Thursday, August 1, 2013

Refinished Picnic Table

This summer we were in the market for some outdoor furniture.  After looking around, I couldn't find anything that I liked for a halfway decent price and honestly, I really am not fond of new, cookie cutter furniture.  So I started perusing Craigslist and found this old 10ft picnic table for $15.00!

When I first saw the table, it was a sad, tired and worn little thing.  But for $15.00 and the fact that I could easily sit 8 people comfortably, I was willing to give it some much needed TLC.  

The benches were sinking.  The boards were bowing. The wood had numerous spots which would deliver painful splinters if hit a the correct angle. No biggie. With a little elbow grease and the right tools, Matt and I took some time to fix all of those imperfections.  

  • We started by wiping down the entire table with a wet cloth to remove any dirt or cobwebs
  • Then we got some coarse and fine sand paper and sanded this baby down until it was smooth as a baby's behind
  • Next we drilled in some long deck screws to reinforce the boards
  • We then added two 2x4's in the center of each bench for additional support
  • Finally, we coated it with two coats of each oil-based primer and exterior paint  
  • Material list: 2-4 coarse and medium grit sandpaper or sand sponges. 2 rollers with pans, 2 paint brushes, 1 gallon of each oil-based primer and exterior paint 
It's not perfect by any means but those minor blemishes give it character.  And I love it so much because my husband and I restored it together.  Normally I am solo on my furniture projects. He was doubtful at first but after seeing and actively participating in the transformation firsthand, I think I can now recruit his help for future DIY adventures!  

We placed the screws where needed

If you want the table to last a few years, definitely take the time to apply a primer

Exterior paint offers more protection for the outdoor elements

We used Sherman Williams Ibis White with a satin finish

Here is the table with the first coat of primer.  To make the painting easier, be sure to coat every nook and cranny with primer.  

This is with two coats of primer applied.  We let it dry overnight.  

The finished product after the two coats of exterior paint had been applied.  

The umbrella is from Pottery Barn.  Since we got it later in the season, there was a decent sale.  We look forward to spending many summer nights out here sipping on some drinks and eating some food with our good family and friends!   


  1. This is beautiful! Good use of something old made into something fresh and new!

    1. Thank you so much Jordan! All the hard work makes it that much more special and sentimental. Have a lovely weekend :)

  2. This is perfect table for a picnic...I heartily appreciate your hard work. Thanks Heather....picnic benches

    1. Thanks Steve. It was a fun project. What lovely pieces of furniture on your site! Do you build all of those yourself? Cheers!

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