Thursday, July 5, 2012

Table Top Re-Do Part 2

Ok, on my previous post we left off with me removing the last of the stripped paint.  I'll continue with the next steps I took refinishing my table top.
After I stripped off the paint I sprayed more Bix stripper on the top the help remove any old varnish or finish under the old paint.  I let it sit on the top for at least 20-30 minutes.  It will not show to bubble up like the paint did.
Click on photo to get a closer look at the top with stripper after 15 minutes.

I used a VERY stiff brush to do swirling motions on the top to help remove any paint that may be embedded down in the grain of the oak top.

You can click on this photo to see a closer view of how I swirled with the brush.

Ok, time to get out the steel wool.  After I let the stripper sit for at least 20 minutes I start 'scrubbing' the top back and forth With the Grain.  As I 'scrub'/rub', the stripper will gradually start to disappear/evaporate and crumbs of old varnish will begin to appear.

 Click on photo to get a closer look at the old varnish trash/crumbs I mentioned above.  Just brush those away with a paper towel.

I then use a light grade/fine sandpaper to help smooth out any left over garnish pieces and just give it an overall smooth finish.  Always sanding WITH THE GRAIN of the wood. If your sandpaper seems to get 'Gummed Up' fairly easy that means there is still some varnish that has not been removed.  You might want to repeat the above steps to finish any varnish removal if your sandpaper is gummed up pretty bad.

After sanding,  I wipe good with a paper towel to remove any sandpaper/varnish residue.  I have a small vacuum with a brush attachment I used and just vacuumed away any sandpaper particles.  
Now is the time I added the wax.  This is my first time using wax.  I just followed the directions on the container.

I have always used Tung oil on all of my other pieces, but I hear a lot about the paste wax and wanted to try it.  I must say, I think the wax was a lot more trouble and TONS of ELBOW GREASE
was needed.  You must wait 24 hours to re-apply a second coat, which I did, I applied a second coat.

But as you can see, all is well and the wax I used turned out pretty good.  Just look at that nice shiny finish.  I must say I prefer/like Primitive antique pieces and this table top is a little more pristine than I wanted but I'm happy, it looks really nice in person!

Here is the buffet that goes with my table.  I bought them separate but painted them to go together.   I know I will strip the black top and make it match the table top, BUT, I can't decide if I want to paint over the WHOLE bottom beneath the top........I guess that will remain to be seen what I decide in a future post.

I DO KNOW something has to happen to this piece.  I am really tired of the black pieces in my room!  I will probable paint it!

What do you think about this piece????  I inherited it from my MUNNER.  I had ALWAYS loved it, but when she died everyone else began to say how much they DIDN'T like it and NEVER did.  I was like "WHAT".....I LOVE IT.   So, since I worked her whole Estate Sale for the inheritors they let me have this as part of my pay! ( well, actually, it was my ONLY pay for 6 weeks of work getting the sale ready!)   I didn't really mind, it was my Grandmother's estate sale and they knew I was the only one who could help them get the best and fairest prices and deem what was valuable and what was not, what to keep and what to sale.  I did get a few other things I hold Very dear.
Soooooo, I'm thinking I will paint this piece.......GASP!  I know some of you are choking on that comment.   No need to fuss at me too hard, after all, if I don't like it......there is ALWAYS my wonderful BIX stripper!!!

I hope this was helpful.  Feel free to ask me ANY questions NOW or in the FUTURE about any RE-DO project you may have.  I will be happy to help you!

You must always remain safe and free of any splatters of the stripper, so, ALWAYS follow safety instructions provided on the back of every BIX/stripper container!  Safety glasses and gloves for your hands would be highly recommended.


  1. The table looks fantastic. Please post pictures of the rest of the pieces if you refinish or paint them, too! Love to see them. Great job! :)

  2. Thank you so much for these posts. I have a piano desk that really needs a redo and I have been afraid to work on it. But I think with what you have posted I may just give it a try. We just put a roof on our deck so I have a shaded area to work outside. Thanks again.

  3. Your table is lovely!! The sideboard will look wonderful too. Thanks for the tips and enjoy your pretty set. :-)

  4. Why didn't the first brushing have to go with the grain? I am always afraid of swirly scratches.
    Aren't you missing something? A sweet little table top quilt under the flowers?
    Will you be ultra careful with it now, or let primitive happen?
    Did you hand paint the swirly design on the buffet?
    Will you paint swirly design to match the wood ones on Grandma's piece?
    I am still in my black phase. How long does it take to get over it?
    Will you go color or cream on the black unit? I love the mix of paint and wood.

  5. Julie, I didn't use much force with the swirling using the brush. My brush had plastic bristles and didn't leave any marks. Sandpaper and steel wool is VERY abrasive and will leave scratches or marks if you go against the grain.

  6. The table top came out wonderful! I want a round table soooooo bad. I have a complete dining room set that has been in our family now for five generations - and I am the only one that has room for it - and I'm soooo done with it. The kids don't want me to get rid of it - but they can't take it - and I want a round table!!!!

    I love the piece from your grandmother - and would leave it just like it is - but then I'm the one that wants to get rid of my family heirlooms - so who am I to say? LOL

    My refinishing has been to paint two end tables that have little drawers in them, and then to decoupage navigational charts of Alaskan waters on the drawer fronts - to go with my living room decor of seaside.

  7. You have worked hard, and the results really pay off, the table is beautiful! I've done several refinishes in my life, and I love the results of strippers, and tung oil, or Danish oil. I like the buffet like it is, the top to match would be perfect.

    Oh, and the other piece, the hutch-?-is simply gorgeous! I like it like it is, but I lean towards painting more than I ever did before, it would be pretty that way, too. I cannot imagine you didn't have to "fight" for that piece of furniture. It is a jewel ~

  8. OK...don't take this the wrong way, but will you come to my house and strip for me?? LOL

  9. The table looks great. I've used the BIX stripper before and know what a job that can be. I can see the piece they gave you painted white with the top doors thrown open and quilts stacked inside and one hanging over a door.

  10. I need to refinish my oak dining room table and leaves too, but I think they only ever had oil on them to begin with, so maybe I don't need to strip? Sanding is definitely required and I have wanted to try the paste wax--though I know it is more labor intensive. Love your antique pieces, especially your Munner's. Painting wood is not sacrilege to me! There are two pieces I want to paint right now but I'm considering spray painting them creamy white...what is your opinion of spray paint?

  11. Thanks for showing the steps. So love the look of your table and chairs. Great details on the buffet!
    I've never seen anything like the black piece. I'm with you on wanting to brighten up the furniture in my house. When I was telling a friend about the painting I'm doing she said her mother painted all the furniture in their house when she was my age, too. Really!?! Not sure how to take that! lol I don't think the last piece is ugly and I think painting it would really make those incredible details pop. It's yours, so I think you can do anything you want with it. Love LuAnn's suggestion!

  12. That Bix stuff is great - I will have to remember that next time I want to re-do something. I used to do a lot of furniture refinishing, but have not in quite awhile.

    Thanks for the great step by step process instructions - very helpful. Love seeing the finished piece, hope you will show more.

  13. Your table is looking great! Thanks for sharing your process.

  14. Beautifully finished table top! And what a wonderful piece you inherited!

  15. Just sitting here killing time,
    wondering if,
    you finished a top or something.

  16. Your table looks so great! Very pretty wood showing through now. Well done.
    I like the piece that goes with it too.
    Maybe you should see how much that piece is worth before you paint it. Just a thought.