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pine table top refinishing advice sought

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by yodedude2, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    twenty bucks at a garage sale bought me an older pine table for my dining room. i have the top sanded down with 80 grit. what next? i know i want some sort of natural, non-painted surface. my main concerns, in order of importance, are: durability / low or no maintenance / appearance.

    keep in mind i have no special knowledge or tools...and want to keep this project on a low (lowe's) budget.

    thanks y'all!
  2. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Sand it again with 220 grit.
    Then I would just rub it down with tung oil.
    (pretty cheap, easy to maintain)
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    "In the pines, in the pines, where the sun dont ever shine, and I'll shiver the whole night through..."

    I'd give it a nice stain and finish it up with a poly coat, after sanding it as nortonrider suggests.
  4. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Pine is pretty soft wood, so you might want a hard coat on it, depending on how much wear and tear it's going to see. Stain + multiple thin spray clear coats would work.
    On the other hand, I like my natural pine desk (old kitchen table, too) with an ancient clear coat, because it shows all the wear and tear it's been through.

    If you want a quick and easy finish, wood wax is my favorite product. It's pretty much just spread on, wipe excess off, let dry. It's available in multiple see-through colors/stains, and it has pretty good penetration into the wood like stain or oil does, so small dents don't show the lighter color beneath.
  5. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    great ideas, thanks! 220-grit sanding shall be done.

    i'm not clear on the tung vs. poly vs. wood wax choices. why would one choose any one of them over the others?

    the wood wax application process sounds similar to tung oil. i've twice sanded down bass necks and sealed them with tung oil; still, i'm going to be eating off this table, not playing it (grin)...any more thoughts to share, anyone?
  6. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    (IMO) this is very sound advice.
    However to explore other options, you would want to examine what you are going to use the able for.
    I have used a variety of finishes on wood from various oils to nitrocellulose lacquer. With a soft wood such as pine the wood will drink up oils. A stain to bring out the grain and a polymer finish may be an idea if the table is to see any use where impact, weighty objects, or food may be placed. Yet one of the most important things about a polymer (or NC lacquer) is that you incorporate a spray gun. Using a spay can often will not cover in a consistent manner. If you use oils / stain alone allow for the wood to drink up what may be an undercoat and finish with an oil that will harden (Tung, Linseed). If you are going to eat from the table consider the fact that oils under polymers often take a great deal of time to dry and SOME do not mix well and the finish is often very soft & sticky. Light levels of stain and a clear-coat will harden and eventually become smell free.
    Test the wood to determine how soft it is. SOME pines are substantially harder than others & always work WITH the grain.

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