Turn your indoor table into an outdoor table. Create a cheap garden table by repurposing an old indoor table for use outside. See my tips on how to paint an indoor table for outdoor use.
Hello sweets, we are moving outdoors today, because major progress is happening in my garden. I even have outside furniture now! Yes, alfresco diners are in my future (if the weather would only be a bit nicer), as well as long gossipy conversations while sipping lemonade, and of course, long Sunday breakfasts with the newspaper spread out over my ‘new’ garden table.
Now nothing here is truly new though, but you guessed that already didn’t you. A long time ago I scored a dining table for next to nothing on our local version of Craigslist and it has been patiently awaiting its makeover ever since.
Well, here she is baby! My former ugly duckling indoor table all grown up into a fully functional outdoor table. Because yes, you can totally use a wood dining table outside if you prep it properly.
The previous owner had started sanding down the tabletop but quit halfway through. The table legs were badly stained and a bit wobbly. But all in all, it was a solid table that just needed some DIY makeover love to make her beautiful again. So I set out to turn an indoor table into an outdoor table. These were my steps.
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How to turn an indoor table into an outdoor table: a step-by-step guide
- Strip and sand any paint or stain from the parts that you want to show wood
- Sand the painted parts until the finish is rough and ready to be repainted
- Repair wobbly legs and any other issues your table has
- Choose the best outdoor paint and weather-resistant stain you can find and paint and stain your table with at least three layers
Really the secret to making it safe to put any indoor furniture outside is choosing the right kind of finishes. Indoor furniture is usually made of softer wood that isn’t meant to withstand the forces of nature. Moisture is the biggest enemy of this kind of softer wood. Painting and/or staining them with really weather-resistant finishes gives them a real fighting chance outside. I choose a paint that was meant for outside doors and window frames and had extra strong UV protection and water resistance built-in. And the stain on top is meant for fences and wooden outside structures.
Turns out there were a few different kinds of woods used to make this tabletop. I opted to go for a light oak finish to bring it all together. The stain really brought this dried-out wood back to life.
I gave her three finishes in total. Three layers of stain for the top and three layers of exterior paint on the table legs. All in all the whole project went much faster than I anticipated. Love it, when a DIY goes smooth and easy for a change.
* check it out!
Just wish it wouldn’t take me so long to actually start working on a project. In my head, the work is always so much harder than it is in real life. Maybe one day I will learn that lesson and just get on with my projects at the proper time. Does anyone share this problem? Are you all eager beaver DIY gods and goddesses who tackle everything immediately? Or can you relate to my ever-procrastinating ways?
I love how this project turned out and how I now have a fully functional outdoor space.
Well, the rest of my garden still leaves much to be desired but I am working on it. All that is still to be done is a worry for another day, today I am reveling in the glory that is my new outdoor dining table.
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From now on my table will be living under my very new and highly coveted patio cover. But for over more than two years (including winters) my table was standing outside without any shelter and she wasn’t even repainted then. Whenever the weather was wet and foul I put an oilcloth table cloth tarp over her. And she survived.
So if you are thinking about using a wood dining table outside and you don’t have a covered patio, just cover the table itself whenever needed and it will last for years. Paint and stain her well and shield her from the worst of rain and moisture attacks and she will be fine. You can read more about weatherproofing wood, metal, and wicker outdoor furniture here.
Well, why don’t you all just come on over for some tea or lemonade and we can chat about the virtues of turning your indoor table into garden furniture?
Oh, and in case you are wondering. That last bit of my fence was only finished a couple of weeks ago, the rest of my fence was finished last year. So the new bit hasn’t had time yet to age and to turn beautiful grey all by itself yet. It will blend in with the rest soon enough…..
And of course, if you want to pin, like, or save this post for future use, go ahead! And make a blogger happy in the meantime…
Marianne Songbird is the founder of Songbird, where she hopes to inspire everyone to create a home they love, one DIY project at a time. She shares anything from craft ideas to home decor inspiration and from DIY projects to decorating hacks. Originally from the Netherlands Marianne and her husband Lex are currently renovating a 250-year-old farmhouse in Germany.