Do you have a table with deep seam lines between the wood planks, and it's driving you nuts?
Well hold on to your prosthetic foreheads, my friends, because I HAVE A SOLUTION.
Fair warning: this isn't a terribly exciting DIY project. In fact I never intended to post about it, but I had so many requests for a tutorial on Instagram that I guess I'm not the only one with this problem!
If you're lost, then these are the kinds of table seams/lines/grooves I'm talking about:
I took that photo AFTER John and I re-finished the table, but here's a close up of what it looked like before:
Those deep grooves were constantly filling up with dust, crumbs, paint, you name it - plus they would catch on things, and made writing or tracing patterns a pain. We are ROUGH on our work tables, so it was also covered in paint, glue, chips, and scratches. Definitely time for a refresh.
There's a "wood polishing" joke in here SOMEWHERE, I just know it.
This also isn't a quick project, but at least it's easy. All you need - if you want to do what I did - is some Apoxie Sculpt, gloves, a razor blade, and a good show to listen to while you work.
Apoxie Sculpt is a kind of epoxy clay that cures rock-hard, sticks to almost anything, and is fantastic for crafts and cosplay and - in my experience - minor furniture repair. :D It even comes in black, which would be ideal for table-line-filling, but I used the gray stuff since I already had some.
One pound tubs cost about $23, or - the better deal - you can get 4lb tubs for $42. That's a ton of epoxy, though, so if you're only planning to use it for seam filling, grab this little $15 pack instead:
That claims it's 1/4 pound, so it *should* be enough to fill a tabletop worth of seam lines. The little pack only comes in white, though, so you'll have to paint in your lines afterward like I did.
I don't have process photos of this, but it's simple:
- Mix together a palm-sized amount of Apoxie at a time
- Roll a long skinny snake of the clay
- squish it in the table grooves (which you DID vacuum out first, right?)
- pack it down with your thumb, overfilling a little
- shave the groove smooth with a razor blade to clean off the excess
- smooth the clay with a damp rag or fingertip, if needed
Make sure you work in small sections, since the Apoxie will start to dry and get a little more crumbly as you go. That's also why you shouldn't mix too much at a time.
Again, my Apoxie was gray, so you can see my filled lines REALLY WELL, ha:
Our table is pretty big and has an extra leaf in the middle, so it took me two nights to fill all the lines. I don't mind tedious work, though; I just watched Critical Role while I worked.
Once the grooves were filled I scraped all the old paint and glue off the rest of the table, then John lightly sanded the whole thing to get the old clear coat off:
This is only a veneer top, so we couldn't sand any deeper. We did our best to touch up any chips with brown or black paint.
I spent the third night painting all my freshly filled groove lines with a tiny brush and some black exterior primer paint. (I recommend using something stronger than craft paint, especially if you're not adding a clear coat.) Again, SUPER tedious, but the lines vary in width enough that I didn't want to try taping them off.
Once that was finished, John brushed on a coat of clear satin polyurethane over the whole table. Bing bang boom DONE:
That extra shine actually makes the grooves still look like they have stuff in them from certain angles, which is a little annoying:
IT'S SHINY NOT DIRTY. Honest.
The important thing is the lines are flush and don't *actually* catch dust and crumbs anymore, though, so HALLELUJAH.
I hope this helps, gang! If you have any questions hit me up in the comments, and John or I will do our best to answer them.
Now before you go, let's announce this month's art winners!
So... [drumroll, please]
The winner of Baymax is Ebany
The winner of Ariel is Melody Tenney
And my wild card winner is BSM7!
Congrats, you three, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!