Re-coating a varnished table sounds like a simple task but you will need to prepare the surface before you can think about painting it, and if you don’t prepare in advance, the whole project is likely to go badly.
Without sanding the table first you won’t get a good end result, The preparation is the most important part of the whole job.
It won’t matter how good you paint the table if you don’t first prepare it, you can not paint out marks, defects or scratches and you can’t paint it smooth.
Let this not discourage you because I will take you today through the simple steps on how to prepare wooden tables for a fresh re-coat of paint.
Using a belt sander machine will reduce the time it takes you to sand the unwanted layers of paint or varnish and also save you a lot of work.
Steps by steps guides on how to prepare wooden tables for a fresh re-coat
Preparing your wooden table for a new layer is straightforward with simple requirements such as:
- Belt sander machine
- Sandpapers, 220 for thin layers and 100 grit minimum for more stubborn layers
- Sanding block
- Powered sander-orbit sander or palm sander can be a perfect substitution of sanding blocks
- PVA glue or wood glue
- Cloths and rags
- Protective goggles
- Vinyl or latex gloves
- Dust respirator or mask
- Old clothes or working apron
- The last thing will be availing yourself and creating the working space. Let us get into today’s business
Step one: Surveying the table before sanding
Before you touch anything, it is advisable to inspect your table first to spot issues like badly scratched areas and other sorts of damages. Besides, check if the table has oily or stain marks to psychologically and physically prepare yourself.
Why surveying? It gives you an exact picture of what you will work on and the materials or ingredients that you will require to accomplish the job. Furthermore, check if the table’s legs are square or not and the pieces that join them together.
Also, inspect whether the surface of your table is level or accurate and pieces bowed or warped.
Step two: Sanding the table with a belt sander
Don’t forget to put on your messy cloth, dust mask, vinyl gloves, and protective goggles when sanding the table. Take your sandpaper and begin the job. This step will take much of your time because you will have to do sanding to the table’s whole parts.
Using an 100 grit paper with your belt sander will help you quickly remove thick layers of paint or varnish from your table. However, if your table looks quite dull with faded patches, minor scuffs, for example, use a 220 grit paper to make the surface soft.
Take your time and continue sanding until you remove all old finish or varnish, reaching all scratches. Try to sand until your table retains a uniform or flat color; sometimes, color varies due to nature. Let not this worry you; continue with your project. However, the sun may make your table fable; therefore, you will have to scratch all places to remove stains, dirt, and the table’s initial finish.
Much concentration should go to brighter areas because the sun can break wood finish in the regions that get direct sunlight. Continue sanding until the entire table gets a precise, uniform, and nice surface with no stains or dirt. Remember, proper sanding will make the new coating uniform and flat.
Don’t go mad while scrubbing the table because some timbers feature various natural colors. Sometimes, you may find that the color of one timber piece color is the same as the other. What you only need to do under this stage is to eliminate all dirt, stains, and getting a flat, smooth, and uniform table surface.
Step three: Removing stubborn stains and dirt
You will need to use the 80 grit paper for scratching drink spillages and watermarks Under this step. You may also find some patchy and dull areas as a result of direct sunlight. There are no specific rules while sanding, but you need to get a nice and flat table surface. While scratching, remember not to damage the surface of your table further.
Step four: Removing dust particles
Use a sander to get rid of all dust after sanding. Make sure you reach even to intricate parts like the joints of the table. Vacuum the table until you see no wood dust particles before moving to the next step.
Step five: Fixing and filling all surface imperfections
Before ensuring the table’s surface is uniform, use a dry damp cloth or towel to wipe the table. Doing so will result in a smooth surface.
Now it is time to check damaged areas and fill the places using a VGA glue or wood glue. Don’t skip this step, thinking that the new layer will cover the irregularities. If there are unfilled nail holes, scratches, or scrapes, apply the wood filler.
Filling table surface results in a flat and smooth surface and prevents you from getting a flaking, lousy adhesion, and blistering new coat.
After you are through with the above steps, your wooden table is now ready for a fresh coat. Don’t touch the table after preparation; you may leave natural oils or grease on the table from your hands.
Frequently asked questions
Why do I have to survey my table before sanding?
Surveying gives you an exact picture of what you will work on and the materials or materials you need for preparation.
What are safety measures while sanding?
Put on your dust mask to stop dusting from getting into your lungs, vinyl gloves to avoid small injuries in your finger, and protective goggles to keep off dirt and dust from entering your eyes.
There we come, here we are through with steps and process of how to prepare a wooden table for a fresh re-coat. If you are a carpenter, we can agree that this job is the trickiest than applying the first finish on furniture. But it is my wish that the above guide helps you do it yourself.
However, sometimes you may meet table surfaces with many damages; seek assistance from an expert.