Oops, it's been a while since my last posts. You see, I graduated a few months ago so I was no longer truly a "Collegiate Handyman." Well, I've returned as a student in graduate school. So I guess I might as well keep the blog going, right? Anyway, here is part 2 of the table refinishing.
As you can see here, I dismantled the table to make sanding easier. Doing so definitely sped up the process. I also discovered that the table is composed of a combination of plywood, a cheaper wood base, and oak veneer. That being said, the quality is still much better than any cheap veneer furniture made in China these days.
I picked up some wood putty to patch a few holes. Once it's dry and sanded, it's hard to tell where the holes were. It's important to get decent putty or it might not look right when stained. Alternatively, you could make your own putty by mixing fine sawdust with wood glue.I decided to go with a Bombay mahogany stain, mostly due to the fact that I already had a can of it. I did apply a coat of prestain for good measure, however, it may not be necessary since prestain is most commonly used for softwoods (oak is a hardwood).
The image above is after a single coat of stain. It will probably take 2-3 coats to get the deep, rich color that I'm looking for. It's important to hit the surface with a light steel wool sanding between coats to soften any grain that may have been raised during staining.
I'll continue this process with all of the pieces. It's fairly time-consuming, but the end result will be worth it.