Stripping wooden dining room table – advise needed

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 2
Member
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

No help here, but we’re looking to do the exact same thing once we move.  Our current table is cherry and we definitely want to stain it darker. I’m just commenting so I can follow whatever help you get 🙂

Post # 3
Member
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It’s not hard – you just need the right tools.  

Go to the hardware store and buy some chemical stripper, a plastic scraper or two, some chemical resistant gloves and some chip brushes or foam brushes and a container of mineral spirits and a drop cloth if you want one.  If you don’t have one already, get a palm sander and some medium and fine grade sandpaper for it. Got a couple of medium and fine grade sanding blocks for crevices, corners and detail work.  Ask the staff for recommendations. 

Set up your table on the drop cloth outside in a well ventilated area and pour on a generous amount of the stripper and spread it evenly around the table top with your brush. You want a fairly thick coat so it doesn’t dry out but you also don’t need a ton.   It’s not necessary to work it in or to keep moving the stripper around.  Just a quick, even coat.  If you are stripping the entire table, do it in sections.  

Leave the stripper to sit for however long the instructions say – usually 15 or 30 minutes.  Do NOT let it dry out.  Put on your gloves and start gently scraping the stripper and the finish off your table.  You will want a coffee can or other aluminum or glass container for the stuff you scrape off.  The stripper is highly toxic so you don’t want to leave it on the ground or have it eat through your garbage can later.  Safety glasses are advisable.  Its also a good idea to keep a damp rag or some water handy in case the stripper gets on your skin because it will burn if not removed quickly.  It’s okay to be a little firm when you scrape but if you push too hard you could leave scratches or gouges in the wood.  

You may need to do this twice to get all or most if the finish off.  Don’t expect to get every last little bit off with just the stripper, just the lions share.  Once it’s off, neutralize the stripper with the clear mineral spirits and a lint free rag and allow to dry. 

Now plug in your palm sander to get rid of any residual finish and to smooth out the wood for your new finish.  Start with the medium grade and finish with the fine grade and be sure to sand in the same direction as the wood grain or you will leave scratches.  Use the sanding blocks for detail work and the final, fine sanding of the top.

Check out You Tube or the stripper manufacturers site for tips and tutorials. They’re very helpful. 

That’s it! 

Good luck!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  Zhabeego.
Post # 4
Member
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

lizardloo:  I’ve never worked with cherry but isn’t that a soft wood like pine? If so, you will need to use a gentle hand when refinishing so you don’t scratch or gouge the wood.  I believe that cherry also darkens naturally over time even with a stain so ask about that when choosing a new stain so you end up with the finish you want.

Post # 5
Member
2197 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

If you want to simply paint it instead of staining, you can get Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer. It can be used on pretty much any surface. I used it on a dresser I refurbished. You can sand first, but not needed with this primer. I think I did 2 coats of primer. The dresser was ornate with little nooks and crannies that I couldn’t get a sander into. 

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Zinsser-1-Qt-White-Bulls-Eye-1-2-3-Water-Based-Interior-Exterior-Primer-and-Sealer-2004/100398398?N=5yc1vZbt0tZ3mz

 

Post # 6
Member
2197 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

My dresser refurb project. 

Before:

Primed:Finished with new marble top:

Post # 7
Member
2197 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

sorry for the flipped middle photo!

Post # 8
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

McBezel:  CocoLoco523:  Zinsser’s is magical! And great for lazy furniture refinishers who want a professional finish.

I refinished our black laquered (possibly poly’d) side tables and just lightly sanded with a palm sander before using Zinsser’s Cover Stain oil-based primer. I looked up a lot of DIY forums and youtube videos before going ahead with the project. I was nervous about durability but after two coats of primer, two coats of white paint, and a coat Minwax polycrylic, the tables have turned out to be very durable though daily use and two moves.

If you’re planning on painting the table, you likely don’t even need to strip it.

Post # 9
Member
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

CocoLoco523:  Gorgeous job and I’ll third the recommendation for Zinssers.

OP, if you want to paint the table another good product is  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. You also don’t need to strip the original finish however, if it’s shiny, you still want to at least give at least scuff the finish with a sander so the paint adheres better.  The ASCP is very forgiving and easy to work with.  It’s also fairly expensive but if you use the wax it gives the paint a terrific buttery finish and feel. 

You can also use the clear and dark wax if you want to give the paint an aged, more dimensional look.  If you google it or search for it on Pinterest, you’ll get a ton of inspiration pics.  A very pretty combo is to stain the table top but paint the base.  Something like this:

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