Sanding & Staining 101

Hey guys! Remember when I said I was going to share how to sand, paint and stain furniture?! Well today I’m sharing how to re-stain wood.

Do you have an old table that has an ugly color stain? A wood top that needs to be refinished?

This year I volunteered to have our annual family Christmas brunch at our house! I’m super excited because it’s our first Christmas in our first home!

I had purchased an old farmhouse table months ago but never refinished the leaf that went with the table. I never really needed it but knew at some point I would need to re-stain it. Today was the day! It will come in handy when we are serving our guests and I can’t wait to use it!


The stain was super dark and a redish tone. Me did not likey… I used my Dewalt sander to sand it down to the unfinished wood. You want to get rid of the old color completely and get to the original wood. I used a 120 grit sand paper that I picked up from Home Depot. This stuff is AMAZING. It’s for wet and dry sanding so you can pretty much use it on anything! Instead of sanding you can also use a paint and varnish stripper. That’s a whole other tutorial in itself. Maybe one day I will share how to do that! For now let me show you how to do it this way!

This is not an easy task! It helps to wipe the dust off when it starts to pack itself on every few minutes.

Next you’ll want to use a finer sand paper. If I remember right I used a 220 grit. Always wipe off the wood with a damp towel between sanding. This brings out the grain so you can keep sanding it down til it’s super smooth!

Most of the time I wear gloves when staining. It’s extremely hard to get stain off your hands if you choose to not wear gloves! I have also found if you don’t wear gloves you can use lacquer thinner to get the stain off your hands. Just be careful and wash your hands quickly after!

My favorite stain! Special Walnut by Minwax. Some people use a brush to stain wood but I apply it with a rag. It’s always worked best for me. Make sure you wipe it with the grain. If you wipe in circles it will dry with a circle design and you don’t want that. After staining make sure you lay your rags full of stain out to dry. Balling them all up and throwing them somewhere can cause a fire! Just an FYI.



Last but not least! Once the stain is dry you’ll want to seal your wood with a sealer. Some people like to use polyurethane but for this project I used polycrylic. It gives your wood a nice clear coat without that shiny glossy look. A satin finish is always my favorite! You can find polycrylic in almost any home improvement store. My go-to place is Home Depot or our local Jerry’s. If you want to use a polyurethane my favorite is Varathane Polyurethane in satin. Both of these sealers do not leave a yellow tint because they are water-based not oil-based.


All dry! This table is ready for our guests! I hope this tutorial was helpful.

Just a quick side note: You can also use a belt sander. It would be a lot faster to get the old stain off your project. At the time I did not have a belt sander! After you use your belt sander you can follow with a palm sander using your 120 grit sand paper and then your 220 grit. This will give you the same outcome but faster!

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments! 

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