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Refinishing a Butcher block Table

Well, I’ve been at it again! This time I took a perfectly good butcher block table from the in-laws and refinished it. Before you get all judgy-face let me explain that it had a yellowish polyurethane on it. And if you’re an avid reader of my DIY section you know I loath the yellow poly look. So, while I loved the table, I hated the yellow.

So, I sanded off the poly and sanded down the legs. The top was maple, the sides were something else and had a slightly pink tint. You can see this in one of the images below where the top is white-ish and the legs are yellow-pink. This presented a bit of a problem when it came to selecting a stain that would apply evenly to both the legs and the top. Before I get to that, let me walk you through the abuse and reincarnation this poor table went through. It’s exhausting, mind-numbing and frustrating.

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  1. February 22, 2014: Sanded table top using belt sander (photo above)
  2. February 24, 2014: Applied Bombay Mahogany stain. Didn’t wipe it off afterwards.
  3. March 8, 2014: Sanded off horrible staining job using circular sander. Took forever.
  4. March 14, 2014: Applied Jacobean stain (Miniwax) and wiped it off this time. Yup, learning by trial and error is tedious stuff. (See second image below.)
  5. March 18, 2014: Applied another coat of Jacobean and wiped it off. Look okay, but there are some marks on the top from the original belt sanding from late February.
  6. Late March, 2014: Husband unhappy with the belt sander marks. Sanded down the whole thing. Starting over. Sanded down the legs as well. (see first image below.)
  7. Early April, 2014: My husband applied Bombay Mahogany to the legs and top.
  8. Mid April, 2014: Husband doesn’t like the mahogany. It didn’t go on cleanly because it was a poly-stain mix and dried too fast.
  9. Late April, 2014: Sanded down the table again. Starting over.
  10. Later April, 2014: Applied Jacobean in two coats, wiping between coats.
  11. Daily, early May, 2014: Applied a coat of poly protection each day, sanded with 320 between coats.
  12. May 9, 2014 (today): Got so sick of seeing the table in my work area that I painted the legs black and applied a final coat of poly to the top. I’M DONE WITH THIS TABLE!!!!

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20140310_175425So, after all of that here is the final product. You can see a few circular sander marks on the top. Screw it, they are staying! This was a tough first staining project for us and it took three months to get it to this point. I like it, and it looks better than I anticipated from the start of this long-lasting project. Anyways, here are a few photos! First photo is without a spray protection on the legs. The second photo I lightly (320 paper) sanded the top coat of poly and applied a protection spray to the legs. Looking sexy, table!

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20140511_152217I like how the legs kind of bring out the darker legs on my blue suede chairs and blue booth. Yes, I have a booth in my house. I’m that cool.

This table has been SOLD. See my other items on Etsy at Fernweh Originals or visit my Facebook Page, Fernweh Originals.




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