can your refinish oak coffee table that is bubbled up

Can You refinish an Oak Coffee Table that is bubbled up?

You have an oak coffee table that is bubbled up, and your wondering if it is still possible to refinish? Well, the good news is, yes, it is. However, the amount and type the amount of refinishing that is needed will depend on the extent of the bubbling.

What Does Bubbling on Furniture Mean?

Bubbling, or sometimes referred to as “CALLA”, is when the top coat of a piece of furniture has come loose from the underlying surface. This can be caused from;

  • Excessive moisture and damp
  • Oil based products kept on the surface too long
  • Lack of manufacturing quality on the laquer finish

Can You Refinish the Table?

Yes, you can refinish a bubbled oak coffee table, but it is important to remember to use the right materials and techniques to do so.

In regards to materials and equipment, you will need;

  • Chemical paint remover
  • Sandpaper
  • Wax (optional)
  • Primer
  • Foam brush
  • Stain
  • Clear topcoat varnish or wax

The Refinishing Process

  • Firstly, you need to remove the current lacquer or varnish on the table. For this step, you will need to apply chemical paint remover. Make sure to use protective goggles and gloves.
  • Once the paint remover has done its job, you will need to sand the bubbled areas to remove the paint residue.
  • You will then need to apply a primer to the areas where you’re going to be staining.
  • Now, you adding the stain of your liking.
  • Once you’ve applied the stain and it is dry, you’ll want to apply a few coats of the chosen clear topcoat varnish or wax.
  • Once done, your table should look as good as new!


Yes, you can refinish an oak coffee table that has bubbled up. However, make sure to use the proper materials and techniques to do so. Following the steps outlined above should help you on your way to refinishing your bubbled oak coffee table.

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