Lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor while you work on the table.
Inspect the table. Look for any areas that are flaking or chipped. Make note of areas where the stain has been worn to bare wood.
Fill in cracks and gouges with wood filler, applying the filler with a small scraper. Skim the edge of the scraper across the filled area, making it level with the surface, and remove the excess filler. Allow the filler to dry overnight.
Sand the table with sandpaper or electric sander. The surface must be smooth and level before you paint, or the finish will look amateurish.
Dust off the sandpaper grit with a clean tack cloth.
Wash the table with a solution of 1 tsp. dish detergent and 1 gallon water to remove remaining grit and dirt. Allow the table to dry for two hours.
Spray a coat of alkyd primer evenly on all surfaces of the table. Allow the primer to dry for at least four hours. Sand the primer coat lightly, and wipe with a tack cloth before you apply the topcoat finish.
Spray on the enamel paint color of your choice. Start with a thin, even layer, and add additional layers, as needed. Allow the paint to dry to the touch between coats.
Apply a polyurethane spray coat to protect the paint. Spray in thin layers, going back and forth across the surface. Allow each coat to dry before adding another, following the manufacturer's directions.
Things You Will Need
- Drop cloth
- Sandpaper or electric sander, 220 grit
- Dish detergent
- Tack cloth
- Wood filler
- Small scraper
- Paintbrushes for touch-ups
- Alkyd-based primer spray
- Enamel spray paint
- Polyurethane protective coat
- Try to determine the type of stain that has been used on the table. Solvent-based stains should be cleaned with a solvent cleaner before you prime.
- Thick or badly damaged varnish may need to be stripped before you paint. A number of stripping products, including sprays and gels, are available. Some of these products are more environmentally friendly than the standard strippers.