Our New Dining Room Table - How I Flipped It
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Yesterday, I shared the harrowing saga of how our dining table came to be. You can read all about it here! This post will tell you exactly what I did to achieve the look and how much it cost!
I found this 1980's oak dining table on Facebook Marketplace along with 6 chairs for $25. One of the most appealing things about this table, other than the beautiful turned legs, was the fact that the top had already been mostly stripped which made my life a little easier. Had it not been stripped, Citristrip is the best and non toxic way to remove stain and finish before sanding. I have used the oven cleaner trick in the past, and while it can be effective, you're working with very toxic chemicals so I try to avoid it.
With most of the finish removed, I generally start sanding with 80 grit paper. I love my Ryobi Orbital Sander. It's pretty lightweight and easy to maneuver for projects like this table. The 80 grit paper removes most of the rough edges and finish. This is the part that is the most time consuming, and you just have to be patient and push through it. It's going to be so worth it!
Once you have sanded away any chips, stains or finish, wipe down the wood with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris. You can then move on to a 120 and 220 grit. To be honest, I usually move right from 80 to 220. You could stop right there, but for a silky smooth surface I always finish with a 320 grit. It feels like butter. Just sand in the direction of the wood grain moving in a slow steady motion. Use your hands to feel for any rough spots you may have missed. After sanding once with 320 grit, wipe the piece down again with a damp cloth. The moisture will slightly life the grain. Let the wood dry and then sand a second or even third time repeating this process. The grain will stop lifting which leaves you with the smoothest surface!
I used this same process for the base of the table, but with so many curves and notches, my orbital sander couldn't do the job alone. To avoid a LOT of hand sanding, I reached out to a brand called SurfPrep. They sell the most amazing sanding machine with a vacuum attachment and foam sanding pads that hug every curve for a perfectly smooth project. But their machine is very pricey, so I wanted to see if they had any alternatives for people like me who don't need to invest in a professional sanding system.
It turns out, SurfPrep sells sanding pads that fit several styles of hand sanders so you can use the tools you already own with their products! These foam pads were lifechanging for a furniture flipper like me! The pads come in several thicknesses of foam. The thicker the foam, the more the sanding pad will contour to those curves! A box of the 5 inch 8-hole sanding pads costs $65, but I only used 2 out of the very large box for this project! These foam sanding pads saved me so much time and my hands are very grateful! And I have tons of sanding pads left for future furniture flips! NOTE: these are not as rough as the 80 grit I like to use at the beginning of a project, so I would suggest using these after a round of 80 grit.
SurfPrep was generous enough to offer a DISCOUNT CODE exclusively for my readers! Use RURALLEGEND10 for a 10% discount!
After all my sanding was done and the table was completely clean, I applied 3 coats of clear matte water based polyurethane. Make sure the poly you purchase is water based if you do not want your beautiful wood finish to yellow! NOTE: If you're not in love with the raw wood tone of your piece, but want to keep it a light color, don't miss what I did for our kitchen table!
Follow the directions on the can for how to apply your poly. I decided to use a rag to apply my clear coat this time and it left a beautifully streak free finish that I did not achieve when using a foam brush.
With the clear coat fully cured and the table in its rightful place, I just can't stop staring at it! These types of projects are always so fulfilling for me! It's such a powerful experience to turn someone else's unwanted items and transform them into something beautiful! I have a few more small changes to make in our dining room including adding a rug for the first time! The rug will help ground the space and separate the light colored table from the light colored flooring.
So How much did this furniture flip cost me?
Table and 6 chairs - $25
Traditional Sanding Disks $1.30 (I used 2 disks out of a $9.97 pack)
Surf Prep Sanding Pads - $8.75 (I used 2 pads out of a $70 box)
Polyurethane - $12 (half of a $24 can)
Total $47.05 *
* I also sold those 6 chairs that came with the table for $30 - so I actually only spent $17.05!!!
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