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RE: Refinishing Table Top (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: bobsmyuncle on 03.24.2009 at 08:20 am in Woodworking Forum

With your title and description of problems, I led you toward refinishing.

>While I can remove water spots without refinishing, a factory finish of this age has probably seen its useful life.

You can get these at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and some Lowe's and Ace Hardware stores. It will remove the water spot and if you do the whole top, it may restore some life.


Guardsman product to clean spots on tabletop.
clipped on: 03.28.2009 at 03:57 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2009 at 03:58 pm

RE: Refinishing Table Top (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bobsmyuncle on 03.23.2009 at 06:47 pm in Woodworking Forum

(1) You can't
(2) There are myriad processes and products. Assuming you are a relatively inexperienced finisher, the easiest and least troublesome finish to apply is a wiping varnish.

First strip off the finish with a chemical stripper. Let dry overnight.

Sand lightly with 220 grit sandpaper.

Apply stain. A good gel stain will give best results on pine. Let dry overnight.

Day 1:
Start with a good varnish and thin 50:50 with mineral spirits. Wipe on a thin coat with a clean rag. Repeat this when the finish is dry enough not to stick to your finger. Repeat again. So you have 3 coats of thin finish on. Let this dry overnight.

Day 2:
Sand lightly with P400 sandpaper, dust off residue. Repeat the same wiping process on day 2.

Day 3:
Repeat the same day 2 process on day 3.

You now have 9 thin coats of finish that is about the same film thickness as 3-4 (properly) brushed coats.

Though you could use Minwax varnish, it would not be my first choice, but way down on the list. Minwax stain (sold as "Wood Finish" for some reason) would not even make my list. Most colors are a particularly poor choice for pine.

Waterlox, Pratt&Lambert, McCloskey's (now Cabot 8000) and Behlen make excellent non-poly varnishes. Even Sherwin-Williams makes a non-poly varnish.

While I can remove water spots without refinishing, a factory finish of this age has probably seen its useful life.


My dark pine table has a hazy white spot caused by having something hot set on it. The table is about 35-37 years old and is Ethan Allen's "Old Tavern Pine" finish, but that's about all I know about it. I would like to remove the finish and then use some type of clear sealer that won't be so sensitive to fingerprints, water stains, etc. I'm assuming that the white spot will come off when I take off the finish. (1) How do I remove the clear finish without stripping the color? (2) What product should I use and what process should I follow to get a nice finish?
clipped on: 03.28.2009 at 03:55 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2009 at 03:57 pm