I finally finished refinishing the family kitchen table that I grew up eating at. Much thanks and appreciation to Gary Riddell for custom making the new solid oak top and leaves, and to Jerry Larson for coordinating and covering the costs. Thanks for the good turn, you guys. I hope I've been able do good by you on the job. I really like the 3 different shades of the planks on top. This works great with the different types of oak on the rest of the table.
And thanks, Dad, for giving me this great table and for the refinishing tips. I've ended following in your footsteps with the furniture refinishing knack.
There were two previous finishes on this table, the first was dark walnut stain, the second was a painted whitewash. Both were deep in the grain and required extensive sanding to remove. Paint stripper didn't touch it, unfortunately. I ended up sand blasting it out on some of the tougher pieces. I used 220 red garnet sand at the TechShop, and baking soda blasting at home.
I sanded 60, 80, 100 grit with a random orbital.
Hand sanded 120, 220, 320 and even 600 on the top. I only went to 320 on the other pieces.
Apply danish oil - natural and also fruitwood. I used a mix of the two depending on how it pulled out the color and grain.
Wait at least 72 hours for the danish oil to fully cure.
Then I applied General Finishes water based poly urethane, satin finish. Minimum three coats, sanding with 220/320 between coats.
Here's the before photos: