• Home
  • Blog
  • Master the Art of Refinishing Wood Veneer Tables for a Stunning Transformation

Master the Art of Refinishing Wood Veneer Tables for a Stunning Transformation

If you’re looking to breathe new life into an old wood veneer table, refinishing is the way to go. Refinishing wood veneer tables is an affordable and immensely satisfying way to transform a tired, outdated piece of furniture into a stunning centerpiece for your home that looks brand new.

Understanding Wood Veneer Tables and the Need for Refinishing

Wood veneer is a thin layer of real wood applied over a core material like particleboard or plywood, creating a beautiful and cost-effective alternative to solid wood furniture. While durable, wood veneer can become scratched, discolored, damaged or worn down over time from regular use and exposure to sunlight, losing its luster and appeal. That’s where refinishing comes in – a process that strips away the old, beaten finish and applies a fresh protective coating, restoring the table’s rich natural beauty and grain patterns.

But refinishing isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s also an excellent practical solution to extend the lifespan of your cherished wood veneer furniture pieces. By addressing minor surface imperfections like scratches, water stains, dents and dings, and protecting the veneer surface with a new finish, you can enjoy your beloved table for many more years to come without needing to spend money on costly replacements. There’s a profound sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with rescuing and reviving a piece with your own hands.

refinishing wood veneer table

Preparing for the Refinishing Process: Tools and Materials Required

Proper preparation is critical for achieving professional-quality results when refinishing a wood veneer table. Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. Not having the right supplies can bring your project to a screeching halt and lead to disappointing finishes.

Gathering these essential items upfront ensures you can power through the project seamlessly. I’d also recommend having plenty of old clean rags on hand for wiping up spills and excess finish. Moving the table to a well-ventilated work area like a garage is advisable to allow for proper drying between coats.

Step-by-Step Guide to Refinishing a Wood Veneer Table

Now that you’re fully equipped with the proper tools and supplies, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into the refinishing process step-by-step:

1. Prepare the surface: Start by giving the table a light but thorough cleaning with mineral spirits or denatured alcohol to remove any grease, grime or residue that could impair adhesion of the new finish. Once dry, use a coarse 80-100 grit sandpaper to remove the existing finish, sanding in the direction of the wood grain. Don’t be too aggressive, as you only want to remove the surface coat – not dig into the veneer itself. After sanding off the old finish, switch to a medium 120-150 grit paper to smooth the entire surface evenly.

2. Repair any imperfections: Closely inspect the veneer surface, identifying any dents, deep scratches, cracks or other damage requiring repair. For minor cosmetic blemishes, use a wood filler putty or epoxy wood filler to fill the gaps and depressions, allowing ample drying time per the manufacturer’s instructions. Once fully dried, carefully sand the repaired areas flush and smooth with the surrounding veneer surface using a fine 180-220 grit sandpaper.

3. Clean thoroughly before staining or finishing: Just before applying stain or polyurethane, give the entire tabletop a final rigorous cleaning using a tack cloth to remove any lingering dust, sanding residue or debris. Having a perfectly clean surface is absolutely essential for ensuring a flawless, smooth finish and preventing pieces of grit from marring your handiwork.

4. Apply stain or dye (optional): If you want to revive the original color or completely change the hue of your wood veneer table, now is the ideal time to apply a wood stain or dye. Test your stain color first on an inconspicuous area or scrap piece of veneer to ensure you’ll achieve the desired shade. When ready, apply the stain liberally in the direction of the wood grain using a brush or rag, carefully wiping away any excess before it dries. For gel stains, use a high-density foam brush and work in small sections, removing any pooling. Allow ample drying time between coats if seeking a richer, deeper tone.

5. Apply a protective clear coat finish: Once fully dry, it’s time to seal and protect your revived table with a durable clear coat finish like polyurethane, lacquer or varnish. Select a finish suited for interior wood furniture that will withstand regular use. Using a high-quality natural bristle brush, apply the finish in thin, even coats along the grain, allowing each coat to dry fully per the product’s instructions before adding another. Plan for at least 2-3 thin finish coats to achieve an optimal smooth, long-lasting surface.

6. Enjoy your refinished masterpiece! After allowing ample drying time for the final finish coat to fully cure, your wood veneer table will be utterly transformed – looking refreshed, rich and simply stunning. Prepare to receive endless compliments! Admire your refinishing handiwork, and enjoy the pride of reviving this beautiful piece for many more years of use.

While refinishing wood veneer tables requires considerable elbow grease upfront, keeping that fresh rejuvenated finish looking pristine is fairly straightforward with just a little routine care:

With some simple precautions and routine maintenance, your beautiful refinished wood veneer table will continue dazzling and delighting you for many years to come as the showpiece it deserves to be.