I know I said I wouldn't get to work on the dining table until this weekend, but I ended up spending the entire day at my parent's house and got a headstart. Stripping the finish and stain off of the table was a huge pain. I had already used Motsenbocker's Lift off the week before but it didn't do much to the tabletop. I think it's because the stain went so deep. The Lift off helped take a thin layer off the finish, but it still took me about 3 hours and to get everything else off.
Here's what the table looked like last week.
This is what it looked like after an hour with the electric sander and 80 grit sandpaper. Halfway there! And of course I forgot to bring a camera, so these poor quality pics were taken with my cell phone.
Here's where I was at 2 and a half hours later. Stripped down to the bare wood! At the end I hand-sanded the areas of stain that the sander refused to get to. And I didn't walk away from all of this unharmed. I have a huge bruise on my left palm where I kept pushing down on the sander. And has anyone else sanded so long that their hands tingled, itched, and swelled up? Lucky me! I could barely get my rings off.
At this point, there was dust everywhere. Thank goodness for ventilator masks! I wiped down the tabletop a few times with a dry rag, then got out my Minwax dark walnut stain and applied it to the tabletop with a foam brush. I applied the stain 3 brush strokes at a time (from the bottom to the top of the table) going with the grain, then wiped the excess stain off with a rag.
Midway through the first coat.
And here's what it looked like after 2 coats. I had to stop there because Annie was getting sleepy and we had a 45 min drive home ahead of us.
I'm planning to add one more coat of dark walnut stain, then a few coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly this weekend. I can't believe how good it looks already. So excited to see the end product. And I just want to say, thanks Mom for helping me watch Annie while I was working on this beast!
p.s. For this project, I followed Miss Mustard Seed's Dining Room Table tutorial. She always gives the best tips and you'll notice all of the products I used were mentioned in her post.