Almost every weekend I have a project planned. Sometimes it’s a DIY for the blog, sometimes it’s a shoot to photograph a project, or both. This past weekend finding and refinishing a coffee table was on the agenda. I’m slowly but surely decorating my boyfriend’s house (see living progress here), and a coffee table is one of the few major things left to check off the list. For a while I wanted this tree stump table, but I found out it takes months to dry out before you can bring it inside. I usually look to Craigslist for furniture so I did a search for coffee tables and stumbled upon a marble top one that was the perfect size. It’s no secret I love marble, so I was sold. That night I picked it up and it was in great condition. I wasn’t crazy about the wood color because it was a little dark and “formal” for my liking, but that could be fixed. So when Yahoo! asked me to do a DIY project, I knew the coffee table would be perfect. Usually I try to keep things pretty simple (no power tools required) for my DIYs. Partly because I know most people don’t have access to many tools and also because my theory is DIYing should be fairly easy. But I thought this was a good exception because you can use these refinishing tips from tables, to shelves, to cabinets. Let’s jump right in, shall we? Here is what the coffee table looked like before. The color is slightly off in the photo, but you can see the actual color was the dark reddish brown seen in some spots below. I debated about painting the wood base because it’s MUCH easier than sanding, but I really wanted to keep the wood so I decided to refinish it to a color I liked. The marble top sets on top so it’s easily removable which is nice. To start the refinishing process I sanded the wooden base to remove the old finish. This is the toughest part of the entire project, and the most important. I highly suggest using an electric sander for this part, or you’ll waste your time (and lots of sand paper) trying to do it by hand. You can get an electric sander for around $30 so it’s well worth the investment. Luckily my boyfriend was kind enough to step in and help me out with the sanding. The coffee table has many curved lines and engraving which is impossible to completely sand with an electric, so we did have to sand by hand in those hard to reach areas. When sanding, you want to make sure to remove the finish until you reach the natural wood, but you don’t want to saw too much of the wood either. This entire process took a good few hours. You can see in the photos below I didn’t completely remove every bit of finish especially in the engraved areas because that would have taken another three hours at least. I personally like the rustic look where it isn’t perfect so it didn’t bother me to leave a few areas. Instead of sanding you can also try a chemical remover. We tried this in the hard to reach areas but it honestly didn’t help because we were using it in a freezing cold garage when it says to use in 65 degrees. After we got it sanded to how we liked, we wiped it off so it was ready to be stained. Usually I would choose a lighter stain, but I was worried if we went too light the areas we didn’t sand wouldn’t blend in. To apply the stain use a clean cloth dipped in the stain and rub it over the wood. A little goes a long way so use a light hand at first. We wiped the stain off with a different cloth after about 15 seconds to keep the wood from getting too dark. This part should go fairly quickly. After you stain it let it dry for 24 hours. I then applied a VERY thin polyurethane coat with a foam brush to protect the wood. If you apply too much you’ll get lots of dripping that will have to be sanded off. After the poly has dried for 24 hours you can choose to sand any rough areas and apply a second coat of poly if you’d like, but I decided not to. Overall the coffee table doesn’t look drastically different, but in person I can see the color is slightly different and more of the wood grain shows through now. I probably could have gotten away without refinishing it because the result isn’t that different, but I know it would have bugged me if I didn’t. If you’re looking to get crafty as you ring in 2015, Yahoo! DIY has some incredible ideas. I can’t wait to try making this one. Have a great Monday! Thank you Yahoo! for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Yahoo!, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.