See in this post how I make a set of thrift store-bought wooden salad bowls like new.
Yesterday, I found a set of six wooden salad bowls at our local thrift store. In the past, I’ve never looked twice when I saw wooden bowls like these, but this time a what if thought crossed my mind. What if I could refinish these bowls and bring them back to their glory while showing you How To Make A Grubby Wooden Bowl Look New?
These bowls were free of dirt and grime but still looked grubby due to not being cared for properly. The finish that was on the bowls was coming off in many places. The bowls were discolored and actually had a really rough surface. I’m guessing they were even run through a dishwasher.
Steps to make an old wooden bowl look like new:
I started by laying a garbage bag over to protect the surface. Then I sanded the remaining finish left on the bowls with a 120 grit sandpaper and then finished the last coat of sanding with a 320 grit which made the surface very smooth. When I finished sanding, I rinsed each bowl under running water, gave them a good towel drying, and then set them on the back porch to finish drying. That last step didn’t take long because it is so windy here. We’re under a wind advisory all day today.
When they were all dry, I took a sponge brush and covered the inside and outside of the bowls with my favorite tung oil blend. You can read more about that in my wood countertop post here.
Here, you can see the oil sitting in the bottom of the bowl. It eventually all soaked in. Once the tung oil had absorbed into the wood, I wiped them down with a soft rag to remove any excess oil.
Didn’t they turn out great? I love the rich luster the tung oil gave them and how it pulled out the grain in the wood. The oil does not have any color in it, but it does bring out the natural tones in the wood which can make it look like they’ve been stained.
The pattern that appears to be a water stain is actually part of the wood. That is my favorite of all the bowls. Since the tung oil is food grade they are safe to use with food.
I nested the bowls together in a staggered pattern and put them on my open shelves. I’m really tickled with how these turned out. I only did one coat on these because I wanted to get this post up, but I will go back and apply another coat of tung oil to make sure they are completely sealed. See that bowed shelf at the top there? Yep, we’ve been saying for a year now how we need to fix that. I really need to bump that to the top of my to-do list. And you know what, I’m thinking about going with a lighter stain the next time around.
Well, whatcha think? That’s my easy, peasy method on how to make a grubby wooden bowl like new. Have you ever refinished any wooden bowls? I’d love for you to comment below.
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