Refinished oak table built by father-in-law

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Project by DaleMaley posted 01-05-2021 05:35 PM 760 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My father-in-law was a prolific woodworker, but like many woodworkers, he hated to spend any time on the final finishing process. He usually applied his oil stain, then just 1 coat of polyurethane. Over the decades, the sun and water damage takes it toll on the finish.

My wife has this table, and she asked me to fix the top and long sides, where the finish was almost clear gone.

I sanded off the old finish on the top and sides [after removing the oak button plugs]. I then stained with Golden Oak to match the lower finish.

I like using Behlen’s grain filler, because it gives a mirror-like finish on table tops.

After I had the top and 2 long upper side pieces sanded, my process was…..

1. Stain with golden oak oil stain.
2. Rub in Behlen’s grain filler with fingers, after 10 minutes scrape excess off using plastic piece, across grain.
3. let dry overnight. 220 grit sand excess dried behlen’s
4. stain again
5. Three rounds of polyurethane with 220 grit hand sanding between coats
6. glue button plugs back in

For more info on this restoration project, see my woodworking web site.

Thanks !

-- Dale, Illinois,

3 comments so far

View ohwoodeye's profile


2691 posts in 4401 days

#1 posted 01-05-2021 06:39 PM

Very nice revitalization.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View swirt's profile


6649 posts in 4219 days

#2 posted 01-06-2021 12:08 AM

Nice save.

-- Galootish log blog,

View LesB's profile


3101 posts in 4690 days

#3 posted 01-06-2021 12:57 AM

I would say you made it better than the original.

Yes most of us do not like the application of finishes but that is what makes the item complete.
Not only do I not particularly like the finishing process (often tedious) but I absolutely hate re-finishing, so good on you for doing it. I’m sure you father in law would be pleased.

-- Les B, Oregon

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