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Do I need to sand my oak table before applying an enamel finish?

I have a contemporary oak dining table and chairs. It has a light stain and glossy finish. I want to refinish it with either a deep brown stain or black lacquer paint. What would be the best way to do this? If I do choose to paint, could it be done with a spray paint?
  • August 28 2013 - US
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Answers (6)

Got to thinking since that is an oak table you may be able to get by with 2 coats of poly...and don't shake the can to mix poly, stir it with something...shaking it causes bubbles...lol. :-)
-Joseph-
  • August 28 2013
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I have refinished quite a bit of tables etc... You are best to strip it and start over.
Walmart has a citrus stripper ( glaze/orange in color ) that comes in a plastic type can.
It is very harmless to use and not a problem when breathing it and washs up with soapy water.
Sitting next to it you should also find a finish bottle of clear rinse.
One of each should do it.

Put the stripper on and let in set for a while then use a putty knife to scrap off the mess. When you think you have it all off use the finishing rinse with some paper towels and clean it.

You may wish to stain it after that, if you do don't use the 'two in one stain/poly' its crap.
Use reg. stain ( cleans up with WD40) put it on and wipe it off, leave on longer if a darker color is preferred.
Next poly coat with satin sheen poly, let dry over night, then sand with the grain to remove burrs that will come up...don't worry if it starts looking weird when you apply the final coat of poly it will disappear.

After you sand it, wipe it off and apply a second coat of the same poly, let dry over night, sand one last time and put on you 3rd final coat...when that dries it should be really smooth.

Next throw you some car wax on it and polish it, if you dont have that srpay it with some spray wax and buff it with an old wash rag.

If you are set on painting it I would stay away from spray paint because if you try to secound coat it...it will wrinkle on you.
If you use a good quality paint the brush strokes will all but dissappear anyway. Thing with paint is it will cause things to stick to it if you dont wax it also after the paint cures.
I have seen some people even poly over paint to protect it, I have never done that but...

Cause it is oak (special walnut looks great on the stain part). Hope the kitchen is going ok too.

Maybe that helps some and let me know if you have any trouble with it.
It a neat DIY project...go you !
-Joseph-
  • August 28 2013
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I have not refinished too many furniture items, but I do know that you will probably have to strip or sand the gloss sealer coat before you try to paint or refinish. When I refinished a chair with a gloss coat, I didn't sand at first. The paint did not stick well and was prone to scratches, but after sanding and repainting the paint was much more durable.

There is some good information on this site about refinishing with tips and supplies that you might need. Hope it helps.
  • August 28 2013
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Profile picture for LemeliaJohnsonBonner
It's really not smart to insult someone who lives right in your own back yard and can damage your reputation. Really not smart, especially in light of how effective social media can be.
  • August 28 2013
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Well, that was an unnecessary and self-serving reply. You insult and don't even offer up an alternative? Nice.
  • August 28 2013
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Boy, have you come to the wrong place for advice on refinishing furniture.

  • August 28 2013
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