What Most Essential Tools Needed For Table Restoration? Hammer Or Sanding?




Fixing up a table, or table restoration, means making an old or broken table look new again.

This can be good for many reasons: it keeps history alive, cuts down on waste, and makes your space look better. To do this job, you need some specific tools. Here’s a quick list of the primary tools:

Tools Needed For Table Restoration

8 Essential Tools For Table Restoration

  • Scrapers
  • Hammers
  • Measuring tools
  • Saws
  • Chisels
  • Planes
  • Screwdriver and drills
  • Sanding and more 

There are other secondary tools on the list also.  However, in this guide, we will disclose all the details of the woodworking tools needed for table restoration. So, keep reading!

Summery of the article is-

  • Table restoration transforms old or broken tables into like-new condition.
  • Benefits of table restoration include preserving history, reducing waste, and enhancing your space.
  • Essential tools for table restoration include scrapers, hammers, measuring tools, saws, chisels, planes, sanding tools, screwdrivers, and drills.
  • Secondary tools for table restoration are Magnetic tack hammer, jack plane, and jointer plane, spiral rather screwdriver, locking pliers, wrench assortment, nail sets, dividers, etc.

Why Do You Need A Specific Tool For Table Restoration?

You need different tools for hardware table restoration for the following reasons:

Why You Need A Specific Tool For Table Restoration
  • Tack Cloth Ensures Clean Surfaces: Before applying any finish, you must make your table’s wood surfaces dust-free. Tack cloth grabs tiny particles of sandpaper left behind, ensuring a clean start.
  • Solid Wood Requires Gentle Handling: Restoring solid wood tables means preserving their integrity. You must choose each tool to protect and enhance the wood’s natural beauty without causing harm.
  • Sanding Block Provides Even Pressure: To avoid uneven surfaces, a sanding block helps apply consistent pressure. This tool is essential for smooth wood surfaces without dips or waves.
  • Clean Cloth for Application: Applying oil finishes or stains needs a clean cloth. It helps spread the finish evenly. Moreover, it absorbs excess and ensures a uniform coat.
  • Orbital Sander Saves Time: For large, flat areas, an orbital sander is efficient and gentle. Compared to a belt sander, it’s better for final smoothing. This tool is important in your table restoration process because it saves time.
  • Oil Finishes Bring Out Beauty: Oil finishes enter deep, highlighting your table wood’s grain and color. You can generally use a clean cloth to apply these oils, enhancing your table’s natural charm.
  • Damp Cloth Prepares the Surface: You need a damp cloth to wipe away any residual dust or debris from your table. You need to prepare your table surface properly to get a flawless finish.
  • Belt Sander Starts the Process: In your table restoration process, removing old paint or varnish is your first step. So, you need a tool here. A belt sander is powerful, too, for this task. But it requires a careful hand to avoid damaging the solid wood.

Tools Needed For Table Restoration

When you’re fixing up your wooden furniture, it’s like giving it a new life. However, for your table restoration, you require the following primary and secondary tools.

Primary Tools 

The primary tools for table restoration are:

Primary Tools Needed For Table Restoration


Scrapers, like your trusty putty knife, are essential. They help you get rid of old finishes during the stripping process. You want to get down to the bare wood grain, ready for a new coat of stain or furniture wax.


A lighter claw hammer is easier to use than a big one. It fits into small spots, perfect for tapping on table legs. If you’re working with metal or need to be gentle, a ball-peen hammer or a mallet (rubber or wooden) will do the trick.

Measuring Tools

You’ve got to measure right. A combination square can check angles and lengths. A steel ruler and a tape measure are must-haves for straight and long measurements. These are the best tools for refinishing furniture.


Different saws do different things. A hacksaw is excellent for small cuts in wood or metal. For fine woodwork, like joints or miters, get a backsaw or cabinet saw. Need to cut shapes or corners? A coping saw is your go-to.


Chisels let you get into the details, shaping wood furniture or carving out spots for joints. There are a range of sizes for different jobs. Use a mallet to hit them gently.


