DIY Picnic Table Makeover

I posted a picture of our old/new picnic table on IG a few weeks ago and have gotten lots of questions from desperate owners of rickety old outdoor furniture wondering if there’s hope after all.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a lover of all things repurposed and found at a bargain or for free.  Fixing up old, run down pieces I’ve found around our home and farm especially is my fave!

Now I’ll admit, this picnic table wasn’t always on my fixer upper radar, but with warmer weather and porch sittin’ season upon us and a promise to Big John to not spend all of the dollars on spring time projects, it started looking promising.


This thing has seen some stuff.  It was originally gifted to G.G. and Great Grandpa Ernie way back in the day as an anniversary gift, and has weathered some storms, tons of home cooked meals, and served as our main dining area in the front yard during construction of our home.

Now, I wish I could write some really in-depth and detailed post about intricately restoring it to its former glory through blood, sweat, and tears.  But its not so.

More than anything, I’m simply here to paint the vision and give you hope for your old wooden table.

But friends, all I did…..was hose it down top and bottom.

Let it dry.

Sand the rough spots with some sandpaper I found in the basement.

Dig up some leftover paint from construction.

And use a wide brush to apply one thick layer of paint (the wood will soak up a lot of paint, I probably used a half gallon) to the entire table and benches.  And yes, it’s interior paint, which I used on an exterior piece.  But it was available and free, my only prerequisites at the time.


However, if you have exterior paint or will be purchasing, that’s probably the way to go.

There are a few wiggly and loose spots, but a little creaking never hurt nobody and I actually kind of like it.  However, Big John taught me how to use a screw gun in 2016 and ever since I’ve pretty much been of the mind that I can fix anything with screws, wood glue, and enough stubbornness.  So if we run into problems stability wise, I’m golden, right?

But if your piece is a borderline death trap or rotting away, then this simple sand and paint method probably won’t do the trick and you may end up with a pretty table but could also end up inviting friends over to see it and then sitting down only for the bench to collapse and everyone laugh and bruise your tailbone real bad.  Lolololol please Lord don’t forsake me for thinking people falling (including myself) or even scenarios in which people may fall down and bust their ass unexpectedly is hilarious.

I solemnly swear my sister and I have never searched “people falling” on YouTube.  Except for once, or maybe more than once.

Anyway, since our table is on a covered porch and will be protected from the elements and only get a few hours of morning sunlight, I shouldn’t have to repaint it for a while, hopefully several years.  But as with any wood outdoor furniture, its not maintenance free!

I truly do love bringing old or unwanted pieces to life as it makes me feel frugal AF and I hope you’re inspired to turn something ugly and gross into pretty and useful!


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