How to Refinish an Oak Kitchen Table

Oak kitchen table

An oak kitchen table is a worthy investment for the cooking space. Oak is a hardwood material that can withstand time. It can last you for generations. However, the table can still look worn down especially in a high traffic area like the kitchen.

People will use it very frequently, which causes the table to lose its original sheen. Sometimes, people also obtain an oak wood table through secondhand sales.

It is a cheap way to get such a high-quality table, but with the risk of it not being in an optimum condition. Giving the table a refinishing job is an answer to this woe. How to do the task appropriately?

Smart Tips to Refinish An Oak Kitchen Table

The following points show you how to refinish an oak kitchen table. These tips should be able to deliver good refinishing results.

1. Involving chemical stripper

The chemical stripper is used to remove the old finishing off the table. If it is not cleaned, the result of your refinishing will not be lovely. There are many kinds of stripper products sold out there.

However, it is advised against getting the ones that are water-based because wood grain may become prominent and lumpy when being exposed to water. The owner is recommended to use the regular kind and later on cleaning that off with mineral spirit. Also, because the stripper is made of strong chemical, protective gear (e.g., rubber gloves, goggles, and respirator) is necessary.

2. Sanding the table

The second task to do to refinish an oak kitchen table is by sanding the table. Sanding is done to smoothen out the oak wood surface so later, the finishing will cling better to it.

There are three steps of sanding that the owner must do. The first one is an initial step using rougher sanding paper between 120 and 150-grit depending on how bad the table surface is.

On the second step, less textured sandpaper (about 200-grit) is used to make the table having a smoother finish, almost like a glass. The last sanding is done once you put filler or putty in between deeper dimples that might be present on the table surface.

This process requires 220-grit sandpaper and is done to make sure that the filler aligns with the surface so there will be no bumps that will affect the result.

3. Researching for varied types of finishing

When working on an oak kitchen table refinishing, it is pivotal to get to know the available product options. Here are some common finishing products often used for an oak table.

  • Wipe on the gel; this type of finishing product is applied by wiping the gel using a rag on the table surface so it is easier to control the finished look.
  • Oil; it offers the most natural-looking finish and the product seeps into the oak’s pores, but it does not provide adequate protection especially for frequently used kitchen tables.
  • Polyurethane; this finishing product comes in lacquer and varnish types of the finished look and it is perfect for frequently used surfaces because of its hardly protective layer.

Polyurethane is more recommended to refinish an oak kitchen table but you should remember to choose the oil-based one. It is important to brush the finishing product along the grain so that the oak’s beautiful grain will be more prominent in its finished look.

4. Ensuring clean working space

People tend to forget the importance of working in a clean space when it comes to refinishing a table. If the working environment is dirty, there is a higher chance for unwanted contaminants to land on the table surface. It will create an unpleasant looking finished look. For every step that may cause debris or dust, you should clean the work station to prevent it from dirtying the table.

5. Working in a well-lit space

To refinish an oak kitchen table perfect, one should work in a well-lit space. It does not matter whether the room is lit artificially or naturally. Working in a dim room may cause a bad finishing job because there might be parts that are not treated as well as the others. It can also be a dangerous task since you cannot see well in such a room.

6. Being patient in between layers

It takes time to work on an oak kitchen table. In between the steps, one must wait until the process is completed before proceeding. If one does it without the patient, the refinishing job will not take shape as expected.

It is important to take care of your table once the finishing job has been completed to maintain the result of that rigorous job. The table should be dusted and cleaned regularly to prevent dirt from accommodating its surface.

The owner should also make an effort to minimize damage to the table. It can be done by preventing hot items to be placed on top of the table without a protective cushion. Putting sharp items that may scratch off the finishing is also necessary. With those safety precautions, you will be able to make your refinished oak kitchen table lasts longer.