Refinishing an End Table

Category Refinishing
Refinishing a piece of furniture is a good solution for either an antique or a dated piece, needing a modernizing face lift. This is a page about refinishing an end table.


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I got this table free at a garage sale. It was not in the best of shape as one drawer was stuck and the outside just needed help. I was pretty sure I could refinish the top, but the bottom of the end table had too much "curly ques" to spend the time on. This table was definitely outdated with the old hardware too. My "after" pic does not show handles as I redid this for my son and thought he might like to pick out his own handles.

Approximate Time: 6 hours





  1. Take all hardware off.
  2. Remove drawers.
  3. If they stick, sand down the tops of the drawers till they don't stick.
  4. Sand the top of the table till all varnish is off and you have raw wood.
  5. If you choose to stain, do it now.
  6. Clean well, both the table and the drawers.
  7. Apply polyurethane, at least 2 coats, letting dry between each one and using a piece of cardboard to knock down any bubbles you may have. Just run the cardboard across the top a few times. It works great.
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  9. Apply primer paint to the bottom of the table and drawers.
  10. After that is dry, spray paint the bottom part of the table, including drawers. It is better to give it two thin coats than one coat because it will eliminate the possibility of runs.
  11. After thoroughly dry, apply glazing paint that has been mixed with a small amount of water (I would say about 25% water) immediately wiping off most of it. It is desirable to leave some in the cracks and crevices of the design. I used a rag for this, but you can use a brush.


By Elaine from Belle Plaine, IA

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Since my Mersman 8086 will not increase in value, is it safe to refinish? The top is watermarked and gummy and I will try to be faithful to the original finish.


March 13, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

More than likely you are right on this one. I think it would be safe to refinish this table. Before you try to strip the table with a stripper, you should test it on an area under the table first.


Now, you can strip off the finish, give it a very light sanding and add the new finish tot he table. I don't see any harm in this and it can or might help to increase the value just a bit because it doesn't look so bad.

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