After years of use, you might just realize that the wood furniture has changed. They are not as beautiful and shining as they used to. Before you plan to replace the wood table with newer object, you might want to consider the more affordable option: DIY refinishing. It doesn’t take particular skill, only specific tools and time.
1. The Equipment
To start the project, you need to be well-prepared. Check whether you have the following tools. If there are some things missing, go to the closest store and buy them.
- Several brushes to apply stain and other chemicals
- stain sealer
- chemical cleaner
- sandpaper (220, 150 and 100 grit)
- putty knife
- rubber gloves
- putty knife
- tack cloth
- eyes protection
2. Cleaning the Table
The first thing to do in refinishing project is cleaning the surface. You might think that your table is clean, but it is rarely the case. Grab a sponge, a soap and a bucket of water. Pour adequate amount of soap to the bucket, dip the sponge and start cleaning! Make sure you clean all surfaces, nooks and corner.
Rinse the soapy solution with water. You will need a dry cloth to dry the surface. It takes too long if you let it dries on its own. Then, check whether the table needs additional repairment before refinishing. Check and look for dent, crack, holes and other damages. Fix them first, then go to the step.
3. Cleaning with Chemicals
Not all mango wood tables are sold naked; many customers prefer a painted dining table. In this case, surface cleaning is not enough. You need something stronger to remove the paint. Of course, you could use sandpaper, but it takes longer and requires more effort. Chemical cleaner is available in many stores and the price is not too expensive.
Using this chemical cleaner is not harmful as long as you follow the instructions. Here are several good tips: use gloves, wear mask and put on glasses. You don’t want the cleaner to melt your skin the way it does to the paint. Let it sit for the recommended time. Then, you could scrap the paint using putty knife.
You might need to repeat this process several times. The goal is removing as much as possible the paint or any steel wool attached to the mango wood table. You need to see the wood layer. After you remove all the paint, it is time to wash the remaining chemical cleaning. There are two commonly used solutions: turpentine and paint removers. Refer to the instruction on the can.
4. Sanding Process
It is time to bring the sandpaper to work. Those who already work with cleaning chemical might need no heavy sanding. A light sand is enough to smooth the surface. Remember that this is an important procedure. The final look of the table depends on how well you sand it. Bad sanding will make bad table stain as well.
You could start sanding by using the 100 or 150 grit first. It works really well to remove any remaining paint or previous layer of stain. In addition, you could also feel any bumps or crack with this sandpaper. Then, continue with 220 grit paper for uniform results.
5. Applying Sealer
Do you even wonder how manufacturer could make an even look for all wood surfaces? This is the secret: sand sealer. Applying this seal before the stain will help the absorption process. If you don’t add a layer of sand sealer, then the wood might take in too much or less stain. As a result, your wood table will have uneven color.
Purchase a can of sand sealer from the nearby store. Then, put a generous amount of it on top of mango wood dining table. Let it be absorbed for several minutes. Check the instruction on the package. After the table dries completely, you sand it once again with 220 grit sandpaper.
6. Coating with Stains
The procedural steps to apply stain is simple. You will need a brush or rag to spread the stain. If you want a darker shade, you just leave the stain as long as possible. This is not the case! Later you will wipe the stain using clean rag. So, if you wish to have darker mango wood table, you need to repeat the staining process several times.
A little tip while spreading the stain liquid: follow the direction of the wood. It helps the stain to be absorbed better. The drying time should be mentioned in the stain’s package. Do as mentioned to prevent any unwanted result.
7. Finishing Wood Furniture
The last but not the least, you need an extra coat on top of the stained mango wood. It acts as protector from dust, heat and excessive light. There are several options that you can choose: oil based, polyurethane, water based, and lacquer. Each of them has their own pros and cons.
For a furniture like dining table, the most recommended protection layer is polyurethane and lacquer. The previous provides a durable finish and available in various tones. The later gives luxurious look but might need more skills to apply. The standard layer for finishing coat is four. You also need to let it sit for at least 24 hours before use.
8. Common Mistakes
After you check the steps to refinish the wood table, you might want to jump straight into the project. Some people do the same and regret that they don’t make a better planning. First of all, you may notice that refinishing job is preferably done in open area and require sunlight. Thus, you should check the weather forecast. Rainy days would be the worst time to start this project.
Another mistake that you might do is allocating less time than needed. It might seem as a three pages procedure, but the drying process is quite long. You might want to note the time from the can. After you have the total, add 50% or 70% extra time. Now you have the ideal time frame to refinish the wood table.