A good technique for refinishing a wooden table requires stripping away the old finish, sanding the wood smooth, filling open grain, applying sealer and adding new stain and finish. This process can help restore a piece with a worn or damaged finish to a like-new appearance or allow a home crafter to transform the shade of a piece.
Chemical strippers can quickly remove the old finish from the wooden table, but they may leave the surface uneven. Sanding the old finish away with an orbital sander can help remove the exterior layer while avoiding the need to sand twice. Once sanding is complete, either after chemical removal or instead of it, use a grain filler to get the table surface smooth and even. Applying a sanding sealer at this point makes it easier for the stain and finish to adhere to the wood surface.
Choose a stain that complements the final finish desired for the table. Any areas left exposed after the finish is in place keep this unfinished shade, making the stain an important choice even when you use a heavy or dark finish. Allow the stain to fully dry before applying the finish, and use smooth and even strokes throughout the final two applications.