My great grandpa’s table

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Refinishing My Grandpa’s Table

Back around Thanksgiving last year my mom had made some calls to her brothers and sisters to track down my grandma’s old table.  An old oak pedestal table I had eaten at hundreds of times with my cousins, aunts and uncles; my mom called to let me know she found it and my uncle Stephen said I could have it. So a few weeks later we were loading into the back of the truck after everyone was finished with their turkey dinner.

My great aunt Barb happen to be there and filled me in a little on it’s history.  It was originally their parents dining set and her father had built the table when they were very little.  It’s been shipped everywhere they moved and eventually was handed down to my grandma when she was married.  My grandma refinished it a few times over the years, but unfortunately she also was a smoker. So now it’s my turn to bring it back to life and it needed a lot of work.

As you can see it was almost black from years and years of nicotine build up.  Simply trying to air it out or throw some spray cleaner on it wasn’t going to cut it.

So the first thing I did was grabbed my Soy Gel Stripper and got to work. It’s safe and all natural, so stripping indoors is never a problem.  It strips fast through any finish and stays wet for easy removal.

Once I has stripped the base and top with plastic scrapers, I scrubbed it down with Daddy Van’s Wood & Metal Cleaner.  It comes in a concentrate to use straight as a natural cleaner/polish or as I used diluted with water in a spray bottle.

The table was looking pretty good after stripping and scrubbing, but needed some color and protection.

I made some necessary repairs, such as flipping the table over to replace a missing nut and tightening all the legs.

I wanted to keep as much of the original character and look to the table as possible.  I planned on giving it to my mom as a birthday present and wanted it to look just like it had when she was little.  So I decided to use Daddy Van’s Wax in Cafe Noir, which is an all natural bees wax with a neutral brown tint.

Using a chip brush and old t-shirts, I brushed it on thick and let it set for 15-20 minutes before wiping off the excess.

You can see right away the difference it made and how gorgeous it was turning out.  I went back over the entire table again after letting it cure over night.

I really couldn’t be happier for how it turned out.  It looks amazing and there are absolutely no traces or smell of nicotine left at all.

It’s ready for my mom to host family dinners and holidays now.

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