How To Fix Faded Wood Table? Everything You Are Looking For




Is your table losing its natural colors? Does your table have water spots? Is your table discolored? Do you want to know ‘How to restore faded wood table’? Are you looking for ways ‘How to restore oak table which has faded’? Do not worry.

How To Fix Faded Wood Table

Fix Faded Wood Table

You can fix a faded wood table at home by yourself. Throughout the whole process of fixing, you need to follow the method properly, and the guidelines perfectly, and you can bring the best result for your wood table.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cleaning is the primary step of the process. It prepares the table for the upcoming steps.
  • The objective of using a thinner is to turn the original finish into liquid, not stopping off the original finish.
  • Vinegar can be used as a wood stain and a water stain remover.

These are not everything that you need to know to fix a faded table. To learn more read ahead and fix your table properly. So without wasting a moment let’s dive into the explanation of How to fix faded wood table?

Can You Fix A Faded Wood Table Without Sanding?

You can fix the faded color without sanding it. Sanding is a vigorous task. It can strip the natural color of your table. If the fading isn’t too much, it is better to fix it without sanding. How to fix faded wood table without sanding? You just need to apply the right method to complete the process and follow the guidelines step-by-step.

People think that it is not possible to get a good result if you fix a faded wood table without sanding. But the truth is it is possible possible to get a better result. You just need to complete the process perfectly.

What Are The Different Ways To Fix Faded Wood Tables?

How to fix faded wood table? Well, there are different ways to fix this problem. To help you get a clear idea, these are the steps with detailed explanations:

Different Ways To Fix Faded Wood Tables

Sanding & Refinishing

This is the most common way to fix a faded piece of furniture. Sanding will remove the existing wood stain and finish. It will give the wooden piece a smooth surface while removing all the scratches, discoloration, and stains. Refinishing will give the wood table a new look. You can try sanding and refinishing when fixing a cupped tabletop.

Without Refinishing

It is possible to refinish wooden furniture without sanding and stripping it. It will save you a lot of time and effort. So, if the method applies to your wood piece, make sure to use it. 

  • Start by spraying a thinner. To do so, you need to identify the wood stain and finish used previously and choose a thinner accordingly. The tip is to use a cup gun because using a brush can disturb the original finish. This way the original finish will liquify and the fading will melt away. Apply a few coats until you get somewhat closer to the natural color. 
  • Now, use a gel stain to unify the color of the entire table. 
  • The last step is to use a tint to bring back the natural color. Mix a few tints to get the desired color and again spray the mix with a cup gun. Apply light spray only where needed. 
  • After the coat is dry, sand the table with fine-grit sandpaper (preferably 320 grit) and apply the final coat of stain or tint.

Using Beeswax

You can use liquid beeswax to bring back the natural color of a sun-faded wooden piece. Use a liquid beeswax. Apply it with a soft cloth where needed. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes and you will see the results. 

Now, the methods may be applicable or not applicable depending on the type of wood. For example, the beeswax method is widely used in French polishing and antique furniture. So, there’s a fair chance it may not work on a sun faded veneer. Run a sample test before choosing a method.

How To Choose The Right Wood Stain Or Finish?

Type Of Wood

Consider the type of wood you are dealing with. Inspect the table and identify what kind of wood it is made with. There are different kinds of wood. Each of them has its unique traits. That is why the same wood stain or finish can have different reactions based on the type of wood. So, choose the stain or finish that works best for your table.

Personal Preference

Keep your color preferences in mind while choosing the wood stain or finish. It will help you get your desired outcome. 

Type Of Finish

Consider the type of finish. Every finish doesn’t look good on all types of wood. Using a finish on your table that doesn’t suit the type of wood would have an adverse reaction to the color. It can also damage your table. So, get familiar with different wood stains and finishes and choose wisely.

Sample Test

Run sample tests on small pieces of wood. It will show you which stain or finish will look the best on your table. It will make things easier for you to decide on the right stain or finish.

Type Of Stain

The type of stain will vary in different application methods. For example, if you want to use a cup gun and spray the stain or finish on the table, you need to choose lightweight stain-like tints and a water-based finish. If you want to use gel stain, you would need a piece of clean cloth for that.

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials

Gather all the necessary tools and materials before working. Keep everything in one place. It will save you time as you will not have to look for them while working. The tools and materials are:

Necessary Tools And Materials for Fix Faded Wood Table
  • Clean Water
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Tack Cloth
  • Soft Cloth
  • Thinner
  • Wood Stain (Gel Stain, Tint)
  • Furniture Markers or Touch-up Pens
  • Vinegar (white vinegar or balsamic vinegar)
  • Olive Oil
  • Beeswax
  • Cup Gun
  • Safety Gears (Rubber Gloves, Face Masks, Goggles, etc)

How To Fix Faded Wood Table? Step-By-Step Guidelines

How to restore a faded wood table? Here is how. Follow the steps accordingly for a better result.

How To Fix A Faded Wood Table

Thorough Clean The Table

Cleaning is the primary step of fixing any wooden furniture. It prepares the surface for the rest of the steps. Take a soft cloth, soak it in clean water, and clean the surface to remove all the dust particles. For water, suggest using slightly warm water. Use a solvent to clean thoroughly. Mineral spirits are the best option for this step. Use a tack cloth to apply the solvent.

