Refinish an oak veneer table top that is scuffed and faded by years of kitchen use. Detach the table top and relocate to a ventilated workshop to minimize fumes and dust. Remove the old finish, sand and stain, and then coat the surface with several coats of durable water-proof clear coat before reenlisting the table as kitchen furniture.
For more information on the Minwax products used in this video, click here.
Examine the wooden table to confirm that the table top alone needs refinishing. Remove the top from the frame. Protect it while moving it to a well-ventilated work area to avoid chemical fumes and dust inside your home.
Apply a thick paste remover with a disposable nature bristle brush to a small area. Overworking stripper lessens its effectiveness, so use minimal brushstrokes. Give the gases in the chemicals time to bubble and lift the old finish.
File the sharp corners of a wide putty knife and gently scrape up the wet residual finish lifted by the stripper. Clean the putty knife on the edge of a small cardboard box lined with newspaper. Work with the grain.
Brush on liquid stripper and let it work. Use medium fine steel wool to dislodge remnants left by the paste. Work the rounded edges of the table top with steel wool to clean the surface. Work with the grain.
Dip medium fine steel wool into lacquer thinner and work with the grain to wash away the wax-like residue left by the strippers.
Wear a face mask while you smooth the oak veneer using 220-grit sandpaper and a finishing sander. Keep working with the grain and don't over-sand, because the veneer is very thin. Clean away the sanding debris.
Match existing color, mixing stains if necessary and testing on scrap wood. Coat the table top with a brush or rag. Wipe off the excess with a lint-free rag and let it dry for at least 24 hours.
Stir the semi-gloss clear coat thoroughly to mix the flattening agent. Apply the clear coat with a good quality natural-bristle brush to avoid dropped bristles and produce a smooth coat. Sand and clean between each coat after they dry.
Rub finishing wax on the dried surfaces with super fine steel wool to eliminate any tiny surface imperfections and give them a velvety finish. Let the wax dry for a few minutes, and then buff it with a soft cloth.