DIY : Restore your wooden table top

However much I may like the ‘rustic’ look or furniture with ‘patina’ and age, there comes a time to treat your furniture with a  little love. I decided to restore my side table and my dining table after they’ve had a little too much coffee and wine action.

This is the easiest, cheapest and most natural way that I’ve found to restore wooden table tops without the use of chemicals and overpriced waxes.


  • Clean thoroughly
  • Sand the wood so the imperfections disappear (or much as you can so it fades and blends in with the wood)
  • If your wood needs a little extra help with getting rid of stains. Cut half a lemon and rub the cut side into the grain, the acid will naturally bleach out any residue stains. Leave it for a few minutes before cleaning, wiping and then drying with a cloth.
  • Finish by making a homemade natural mix, 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts olive oil, whisk and rub into the grain.
  • Wipe away any excess oil.
  • WARNING it stinks!!!!! but only for a few hours.
  • Leave to dry over night and you’ll wake up to find a smooth, refreshed table top.

Firstly I tried this on my bargain foldaway side table from a salvage market stall in Brighton (which only cost me £10), I use this ALL of the time.



Here’s another example, my beech wood dining table from IKEA. I really thought it had it’s day but with little effort it really did scrub up well.

BEFORE + AFTERDining-table-before-and-after

This method to maintain wooden furniture is so easy and I’m going to continue to do so from now on. I only hand sanded my table tops but maybe next time I might try getting the power tools out! There’s a huge sense of pride once you’ve restored loved furniture, I recommend it highly.

If you are hesitant, try a test patch and make sure you leave it to dry for a few days to see the end result.

Have fun restoring.

H x


  • Reply Artselect September 7, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for giving a easiest, cheapest and most natural way for restore wooden table….
    luxurious lounges furniture

  • Reply Andy Gadsby November 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the hints, tips 7 tricks, Hannah
    I was just about to strip the whole table top but tried your oil/vinegar process and….fantastic! …. I wish I had taken some “before” pics now! Our charity shop bargain is going to serve us well
    Now I must start planning our 2018 Danish trip too

    • Reply Hannah November 13, 2017 at 10:14 am

      fantastic! I’m so happy that you’ve found it useful. 🙂 I’ll get working on some more Copenhagen tips too xx

  • Reply Hamilton Billiards October 23, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    After pictures look fantastic. Wooden furniture last longer if kept in good condition and looked after. Thanks for sharing your tips

  • Reply morag woods December 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you for your tips. I have an old card table from the 70s that I used to play cards etc with my dear dad. Unfortunately it has seen better days and it has hinges on the lid that are done as is the surface. it is such a lovely little card table and would look good renovated. I was looking for someone to renovate it for me. Do you have any contacts in Scotland that I could get to help? I so want to keep it and hand it down to my grandchildren eventually. Thank you

  • Reply Ann Demaret April 21, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Hannah,
    Just read your post. Looks a lovely way to clean a table without horrid chemicals. What sandpaper do you use , must it be very fine? Also, after the oil and white vinegar, do I do anything or just leave it to dry with the product on? Do I need anything to buff up ?
    I am really keen to try. many thanks

    • Reply Hannah April 23, 2019 at 11:01 am

      Hi Ann!

      Yes the sand paper is called wet and dry (the one I use is black). It’s super fine.
      As for the product, I just buff it in. It might need doing again after a few months depending on ware but it’s so simple and friendly ingredients. Good luck!

  • Reply Ann Demaret April 23, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Thank you so much, Hannah. I will let you know how I get on.
    Take care

  • Reply Jacquie Harvey December 30, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Then you very much for your easy fix restoring of oak table top ,looks great, amazing xjacquie

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