I am so excited about the new house that I wanted to start refreshing our furniture and matching it to our new house. I've been waiting to refinish our dinette table and benches for a while now and decided to finally take the project on. Over the past week I have been trying to refinish my dinette table that was given to us for free. I didn't take a before picture, but it was all this color before I started:
First I sanded the table and benches down and removed all the finish. I used 100 grit sand paper and then 220 grit sand paper. I did the sanding by hand and using a sander. I then tried to stain it with Rustoleum stain. It looked terrible and didn't stain very well. After 5 coats I got mad that it wasn't getting darker and just painted the stain on thick and didn't wipe it off and let it dry. It looked darker, but you could only see the stain and not the wood underneath. You could also see the paint brush marks.
I then decided I would try it again, but I would do a little research before. I decided to go with Minwax oil stain and used a pre stain before hand. But first I had to sand off the mess I made on top of the table. I also read that I might have not sanded it enough to get all the finish off before I started staining. Therefore I used 50 grit, then 80 grit, then 100 grit to sand it. I applied the pre stain and then the stain and it looked 100x better! After three coats of stain I added two coats of polyurethane. There were bubbles from the stain and the polyurethane that I could not seem to stop from happening, but I gave up caring because it looked so much better than before. As for the benches, I only stained them once with the crappy stain and stopped to focus on the table. After I decided it would be better to stable fabric and foam to them to make them more comfortable than the original wood seat. Here's a look at the finished table:
P.S. Thanks so much to my husband who helped out a bunch when I needed him to and who let me take on this crazy project:-)