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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought a second-hand oak dining table for my daughter's college apartment.

The top needs to be refinished, as the existing finish is worn off, scuffed, and scratched. I might use Citrustrip, but more likely will just sand it down since it needs to be sanded anyway. I'm going to re-stain it. Minwax Golden Oak is the color.

What should go over the stain? Regular clear water-based polyurethane?

Other info: it's a solid oak round, pedestal table that came with 5 chairs for $85 from Habitat Restore. It's such a heavy, solidly built table that, when she's done with it, I could probably refinish the whole set and sell it for a heck of a lot more than $85.
 

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Your plan to sand, stain, and finish with WB poly is probably as good as any considering the intended use. Depending on how bad the existing finish is worn and scuffed, you might get away with a light sanding with maybe 180 or 220 grit and use a gel stain over that. This might cover and/or blend the scuffs well enough to avoid stripping or sanding to bare wood. You can always strip it if the light sanding and stain don't work.
 

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Bought a second-hand oak dining table for my daughter's college apartment.

The top needs to be refinished, as the existing finish is worn off, scuffed, and scratched. I might use Citrustrip, but more likely will just sand it down since it needs to be sanded anyway. I'm going to re-stain it. Minwax Golden Oak is the color.

What should go over the stain? Regular clear water-based polyurethane?

Other info: it's a solid oak round, pedestal table that came with 5 chairs for $85 from Habitat Restore. It's such a heavy, solidly built table that, when she's done with it, I could probably refinish the whole set and sell it for a heck of a lot more than $85.
Citristrip is pretty crummy remover. A good remover is difficult to find since the government banned to the public the ingredient that makes removers effective. You should at least find one that is flammable. The table should be chemically stripped. Sanding tends to remove what is on the surface and leaves what finish has penetrated into the wood. Then when you apply the stain you can have spots here and there that won't accept the stain because the wood is still sealed with the old varnish.

Minwax stains are prone to fade however the golden oak color is one of the least likely to fade. If you want the color to be more colorfast I would recommend using Sherwin Williams oil stains.

If the table is to be used around children it would make a more durable finish to use an oil based poly. Also an oil based poly is chemical resistant. Once dried well you could spill nail nail polish remover on the table and would have a chance to wipe it off before it damaged the finish. That wouldn't be the case with a water based finish.
 

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I've not noticed Miniwax fading. I use early American on all my furniture, cabinets and hardwood floors...
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried sanding but that wasn't really working much.

Went ahead and used Citrustrip because I had some. It actually worked pretty well. I let it sit for about 45 minutes or so and then sort of vigorously scraped it off with a metal putty knife. I was in a rush because it was outside and rain was on its way. When the scraping was done I splashed denatured alcohol all over it (literally just poured it from the can) and wiped it off. Got down to bare wood and in the garage before it got rained on.

Sanded it out 100 to 220, (the vigorous scraping left scratches), wiped it off with paint thinner, and then applied the stain. It's drying now.

There's a reasonably good match between the top and the pedestal, which I'm thinking will improve when the poly goes on.

And for the record my daughter volunteered to help with a lot of it and did the actual staining.
 

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Water based polyurethane or polyacrylic are both good choices. Sand with 320 between coats. Dries fast you can apply 3 coats in one day.

I've used wb flooring poly applied both spraying and with a brush. Works well very tough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's a pic, and I have to say it is not nearly as blotchy in real life. It's actually quite a bit more even. No varnish on it yet.
The question might come up: Where's the pedestal? Well.

Today we moved a bunch of stuff into her new apartment, which is actually a small row house in North Philly. While we were doing that, I noticed there was a college girl moving into an almost identical row house a few doors down, and her parents were trying to fit an almost identical oak table through the front door. And I told my wife and said, "Ya know, we really maybe should remove the pedestal and do it in two pieces." And so when I got home, I unbolted the pedestal (and did a little touch-up with the stain.).

As for her living in North Philly, she goes to Temple. Every student who goes to Temple loves it. Every parent of every student who goes to Temple doesn't sleep at night.



Food Tableware Ingredient Dishware Wood
 
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