Refinishing a Vintage Coffee Table

Our coffee table has been handed down from friend to friend a few times now.. It has lived in quite a few homes and also had a brief moment where it served as an entry hall bench. I'm not sure how I ended up with it but I love this piece of furniture and am not ready to see it go. It does, however, need quite a bit of work to bring it back to life. It looks like it's been very well loved over the years complete with water marks and stains, scratches and even a few teeth marks from when Helen was smaller. I love a piece of furniture with a story, but there comes a time when you just have to give it a new life....

But this isn't where the story of this coffee table ends. You'll see the finished results at the end of the post. I talk about why it's not quite right and what steps I have planned next! 

I set out to try and revive this beauty by giving it a good sanding. It's always the first step in any furniture restoration. Once you can get a sense of what's underneath you are ready to start figuring out next steps.

Here it is sanded and ready to receive the finish. I started with a rough 80 grit followed by finer 120 grit sandpaper on a rotary sander. It was easy and removed all the water marks easily. 

Refinishing coffee table 6.jpg

I'm a big fan of Tung Oil. It brings out the natural beauty of wood and is very easy to apply. You essentially rub it on with a soft cloth and once it's dry wipe with a clean cloth. It's my go-to when refinishing any wood piece. (Note: Use gloves when doing this.)

The photos bellow are of the finished result. Unfortunately, I'm not in love with it!! The color of the wood is too yellow and doesn't work with the mostly walnut color scheme of our living room. I bought a piece of  marble to act as a top for part of the table and there also isn't enough contrast between the marble and the wood. What do you think?

Lesson learned: You don't always get it right on the first try! So onto plan B. I think I'll stain the wood a darker color to create more contrast between the wood and the marble and try to have it come closer to the existing wood in the living room. Stay tuned! Results coming next week as part of our living room reveal and tour!