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Refinishing Your Tabletop

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Your dining room table receives frequent use.  It’s the spot for family meals, often multiple times per day, as well as homework, card games, and countless other projects and fun.  The tabletop surface inevitably shows scuffs, water marks, scratches, and more.  When the time comes, how do you refinish your tabletop and get it back into great condition?  Here are simple steps for refinishing your dining room table top:

  1. Make a plan. Examine the table to make sure you know what’s ahead for your refinishing project.  If any repairs are needed, be sure you understand how to make the repairs correctly.  Set up a work area for yourself in an area that is well ventilated.  You’ll need to be able to spread out a dropcloth and the table, and arrange your supplies.  It’s best if your work area is in a part of the house or garage that is not highly trafficked so that you’re out of the way in case the project takes longer than expected.
  2. Gather your supplies. You’ll need sandpaper or sanding blocks in both coarse (60- 120-grit) and fine (360-grit).  Consider using a mechanical sander if your table is large or in need of significant work.  You’ll also need several clean cloths and tack cloths, and then the stain or paint you’ve chosen.
  3. Clean the furniture. Be sure to clean the tabletop well before proceeding.  Use gentle household cleaners to rid all grease, oil, dirt, and debris.  This will make subsequent steps more successful.
  4. Remove existing finish. Using the roughest, lowest-grit sandpaper, remove the existing paint, varnish, or other finish.  Rub along the wood grain.  Wipe all dust and shavings off with a tack cloth and then repeat this process with 120-grit sandpaper.  Use chemical stripping agents with caution.  They can be caustic when mishandled, and can damage certain wood when used or applied incorrectly.
  5. Apply new finish. Apply the new stain, paint, or other finish you’ve chosen.  Be sure to apply it as directed, and wear protective gloves, eye covering, or respirators that may be called for.  Depending on your desired look, you might choose to apply a polyurethane or polycrylic clear coat.
  6. Finishing touches… Once the final coating has dried or cured, you’re ready to wipe down the tabletop and bring it back into use!

At this point, your tabletop should be looking handsome and ready for more family dinners and fun!  Tabletop refinishing can be a tricky or protracted DIY project, but almost always worth the effort!  Or, you can transform this checklist into a single step – simply call on a great local furniture refinishing shop, tell them how you want your tabletop to look, and trust the professionals with the job!

Northeast Florida homeowners in Atlantic Beach, Ponte Vedra, Riverside, Southside, and Fleming Island call on Jax Furniture Refinishing & Upholstering when it’s time for a tabletop, desk, headboard, or sectional to have work done.  Jax Furniture is the best furniture restoration service Jacksonville FL residents have trusted for years, and we’d love the honor of restoring your antique or other well loved furniture so that you can enjoy it again, and keep enjoying it for years to come!