Staining a Coffee Table

Just purchased a used coffee table that needs help. The stain on the wood was done poorly. Do I need to strip it to re-stain or can I stain over the old stain.

Rose from Malvern, PA

April 18, 20070 found this helpful


Usually you will want to strip it before you stain. In many cases, it will be hard to find an exact-match to the existing stain and even if you do get lucky enough to get a close match, there is no guarantee that the stain will absorb in the same way.

Depending on the damage / wear and tear, you might try putting a coating of Old English furniture polish on it before you go to the trouble of stripping and re-staining. I have found that you can often times get light surface scratches, etc, out with it.

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April 18, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks Gladys,

The table has a lot of intricate wood work and would be laborious to strip. It is not scratched though. Perhaps I could try the Old English first.


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April 18, 20070 found this helpful

I use the Homer Formby kit for refinishing. Use ultra fine steel wool to apply the formula to dissolve the old stain and then finish with a couple of coats of semi gloss or matte sealer finish. This is just about the easiest way to finish any furniture that I have run across.

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April 19, 20070 found this helpful

Better giving the coffee table a good sand down with rough sand paper first then a light sanding with the smooth sand paper before re-staining

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April 19, 20070 found this helpful

Depends on what kind of topcoat was used. You could probably hit it with some steel wool first. Medium-course to remove topcoat then use a fine grade and re-stain. Make sure you wipe all the dust off before you re-stain. Good luck!

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April 19, 20070 found this helpful


I've used this on furniture with great results, Howard's Restore-a-Finish. It costs about 10-11 dollars and they had it at our local Ace Hardware: ... Page=search&searchId=20617577921

It does a nice job.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful

Try cleaning it first with Murphy's oil soap and you might have to do this several times. Its great stuff.

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In This Article
Wood Table Finish
Repairing Wood Table Finish
Home and Garden Home Improvement Furniture RefinishingApril 17, 2007
Coffe Maker
Cleaning a Drip Coffee Maker
glass coffee table
Repairing a Coffee Table With Missing Glass
cup of coffee
Making Coffee Without a Coffee Maker
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