Restoring a Badly Scuffed and Water Damaged Coffee Table

by Eloise
4 Materials
2 Hours
This poor coffee table wasn't very well taken care of over the years and was badly scuffed and water damaged. I managed to get it looking great again with some careful sanding and a few coats of wood varnish.
I started by assessing the damage. Luckily the table itself was still pretty sturdy - it just needed some cosmetic attention.
I used my electric sander to remove the old varnish and smooth out the scuffed areas.
I wiped the table down with a damp cloth to remove the sawdust. I then repeated the sanding process until I was sure that all of the old varnish had been removed.
I chose this Quick Dry Varnish for Interior Wood, as I wanted to get the project completed fairly quickly. The medium oak shade matched my table the best, although there were plenty of other options available.

This project won't use the whole tin of varnish, but it's easy to store for future jobs. If you want to dispose of it instead, you'll need to find a local hazardous waste disposal service. Never dispose of varnish at home - unless you want to deal with a damaged, leaking garbage disposal!
I used a medium-sized paint brush to apply the varnish in the direction of the wood grain. I found that 4 - 5 coats were enough to give a nice glossy finish.
I made sure to catch any drips of varnish on the edge of the table before they dried.
I let the varnish dry completely and was left with this table - it has a lovely glossy sheen and looks as good as new.
Suggested materials:
  • Wilkinson's Quick Dry Varnish for Interior Wood (Medium Oak)
  • Electric Sander
  • Damp Cloth
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