Now that the rain is lightening up, I have had an opportunity to tackle refinishing our dining table. I love a round table, it seems a bit more communal. Since there is usually only two of us eating at the table (when we can pull ourselves away from the TV and couch), it’s a bit stiff sitting across from each other. The round table is awesome – only as close as you care to be.
This is the first time we have had room for a table since moving to Washington, so we have been putting a lot of thought into what we wanted. I knew a solid Oak table was expensive but I also knew you can get them quite frequently for free on Craigslists. The only problem was (and I have this problem quite often) that I wanted it at that very moment. So, when we found an oak table to Goodwillys for $65 and talked them down to $50… SOLD. I had done quite a bit of research on how to sand and stain/paint an oak table and learned that Oak tables love to absorb stain. So I made sure I had enough stain and and all my supplies before I began my project. I knew I wanted the top to be sanded a dark walnut and the bottom to be white.
I rolled the table top outside and brought the leaf along to refinish at the same time. The table had a bit of marker on it and general nastiness that I was glad to bid ado. I used my rotary sander and my drexel tool to get into the crevices. After the entire top surface and the lip had been sanded, I wiped of the excess sanding dust and let it dry in the sun.
A bit of marker about to meet it’s enemy the sander.
Ready for some conditioning.
The worst part was over! Now onto the coloring magic. BUT WAIT! I wanted this to be a quality piece which meant I needed to condition the wood first! I knew I wanted to get down to the fun part, but I also knew I didn’t want to do this entire process again.
I applied the wood conditioning treatment just like you do stain. It didn’t smell like something I should have been breathing in, so I was happy I only needed to apply one coat.
After letting the conditioning soak in and dry, I excitedly jumped into staining. I had chosen Dark Walnut for this project and I threw on the first coat.
It seemed so light! I knew after the first coat that I would need to apply nearly 6 coats to achieve the dark nuttyness I wanted. I threw on the second coat after the first had dried.
First coat on the Left and second coat on the Right
And after the second coat, I threw on the third coat…
The table was becoming darker, but it wasn’t absorbing the rich dark brown I had hoped for. And like any professional painter, I decided now was a great time to mix my stains. I gathered a can of Kona stain from the basement and mixed it with the Dark Walnut and without looking back, I put on a coat.
And hope slowly resurfaced in my mixture of Kona and Dark Walnut which we will now call Dr. Walona. I wasn’t so sure that I needed two coats of Dr. Walona, so I let the first coat dry and then headed onto another round of Dark Walnut. It was getting late and I wasn’t sure how dark it would dry, so after 4 coats of Dark Walnut and one coat of Dr. Walona, I went to bed and anxiously awoke to this:
anad I was OK with it! It had dried very evenly and I loved the wood grain. The color was on par. I knew I wanted it a bit darker, so I did one more coat of Dr. Walona and then moved onto the sealant. The wood sealant was all it needed. It was finally the perfect shade of Dr. Walona.
“It’s not rich mahogany, but it will do.”
It was finally done! Well…..Almost done:
I still have to finish the bottom. And yes, if you’re thinking that sanding into the angles of the beautifully articulate base is hindering me, than yes, you are exactly correct. I’m thinking I may just prime it and paint it white… someday. For now, we are enjoying our table top and sitting however far or close to each other we like.
Just a reminder: