How to Restore an Oak Table Easily
Here's how you can restore a tired oak or other wooden table that may be water damaged, dented, etc and bring it back to life.This method offers minimal sanding, making it easier on the lungs.For a full tutorial, including how to remove dented edges, you can see my larger step by step here: https://thecarpentersdaughter.co.uk/upcycling/restore-an-oak-dining-table/
If you see lots of dents and water damaged areas, you'll likely need to strip it back to expose unseen wood.
Instead of sanding for hours on end, I removed any dents, dirt and water damage with a carbide scraper.Make sure you put a rag down for easier clean up.
Ensure you always go in the same direction as the grain and go extremely gently on the corners.This is great to create a even flat surface. Keep going until you've removed dents etc.If the dents are too deep, fill with the same colour wood filler. Also, if it's oak veneer, for example, then I suggest you try fine wire wool instead.
Once you've removed all of the damage, sand with an orbit sander until smooth.Note, you won't need to spend long doing this because the carbide scraper did the majority of the work.It's ideal, to do this outside on a dry day, but if not possible, above, I'm using a mask instead and the windows are open.
Now seal the wood with 2 to 3 coats of Danish oil, applying with a lint free cloth. You MUST wear respiratory safety gear and gloves for this!Note, be liberal with the first coat as it will take the most moisture in at this point. Leave for 20 minutes and remove.Leave to dry for two hours and repeat, but with less oil the 2nd time round.Repeat again.
To ensure it is also scratch resistant, leave to fully dry for two weeks and resist temptation of using it.Then give two coats of clear varnish.
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