Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sanding, Stripping and Staining ... Oh My!

Last week while out visiting garage sales a friend of mine spotted this table.  She sent me a text and a picture and asked if I wanted it .. I screamed YES! 

The table top is almost 36x48 with 2 benches and 2 chairs not to mention super cute and full of potential! 

As it turns out its to small for my dining room .. but I love a good project so I planned on staining the top, painting the rest and recovering the benches and chairs. 

My first step was to pull the old fabric off ... you see this table belonged to Smokey the Grandma who kept it in her basement.  After throwing away what ended up being 4 layers of fabric and enough staples to match our nations debt, I was ready to sand, paint and stain!  Too bad it started snowing, in May.

So I stacked it all up and waited for nicer weather. 

Warmer weather came in the form of a 50 degree day, rather then 37 degrees.  I lugged my table top outside and grabbed my husbands sander and went to work!

I figured a quick 15 minutes with this thing and my table would be topless and ready for stain!  Easy-peasy. 

30 minutes later this was as far as I had gotten.

Maybe I should just paint the table white??

There were also 2 coffee rings on the table ... lets sand those off next .. maybe seeing the rings disappear will bring me the instant gratification I need to keep sanding the rest!

Another 20 minutes later ... 

That was enough to call it quits for the night!

Maybe I can Pin something that will help!  After an hour on Pinterest and countless "refinish a table in one hour with NO sanding" pins I was ready to paint the stupid thing white and walk away!

Actually Pinterest did help, it was there I discovered my problem.  220.  I was trying to sand off layers of poly and stain with 220 grit sand paper.  That's like trying to dry concrete with my hair dryer, sure its blowing .. but its not doing a dang thing! 

A quick hop over to Valu and I came home with this .. my new best friend!

60 grit "paint stripping" sand paper!  Surely this would work!

Another 45 minutes later it was clear, Surely should not be giving DIY advice. 

It was then I decided I would stop crying over sawdust and do the only right thing in this situation.  Hire a stripper. 

I quickly sprayed the whole can on my table top and set a timer for 15 minutes to allow her to work her magic.

The left side had been scraped, the right side not .. Although it does not look different I felt something had worked since the once clear stripper was now a nasty brownish orangish color as it piled up on my scraper. 

I finished scrapping the whole table top and wiped off the extra and allowed the table to dry .. maybe now it will be easier to sand??

I picked up the sander and started back at it.  Easier??  No.

This is after another hour ... Still not done.  If I thought I could do it without breaking my toes .. I would drop kick this table to the other side of my yard!  What am I doing wrong?!?!?!  I guess I should just suck it up and keep sanding ... but there really has to be an easier way!  I must have missed a step somewhere!! 

Finished ...  Lets not ever talk about this experience again! 

Up next ... stain, paint, new fabric.  Then I have to decide if I am going to keep it or sell it! 


  1. This is why I don't re-do furniture. lol I think it just takes time, Adina. There's no "quick-fix." And, uh, where is this blue room? Didn't I paint your kitchen beige?!

  2. You can use a electric sander to sand it quicker
    Jolie Wang

  3. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the best virtual strippers on my desktop.