refinishing table top

crazyoneFebruary 19, 2011

I have a medium oak kitchen table and chairs. It is about 15 years old so don't think solid thru on the top. it has gotten water damage and marks on the top. and everyday wear.

we are building a new house and will most likely go with medium dark cabinets and would like tiger wood hardwood floors. I am wanting to restain the top of the table only darker.

should i wait and use a stain we use on cabinets or would a dark walnut stain on the top after i strip be harmonious? has anyone done something similar?

I have coffee and end tables in similar color that i would like to do as well, maybe i should start with them :-)

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brickeyee

You need to find out if the table top is veneer or solid.

Stripping veneer is almost always a bad idea.
There is not enough material to take the clean up after stripping and leave enough veneer to have a nice surface.

Applying another layer of veneer is an option.

Look at Constantine's.

Here is a link that might be useful: Constantine's

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:42AM
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bobismyuncle

Stripping a veneer surface is not a problem if you take reasonable care with your stripper clean up and just do enough sanding to remove the fuzzies. There will be problems if the veneer is bubbling or otherwise damaged by moisture.

Only you can decide what is "harmonious." For some people, it would need to be a fairly exact match, side-by-side. In general, that's a tough problem, made tougher by dissimilar woods and if there's color left in the pieces you are stripping.

"Medium dark" and "medium walnut" don't really have much standardized meaning. You can take 3 different cans of "medium walnut" stain and apply them to the same piece of wood and they will come out differently. You can also take the same can of stain and apply it to three different woods, and sometimes different parts of the same piece of lumber or the same species from different trees, and they will come out different color. Some stains also look different on veneer vs. solid woods. The same piece can also look radically different in different lighting conditions (natural, fluorescent, incandescent, and LED) or next to different colored walls or floors, and it can look different.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:20PM
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crazyone

thanks for the help.. i have refinished a few things in the past - all solid wood and totally understand the dynamics of wood and stain.

I guess my biggest question is will dark top and lighter bottom be ok?? has anyone done that

ad how do i tell veneer top?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:32PM
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bobismyuncle

There are a couple of ways that I tell veneer from solid wood tops.

If you can see the grain run off the edge to the end / side of the table that is end-grain consistent with the top grain, it's solid. Veneer will have a solid or veneer edge band where the grain does not follow the top and is likely to be perpendicular to it on two sides (though not always).

If there is a regular, repeating pattern to the grain across the top, or if it's pie or diamond shaped, it's veneer. Burls and highly figured wood is probably veneer as it's both too unstable and too costly to do in solids.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 3:29PM
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crazyone

i pulled the purchase info and it was solid top :-) so looks good to go other than my concern of two tone...

and i am unsure why so many just sand rather than strip, i thought that was only if you were priming and painting could you get away with just sanding??

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 3:35PM
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brickeyee

"Stripping a veneer surface is not a problem if you take reasonable care with your stripper clean up and just do enough sanding to remove the fuzzies."

good luck swith sanding thin veneer.

Some of the stuff is below 1/32 inch, and even enough sanding to "remove the fuzzies" is liable to go through.

Solid wood is far easier to deal with.

Use a Methylene Chloride stripper (the 'nautural' water based strippers tend to screw up the wood) and then refinish.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 7:57PM
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