Asked on Apr 10, 2021

How to refinish this table top?

Johnavallance82MichelleKathy Gunter Law


Hello- I got this wonderful table at an auction and I painted the legs but want to keep the top the natural color- it has some scratches in it and it needs to be "sanded"- can anyone give me advice on what to do? if I sand it with steel wool what do I do with the scratches and divot in it....see pics- any help appreciated!!!!

I will be painting the apron on the table- do I need to restain it when done though (the top)?

here is the biggest one

10 answers
  • Michelle Leslie
    Michelle Leslie
    on Apr 10, 2021

    Hi Paula, gorgeous table. I'm not sure from the pictures if the top is real wood, but I did find this video that will hopefully help you get the divots out -

  • Paula Papp-Martini
    Paula Papp-Martini
    on Apr 10, 2021

    that is wonderful- I thought of that but was not sure-thanks michelle!!!!

  • Robyn Garner
    Robyn Garner
    on Apr 10, 2021

    Your table top is wonderful! One thing you can do to match the color perfectly is to sand somewhere that won't be seen. Save the sawdust and mix it with wood glue. Use the mixture to fill the gouge and as you've used the same wood, it will dry the same as your top! This should fix the issue and should not be visible once you stain the top. IF it doesn't cover at that point, you can mix some stains or filler to match the final color.

  • Lifestyles Homes
    Lifestyles Homes
    on Apr 10, 2021

    Depending on if this is veneer or hardwood, I would not sand it too much.

    Many would strip it first, and yes, you can do just the top, wit careful masking.

    Citrastip is an old favorite, that they changed the formula and no longer recommended.

    Ive not used any new strippers lately, so I would see what everyone else says.

  • Paula Papp-Martini
    Paula Papp-Martini
    on Apr 10, 2021

    I like the wood filler video- but not sure what else I should do to refinish this? I have steel wool and I , of course, will clean it first......should I sand with steel wool after I fill the little areas that need filling? do I do a light similar stain with polyurethan after that? I dont want to wreck it

  • Mogie
    on Apr 10, 2021

    Is this solid wood or veneer (sorry can't tell from the picture)?

    If it is solid wood then sand the gouges out depending on how deep they are.

    If this is veneer sanding might not be a good choice for you. We have a dining room table and tried giving it a very light sanding but you can now see a few place that went thru the veneer. I plan on refinishing an solid oak table in a few months to replace the veneer one that is now damaged.

  • Johnavallance82
    on Apr 10, 2021


    Sand it with very fine glass paper and try to cover in the faults with wood filler and sand again.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    Kathy Gunter Law
    on Apr 12, 2021

    As long as it is wood, you can sand with steel wool or sand paper and you will be fine. If there are any serious gouges, I think I would go with it as "character" of the table. I'm more into accepting the imperfections as part of the history of a piece.

  • Michelle
    4 days ago

    Use refinisher . It will remove the gunk and it evens out the remaining stain or you could stain and use tung oil.

  • Johnavallance82
    Just now

    Hi Paula,

    Use a Suitable coloured wood filler for the knocks and divots, rub down when dry, then use a polyurethane finish on top. My thought would be to use a Satin finish! Good luck

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