How to Refinish a Wooden Coffee Table

wooden coffee table in living room
What You'll Need
Sandpaper of varying grits
Wood stain
Soft rags
Electric hand sander
Mineral spirits

Do you have dents or dings in your wooden coffee table? If so, it may be time to refinish it. Luckily, refinishing a wooden coffee table to look new again is a simple project you can complete in one afternoon.

Step 1 – Removing the Old Finish

Note that if you want to refinish a teak-wood coffee table, you should follow different directions than if you have any other regular wood-type of coffee table.

If you have a regular wood table, you must first remove the old finish on it. To remove the finish, begin by using an electric sander on the table’s surface. To get into corners or hard-to-reach areas, simply use regular sandpaper and your hand to smooth the areas. Start with 80-grit sandpaper, and slowly work your way up to using 300-grit sandpaper.

Step 2 – Wiping the Table

Next, wipe your table down with a soft rag soaked with mineral spirits to get rid of any dust that remains. Let the coffee table dry.

Step 3 – Staining the Table

Although this step is optional, applying a fresh stain to your table can make it look new again. If you want to use stain, apply the product evenly with a paintbrush. Allow it to dry for a few hours. Exact drying times will depend on the humidity and temperature of the area.

As an alternative, considering painting your wooden coffee table to add a pop of color in your living room.

Step 4 – Applying Polyurethane

Once the stain is dry, use your paintbrush to apply the polyurethane. Let it dry. Then, sand the surface with 300-grit sandpaper, making sure to remove any formed bubbles.

Applying Additional Coats

Add another coat of polyurethane, and sand the wooden coffee table again. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until you achieve the desired look. Clean the table with a soft cloth to remove any dust.