How to finish dining room table top with 2 leaves?

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Forum topic by Jetboater posted 01-19-2014 07:21 PM 803 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1582 days

01-19-2014 07:21 PM

I need to refinish a dining room table top with 2 leaves. Solid natural cherry, no stain on it or desired. I will be removing all of the existing sprayed lacquer finish.

I’ve refinished lots of things, but never a table with leaves.

If I just put the leaves in and finish as though it was one piece, I’m afraid the finish will run down into the joints and glue the leaves together. Might not be able to get it apart. It’ s not easy to get apart now!

If I finish them separately, I’m afraid the finish will be uneven, and might not match perfectly from one leaf to the other and to the table. Any rounding of the joint edges from sanding would be visible, too.

How do the pros do this? I intend to use a wiping varnish applied by hand, probably General Finishes Arm-R-Seal.

Thanks for any help!

3 replies so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2266 days

#1 posted 01-20-2014 04:18 PM


You can use Blue Painters tape on the edges of the table opening and edges of the leaves.
Install the leaves into the table and finish it as if it were a solid table top.
After the finish work is completed remove the leaves and remove the tape and touch up all the edges.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View chrisstef's profile


17378 posts in 3000 days

#2 posted 01-20-2014 04:27 PM

I agree with Len. I just finished walnut countertops for my kitchen using arm-r-seal. I had one joint where I didn’t want any finish. I used blue tape and left it a hair high so the finish had something to “lean against”. I had no problems with the finish rolling off the side and creating a funky joint. Came out pretty nice IMO.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Jetboater's profile


3 posts in 1582 days

#3 posted 01-23-2014 11:52 PM

Thanks for the info! Looks like I’ll be using painters tape.

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