Dealing With The Previous Finish

Use a thinner. Choose the thinner wisely. Do not use anything that will strip off the natural color. The goal is to liquefy the original finish so that the color of the table will be uniform. It will make the finish look even. You can remove the old finish while fixing a rocking table.

Use A Wood Thinner

If you use the sanding and refinishing method, you may skip the step. Sanding will remove the stain for you.

But if you use the other methods, choose the thinner according to your method and the type of the original finish. Be careful not to strip the natural color or ruin the surface. Use a plastic wood filler to fill the gaps if you have any.

Apply The Wood Stain

Applying wood stain will bring back the natural color of the table. Staining is necessary when fixing dead spots on an air hockey table. You can use a paintbrush to apply the stain. I recommend using a cup gun and spraying lightly. Let it dry before using another coat. It will help to get an even color throughout the surface.

You can also use natural ingredients as a wood stain. An example of a homemade wood stain would be vinegar. It is cheap and easy to use. You don’t need to worry about stripping like you do in terms of other wood stains. Another benefit of using vinegar is that you can lighten or deepen the color. You can use white vinegar to lighten and balsamic vinegar to deepen the color.

Refinish The Table

If you use the ‘without refinishing’ method, you may skip this part. Otherwise, follow along. It is the most important part of the process. Refinishing will give the surface a new look. It also seals the color of the table and makes it durable. Choose the right finish depending on the type of wood and the way of fixing it. Apply the finish in the direction of the wood grain. Sand between the coats for an even application.

How to restore a faded wooden table? It is possible to fix a faded wooden table and not something that hard. Just follow the right method with proper guidelines for the best result.

Rescue Your Water-Warped Wood Table ! Dive into Solutions Here! 💧🔨 Discover effective ways to fix water damage on your wood table and restore its beauty

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Fixing Faded Wood Tables?

You have learned ‘How to fix faded stained wood table?’. Now, there are some common mistakes that most people make and it affects the final result. To avoid making these mistakes, read below;

  • Using harsh chemical cleaners. Cleaning is necessary before any other steps in restoring wooden furniture. However, using a harsh chemical cleaner to clean the table will strip off the natural color of the color. It can result in getting a different finish after fixing it.
  • Sanding too much. The purpose of sanding is to get a uniform surface to apply finish. Sand as much as you need, not more than that.
  • Not running a sample test. There are different ways and products to fix a faded wood table. Some may work for your wooden piece and some may not. So, run a sample test on a small piece before using the method and the products. It will help you to choose the best method for you.

How Do You Make Faded Wood Look New?

How do you make faded wood look new? Well, there are a set of steps. If you follow all of them accordingly and abide by the cautions, there’s a high chance that your faded wood will look as good as new. The main points are-

  • Clean thoroughly before the process and regular maintenance.
  • Use a mild thinner to make the original finish liquid to preserve the natural color.
  • Use natural ingredients like vinegar to remove the watermarks and also as a wood stain.
  • Seal the wood stain or finish with a wood sealer to ensure durability.

How To Protect And Seal Your Newly Restored Table?

Abide by a set of instructions to protect and seal your newly restored table. These instructions are:

How To Protect And Seal Your Newly Restored Table
  • Clean the surface before going to the actual process. Cleaning the surface will help the wood stain and finish settle down on the surface properly on the table. It will ensure a smooth surface. Also, it will increase the durability of the surface and make it more sustainable.
  • Sand between coats of stain. Sanding will ensure an even application. It will make the surface smooth and more durable even when you are fixing a water-damaged table.
  • Apply a sealer after everything is done. It will protect the wood stains and finish from fading away. It will also make the table resistant to scratches and stains.

Maintenance Tips To Prevent Future Fading

Maintenance is a must to keep up the beauty of the wood table. Otherwise, it may fade again. Keep these things in mind to maintain the table properly:

  • Keep the table in the shade. Place the table in a place where the air is constantly moving. How do you restore a sun faded wood table? It is better to avoid direct sunlight. There should be proper sunlight but make sure it doesn’t fall directly on the table. Even after fixing a wobbly folding table keep it away from direct sunlight.
  • Clean the table regularly. Do not let dust stay on the table for too long. If anything spills on the table, clean it promptly to save the table from stains and warping.
  • Keep the humidity level in the room that the table is in check. Extreme temperature and constant fluctuations in the temperature will result in an imbalance in the moisture content level of the wood. Install a humidifier or dehumidifier if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why Has My Wood Table Faded?

Your wood table can fade because of sunlight directly hitting it. 

Can I Restore The Color Of A Faded Wood Table?

Surely. It is easy. It may take a day and a half. Just follow the steps and instructions properly and your table will be as good as a new one.

Do I Fix Water Rings Or White Spots On A Faded Wood Table?

Yes, make a mix of an equal portion of olive oil and vinegar. Wipe the spot with the mix using a soft clean cloth. Surely, you will get rid of the white spots.

Should I Seek Professional Help To Restore My Faded Wood Table?

Fixing a faded table is easy. Follow the steps and you will get a decent result. If you fail to get your desired result or have any problems, you should seek professional help.

Can I Restore A Sun-Faded Wood Table?

Yes, with a detailed explanation of each of the steps and knowledge of the dos and don’ts during the process, you can restore a sun-faded wood table.


How to fix faded wood table? Well, it is very easy. Identify the type of wood the table is made with. Find the suitable method for restoration of the type of wood. Follow the steps and all the instructions carefully. Maintain the table for a long-lasting effect. 

To learn more about restoring table, stay with- Restore Journey.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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