Picnic table makeover: from old to bold!

We’ve had our picnic table for 30 years. When we bought it, it looked terrific. It was sturdy, well built, and the kind of table that would last a lifetime. Fast forward to today – the orangey tinted table has lost its appeal and clashes with our outdoor décor, so I was ready to get rid of it. Well, I’m so glad I didn’t because after painting it all white, it looks stunning and I LOVE it. This picnic table makeover was absolutely worth it. 

Here’s my picnic table before getting its makeover. As you can see, it was not very pretty and definitely needed a little TLC. The good news was that the wood was not rotten, the screws were not rusted and it was still rock solid. Not bad for an old table.

Picnic table

The idea of painting the table white came up when we were renovating our cottage. Since we had several doors to paint, our contractor had set up a portable car shelter to use as a painting tent. It turned out to be a brilliant idea. The tent kept the mess out of the house and sped up the whole spray painting and drying process. Since we had some leftover white paint, I suggested we spray-paint the picnic table white, which we did.

Prepping and painting the table:

  • Check out these great tips from Sherwin Williams.
  • I skipped a few steps… I simply hosed the table with water and let it completely dry.
  • We sanded the top surface and seats and wiped the sand dust.
  • We primed it, let it dry then spray painted. One coat of paint was enough because I wanted a “worn” look versus a super white table.

Note: If you’re planning to freshen up your picnic table, get advice from a sales associate at a paint or DIY store on what paint and brushes to use.

Picnic table

The results are amazing. The white paint completely transformed the table from dated to chic. It is crisp looking and fits right in with the white trims of the cottage and light colored outdoor furniture. 

Picnic table makeover

At first I thought that an all-white table might be a little too bright on sunny days, but it turned out perfect. It’s fresh looking and the seats never get too hot. The best part is that food looks delicious against the white background. I don’t ever cover it up with a table cloth like I used to. 

Picnic table

The lesson I’ve learned from this DIY is not to get rid of things too quickly. Painting the table white has given the table a new lease on life and has made my little family enjoy the simple pleasures in life such as having a picnic on the beach.

Picnic table

Do you have any outdoor DIY projects planned this summer?

Liette Tousignant
Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating

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Reviews (2 comments)

  • The UTR Team On

    Hi Nancy! That’s a great question. Check in with your local hardware or paint store for details, but likely the most economical way to refresh your picnic table is with a paint brush. Wash down the table. When it’s dry, sand at least the flat surfaces. Clean off the sanding dust. Paint a prime coat and at least one top coat (with proper dry times between coats). Use a smaller angled brush for hard to reach places, and a wider brush for the rest of the surfaces. Can’t wait to for you to be out enjoying summer on the refreshed picnic table! -The UTR Team

  • Nancy On

    For those of us Who don’t have a spray tent what is the best way to paint an old picnic table? Is it with a big paintbrush or a bunch of spray cans?

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