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Restoring a varnished oak kitchen/dining table

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cambournepete

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A friend of mine has a varnished Oak kitchen/dining table which is several years old. The base is still fine, but on the top the (clear, matt) varnish is now very tired - almost non-existent in places and with some rings.

They are wondering how best to restore the top to stand up to heat, damp, useage and 2 young children.

Obviously there'll be lots of sanding first but what next?

At first I thought of oil and wax, but given the legs are fine and don't need doing the top probably wouldn't match the legs. So I'm now thinking varnish - is this sensible and does anyone have any recommendations for durability?

TIA
 

Aragorn

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I don't personally recommend varnish for table tops with such a high usage as this. The varnish forms a barrier that can be broken (such as scratches and knocks) that will then allow water in.
I too have been looking for a suitable finish for table tops recently and have settled on Patina (from Screwfix).
There's been recent discussion about this in the Finishing section - have a look there.
My Patina'd coffee table gets used for everything including a 3 year old doing drawings on it etc, and it's holding up really well.

A
 

Bean

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cambournepete
I will second Aragons suggestion, I have used patina on some internal doors as well as a couple of small tables, all of which stand up to drawing, painting, hot drinks and two carefree girls

Bean
 

cambournepete

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My friends have now sanded the varnish off their kitchen table and finished it with 5 coats of Patina and are very happy with it. It looks great, water wipes off easily and another of their friends thought that they had bought a new table.

Looks like our pine cheapo from Ikea will get the same treatment one day...
(Yes, I know I should have built it myself, but £99 for table and 4 chairs ain't bad!)
 
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