It’s dining set makeover time! And this post shares how to sand through an old finish and apply a brand new one using a one-step-stain-and-seal.
Dining Set Makeover Using a One-Step Stain and Seal
I used to be afraid of refinishing wood with stain.
Not sure why, but the whole stripping and staining and sealing-to-a-factory-finish thing was just a total mind boggle.
Then this 1970-something Drexel treasure came along and I knew that I knew….painting this table set would be an absolute crime.
Disclosure: The post is sponsored by Fusion Mineral Paint, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.
Dining Set Makeover: Sanding the Table
So, I pulled up my big girl panties, bought a new hand sander (for the flat sections) and made the deep sanding dive.
And this is what I learned:
Sanding off sealer and stain is just like everything else.
You basically have to read up and watch a few YouTube videos.
And then go with your gut.
The key is to not be in a rush….
And don’t apply too much pressure.
In other words, use soft hands.
It may take more passes over the piece, which means more time, but if it prevents an oversanded booboo, then it’s time well spent.
For the table, I started with 150-grit Diablo brand sandpaper. Normally, we’d start with around 80 to 100-grit, but this seal seemed kinda thin and brittle to me. I just felt like 80-grit could grind scratches into that fabulous veneer, so I backed the sandpaper grit down to 150.
And ya know what? I was right. The finish all but melted off the table.
And since I was super sensitive about the protecting the veneer from scratches and oversanding, I used 320-grit sandpaper to hand buff the dark spots. Yes, I realize that 320 is moving into buffing paper, but trust me, sometimes the wood and the old finish have to be handled gently.
And this was one of those times.
A gentle buffing easily removed the dark spots and left the veneer ready to receive the stain…without a single scratch.
I saved as much original wood grain and factory distressing as I could. Quite frankly, the stripped down table was so breathtaking that I wished it could be left in this natural state.
Dining Set Makeover: Sanding the Chairs
But then came the chairs.
And let me just say that I used the same technique…soft hands and low pressure….but did step up the grit on the sandpaper.
Why? Mainly because most of the sanding had to be done by hand. This allowed me to feel the pressure and the wood’s response under my hand. So, although it was pretty time consuming, everything was all good in the end.
The key to sanding curvy pieces of wood is to remember that the sander will shape the wood into the shape that you sand. So if a curve is pressed in a flat manner, the curve of the wood will be sanded away. And I had six chairs to retain what seemed like a gazillion identical curves.
It was slow going, but I wrapped the sandpaper around every single curve and sanded with the curve so that no shape was lost.
And yes, just like with the table, it was necessary to keep sanding until the dark spots were removed while working to save the wood grain and distressed look.
Let’s see….six chairs X 4-to-6 hours per chair. Yep, some chairs were easier than others, but getting into so many nooks and crannies just took time.
Dining Set Makeover: Applying Stain and Seal
If you follow this blog, you will likely recognize the buffet that goes with this set. It sits in the landing at the bottom of the stairs.
And the exact same product and staining technique used on the buffet doors was used on the table and chairs.
At first, I started to copy and paste the directions into this post….until I realized….whoa….this is also a really good post to read before sanding and staining.
There’s a whole lot of good information to add to the information here. And since adding that entire post to this post is just too much to load into one post, please click here to read more about sanding and staining the doors, painting the frame and cleaning the hardware.
The finished set now sits in the basement at the end of the long room and will serve as a dining room/office.
To read about how Hooker brand furniture pieces and a discarded desk top come together to form the wall unit AND how the unit was refinished using homemade chalk-type paint, glaze and wax, please click here.
At the opposite end of this 30-foot long room is the TV area. The furniture was finally delivered and the DIY projects to finish the room, including a DIY projection TV screen, are underway. Hope you will stay tuned for these posts.
In the meantime, if you’d like to share or save this post, please PIN the images below.
For More from the Basement Makeover Series
Spring 2019 One Room Challenge
More Furniture Makeovers
Furniture Makeover Resources
#diningsetmakeover #fusionmineralpaint #homesteadhouse #diablo #ryobi