Planes make wood surfaces smooth. A smoothing plane works with the wood grain. A block plane is good for the ends of boards. They’re essential for getting your wood furniture piece ready for a new finish.

Screwdrivers and Drills

You’ll need screwdrivers for different purposes. You can use screws and a drill to make holes for screws, dowels, or for decorative reasons. Pick a hand-crank or electric one that feels good in your hand.


Sanding makes everything smooth and ready for wood stain or furniture wax. Use coarse sandpaper for rough spots and finer paper for a smooth finish. Sanding blocks help you apply even pressure. However, It’s tough to refinish a coffee table without sanding.

Extra Tools

As you get more into fixing up your furniture, think about getting some extra tools. Things like a magnetic tack hammer, planes for smoothing large surfaces, a spiral ratchet screwdriver for quick screwing, wrenches, pliers, and nail sets can all make your life easier. A saber saw or electric jigsaw lets you cut almost anything.

Secondary Tools for Table Restoration

The primary tools are must-have items that you may require for restoring your table. But sometimes, some secondary supplies needed to refinish wood furniture. However, the secondary wood furniture repair tools and equipment are:

Secondary Tools Needed For Table Restoration

Magnetic Tack Hammer

This handy hammer is great for small jobs. It’s got a magnet on one end to hold nails, making it perfect for working in tight spaces. It’s not too expensive and really useful for wooden furniture repairs.

Jack Plane and Jointer Plane

These tools are a bit pricey but super important for working with wood. They help smooth out the wood grain and get wood furniture pieces ready for a coat of stain or furniture wax. Use the jack plane first to rough things out, then the jointer plane to finish up smoothly. It’s important to refinish a table.

Spiral Ratchet Screwdriver

An excellent screwdriver that works by pushing down on the handle. It comes with different tips for different screws and is excellent for speeding up your work. It’s perfect for lots of tasks beyond furniture wax application, like household repairs.

Wrench Assortment

You won’t need wrenches all the time, but they’re good to have when you do. They come in sets and help with bolts and nuts on wood furniture. Boxed-end wrenches are the best kind for furniture work.

Locking Pliers

These pliers lock onto stuff really tightly, making them awesome for tough nuts and bolts or pulling nails. They come in several sizes, but small or medium ones usually do the trick for fixing your wooden furniture.

Nail Sets

Nail sets help you finish nails so the heads aren’t sticking out. They’re cheap and come in three sizes. They’re strong because they’re made of steel, so you can hit them with a hammer to sink nails into your dining room table legs or other parts.


These tools are great for marking where to drill or measure small parts accurately. They’re not just for drawing but are really handy for making precise repairs on wood furniture.

Rasp and File Assortment

When you need to smooth out small areas or make holes bigger, rasps and files are what you need. They help you shape wood furniture just right, getting it ready for wood stain or furniture wax.

Saber Saw or Portable Electric Jigsaw

For cutting all sorts of materials – whether it’s wood furniture or something else – a saber saw, or jigsaw is essential. Get one that lets you adjust the speed for the best control and grab blades for different stuff you need to cut.

When restoring your tables, you must wear the proper safety gear. While using tools for table restoration, we recommend you use the following safety equipment:

Safety Equipment Is Recommended While Using Tools For Table Restoration
  • Wear Gloves: To keep your hands safe from splinters and chemicals during the restoration process, you can wear gloves. 
  • Safety Goggles: Tiny wood bits and dust can hurt your eyes. Goggles protect you while you work with professional tools needed for table restoration.
  • Dust Mask: Sanding makes a lot of dust. A mask keeps you from breathing in those tiny particles.
  • Earplug: The noise from woodworking tools needed for table restoration can be really loud. Earplugs or earmuffs will help save your hearing.
  • Apron: It’ll keep stains and damage away while you use furniture restoration tools and equipment.

!! How to fix a cloudy wood table affected by acetone damage while exploring different types of table restoration in our informative article.

Which Tools Are Used To Strip And Cut?

