Staining Dining room table- help please

Old 04-23-06, 11:15 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Staining Dining room table- help please

I bought a dining room table from someone off of craiglist-it is solid wood. I want to stain it darker, and it seems like it already has a stain on it, but i do not know if it has a shellac or laquer finish over it. It is not shiny and i can feel the grain in the wood still. Does this mean it is not finished? It seems like it was just stained.
-how can i tell?
- If it just stained, can i stain over it w/o sanding or stripping?
Old 04-23-06, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,261
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Place a couple of drops of mineral spirits on the table top. If it soaks into the wood right away, there is a good chance that there is no finish on it. In this case the top will be dirty with oil, grease, grit, and grime from use. You might try to the clean it with mineral spirits and clean cloths. Dampen them with mineral spirits and wipe the surface with the grain. Once the cloths come away clean, the surface should be clean. If you want to stain it darker than it is, you can apply a stain to see what happens.

Remember, most stains are intended to be applied to clean, bare wood. Applying a stain over an existing stain is trial and error and may not produce the result you want. Try the stain over stain in an inconspicuous place to see how it looks. It might be a good idea to sand the top uniformly, but this, too, is more trial and error to even out the smoothness of the surface of the wood.

If the top has a finish, you will be best served by stripping it and starting anew.

Hope this helps.
Old 04-23-06, 09:33 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,076
Received 1,248 Upvotes on 1,192 Posts
A little easier than refinishing, tinted polyurethane can darken a finish.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: