A few years ago…
when TWITTER was just getting started…..
I sent a TWEET to Mary McDonald...the designer……and asked her:
“Can I paint an antique wooden table?”
It was really only the top that I wanted to paint. “
AND Mary replied!!! ” As long as it can be taken off (IF) you ever want to – fine”
So I painted the top of our dining room table .
THIS SPRING – I took the paint OFF – AND I refinished it, taking it back to the gorgeous Walnut wooden veneer top.
TOOLS AND PRODUCTS-
- A couple scrapers – a few sizes are helpful.
- THE “GOOP”. in this case called “GOOF OFF”
- Sander and sand paper – different grades.
- Protective gloves and eye-wear
- Stain – if you will be re- staining your piece.
- Varnish – or wax whichever you prefer .
This is a more laborious and tedious project than Truly difficult.
It just takes time and patience to do it right. AND you must take great care to protect yourself from the VERY DANGEROUS fumes of the paint remover. I highly recommend doing the work outside if you are able and if not ONLY work inside – IN A VERY WELL ventilated room. A mask does not protect you from the fumes – thought I still wore one -! and I was OUTSIDE! Also wear protective goggles. If you ever get a drop of the “goop” on your skin – you will know why. IT IS INCREDIBLY CAUSTIC. It will give you a nasty burn .
Bottom line- Just be careful and while I love “shortcuts” this is NOT a time to take them.
STEP 1- REMOVING THE BULK OF THE PAINT.
NOTE – MANY PEOPLE go straight to step 2 – and JUST SAND to remove the old finish and/or paint. Since I was the one to paint the 10+ coats of paint on this table..I knew sanding would not be SUFFICIENT AND thus started by using a chemical paint remover.
Prepare the area. I covered the ground with brown paper to protect the grass and keep the chemicals confined.
Wear protective gloves when you use the “GOOF OFF.
You “paint” on the GOOP in one direction, with a big fat old brush (because you will want to toss it) lay it on nice and thick and leave it to do its thing.(your particular product will give you detailed instructions. READ and HEED.
Once it has bubbled up, you just scrape it off. It is actually quite cool! This step might take two go-arounds for thick old paint. I was careful not to get the Goop on the legs as I did not want them stripped.
STEP TWO – SAND AND SAND AND SAND
This step is tedious. I have a few different Sanders, the one I liked the best for this was the ORBITAL SANDER.
EVENTUALLY – you will be down to the wood only. switch to the finest grade, and use steel wool if you like. making the top super smooth for varnishing.
STAINING AND VARNISHING
I chose NOT to stain my table. I loved the natural color and one of the reasons I had painted it to begin with is that it looked to dark for my home. I figured I can always stain later if I change my mind. The trickiest thing with varnish is getting it on and NOT getting tiny hairs and dust and itsy bits bugs in it. I always APPLY VARNISH in one direction . I varnished at the end of the day when the table was not under direct sunlight or heat as those things will dry the varnish too fast and leave BRUSH marks. The varnish needs time to lay smooth.
THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES…I LOVE THE WOOD!
START TO FINISH- THIS PROJECT TOOK ABOUT 3 DAYS.
AND IT WAS WORTH EVERY MINUTE!