You may have questions how do you strip furniture? Well, we will tell you that. You need the following tools to use to strip and cut:

  • Pliers are super handy for pulling out old nails or staples.
  • Chisels help scrape off any old glue or bits stuck to the wood.
  • Utility Knives are great for cutting away old fabric or trimming bits of wood.
  • Hand Saws let you cut wood easily, whether shortening dining room table legs or removing damaged parts.
  • Orbital Sanders makes sanding quick and smooth, prepping it for furniture wax or a coat of stain.

What Tool Removes Varnish From Wood?

Do you know how do you varnish a table? Or you may have questions about how do you remove varnish from a table? We will answer all your questions.

The tools to remove varnish from wood are:

What Tool Removes Varnish From Wood
  • Chemical Stripper: This stuff breaks down the old varnish. Slap it on, wait a bit, and then scrape it off. It’s a must-have for getting your wood furniture piece ready for new life.
  • Sandpaper: After using the chemical stripper, rub the wood with sandpaper to take off any leftover varnish and smooth out the wood grain.
  • Heat Gun: If you’re not into chemical stripper, a heat gun is another way to soften the varnish for easy scraping. Just heat and scrape.

Types Of Brushes Or Applicators Are Suitable To Remove Stains From A Table

The types of brushes or applicators that are suitable for removing stains from a pottery barn table are: 

  • Stain Brushes: These brushes are perfect for staining wood furniture. They soak up the stain nicely and make it easy to put on. 
  • Chip Brushes or Chip Bristle Brushes: Chip brushes are cheap and good for a single use. They’re great for using mineral spirits or wax. 
  • Foam Paint Brushes: Foam brushes are good for getting the stain on evenly and lightly. They’re a useful tool to have in your furniture fixing kit.
  • Wall Paint Brushes: These might look big, but they’re great for putting mineral spirits on big surfaces. Their wide bristles help cover large areas fast. They come in handy when you need to clean or prep your table before staining.
  • Trim Paint Brushes: Trim brushes are for detailed work. They’re great for small spaces or detailed parts of your table. If your table has fancy designs, a trim paintbrush will help make sure every detail is covered well.
  • Sash Paint Brush: A sash paint brush, with its angled tips, is awesome for edges and corners. It lets you put stains on precisely in tricky spots. This brush is essential for making your furniture look professionally done.

When Should You Use Clamps And Vises In The Table Restoration Process?

You should use clams and vises in the table restoration process at the following time:

When Should You Use Clamps And Vises In The Table Restoration Process
  • Gluing Stuff Together: Clamps keep parts tight while the glue dries. This means a stronger stick.
  • Sanding: A vise holds your table piece still, so you can sand easily. No slips, better sanding.
  • Staining or Waxing: Use clamps to hold your piece steady. This helps you stain or wax evenly.
  • Putting Pieces Together: Clamps help by holding everything in place. This way, you can see if it all fits before you make it permanent.
  • Doing Detailed Work: A vise is great for keeping things still when you’re doing tricky bits. It lets you focus on the details.
  • All Through the Project: Clamps and vises make refinishing kitchen tables easier. They help everything fit right and make sure stains and waxes go on smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Need To Refurbish Wood Furniture?

You’ll need sandpaper or a sander, wood filler, stain or paint, brushes or cloths, and safety gear to refurbish your wood furniture.

What Is The Best Method To Strip Paint From Furniture?

There are several best methods to strip paint from your furniture. You can use a chemical paint stripper. Or, you can scrape the paint off with a putty knife

Are There Different Types Of Clamps Recommended For Various Tasks?

Yes. You can use C-clamps for tight grips, bar clamps for big projects, spring clamps for quick jobs, and corner clamps for woodworking.

Final Note 

If you want to restore or fix up your old table, you can do that quickly by following our above guide. It’s a way to connect with history, be eco-friendly, and show off your creative side. The benefits go beyond just making something look good.

Moreover, it’s also about feeling proud of what you’ve done and adding a personal touch to your home. However, you must know about the right tools needed for table restoration to get your table to look its best.

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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