Before You Begin
Step 1: Remove the Old Paint
Step 2: Sand the Surface
Step 3: Get In the Grooves
Step 4: Clean the Legs
Step 5: Take Care of the Little Details
Step 6: Prepare for Finishing
Step 7: Finish the Table
Step 8: Make New Drawers
Step 9: Make New Drawer Fronts
Step 10: Add New Hardware
Written by Frank Gardner
For more than 10 years, this small, painted hall table has been used as a workbench in the garage. Stripped of its former glory, the drawers were missing and the bracing wood between the beautifully turned legs was long gone. Once the paint was removed, a treasure was revealed as the table was made of Australian cedar. Reviving it was a labor of love, with hours of rubbing and sanding, particularly getting the paint out of the grooves in the legs. We'll now show you how to revive a similar hall table.
Apply stripper with a paintbrush, leaving for half an hour. When paint lifts, remove with stiff-bladed square-set scraper. Remove stripper residue with a paint remover wash.
Sand with a cork block and 100-grit sandpaper. Remove any vestiges of paint using a detail sander or orbital sander with 100-grit paper to start. Apply even pressure to avoid creating hollows. Sand with the grain across the entire surface.
Remove hard-to-reach paint in the fine detailing grooves. Use the angled corner to scrape paint from recesses. Fold a piece of sandpaper in half and run the folded edge through the cleaned grooves.
Apply stripper to one leg at a time and allow the paint to lift. Wrap a stretched steel scourer around grooves and rub in a sawing action. Repeat with a long strip of 1-in. belt sanding cloth. Finish with a sponge sander molded to the leg shape.
If your legs have a series of circular rings filled with paint, the best solution is a hack saw blade that can be gently worked around the circular groove to remove the paint. Finish with a folded piece of abrasive paper and watch the detail come to life.
Fill holes and repair damaged edges. Punch exposed nail heads and apply colored wood putty to fill small holes. Fill larger holes or damaged edges with a mix of wood putty, wood glue and sawdust to match. Fill the area, dry and sand.
Provide a good surface for finishing by sanding with increasingly finer grits. Dust and wipe the surface with a lint-free cloth dipped in mineral spirits. Finish with a quality oil, stain or lacquer.
Apply two coats of oil wet on wet and leave for 20 minutes. Working on small areas at a time, apply more oil and rub with 400-grit wet and dry paper until silky. Wipe off excess and polish with a soft cloth. When dry, buff and wax.
Cut drawer boxes to size using recycled 1 x 6 clear pine, butt-join and fix using glue and 6d finish nails. The base is cut from recycled pine. Glue and nail into the 3/4-in. rebate (see diagrams below).
Cut two fronts from the same wood species as the table, larger than the drawers to sit flush against the table front. Screw to drawer box from the inside using four #8 x 1 1/4-in. screws. Rout edges of bracing timber and drawer fronts with a 1/8-in. roundover bit.
In keeping with the design, brass-hinged handles fix to the drawer fronts. There are many designs from restoration companies and hardware stores and they usually come with screws. Brass screws are soft, so pre-drill holes.
© 2012 Reiman Media Group, LLC.