Table Refinishing

...In which I delve into a sphere in which I am less than expert...

I knew precious little about refinishing furniture but I did know I wanted this piece ebony-stained. The current look would not do.

Short of paying a high price to have it done by the pros, my only option was stepping in where I had previously feared to tread. This fall, before the cold winds blew, I started on it. 

Off comes the base and out goes the tabletop.

I could work in the covered patio and avoid dealing with all that dust and smelliness in the house.

Whether or not I actually had to, I used several rounds of this Citristrip. The stain was stubborn about coming off.

After cleaning that gunky stuff off, I followed it up with Zin-strip Paint and Finish Remover. Then came sanding to make it as smooth as possible, and lastly, a thorough going-over with the vacuum.

Now we are ready for the fun part! I couldn't wait to see the black stain go on. I used Rustoleum Wood Stains in ebony. 

Excitement! I will admit to it, this kind of thing gives me a thrill!

The polyurethane is also Rustoleum brand in satin finish. I can't even remember for sure, but I think I layered on 3 or 4 coats. It's a table that needs to stand up to lots of use.

The next photo has only one purpose, to show what happens when you don't do it right the first time! I had the surface of the table finished and put back onto the base inside the house. But it wasn't having the effect I expected. The side panels needed to have the same ebony stain. 

Off comes the base and the tabletop gets carried back out to the patio. Repeat process. I didn't follow all the steps and still achieved a nice finish. Then again, I am not nearly as perfectionist about that kind of thing. I was giving myself an education as I completed each new step, so it was a tedious procedure and took much longer than necessary.

Still, valuable lessons were learned along the slow painful way. I have a better idea what works and what doesn't, plus, I now have a bit of experience in refinishing furniture. That is worth something to me. I do not think I will do it often!

Here is the finished product in the breakfast room.

I painted the base black (Valspar semi-gloss). I wanted the two tones on this table plus painting is ever so much easier and quicker than stain and poly! I did put a coat of furniture wax on the base,
just to help with standing up to wear and tear. It makes a great foot rest!

I've wanted a round table with a chunky base like that for a long time. I had to give $50 for it at an estate sale, but it is worth every dollar and every hour of labor. We've used it for several months now, and I'm delighted with how it stands up to our use. 

There has been an assortment of games played on it by our family, which can be rough use, and Jacki and I eat lunch here daily, plus schoolwork, computer use, etc... 

It already bears a scratch or two, but they only add to the perfectly imperfect little table I am so glad I decided to refinish!