Can I put a luan top on an old dining table?

Lisa Bingham
by Lisa Bingham

I bought a dining table and six chairs that need "attention". I am planning to paint the chairs and table legs and recover the chairs. The table top is not great. It has a routed pattern in it that I don't like. Can I cover it with a thin luan or something and it not show too badly that I re-made it. I don't really want to pain the top if the legs and chairs are painted, but it is an option. Does anyone have any idea how to "cover that top?

  8 answers
  • Carla Seltveit Carla Seltveit on Oct 14, 2018

    Try denatured alcohol to take off the finish and bring out the grain. However be sure to have a mask good rubber gloves. Open windows this stuff is not to be fooled with as the fumes can really hurt you. I refinish a whole house with this stuff and it turned out great.

    use a paint brush to lay the liquid down and le t it sit. Use a tinpan with the alcohol and steel wool to lightly work the table. Then lots of rags to wipe it off. You can do it however many times you want.

    • Lisa Bingham Lisa Bingham on Oct 15, 2018

      That sounds like a great suggestion. It really is darker than I want, but I hate those routed lines. The table is huge and I love it's size so I might just have to live with the little lines in it. Thanks

  • Tere Tere on Oct 14, 2018

    Luan is the thin, inexpensive wood that is used in veneer finishes. You will often find layers of it glued together and used on the sides of kitchen cabinets & furniture to defray the cost of making an entire piece from solid wood. I would definitely not recommend it for the use that a dining room table is going to get. If you must replace the whole table top choose a solid wood like oak, mahogany etc.. However a far easier option is just to refinish ( sand & stain ) the existing table top. You could also try the General Finishes Gel Stains. The top doesn't look bad in the pic. Would giving it a serious coat of wax and some buffing brighten it up?

  • Karen Brunck Karen Brunck on Oct 15, 2018

    You can fill the routed gaps with wood filler, sand, and refinish as desired.

  • Njlou Njlou on Oct 15, 2018

    That is a beautiful set!! the luan idea is not good. Besides it being trash wood, it will require much work to get around the edges.

    My Brother had the same situation. he refinished the top in the natural/original wood (not difficult), and painted the legs and chairs black. nice contrast!! If you cant do the top yourself, bring it (top only) to a refinisher, and paint the rest yourself. BTW use good paint after thorough cleaning/sanding.

  • Emily Emily on Oct 15, 2018

    I would not cover up this table top. Although you dislike the "routed pattern" . . . what is that exactly? Do you mean the curved edges? You would be better off to remove the top entirely, save it for the future for someone who would like it and get a piece of plywood for the top.

  • Cliffie Cliffie on Oct 15, 2018

    I'm with Lou and Emily: Why on earth would you want to do this?? Sure, I'm a stodgy, old fuddy-duddy. Even so...

  • Barb Barb on Oct 15, 2018

    You could put new veneer on your table. That would mean steaming the old veneer off. Then get all of the glue off of the table. Then install the new veneer. The clerks at the home improvement store are always a big help.

  • Linda Linda on Oct 15, 2018

    I would paint it first to see how much of the pattern goes away. What is left you can fill, sand and paint again.