We received this small table as a gift, it’s pine and in good shape except for the finish. It appears to have had a spray-on stain/poly combo that just did not hold up to use. Luckily, that type of finish is relatively easy to remove with some 150 grit sandpaper and elbow grease. The only issue is that the sandpaper filled up quickly, and I could not clear the build-up easily. I was using the MasterForce brand 120 grit from Menards. So I tried the 5″ hook and loop sanding discs from Harbor Freight, the savings were not spectacular (about 50 cents), but they seemed to last longer. Further testing required. Also, the sheet sandpaper is a great deal, and works really well.
Once all surfaces had been sanded and all dust removed, I applied two coats of Zinsser shellac.
I like the look of varnish, and it the sun it almost has a three dimensional look to it.
Here’s a gallery of the images: