Refinish a Wood Table or Buy New?

Are you thinking of buying new furniture?

Then we may be able to help you think of a few things you may want to consider. Buying new furniture can be fun for sure. But if you are asking “should I or can I Refinish a wood table or buy new?”, then we help you answer that question in today’s blog.

Refinish a wood table or buy new

Things to consider to refinish your existing furniture

How does it look?

  •  Do you have unsightly water rings on the top of your table?
  • Are there issues with stain that has been worn off the edges?
  • How about scratches on the surface?
  • Maybe you hate the look of it (I can’t help you with that one)

What kind of shape is it in?

  • Is anything broken?
  • Would you consider it cheap? Is it held together by small cheap nuts and bolts that keep coming apart?

What kind of wood is it?

  • How about finding out if it is even wood!  If it is particle board or MDF don’t read any further…the answer is NO, buy a new one.
  • Maple is a great wood but it is also very hard to refinish with a new stain. Great for painting. We can refinish/clear coat it though!
  • Oak is fairly easy to re-stain, refinish and paint.
  • Cherry is another one that is great to touch up with stain, refinish or paint.
  • If it’s pine you should consider buying new – very soft wood that makes it hard to keep a good finish on.

What is your budget for new furniture?

First question is what is the table worth to you? If you want to really debate refinish wood table or buy new, budget means everything. A quality solid wood table will be hard to replace compared to the cost of refinishing it. Some things they just don’t make like they used too.

I mentioned the wood, older woods just have a look that can no longer be made.

  • Older woods had longer to grow.
  • They also were grown in soil and growing conditions that differ from what they are today
  • The wood being used now has been modified to grow faster and differently. This results in different grains

Custom made pieces from places like Amish furniture stores are great. They will last longer than you. But that comes with a cost.

We ask this question to customers that are debating new kitchen cabinets– if there is nothing wrong with the cabinets and you just want something different then refinish it!

 What type of color or finish do you want?

Just like we do for customers that redo their kitchen cabinets you have options. Some of those options are based on the type of wood you have as we talked about above.

  • Are you thinking of painting a solid color?
  • Maybe you want chairs to be natural wood but the table painted?
  • Re-staining the table a new stain can be fun as you can really have fun with colors, glazing, and antiquing.
  • Do you want a new clear finish? Now you can decide if you want flat, satin, semi gloss, or gloss!

If you watch HGTV or look at Pinterest, then you will find options for the options.

Why you should not refinish your existing table or furniture

If you have never done this before don’t start with this!  Large, flat surfaces will make you frustrated for sure!

Just like our cabinet refinishing process, you must make sure you do all of the prep work so that you will have successful results.

As I mentioned above, if it is falling apart don’t bother unless you need the practice.

There are plenty of ways you can paint furniture so don’t take what we say as gospel. We just want to make sure that you have the results you want. Personally, when I have an image of what it will look like and it doesn’t work out I get mad. That is what we want to eliminate.

If you are not sure what to do call us!  We will give you the straight no BS answer. No obligation, no hidden agenda. Just honest information so you can make the best choice on what to do.

Let us know how we can help you love the space you’re in!


Brown paint peeling off
How to Paint Wooden Windows

How do your wooden windows look? If they look like these, it’s due to paint or stains.

paint wooden - repairing cabinets

Steps to Painting Wooden Windows

The first thing to be aware of is if there is lead present if the window was painted before 1978, it most likely does. If in doubt you can go to any home improvement or paint supply store for a lead test kit.

If there is no lead, you will need to remove any window hardware and clean the area around you and the window of any dirt or dust.  We had to scrape this window so with one hand on the shop civic and another on the scraper we removed all the loose paint. After scraping you need to sand the window. This will smooth out the rough spots from scraping off the loose paint and provide a good surface for paint to adhere. Use the shop vac on the window once more.

You will now need to apply a good oil base primer to lock out the previous material from bleeding through your new paint.

Finally, apply two coats of a semi-gloss paint and you are all set.

If you happen to get any paint on the window surface,  just use a razor blade to scrape it off,  shop vac clean and you are ready to install the hardware and enjoy.

Need to paint wooden windows? Want us to do the job for you?

Two toned striped wallpaper
Wallpaper Education

As part of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers,  we have been getting educated in the craft of wallpaper hanging.  I was quickly put in check as to what I thought I knew about hanging wallpaper but in an uplifting motivation way.  The fellow members of this guild here in Chicago are nothing but top quality craftsman that want to help others succeed and see their  trade flourish.

Yesterday I was able to work with Steven Kay of Paper Craft interiors,  in Algonquin, IL.  I learned some great techniques and the use of lining papers prior to hanging a finish wallpaper product.  Steven is a gifted wallpaper hanger and great instructor.

What will we learn next?

Learning from Wiliam Cochran

I had the opportunity to meet a Master of Trompe l’oeil, William Cochran. Thanks to the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, a small group came to meet, listen, and learn some new painting techniques, correct some bad habits, learn new ones, see color and light differently, and appreciate the right paint brushes for the right job. William has some amazing artwork, can teach, and loves his work. From his community bridge project to small murals, now painting with glass, William is a true inspiration for following a dream and bringing a vision to life. I hope we meet again.

Now, we just need to find some new mural jobs to use these new skills. Does anyone have any ideas?

What is Feng Shui?

FENG SHUI: Simply Defined

Last week I made a call to Joan Scheib of Joan Scheib Interiors. We get calls about different types of interior design styles and what Feng Shui is. I have no clue so I called Joan. She is passionate about taking the ordinary and Creating Extraordinary Living Through Inspired Design!

Feng Shui is simply a way to evaluate and improve how you live, work and play. It has helped people balance the relationship between their living spaces and the natural world for over six thousand years. It is an ancient art of placement for both your interior and exterior environments and is based on the flow of energy or “chi” through the universe and personal surroundings.  Chi, defined as “life’s breathe, circulates throughout your daily environments and helps you achieve a quality of life to which you aspire and helps you realize your dreams both at work and at home.

The Chinese characters that represent the words “Feng Shui” literally translate to “wind” and “water” to create the gentle flowing energy in your environment.  The rooms and spaces you inhabit influence your well-being and the opportunities in life every day.

Feng Shui defines techniques to strengthen the positive energy in your surroundings and to create peace and happiness, offer you health and motivation to realize your aspirations. Feng Shui is not only the proper placement of items, furnishings, the clearing of clutter, and the selection of color and symbols, but it is also a way of life.

There are many tips to create immediate and positive changes in your life.  By bringing vibrant energy into your environment through the symbols of beauty, love, success, and bounty, your home or office become an example of the life you want to live and result in your aspirations being fulfilled.

If you have any questions this is what you can have: a 2-hour consultation to provide feedback to give better insight into the ways to enhance your space and life through the use of the Feng Shui method.

Please visit her website or call to make an appointment today, 630-981-7442, Joan Scheib,


We can help you out with any new colors or symbols to improve your life as well! From wallpaper installing to digital murals and wall art, call us today for a free estimate!

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