Upcycled Coffee Table with Vinegar Stain

Maggie Hugie
by Maggie Hugie
6 Hours
We bought this generic coffee table at a local thrift for ten dollars but didn't care for the light finish. After reading posts on hometalk about aging wood with steel wool soaked in vinegar, we set to work stripping off the pale opaque stain/paint.
First the table was completely sanded to remove all the stain clogging the grain then we painted with the aging compound. (One steel wool pad soaked in a cup and a half of vinegar for several days - then paint it on with a foam or chip brush). That's it. Just let the solution dry completely before going to the next step.
Just look at the difference, the vinegar stain brought out all those great details and gave the table a wonderful grey patina. You could add a regular wood stain at this point if you want to mellow out the colors.
After stripping and staining the legs we realized they didn't match so we finished them off with black paint
A couple of coats of polyurethane finish followed by furniture wax and the table is ready to go.
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  • Dan Dan on Feb 17, 2016
    Great table. Did you sand with anything before applying the polish? I'v heard 00 steel wool is great for a very fine sanding. Also does wonders cleaning the outside of a car windshield.

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  • Maggie Hugie Maggie Hugie on May 31, 2015
    Thanks ladies, I am happy with the results.

  • Maggie Hugie Maggie Hugie on Feb 18, 2016
    Hi Dan, thanks for your comment. we did not sand after the vinegar aging stain, but always use a very find sandpaper between coats of urethane. Steel wool works well too to make sure the finish is as smooth as can be.