Sand the table surface with a vibrating sander loaded with heavy sandpaper. Get it down to bare wood, completely removing the old finish. Brush off the dust.
Repeat, sanding it a second time with medium sandpaper take up any residual finish and get it smoother. Sand a third time with the fine sandpaper to get it completely clean and smooth. Brush off the surface.
Apply stain over the table surface using a paintbrush. Brush the stain on thickly, let it absorb into the wood for one minute and wipe up the excess with rags. Let the stain dry overnight.
Apply Varathane polyurethane in a thin, light coat using a paintbrush. Cover the whole table. Let it dry for six hours.
Lightly sand the Varathane by hand using extra-fine sandpaper so the next layer will adhere. Wipe up the dust with rags.
Brush on a second coat of Varathane in the same way as the first. Let it dry for six hours. Apply a third layer and let it dry for 24 hours.
Things You Will Need
- Vibrating sander with heavy, medium and fine sandpaper
- Varathane brand wood stain
- Varathane polyurethane
- Extra-fine sandpaper
- If the table is new and has never been stained or glossed, follow the same procedure but skip the first sanding with rough paper -- start with the second sanding with medium paper.