I was asked to refinish this dining table to be a lighter colour. The job seemed simple enough at first sight, but it quickly turned south.

The original finish had degraded, becoming sticky and easily marked with fingerprints, rub marks and scratches. This is probably because the table had been cleaned with a harsh cleaner rather than just a gentle wipe with a dampened

The table was not flat, and had a lot of hills and valleys in the surface. This took a huge amount of effort on my part to smooth out.

I was very surprised to see what the timber looked like under the existing stain. IT’S TERRIBLE!!!

Upon seeing this, I knew that a darker stain will be needed to even out the colours of the mix matched timbers but the client wanted a lighter colour table.

The overall construction of the dining table was very poor. The original builder had some crazy mess of rails underneath the table in a failed attempt to prevent the table top from cupping and warping.

I removed these silly rails, and replaced them with the two rails spanning the full width off the table top. My two rails will prevent the table top from cupping, and hold it flat for a very long time.

I first applied a spirit stain ‘Teak Brown’ which evened out the colour of the timber to look like the underside of the table (see image above). I then went over the stain with a water based liming white which had been tinted slighty grey. This gave the table a wash of grey which tied things together very nicely and also lightened the colour quite dramatically. To add some protection to the colouring job, I finished off with 3 coats of water based polyurethane.

I’m really happy with how things looked in the end, and the most importantly, the client loved their newly refreshed dining table. I really like the effect of grey streaks through the finish. Technically, the streaks are a mistake on my part, but they looked so good, both the client and I decided to leave them in.

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