Getting to this point has required hours and hours of painful brainpower over three years, during which time I’ve asked more people than I have fingers and toes their opinion on oak, painted oak, stained oak, orange cabinets, gray cabinets, white cabinets, dirty cabinets, and beveled cabinets. Staining oak is not difficult, but you need to wipe off excess stain quickly to prevent a blotchy appearance. Because furniture was made much more carefully back in the day, the high chair joints are mortise and tenon construction and easily repaired. It shouldn’t be too much trouble to get to it. I think for a large table top, that much of a focal point in a room, you just really want it done right. I thought about painting it, but like you, I love how a dark wood table grounds a room.
I have the same cabinets as you, thinking of spraying them white ( with a sprayer not spray paint) I have seen a few good tutorials and it seems do-able. Give an old kitchen table new life in a weekend with these simple steps for refinishing wood furniture. Now drag your furniture to the garage, or wherever you’re going to refinish it, and start cleaning.
Then there’s oak furniture from circa 1900-1930 which was also intended to be golden/yellow oak in color. We have a really good cleaning system from Bona on our website that is ideal for varnished floors. A great deal of mid century furniture was constructed of teak, walnut or rosewood and those pieces are my first love.” I infuse as many as I can get my hands on into my decor.
To get an idea of what your piece will look like refinished, find a protected spot where the original wood is visible, such as the back of a solid-wood drawer front, underneath the top surface of a chest of drawers, or the backside of a leaf in a drop-leaf table. The finish removal techniques described in this how-to will remove the rich patina of very old furniture. If you’d like the grain to stand out, purchase a color that will contrast with the final color of your table (post-staining).
I really did just do my own research, comparing the benefits and drawbacks of polyurethane, oiled finishes (specifically tung oil), and Waterlox, and came to the conclusion all on my own that I wanted to use this product on my floors. Just know that when you refinish a piece of furniture you decrease its resale value—so only refinish something that you’re not hoping to sell for a higher price later.
If you sanded down to the wood, you’ve been careful to do thin coats of paint, and your piece of furniture is made of nice wood, you should still be able to see some nice wood grain through the paint like so. After you’ve let the dresser cure up for at least two full days, it’s time to add some shine to your piece. I just want to seal the table good so that it will last a long time and I’m not sure what product to use to not get a glossy finish so your Matte finish on the last coat is intriuguing.
The oil based blocks tannins, doesn’t raise the grain, and blocks those terrible old furniture smells! If your table is a country-style pedestal, and you like that more traditional style, then lean toward warm oak or maple. You may want to research some other sites that have gel stained cabinets if you haven’t already. If we end up deciding on dark cabinets instead of white, I might be following your tutorials! The dresser is dark, primer is white and the final color is going to be a dark sky blue.