Burlwood Side Table Beauty


It’s always a bit daunting, and somewhat exciting, to work with a material that you have never worked with before. Enter this darling, round, burlwood side table. It belongs to a client who is good buddies with my sister in-law.  Her sweet little table had been handed down to her decades earlier by her mother and it had years of pretty heavy use. Here is where it began.


Well loved for sure, but also in need of a revival. I began by stripping the old stain off of the entire table. Because burlwood does NOT have any sort of directional grain, I did not want to take sand paper to it and disrupt the swirly-whirly authentic look. Let the stripping, scraping and scrubbing begin……oh my!



She certainly cleaned up pretty nice, but you can see the difference in wood tones of the sections of burlwood used to make the table. That, and its a veneer layer of burlwood. My sweet client wanted to enhance the look of the table and dress it up a bit. So we talked color (stain, paint and detailing) and I got busy. I stained the top and base in a Dark Walnut, painted the curvy legs in a Parisian Grey and pulled out the details and balled feet with Antique Gold Rub n’ Buff.



I added a layer of dark wax to the painted legs and buffed it well.  The finishing touch would be a couple of coats of wipe on poly to the stained top. I was thinking this would be a done deal within the next 24 hours. NOT!! It felt like running a half marathon, and just when you think you’ve only got one mile left to run, you find out you actually have 2.5!!! (True story) UGH! Forever, I have used Minwax wipe on poly. I’m a huge fan and it has always been a big success for me. So on went coat #1 and something odd started happening, it wasnt drying evenly and it was looking blotchy. Okay, that’s weird! So I wait about 6 hours thinking it might balance out when completely dry and I could ever so gently sand and apply coat #2………ummmm, nope, that didn’t work either. Now I’m gripping….what to do??? I had no choice but to gently sand down/off the Poly which also took off some of the stain. POOP!! So I had to keep going with a gentle sand and steel wool with odorless mineral spirits to remove as much stain as possible and maintain an even look. And there I was, back at square one. So I restained and moved on researching what top coat would be a better option on this piece. I ended up using 2 coats of Minwax Tung Oil. You wipe it on, wait 5 minutes and buff it off. Great for thirsty wood. And the finished result, beautiful.