Yesterday I completed another project: refinishing an old dining table. It took two full days, but now it is in place to keep guests from knocking their heads on the light fixture that was otherwise randomly dangling in the middle of the room. The chairs to match are not on my list until I can work on them outside. I’m afraid they’ll be slow due to having more nooks and crannies to deal with. Anyway, the set is supposed to match the Restoration Hardware style coffee table that I wrote about not too long ago, and I used the same method of waxing and staining. So far so good, because they do match well enough to my eye. I’m so pleased with the table that I can’t help but admire the grain and imperfections while running my hand along it every time a walk by. 😀 It turned out much nicer than the coffee table.
This table is very heavy and is made of some sort of dense pine which I can still smell any time that I’ve sanded it. It is not the first time that I refinished it, just like the the coffee table, but it too was stored for several years on a porch. (My dad’s.) Last time I simply sanded them down, stained everything uniformly dark with ebony, and polycrylic coated it all. Obviously my taste has shifted a bit since then. The table is embossed underneath with “Hecho en Mexico” along with a mark that I want to look up. Some years ago it was given to me by the super of the building that I lived in, because he said I’d appreciate it after seeing the coffee table. He told me that some tenants had abandoned it when they moved away and that they had brought it with them from Russia. Who knows what the story of the table really is, but I’ve had it ever since. My husband has always been particularly fond of the table, but we didn’t have a place for it. Now that we have a dining area it was time to bring it from my father’s porch and get to work.
After sanding and beginning to wax: (I still think that a little more sanding and then only clear wax would have been gorgeous if our floors were dark!)
The process was the same as with the coffee table. After sanding and going over it with a brass brush, I began with liming wax and clear wax, then stained with ebony, waxed again a few times, left it overnight, sanded a little, and then waxed for what seemed like forever finishing with the clear. It turned out slightly different than the “antique coffee” look of the coffee table, because I ran out of the clear wax that I’d been using and bought some that was different. I cannot find that one to link to, but it was very soft, melted rapidly, and it did not give a hard finish. Perhaps that is the cause of water ring trouble too, and overall I recommend the Minwax now that I’ve tried it. It hardens and works so much better. It is a really lovely result with an amazing depth to the grain, but I haven’t tested it for water rings yet. As for the coffee table I ignored the label and Home Depot employee’s advice by applying rub-on polycrylic in spite of the wax. (I cannot find that on Amazon or Home Depot either, sorry.) I tested it on the edge, and since it didn’t appear to be a problem applied a couple of coats to the top too. I sure hope it solves the water rings! Last time the brush-on variety worked perfectly, so fingers crossed. I did this before discovering how gorgeous the Minwax paste made the dining table, so it was too late to apply.
Here is the result of all the hard work:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!