Refinishing a nicked up pine table top

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Forum topic by kocgolf posted 10-23-2013 12:34 AM 1287 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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139 posts in 1643 days

10-23-2013 12:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine finishing refurbishing sanding

My wife picked up this table on CL, and I do like it, but she wants to have it refinished with black legs and a deeper black cherry type top. I’m cool with that, except that it is PINE…it is veneered…and it is really beat up.

In the past I have used Citri-strip with great success, and usually sand afterwords to take out the stain color. In this case, being pine and all, I’m going to strip, wash and skip the sanding, just go straight to a gel stain. I don’t think there is a stain under this anyway, just a warm toned topcoat.

Question is, is there anything I can do about the thousands of nicks in the surface? I know I can’t sand them all out with it being veneer. I could probably minimize them without cutting through, but with the multiple grain directions, sanding would be a nightmare. Is there any topcoat I can build enough to smooth them out a bit? I don’t really want to hit it with a plastic type pour on finish that will be super high gloss.

10 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


6474 posts in 2063 days

#1 posted 10-23-2013 12:37 AM

You can sometimes remove, or lessen dents and dings with moisture and heat. A little damp cloth and a quick hit with an iron (not on a high setting)may help some.

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Don W

17969 posts in 2033 days

#2 posted 10-23-2013 12:44 AM

A bar finish or epoxy finish should do it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View kocgolf's profile


139 posts in 1643 days

#3 posted 10-23-2013 12:14 PM

ShaneA: Yep, I have had success with that in the past, and might try it on a corner to see how it works, but it’s seriously the whole damn table. I’m not sure how much I can ask of that old trick…

Don W: I thought of that for a finish, but I’m not sure I want the family table to look like a bar. I have never used a two part bar finish before and wonder, is there a way to “de-gloss” it a little? I don’t really want that super high sheen.

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Don W

17969 posts in 2033 days

#4 posted 10-23-2013 12:22 PM

I would think a wax with steel wool would cut it some, but I’ve never tried it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View CrazeeTxn's profile


151 posts in 1415 days

#5 posted 10-23-2013 12:30 PM

You’re going to definantly end up with a distressed piece on top. When you sand it down, even the veneer, it’ll smooth out some of the knicks to add character. I’ve refinished old furniture in the past and sand what I can on the veneer, then hit it with a darker stain. Looked good.

Another option may be to just re-veneer the whole top?

Would like to see the pic, but it says it’s gone.

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Don W

17969 posts in 2033 days

#6 posted 10-23-2013 01:01 PM

I can’t see the picture either.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2413 posts in 2387 days

#7 posted 10-23-2013 01:30 PM

I would fill all the nicks with a mixture of glue and sanding powder to match, or contrast, your choice. Then a new finish over this flattened surface.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View jumbojack's profile


1667 posts in 2089 days

#8 posted 10-23-2013 03:31 PM

Fill, sand and veneer the top. Golden

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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139 posts in 1643 days

#9 posted 10-23-2013 03:40 PM

Now there is a thought…I hadn’t considered re-surfacing it completely. I am not sure that I want to cover the nicely designed grain patterns it has though. Oh decisions, decisions. I might just live with the nicks. My kids will just re-damage it in the end. I think I may pick up some bar finish epoxy and test it on something, see if I can rub it out to a satisfactory surface and then decide. Thanks all for the suggestions!

View JessNeil's profile


1 post in 1136 days

#10 posted 10-29-2013 09:15 AM

Wooden furniture are vulnerable to this kind of damage. Just a touch-up is not going to help. I think you should apply hard paste wax to the nicked surface with steel wool and buff it with a cloth. For deeper scratches use stains before hard paste wax.


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