Four or five years ago, I picked up a dark stained coffee table while thrifting. I immediately of course, slapped some paint on it. Over time, I kept wondering what it looked like as a sanded wood coffee table with white wax added. I wondered if the wood was good enough to re-stain or leave as bare wood. You can even do this on smaller pieces such as wood mirrors.
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I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I decided to take a few days, buy some new sanding pads for (affiliate link)our sander,and tackle it. I figured if I sanded it, and the wood was awful, or I hated it, I could always repaint it. There was nothing lost except a few hours and the cost of sandpaper. I transformed this smaller table by hand sanding and cerusing it, and the grain on the naked wood is so gorgeous.
I started, and was immediately excited. The wood looked beautiful underneath! Someone asked me in a Facebook post why I didn’t strip it with chemical stripper (which would have been much easier.). The problem with stripping wood, is you can’t always control how much it removes, it kind of takes everything off sometimes, and I wanted to be able to leave some paint and finish behind in some spots.
So, it was slower going to get the results. The sanding pads tended to get gummed up with paint over time, so I would have to stop and clear them, or change pads after a while, even with a 60 grit pad.
Luckily, I had really good weather to go outside and tackle it. After I had it sanded to where there was some paint and old finish left, but it was mostly wood, I finished it with white paste wax. I wanted to give it a slightly lighter/pickled wood look.
It ended up being so beautiful! And the original wood had this amazing almost, chevron wood pattern on it.
I left some paint on the edge, and in the detail to give the wood coffee table with white wax a rustic feel, and a bit of a Restoration Hardware look.
I love how it changes the entire look of the room too. I love painted furniture, but sometimes I also love real wood. It really adds a warm element to the space, if it’s the right shade.
On the base, I left just enough old stain, and paint to add visual texture to the wood coffee table with white wax .
I am really happy I decided to spend a few hours to see what was underneath. A few people asked me how well the wax finish will hold up. I have this post about paste wax vs. polyacrylic, and the best way to seal furniture. In my house, hopefully a while. This time I was picking the look over the functionality. I could have done a white wash on it with paint, and then poly-ed it, but I really wanted it to look a certain way. I also know wax can show rings if someone leaves a cold,wet glass on it, and we tend to get dirty feet put on furniture too, so I might be moaning in a few months, but for now, I love it.