How can I refinish this table?

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I have a black, manufactured surface dining table, (with a hidden, retractable leaf), that has an unforgiving finish on it. It has these repetative knicks all over the surface. Shows every fingerprint, smear, dust particle..... you name it. I live in a contemporary style home, so no farmhouse decor here. I'm not afraid of using power tools. I'm a pretty hard core DIY, but I haven't seen any table refinishes that tickle my fancy. Looking for something sleek but practicle. Any suggestions?

q how can i refinish this table
  12 answers
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Feb 06, 2019

    Hi Kathy! My daughter has the same type of finish. If it is wood like she has, it's very light under the finish. She didn't want to refinish the entire table, but she let me improve the finish by lightly sanding and then going over it with a dark gel stain, It wasn't my favorite piece but, it did improve the look for now, but, she's using mats and runners to give it more protection, until she decides to do a full refinish. Keep in mind you might want to try a small section that won't be seen every day (like on the leaf) in case you don't like the finish.

    • Kathy Wells Kathy Wells on Feb 07, 2019

      That's just it, Cynthia. I've done enough projects to know that I could easily screw this up. Thanks for the consideration.

  • Lynn Lynn on Feb 07, 2019

    sand the finish off & use a roller to apply gloss enamel, easy clean up.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Feb 07, 2019

    Hi Kathy, you could make a stainless steel top that sits on top of your existing table. Looking at the picture it seems like the leaf extension is the same size as the table (?) so if you make two stainless steel tops, the one can sit on top of the other one when the tables isn't extended

  • Refinishing if you like, but then you may just want to get a sheet of glass to top it! I refinish furniture and have done this for clients that have high use painted furniture. It may cost around $80-100


    • Kathy Wells Kathy Wells on Feb 07, 2019

      This is a good idea, unless I raise the leaf. Whatever I do, must include the leaf.

  • Rosemeire Rosemeire on Feb 07, 2019

    You could draw out some flower or maybe a butterfly with a pencil and then use Stain that’s really wonderful for wood. Just do something different use Stain just in some petals (flower), use a cloth allowing the stain to gradually get darker just in some points.

    • Kathy Wells Kathy Wells on Feb 07, 2019

      I'm not sure. There is wood underneath, but I have NO idea how thick this manufacture's finish is. It's hard to tell.

      Otherwise, I would've already taken action.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 07, 2019

    How about sanding it lightly and then doing the "pour" of paint that is so fun to do? It might be difficult to also do the leaf but the "poured" finish might go well with your more modern style.

    Here's a link to show you what I'm thinking. The technique and be done on nearly any flat surface and if you can't do the design by moving the surface you can achieve the effect using a blow dryer or blowing through a straw to make the paint move. https://acrylicpouring.com/what-is-a-dirty-pour/

    • Kathy Wells Kathy Wells on Feb 07, 2019

      Now, that's interesting. Certainly could not do all the colors, but a black, grays and white might be interesting. Thanks!

  • Jackie Jackie on Feb 07, 2019

    You can paint it with chalk paint, without sanding. First you clean it with a product called Krud Kutter. I have done this with a cabinet and it turned out great! I saw this on a TV show, good luck!

  • Inigma Seven Inigma Seven on Feb 07, 2019

    How about marble contact paper? Or any of the beautiful patterns available online?

    • See 1 previous
    • Inigma Seven Inigma Seven on Feb 18, 2019

      If you use a polyurethane sealant on it that should work I think

  • Pam Williams Pam Williams on Feb 07, 2019

    You can buy really cool stencils from Stencil Revolution. Sand your table top smooth, apply stencil, paint, let dry re-stain over stencil, and top coat. it would be beautiful, and you did ask.

    • See 2 previous
    • Inigma Seven Inigma Seven on Feb 18, 2019

      I like that idea too! I have an old dining room table that I have stashed under my bed upstairs. And I had no idea what to do with it as it is a black lacquer with a big scratch from the large dog I once had LOL.

  • V Smith V Smith on Feb 07, 2019

    When you say manufactured surface, do you mean plastic? If so, there is a paint for that. To keep it contemporary but not black, I would look to sand it, prime it with the proper primer, then paint it silver. If your taste leans toward the bronze side of the spectrum then a bronze paint color. Seal it with 2 or 3 coats of satin poly.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 07, 2019

    The shinier the finish the more sanding/stripping needed even with chalk paint or whatever you do won't stick,last especially high use furniture Myth 2 You can Paint Anything. This is FALSE! There are some finishes and textures where nothing will adhere. Shiny glossy finishes -shiny veneers, some metals and anything with an oil petroleum product(s)- have been found to cause many Chalk Based Paint enthusiasts to cry out in frustration. Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours painting a large furniture piece only to discover the paint can easily be peeled with normal use. Myth 3 No Prepping or Sanding Required. This is FALSE. If your furniture or home decor piece doesn’t contain a glossy finish as described in Myth 2, it is still recommended to clean and use sand paper to prep your piece. Since you do not know everything that has been used on your piece, many times a quick light sanding will get rid of unwanted pilling, dust, dirt or splinters on a piece. The end result of a painted piece of furniture with proper prepping, will not only feel like a showcase piece, but it will look as though it was painted by a professional artist.



  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 07, 2019

    Hi, I agree with Lynn, but you can do a nice modern finish, you will need to lightly sand it, and apply a primer for the paint to stick, but remember that a matte finish will be way more forgiving than a gloss.