Drafting Table Project

A couple weeks ago Andrew found a drafting table on Craigslist.  For $100 this became ours.  (The photo is from the Craigslist ad.)

We decided to refinish the table.  We’ve refinished other things in the past so we knew what we were getting into.  This is actually the kind of project we both like working on.  I like seeing the progress and really like the end look of the piece of furniture.

These things are a must-have for us when refinishing a piece of furniture.  The refinisher strips the wood along with paint thinner to help get rid of goopy stuff.  We use 0000 steel wool when using the refinisher.  Sanding and wiping down with more paint thinner is the next step.  And finally tung oil.  Usually 2-3 coats on regular surfaces and then almost double that for something like the top of the desk that will be used a lot.   We just keep putting coats on until we like the look of the wood.

The drafting table is now in the garage as we work on it.  We’ve finally completed the hard part of the project – stripping and sanding.  The last part is easy but more time consuming because you have to wait 12 hours while a coat of tung oil dries.

I didn’t take any “before” photos of the desk while it was together.  But this is one of the drawers before we did anything to it.

The top of the table is pine (the rest is oak).  It took a lot of work to strip this part.  Lots of scraping and then sanding to make things smooth and have a good surface ready to soak up oil.

The drawer on the left has not be stripped yet.  The one on the right has.

Thankfully we have a hand sander so this process isn’t too bad.  It still takes a while though!  Andrew did the sanding and I wiped away saw dust and cleaned the wood with paint thinner.

The pine top of the table is clean and ready for tung oil.

Here the horizontal rung has the first coat of tung oil on it but the leg is still naked.

The first coat of tung oil is current drying.  We’ll put on another coat or two tomorrow.  So far the desk is looking really good.  If you’re interested in seeing more photos there are some that I did not include in this post in this Flickr album.  I’m sure I’ll at least post a finished product photo when we’re done.  Depending on how things look I may also post some more in progress photos as we go along.

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2 Responses to Drafting Table Project

  1. mizunogirl says:

    That is an attractive table! and more so now that you have refinished it. I love the colors of the wood that the tung oil seems to bring out!

    • Amanda says:

      Yeah, I really like how tung oil brings out the natural color and grain of the wood. I’m looking forward to being able to take a photo of it put back together!

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