A Quick Pub Table Refurbish

7 Materials
2 Days

If you read my post about repairing and reupholstering a couple of tall chairs, you'll know that I was on the lookout for a tall (pub) table. If you didn't see the chair post, you can find it here: https://www.hometalk.com/44339987/have-you-used-burlap-to-upholster-here-is-my-first-experience-with-it

Goodwill find

Now that I had two tall chairs, I needed to find a tall table. I started, as I usually do, online where they are referred to as 'pub' tables. There were several options that I liked: wood only, metal only, wood & metal. I settled on a wood/metal combo that was just around $100. Before buying it, though, I knew I'd be looking around for something less expensive. I headed to the Goodwill....To my surprise and delight, I found exactly what I was searching for; and it was only $24.99 before the 20% discount!

Time to refinish

The table was stained with a dark finish, just like the chairs had been so I knew I could refinish it in the same way. As with the chairs, I didn't think I would need to use a stripper. Besides, it's messy! So, I decided to simply sand off the finish. For this process, I used my 5" orbital sander & a 220 grit sandpaper to remove the finish, and just like when I sanded the chairs, it worked beautifully!

Table has been sanded

I was excited to see that the sanded wood looked just like the wood on the chairs - bonus! Once the table had been sanded, I wiped it down with a soft cloth and then followed up with a tack cloth. Now it was time to seal the table for outdoor use. I usually use water-based Polyurethane for all my wood furniture but since I planned to use the table on the deck, I wanted to protect the wood as best I could.

Sealing the table

I did some research to find the best product to use and found Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane. It is an oil-based finish created for outdoor use. I didn't need much so I planned to buy a quart. Home Depot didn't carry the product and Lowes only had the Satin in a gallon size. Ah well, maybe I'd find other uses for it. I bought the gallon (*spoiler alert - I've already used it on two other projects this summer) and brought it home. Because it is oil-based, I also bought a couple of paintbrushes that I could toss if I wasn't able to get them clean after use.

Applying the sealer

The instructions on the can are to apply 2-3 light coats, allowing at least 4 hours of dry time, then doing a light sanding before applying the next coat. I followed the directions exactly, applying 3 coats and the finish on the table came out great!

3 coats of sealer

Although this is Satin, it does have a bit of a sheen as opposed to being flat like the other brands of topcoat I have used. It also provides a warm, golden glow to the wood.

Damaged corners

After I started sanding off the finish, I noticed that the tabletop was not real wood but a veneer over particleboard. Also, the corners had damage. That wasn't thrilling, but I figured since it was only $25 ish, I'd work with it. Once I finished sanding and sealing the table, I decided to protect the corners.

Installing metal corner pieces

I found metal corner protectors on Amazon. I ordered 1.5" x 1.5" in a Bronze Tone, Pack of 24 for $7.99 What a deal! To install the metal corners, I used a small hammer and a pair of needle-nosed pliers. I needed the pliers to hold the nails because they are so tiny!

To my delight, the corner pieces fit perfectly and did the job I was looking for, they hid the damage on the table.


I have used this little table and chairs several times since I finished refurbishing the set. I found a darling little footstool at a garage sale for $5 and it is the perfect height to use with the chairs.

Using the table
Finished set

The project was much easier than I anticipated! Hubby and I are thrilled with how the table turned out! I am estimating the cost at $35 which is the amount of the table, paintbrushes & metal corners. I had all the tools and sealer on hand.

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

18 Easy DIY Projects That You Can Do This Weekend!
These Upcycling Ideas Will Blow You Away!
31 Astounding Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Contact Paper
Add A Hint Of Farmhouse Style In Your Home With These Ideas
15 Clever Ways To Repurpose Old Light Bulbs
Make Your Home a Winter Wonderland With These Stunning Ideas
30 Jewelry Organizing Ideas That Are Better Than a Jewelry Box

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Dasheila
    on Oct 13, 2020

    Spar urethane. I covered a table with it for outdoor/porch use. My son contacted me and told me his cup of coffee left a circle. 1) spar product is for use on boats (or am I remembering wrong) ....why would it leave a circle from wetness? 2) Loved the finish, and was ready to use again. Do you have issues with the product?

Join the conversation

4 of 16 comments
Your comment...