How to get even finish on a faded & gouged sanded table?

by Christy

Looking for how to get an even stained finish on a table. The table has about a 6” strip that is sun faded. Another spot that was gouged and sanded level but left severe white mark. I want it to look uniform. Both on the drop leaf.

  9 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Mar 07, 2019

    What is the white area? A patch? Use a gel or wiping stain, may have to do extra brush on to the patch to even out. When stain is how you want it apply by spraying on sanding sealer, lightly sand, apply /spray lacquer on the finish you want.

  • Maynard Maynard on Mar 07, 2019

    Thanks for the picture! The sun fadeis the easy part, the white spot looks like it might be water based wood filler. The success of your refinish will in large part depend on how dark you want the stain to be. First, raise the drop leaf into the flat position and support it so it stays there. next examine the white spot with a magnifying glass. Look for wood grain running perpendicular to the grain of the top surface. If there is no grain, it's wood filler. If there is grain, it means the surface veneer has been sanded down to reveal the cross-banding underneath. Each situation has its own unique problems. Cross-banding is used to give the top veneer a uniform bonding surface to glue down to. It is wood and will take stain readily, but because it is a different species from the top, it will take the stain differently, generally getting much darker than the surrounding area. If the whiteness is wood filler, it will resist the stain, staying much lighter than the surrounding area. So, this needs testing for compatibility. After selecting your stain,(Minwax, Cabot's) open and stir it really thoroughly for several minutes with a flat bottomed stir stick. Stir until the stick comes up off the bottom of the can without any excess stain pigment accumulated on it. This will help to ensure that the stain is uniformly mixed. Take a Q-tip and gather just a small bit of stain on the tip, and touch it to the white spot so there is liquid transfer. Wait a moment. is the stain soaking in, or just sitting there? Soaking in indicates wood, meaning cross banding. Sitting there means it's the filler which is essentially non-porous.

    I'm going to stop here for now. Let me know when you've gotten this far, what the result is. Also let me know what stain, brand and color, you are going to use. Refinishing is an art, it takes time and patience to do a decent job. More tomorrow. PS, the table looks like it might be cherry. If it is, you need to know that cherry, as a wood species, will darken with age, and there's no way to prevent or stop it. Keep that in mind when choosing a stain.

    I'm a 71 yr old carpenter, remodeler, cabinet maker. Been there, done that.

  • It looks like it needs to be sanded more. If the light spot is where you sanded, you want all the wood to be that color. Use an orbital sander and start with 80 grit and sand until the color is gone. Then smooth it with 120 grit. Then smooth it once more with 220 grit. Use a stain conditioner and then stain. Wipe away the excess. Seal with polycrylic. Oil based sealers will yellow with time, so use a water based one!

  • I had a table just like this but it was stolen in a military move. They were unable to find it between the move and storage. It’s a great table and very versatile. So glad you could restore yours.

  • Colleen Colleen on Mar 07, 2019

    A suggestion for the lighter spot if it is wood filler and you are unable to stain. I have painted a design over spots like that before. So I've stained the piece and then picked out a design to paint across the table to cover the bad spot.

    I had a couple of bad spots on the side table that I attached a picture of and with the design painted on you can't tell.

    Hope this gives you an idea or helps.

    It's a beautiful table, good luck.

  • Pdmkiss Pdmkiss on Mar 07, 2019

    I had a similar issue with a table. Wanted a smooth, uniform finish on an old table. After sanding decided to embrace the imperfections and just went with 4-coats of polycryclic. So glad I did!

  • Crw4444 Crw4444 on Mar 07, 2019

    Maybe wood filler that can be sanded. Then paint or stain. Also, Bondo will work.

  • Crw4444 Crw4444 on Mar 07, 2019

    Go to You Tube, and search. You can find many "how to" videos.