How To Refinish Wood Table For Home Office

How To Refinish Wood Table For Home Office


January 30, 2022

Most people working via home offices choose a wooden table because of its captivating appeal. A wooden table elevates the dignity of the home office and gives it a sophisticated appearance.

According to design, wood tables can offer a modern as well as rustic charm. They make the work environment homely and help boost comfort and productivity.

Wooden furniture is not only durable and sturdy but also beautiful and repairable. A table made of any material would lose its gloss and vitality after a specific time.

It is true for a wooden table as well. However, there are ways in which one can make the table look as if it was bought only yesterday.

One such process is refinishing, bringing life back to one’s dilapidated wooden home office table.

Why and When to Refinish the Wood Table

Why and When to Refinish the Wood Table

Wood is one of the most versatile furniture-making materials; it gives the room a classy, elegant, and sophisticated look while being sturdy and functional.

However, its lack of luster over time is a complaint of many people. Refinishing refers to reapplying wood finish on a piece of furniture. It is usually done by using paint, lacquer, or varnish over the object’s surface.

When the table has been used for a long time, its luster and quality decrease significantly. Even the finest of woods will lose their shine over time.

A dull and faded table can make a room look somber and subdued. It can be detrimental for a home office because it is a place of positivity, energy, and productivity.

Placing worn-out and faded furniture in a home office can cause a lack of motivation and enthusiasm.

When the surroundings become monotonous, it can reduce job satisfaction and cause significant shifts in mood and performance.

Therefore, it is essential to refinish wooden furniture once in a while and restore it in its original, pristine form.

Refinishing also helps increase the table’s longevity as the extra layer of paint, varnish, or lacquer protects its top surface from damage, thus increasing its life.

However, an important question is when one must discard a table and refinish it. This decision depends upon the value and structural integrity of the table.

How to Inspect the Table

How to Inspect the Table

Every piece of furniture may not be eligible for being refinished. Because refinishing is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process, it is essential to understand when a piece of furniture needs to be discarded and when it needs to be refinished.

One must carefully inspect the table before moving further in the process. One factor to consider before refinishing is the sturdiness of the table.

The table should be in good condition, and one can ensure this by performing the ‘rickety test.’ To conduct the test, one should put their hands on the table and rock it back and forth.

Besides, one can test the drawers, if there are any, to see if they move snugly or not. Generally, furniture built in the 1950s or later is more durable than contemporary furniture.

If the table does not display structural integrity, it will need to be removed and reglued to become stronger and more resilient.

It is an intricate process requiring various supplies and might require a professional. Refinishing should not be exhausting if the table is built simply and lacks excessive adornments.

However, if the table is carved and has nooks and crannies in the design, a couple of additional measures would have to be undertaken to refinish it.

Deep carvings make it difficult to strip off the old layer, and the process becomes time-consuming. Different areas may need additional coats depending upon their design and build.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Tools and Equipment Needed

Choosing the right tools is more important than doing a perfect job.

One would not use a sword to cut a vegetable or use a pen to write on a chalkboard, and nobody would want to labor hard and be dissatisfied with the outcome.

Moreover, it can be distracting to run to the store to get forgotten supplies in between the process.

Therefore, to ensure the perfect refinish, it is crucial to have all the necessary tools and equipment for refinishing the home office wood table.

The first step is to search the table for dents, a prior layer of varnish, lacquer, or paint. The presence of any of these conditions would decide the tools and equipment one would need.

The first and foremost requirement for any refinishing activity is a respirator mask set.

Cleaning the furniture, sanding it down, or applying products over it may irritate one’s respiratory system and cause problems in the long run.

Therefore, taking precautionary measures to ensure clean respiration while refinishing is crucial. Besides, one should get goggles to safeguard the eyes and a pair of gloves to prevent skin irritation while exposed to the various chemicals.

To begin with the process, one would need scrapers to remove the prior layer of varnish, lacquer, or paint applied on the table.

Sandpaper or a sand block helps smooth the surface and remove any residual layer once scraped off. Clamps are helpful tools that allow one to hold the furniture while working on any part.

It is essential to have high-quality paintbrushes for applying paint or varnish. Lastly, rag cloth, tack cloth, and lint removers are integral to achieving the perfect refinishing that rejuvenates furniture.

Process of Refinishing Home Office Wood Table

Process of Refinishing Home Office Wood Table

The process of refinishing may sound daunting at first. However, if the correct method is followed step by step, one can finish the job efficiently and successfully.

The first and foremost step is cleaning the surface of the home office wood table. Cleaning can be done using mild soap and water and gently removing the dirt and oils from the surface.

After being cleaned, the surface can now be sanded if it had a prior stain or stripped if it had a layer of varnish or paint. The local hardware store would likely have the chemical agents required for stripping the wood.

One should follow any manufacturer instructions available before continuing, and proper safety precautions must be undertaken.

Stripping should be done in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhalation of toxic chemicals. After applying the stripper on the surface, wait for the recommended length of time so that the layer can soften.

This soft layer can now be easily removed by a scraper or a wide putty knife. It is vital to be gentle while scraping not to gouge the wood.

It is advisable to follow the wood grain and keep the putty knife at a low angle. More than one coat of stripper may be required if the previous layer has penetrated fine crevices and cracks of the wood.

After stripping, dry the surface, and using a clean cloth, wipe the dry surface with a mineral spirit to remove any residual stripper.

Once the mineral spirit has evaporated, the table is now ready to be sanded. Following the wood grain, one can sand the table to ensure the removal of previous layers and smoothen the surface to their desired finish.

Any sand dust produced should be aptly removed with a clean cloth. Now the table is ready to be stained. Apply the stain liberally over the surface with a brush and allow it to sit for a while.

The longer the stain is left on the surface, the darker the color. Using a clean rag, wipe excess stain off the surface and push it down into the wood fibers.

Once the stain is absorbed, sand the surface before applying further layers. Allow the stain to sit overnight or twenty-four hours for curing.

Now apply polyurethane or tung oil. It is crucial to note the manufacturer’s instructions before carrying out this step.

If the home office table is used rigorously, one can apply two polyurethane or tung oil layers. Wipe the product with a clean rag to give it a smooth finish. Let the last layer dry for at least twenty-four hours before using the table.


Refinishing can restore the shine and vitality of a home office wood table. The process is challenging, but it becomes simple when broken down into steps and is followed religiously.

Today’s times find it more convenient to discard something once it loses its attractiveness.

The plethora of mass-produced items makes this replacement easier too. However, one cannot discard every piece of furniture on daily wear and tear signs.

Replacement becomes problematic when the product is valuable, an antique, or holds sentimental importance—in such a situation, refinishing is the best choice.

Restoring furniture is daunting, but it can be a rewarding experience to beautify something and give it longevity.

The result would be a product of one’s labor, and its existence would be doubly valued than something bought from the store.

However, if the table or other furniture has become too weak to restore, it should be discarded.

Moreover, if proper tools and products are not available, it is best to transfer the task to a professional service provider. It is imperative to maintain the positive aura of a home office to maximize productivity and streamline work.

A revitalized home office wood table can infuse life into the room and enhance efficacy.



Anthony Laird is an interior designer and decorator with many years of experience. He is passionate about helping people make the most of their living space. Leveraging his many years of experience, Anthony Laird teaches people how to create the most inspiring interior spaces. With the increasing rate of home offices across the world, Anthony Laird now uses LichtenCraig to help more people design home offices that suit their personality and increase productivity.