How to Restain a Coffee Table

Do you have a furniture piece with an existing stain you no longer like? Or maybe it has seen better days and needs a fresh coat of stain? With this guide on how to restain a coffee table, we’ll show you that you can easily transform your furniture into a beautiful and updated piece.

You’ll learn these refinishing furniture techniques in no time and be able to apply them to other furniture pieces you have at home. Are you ready to give your old piece a new life by restaining?

restaining a coffee table

Before diving into how to restain a coffee table, it’s important to mention that this process can also be used on other types of wood furniture such as dressers and chairs. So even if you don’t have a coffee table at home that needs an update, these tips and techniques will still come in handy for future projects.

Click here for the stain removal guide and checklist

Restaining furniture is a fantastic way to save money and add a personal touch to your home decor. Instead of buying new furniture, just update your current pieces with different stains to keep up with your ever changing style.

Restaining also helps preserve the natural beauty and character of wood. Unlike painting, staining allows the wood grain to show through and adds depth and richness to the color.

Now let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to restain furniture, and soon you’ll be a pro at giving your old pieces a new look with staining!

Supplies Used to Restain a Coffee Table

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

Removing Old Finish from Coffee Table

It’s important to start with a clean slate. This means removing the old stain and topcoat from your coffee table before restaining. One of the best products for this job is a stripper like Citristrip! Here’s our list of the best wood stain removers, including Citristrip, for the features, benefits, and applications of three of the best wood stain removers in the market.

Before using Citristrip, make sure you are working in a well ventilated area with proper protective gear such as gloves and a respirator. You can never be too safe while working with these strong chemicals.

applying citristrip stripping gel with a brush

Using an old brush or cheap synthetic brush, apply the product onto your coffee table and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The gel will start to bubble up and loosen the old finish on your coffee table. For thicker layers of paint, you may need to leave the product on for longer.

Once the gel has had time to work its magic, it’s time to scrape off the old finish using a plastic putty knife. Be sure to scrape off all the gunk and residue from your coffee table. To remove any excess residue left behind by the Citristrip, use mineral spirits. This will make for a clean surface for the new stain to adhere to.

Let the stripped table dry then proceed to sanding. Sand the entire surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove any remaining old finish and to smooth out the surface. Clean up the dust with a vacuum or tack cloth before moving on.

Restaining Coffee Table

So, you’ve removed the old finish and your coffee table is now a blank canvas. It’s time to bring some color and character back into it with a new stain!

But first, we’re applying Minwax Pre Stain to make sure the stain goes on evenly and looks beautiful. This helps the stain to soak in properly and avoids any patchiness or discoloration. Apply the pre stain with a cheap foam brush and let it soak in for 5 minutes before wiping off the excess with a clean lint free rag.

applying minwax pre stain

Now we’re applying the new stain! We’re going for the Minwax Dark Walnut Stain. Similar to the pre stain, apply it with a cheap foam brush or lint free rag, let it sit for 5-10 minutes then wipe off the excess. Remember to wipe in the direction of the wood grain for a smooth and consistent look.

You can check out my list of best wood stains and explore what type of wood stain is best suited for different pieces of furniture.

applying minwax dark stain

After applying the stain, let it dry for 24 hours before deciding if you want to add another coat. One coat of stain was enough for us, but if you want a darker or richer color, you can apply another coat. Just be sure to let it dry completely afterward. Check out our restaining furniture guide for more detailed tips and tricks.

Sealing Restained Coffee Table

Now we’re going to seal our restained coffee table to protect the beautiful new color. We’ll be using Minwax Oil Based Polyurethane Wipe On Poly to give our table a durable finish. Here’s the best polyurethane for furniture to learn more about the different types of polyurethane for furniture and help you decide which one to use for your project.

minwax wipe-on poly for topcoat

We’ll need another lint free rag for this. Apply 3 coats of the oil based poly onto the restained surface. Make sure to let each coat dry completely before adding the next one. And again, always wipe in the direction of the wood grain for a natural and smooth finish.

After applying the final coat, let it dry for 24 hours or more before using your newly restained coffee table. This will give the poly enough time to fully cure and provide maximum protection.

You can also use this waiting time to get the rags and brushes you used to dry outside before disposing of them, as they can be a fire hazard if not properly dried.

Can I stain over stain?

You might be thinking, “Can I just skip the whole process of removing the old stain and just apply a new one on top?” The answer is yes, you can! Staining over stain is totally possible and can save you a lot of time and effort. However, there are a few important things to consider before doing so.

restaining over old stain

First, it’s important to note that staining over an existing stain will not completely change the color of your piece, unless you just want to go for a darker shade. If you’re looking for a drastic change in color, stripping off the old stain is your best bet.

If you’re restaining over an existing finish like polyurethane or varnish, it won’t soak into the wood like it would on bare wood. This means the color might not turn out as rich or deep as you’d expect. To fix this, lightly sanding off the top layer of the old finish can help create a better surface for the new stain to stick to.

If you do decide to restain over an existing stain, it’s important to do a test spot first. This will give you an idea of how the new stain will look and how well it will adhere on your specific piece of furniture. If you’re happy with the results, then go ahead and restain away! But if not, it’s best to strip off the old stain and start fresh.

Here’s how to stain over stain to guide you with restaining furniture without stripping off the old finish!

And that’s how you successfully restain your furniture! For a total makeover, take the time to remove the existing stain and start with a clean surface, and don’t forget to seal your restained piece for long lasting protection.

How to Restain a Coffee Table

Restaining coffee table

This guide on how to restain a coffee table will show you how to transform your furniture into a beautiful and updated piece by restaining.

Instructions

  1. Remove the old finish on your furniture using Citristrip. Apply the gel, let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrape off the gunk with a plastic putty knife. Remove residue with mineral spirits and sand with 220 grit sandpaper. Don't forget to clean up the dust before moving on.
  2. Apply Minwax Pre Stain using a cheap foam brush to help the new stain soak in evenly. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then wipe off excess with a lint free rag.
  3. Apply Minwax Dark Walnut Stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping off excess in the direction of the wood grain. Let the stain dry for 24 hours before deciding if another coat is needed. If desired, apply a second coat following the same process. After final coat, let it dry for 24 hours or more before use.
  4. To seal your restained piece, apply 3 coats of Minwax Oil Based Polyurethane Wipe On Poly, allowing each coat to dry completely before adding the next one. Always wipe in the direction of the wood grain for a natural finish.
  5. Don't forget to properly dispose of rags and brushes used with oil based products as they can be a fire hazard if not thoroughly dried.
  6. Let the sealed furniture dry for 24 hours or more before using to allow the polyurethane to fully cure and provide maximum protection.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

More staining Furniture Tips

Click here for the stain removal guide and checklist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *