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Old 07-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #1
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oak table refinish question


In the past I would refinish my dining room table by sanding it down to bare wood, staining it, polyurethane and that's it. I did however just buy an old oak table that has a great surface but is faded, water rings, light scratches etc. it needs refinished badly. The question I have is- the wood is that parquet-type pattern where the grain goes in several different directions and someone mentioned to me to strip the surface with chemicals vs. sanding since you should sand in the direction of the wood grain. I want to know if the stripper is a good choice, will it get the poly and old stain off completely so I am down to bare wood? I have never used it so want to know what to expect. Also what brand is good? Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-19-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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oak table refinish question


There are some good quality available, get anyone, would be beneficial.

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Old 07-19-2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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oak table refinish question


In general, it's better to strip the finish rather than sand. It's easier, cleaner, and gets you to a known surface more easily.

I tend to like using Soy Gel, but there are other good products on the market.

The strippers won't remove stain from your finish, but you may have color removed depending on how much the old finish yellowed over the years, or if a toner was used originally. If you need to remove stain, you can try a bleach formulation, or you might have to resort to sanding.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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oak table refinish question


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Originally Posted by annie68164
In the past I would refinish my dining room table by sanding it down to bare wood, staining it, polyurethane and that's it. I did however just buy an old oak table that has a great surface but is faded, water rings, light scratches etc. it needs refinished badly. The question I have is- the wood is that parquet-type pattern where the grain goes in several different directions and someone mentioned to me to strip the surface with chemicals vs. sanding since you should sand in the direction of the wood grain. I want to know if the stripper is a good choice, will it get the poly and old stain off completely so I am down to bare wood? I have never used it so want to know what to expect. Also what brand is good? Thanks in advance!
Sanding in the direction of the grain is very good advice. Cross grain sanding is a generally no-no on any stain grade wood....

But, when you sanded down your other tables what did you use? An orbital probably, unless you hand sanded in the direction of the grain through the finish all the way to bare wood, or used a belt sander.

Sanding with an orbital, even though it doesn't technically go with the grain, isn't the same as cross graining by hand or with a belt sander.

Done right, with the right grit paper, you can use an orbital on parquet without cross grain scratches being a problem. If it has scratches and dings, stripper won't fix that, so to make it nice you will have to sand even if you strip it first.

Using stripper still might be desirable, as it could cut down on the amount of sanding you would have to do. Most strippers will darken the wood also.
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