Repairing Damaged Areas

If your table has any dents, scratches, or gouges, now is the time to repair them. Use a wood filler to fill in the damaged areas. Apply the filler with a putty knife and smooth it out. Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and then sand it lightly to blend it with the rest of the surface.

6. Applying the New Finish

Now comes the exciting part – applying the new finish to your table. You have various options to choose from, such as stain, paint, or a combination of both. Consider the style and look you want to achieve. Apply the chosen finish evenly with a paintbrush or foam applicator, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Let it dry between coats, and apply additional coats if desired.

7. Adding the Final Touch

Once the finish has dried completely, it’s time to add the final touch to your refinished table. Apply a clear topcoat to protect the surface and enhance its durability. This will give your table a polished and professional look. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the topcoat and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Refinishing a table offers several advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore them in detail:


  1. Cost-effective: Refinishing a table is often more budget-friendly than buying a new one.
  2. Personalization: You can choose the finish and style that perfectly matches your taste and home decor.
  3. Preservation: Refinishing can restore an old or antique table, preserving its history and sentimental value.
  4. Creative Outlet: It’s an opportunity to showcase your creativity and DIY skills.
  5. Sustainability: Refinishing a table is an eco-friendly choice, as it reduces waste and promotes reuse.
  6. Learning Experience: It allows you to learn new skills and techniques in woodworking and furniture restoration.
  7. Satisfaction: The sense of accomplishment and pride in transforming an old table into a beautiful piece of furniture.


  1. Time-Consuming: Refinishing a table requires patience and can be a time-consuming process.
  2. Messy: Stripping off the old finish can create a messy environment with paint drips and debris.
  3. Chemical Exposure: Working with paint strippers and finishes may require protective gear to avoid chemical exposure.
  4. Complexity: Depending on the table’s condition and your desired outcome, refinishing can be a complex task.
  5. Skill Requirement: It requires some level of woodworking skills and knowledge of different finishes.
  6. Potential Damage: Incorrect techniques or excessive sanding can damage the table’s surface.
  7. Unforeseen Issues: Sometimes, hidden damages or structural issues may be uncovered during the refinishing process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I refinish a table without stripping off the old finish?

No, to achieve the best results and ensure a long-lasting finish, it’s recommended to strip off the old finish before refinishing a table.

2. How long does it take to refinish a table?

The time required depends on various factors, such as the size of the table, the complexity of the project, and the drying time of the chosen finishes. It can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.

3. What type of finish should I use?

The choice of finish depends on your desired look, the type of wood, and the table’s purpose. Common options include oil-based stains, water-based stains, paint, or a combination of stain and clear topcoat.

4. Can I refinish a table with veneer?

Refinishing veneer requires extra caution, as sanding too aggressively can damage the thin layer. It’s best to consult a professional or research specific techniques for refinishing veneer tables.

5. How do I maintain a refinished table?

To maintain a refinished table, avoid placing hot objects directly on the surface, use coasters for drinks, and clean spills immediately. Regularly dust the table and apply a fresh coat of topcoat as needed.

6. Can I refinish a table with intricate details?

Refinishing a table with intricate details requires extra care and attention. You may need to use smaller tools and take your time to reach all the nooks and crannies.

7. Is refinishing a table worth the effort?

While refinishing a table requires effort, it can be a worthwhile project for those who enjoy DIY and want to breathe new life into their furniture.


Congratulations! You now have a thorough understanding of how to refinish a table. From selecting the right table to applying the final touch, each step plays a crucial role in achieving a beautiful and durable finish. Remember to take your time, follow the instructions carefully, and enjoy the process. With the right tools and techniques, you can transform any table into a stunning piece of furniture that will be admired for years to come. So, why wait? Start refinishing your table today and unleash your creativity!

If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Happy refinishing!


Q: Can I