A table with a sticky old finish isn't one you look forward to sitting down and having a meeting at. You lose focus when you have to peel your papers off of the table from 1975 as you stand up to give your presentation. Something had to be done, the options were to burn it, or re-finish it!
I took on a huge, giant, unusual project a while back, and while the photos aren't fantastic, I still wanted to share. There is a good lesson tucked into this project that will be an encouragement to you.
A family friend at church mentioned he was in charge of remodeling their customer conference room at work. He showed me photos of a very outdated and HUGE conference table and asked my opinion as to if it could be refinished. It was hard to tell, so I drove to the office to take a look.
This is what the table looked like. It was an old shiny finish, which was sticky and worn. The veneer had bubbled in certain places, and it was just a wreck. I wasn't completely sure it could be sanded down and re-stained - but I did know it couldn't get any worse!
The table is so large it had to be done in my garage and to save a dusty mess I hooked up my shop-vac to the end of my sander and sanded down the table that way. Talk about an arm workout. But I was so happy to find a beautiful wood grain underneath all that sticky old varnish.
I used 80 grit sandpaper on my pad sander to get through this finish, then finished up with 120 grit to smooth it out.
The table needed to stay close to the same color, as some of the wood trim wasn't changing in the design of the room. But, I wanted to make the color a little more brown than red (to modernize it) and lighten it up a bit to keep the gorgeous grain from being covered up too much. I mixed General Finishes Rosewood and Brown Mahogany Water Based Stains until I got a color I was happy with.
Because my surface was so large and to keep the stain from drying too quickly, I used a stain pad for this project. It applies a large amount quickly so you can keep a wet edge. I still did each part of the table in 4 sections, wiping back with a clean rag as I went.
Once the stain was dry, I sealed it with three coats of High Performance Top Coat in Flat finish sanding between each coat. General Finishes HP does a great job leveling as it dries so I wasn't too concerned with brush strokes in my finish even on such a large piece.
Again, a flatter finish gives the table a more modern look, and allows for the wood grain to be the focal point.
Isn't it pretty??
The bases were painted black and sealed with High Performace Topcoat in Flat also - that give a little shine and helps the paint from being scuffed by feet under the table.
I recorded this video on my Facebook page, it was a bit of an intimidating project, but one that I'm sure glad I said YES to!
Because of the size and weight of the table I didn't get a great final photo, but you can see here - it's done and so much prettier than when I started!
Now it's back in the conference room ready for customers and business deals.
Be encouraged, and say YES!