How to Refinish an Old Teak Veneer Table

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
#2 pencil
Fine grit sandpaper
Lent-free rag
Wood stain
Teak oil
Wood stripper

Teak veneer tables are beautiful, and they are often family heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation. Because they last a long time and sometimes have more than one owner, teak veneer tables can undergo a lot of stress and damage. Watermarks, dents and dings, and discoloration can plague the table and leave a once beautiful conversation piece covered by a table cloth.

If your teak veneer table is damaged, you can restore it to its original glory. With just a few materials, you can make your teak veneer table look like it just left the showroom. Before you begin this process you must understand that your work will be slow and tedious. However, if you are up for the challenge, your effort will be richly rewarded.

Step 1—Strip the Existing Finish

Your table has probably been covered in many coats of teak oil. A lacquer finish may have even been applied. To get the most beautiful results, you should strip the table down to the bare wood veneer. You can use traditional strippers; however, more environmentally friendly products are now available.

Step 2—Gently Sand the Table

Because you are working with a veneer table, you have to be very cautious when you begin to sand the table. You will need to use fine-grain sandpaper to go over the table. One way to gauge your sanding is to draw a line with a #2 pencil, lengthwise across the table. Don’t press hard, just draw a line. Once the line is gone, you should stop sanding. You will need to work in small circles across the table.

Step 3—Stain the Table

Sometimes your table will be discolored from years of exposure and sometimes the sanding can cause irregularities in the color. If you want the table to have an even color, you will need to apply a stain. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. You should apply the stain in thin coats with pieces of gauze. This will allow for a thin application and won’t produce any lent. You will wipe the stain on and then off continually until you achieve the color you desire. Let the table dry completely before you proceed to finish it. You should set the table aside in an area that doesn’t get much traffic so that it doesn’t get nicked.

Step 4—Finish the Table with Teak Oil

Once the stain is dry, you can begin coating the table with teak oil. Before you add any oil, you want to wipe the table down. You want to make sure that the table is free of any dust or residue. The table will suck up a lot of oil. You may have to coat it with oil more than 20 times to get a satisfactory shine. Make sure that you use a lint-free rag to apply the oil.