Back to Natural Wood
Take a $75 Facebook Marketplace find, add five kids, a clamp-on ping pong set, school projects, family meals, and two cats who think they own the place. Now you’ve got the perfect table to refinish! Or so I thought. I began sanding . . . an hour and a half later, and only 6 linear inches in, I gave up. My palm sander wasn’t the tool for this job. My step-dad, owner of all tools of every shape and size, came through with his palm sander. That beast took off all the varnish and stain, while giving me a decent core and arm workout at the same time.
Gone with the dated and dimpled stain! What emerged was this warm, blonde wood, beautiful and natural looking. I added three coats of water-based polyurethane to it. The chairs and bench got a much-needed facelift with chalk paint, which goes on with little effort. The last step was to personalize the set by stenciling my favorite plant on the seats of each chair, a white fern frond, coated with some spray poly. Our dining set, made of mismatched chairs and a second-hand table, is now much lighter and brighter in our sunny dining room.