Last Updated on August 10, 2021
Learn how to refinish a table without sanding or stripping. It is so easy and the results are stunning. It'll save you money in the long run too!
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How to Refinish a Table (Without Sanding or Stripping)
Hello friends! Oh boy, I am EXCITED about sharing this project with you! I am about to teach you how to refinish a table without sanding or stripping. You're welcome :)
We purchased our dining room table off of Craig's List almost 5 years ago. It's a high quality, Pottery Barn table. We scored the table AND the 6 chairs for only $400. The table was already in pretty worn when we purchased it and we figured we would refinish it, eventually. Well, after years of imposing our own wear and tear on the table, we FINALLY got around to it because we found some amazing Mohawk products that allowed us to do it without stripping and very, very limited sanding (only to sand off the tiny spots of fingernail polish I had gotten on the table–#oops). YAY! The project took me about 3 hours, start to finish. If I had known it was going to be that easy, I would have done it a long time ago.
First, let me show you how our table looked before I refinished it.
The edges were beyond “worn,” the wax finish was splotchy and the surfaces were just plain beat up!
I was super lucky to get to try out these professional Mohawk products (it's a perk of being a blogger)! But, the good news is that Mohawk is launching a consumer line of all the products I used. You can shop all of the consumer products Mohawk offers here.
Steps to Refinish a Table
1) Our table had an existing wax finish, so we had to remove it first by using Mohawk's Wax Wash Remover. I simply sprayed it on and wiped it off. It took about 4 minutes to clean the entire table. Easy, peasy! The spray does let off some fumes, so open some windows if you are working inside like I was.
Apparently we are filthy animals because check out what I cleaned off our table. #donotjudgemeplease
2) Next, I spot sanded the tiny splotches of fingernail polish off the table. Let me be clear that you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED TO SAND unless you are like me and have little bits of paint on your table. Most people probably protect their table better than I do :)
3) Then I touched up the scratches and worn edges with the Mohawk Ultra Touch-Up Marker. This part is easy! If you can color with a marker, you can do this!
Be sure that you have already completed step 3–you want your gouge to be as close to the color of your table as possible before you use the Quick fill burn in stick. Here is a link to an instruction video tutorial. Let me tell you, I think it's even easier than the video makes it look. You just use your wood-burning tool to heat up the burn in stick, so that little melted drops drip off. Then use the tip of your hot tool to make sure the melted liquid is in the gouge, making sure to tap it with your tool to get rid of any air bubbles. Allow it to dry for at least 30 seconds. Do not worry about any extra drips on your table–they will come right off!
Next, use the plastic leveling tool that comes with the stick to remove the excess fill. You simply place the side with the horizontal ridges on top of the fill and gently rub it back and forth until the filled gouge is completely level with the surface of your table.
5) I used the Wax Wash Remover to clean the table one more time before I moved on to staining.
6) Finally, it was time to stain! Y'all, this Mohawk Wiping Wood Stain is AH-MAZING. It's very, very thin, so take care when working with it, because it does splatter easily. I painted mine on with a foam brush and wiped it off almost immediately with paper towels. I applied one coat. This stain also lets off a lot of fumes, so again, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area!
7) Finally, I applied 2 coats of a tung oil finish, which was too glossy for my taste, so I followed it with two coats of satin, wipe-on polyurethane.
Ready to see the results?! I am SO THRILLED with how it turned out!
Check out how great those old gouges look now! You can barely see them.
The worn edges are gone!
And I cannot get over how amazing the pedestal base looks now. I thought it was beyond repair!
Want to see the full dining reveal? Click here to see all the details! But here's a sneak peek for now :)
And one last look at the beautifully refreshed table!
What do you think? Are you a little less intimated about refinishing a piece of furniture now? I hope so! Want to learn more about DIY furniture treatments? We rejuvenated two beautiful chairs with crazy simple this tutorial. I have also painted lots of furniture to give it a completely new look! Check out these awesome tutorials: How to Paint Furniture With Chalk Decorative Paint: A Step-by-Step Guide and DIY Furniture Restoration Tutorial.
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