This beautiful coffee table was my first ever thrift store buy. I was moving into my apartment in Gainesville, when I was going to UF and thought it had great lines. It was $40 and my dad bought it for me. That was about 20 years ago now and since then it has taken a world of abuse.

At one point my daughter and her friend (then 4 yrs old) drew on it with marker. My husband kept saying, ‘It’s no big deal, the whole thing needs to be redone anyway.’ So, basically this table got a lot of wear and tear for the last 19 years.

My father has since passed away and the table has taken on a special meaning to me now. So one day a few years ago, I looked at this table, shabby in its appearance, but beautiful in its elegant lines, and thought it’s time to refinish this beauty. My stumbling block was I had never refinished a piece of furniture before in my life and worried I would ruin it. Thankfully I have an amazingly supportive husband who is well versed in all things art and tech. He held my hand through the first steps and gave me great advice along the way, such as: “You won’t ruin the table crazy lady!” and “You can always sand it out.”

    Needless to say, he was right.


I sanded it down until all that marker came out and I had a uniform appearance without any remaining shiny spots, which indicate you haven’t gotten through all of the coats of sealer.

My main advice would be:

-Don’t push too hard.

-Don’t stay in 1 spot too long.

Besides those two rules, all it takes is time and elbow grease. Two characteristics of old that seem to be painfully nonexistent in this day and age.

It took about 4 coats of Danish Oil this is the brand I used. I followed directions for drying times and then lightly sanded between coats, using 220 grit sandpaper and then this 0000 Steel Wool soaked in a little soapy water. It’s all about lightly sanding down any imperfections in each coat using higher and finer grit. This is what creates the sheen. You start with 220 then sand with 440 (or skip right to 0000 steel wool & soapy water), thats what I did.

Don’t rush it! If you wonder, “Is the coat dry enough to start sanding?” Don’t sand it, just wait. Have patience and perseverance and you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous finished product.

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