Finishing a table top.

wp-image-879635134jpg.jpgIt’s a real pain when you find that , once you have laboriously taken bits of grotty  old varnish off your dining table, the stain once used on this piece has soaked right down into it and it’s STILL DIRTY ORANGE!

Ok, I could sand off half an inch and see if that does it. No, that will reduce it to silly thickness and compromise it’s ancient construction big time . So I did this .

Even Trevor likes it.

How did I achieve this?

If you don’t want the boring detail, skip the bit below!

First I cleaned it thoroughly with vinegar , this raises the grain very slightly, but is nowhere near as destructive as chemical options. Also, as I will be waxing  this will help get that into the grain really well .wp-image-1039249798jpg.jpg

Then, once dry I apply a thin coat of white liming wax with a cloth and rub it in really, really well.

Biceps bonus workout.


Then I take a 1.5 inch brush with good, long bristles and paint on a thicker layer of the liming wax, following each plank of wood along the grain , working it particularly into the knots, dinks, scars and around the old nails hammered in to hold it together a very long time ago.


Let it dry for half an hour only, then polish, hard (more workout!)

Then, with the cloth again, go over the top rubbing very  hard where you want to knock the wax back to achieve that old, worn effect. I can’t tell you how to do this, but I always concentrate my rubbing off where the knots, dinks, cracks and nails are . And the edges at each end; Plus anywhere the grain is particularly characterful. wp-image-1431023776jpg.jpg

Polish in broad circular movements, then along the grain. Let it cure overnight. Polish again. Done… and so are my arm muscles!


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Finishing a table top.

  1. What a lovely table! Well done!


  2. emmaorussell says:

    It looks beautiful – great job!


  3. Ellen A. says:

    Nice effect, Gill. Has the look of having been a captain’s table on an old schooner. I’ll bet it feels delicious to touch. I’ll be interested to see what paint/effect you do on the chairs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it feels lovely now; it didn’t before. You are clearly influenced by how tactile a piece is just like me; you’d love some of the velvety finishes we are getting on our waxed furniture.

      The table has a saw nick on one corner , so it’s been someone’ s work table! Been suggested that it might have been a winemaker’s table, but it came with absolutely no provenance from a cheap troc locally.
      It is genuinely rustic and quite primitively made, so a great foil to the sparkly chandelier over it.
      I knew it would take down the bling factor of that and indeed it has.


    • BTW we are painting the table legs and apron Aubusson blue and I will dry brush them with dirty blue/grey/green.

      The chairs? I can’t decide, I’ve run thru a dozen options already


  4. Osyth says:

    It’s gorgeous …. I love the finish you’ve achieved. For your arms, I recommend you take Ibuprofen BEFORE the workout (about 5 minutes before you start and I know its too late this time) and after you finish. It’ll leave you spry for the next assault 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. poshbirdy says:

    Looks great. Lovely soft finish

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lynda says:

    This really is beautiful! I have a small project I want to try this on… just have to find the wax here in the states.


  7. francetaste says:

    It looks great! We have an old table that I want to leave in all its generations-of-use glory, but I’d like to spiff it up just a little. Now, what is “liming wax” in French?


  8. Chris says:

    well done looks wonderful

    Liked by 1 person

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