Patio Furniture Makeover With A Wood Plank Tabletop & Spray Paint

This is the last article in a series of updating my outdoor spaces on a budget. I promised last week that I would write a tutorial for how I gave my outdoor patio furniture a makeover. Follow along with the process as I share how to repaint your furniture and give your table a wood plank update. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for articles on adding outdoor lighting, refinishing a deck, recovering your outdoor furniture cushions, covering your pillows and tips for deck decorating.

How to give your outdoor patio furniture a makeover.

This patio set was never high end to begin with. It was a quick fix, to provide seating for my patio. I honestly never intended to keep it for 8 years. But, sometimes there are more projects than money. 🙂 Here’s the before picture of the table.

Old patio table before it was updated.

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It almost reminds me of something strait out of the 70’s. But, I have to say, I love a round coffee table. The size and scale of this set also fits my patio space really well. Since “the bones” were there with this set, I decided to take a chance on refinishing it. And I’m so glad I did. So let me show you the process.




You’ll want to start out by inspecting your furniture. Make sure your furniture is solid, screws are all in place and your chair slings don’t need mending. I did grab some outdoor thread and reinforce one of my chair slings. Don’t want anyone falling on my watch!

Next, grab a bucket of soapy water and a garden hose and give everything a good wash down. If you have a power washer, that will work, too. This step will help ensure your paint sticks well to the surface. Let it sit in the sun for a day to dry out.


I took my chairs and table base to the back of my property. Far away from anything that could catch the over-spray from the spray paint. I also placed them on a drop cloth to keep the grass and dirt off of my new finish.

How to paint your outdoor metal furniture.

I started by spray painting the base of the table with Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I also painted all four chairs. Once dry, I flipped everything over and repeated the process on the bottom. I finished it off with a second coat, both top and bottom. I also painted the fabric sling. In all, I used three cans of spray paint.

Honestly, this was the easiest part of the project. I thought this was going to be a big deal and it really wasn’t.

How to update your patio furniture for a fresh makeover this summer.

Update: After a year, the finish on the chairs and the fabric sling is holding up well. We leave our furniture (minus the cushions) out all year round. It is exposed to sunlight, rain and snow. However, the sun and heat are not as intense in northeast, Ohio. So, while it gets into the 90’s and there’s a lot of humidity, it’s not exposed to the heat and sunlight the way Arizona or Texas would be. My patio furniture gets about 5 hours of sunlight a day.


To keep the cost down on this project, I used pressure treated fence pickets from Home Depot. They were on sale at the time, and I was able to purchase 10 pickets for the tabletop super cheap. In fact this whole tabletop only cost about $15 to make.

Update: The tabletop is holding up well. However, the knots in the fence pickets stained my paint finish over time. I would recommend using cedar fence pickets for this project. The pressure treated pine is just too green and didn’t dry out the way it needs to. I used the cedar pickets to build my raised garden beds, and they have held up well. They also don’t have the knots in them that pressure treated pine has. You will pay a little more for cedar pickets, but it’s well worth the investment. Now back to the original post…

The pickets were very rough and still green from the chemical treatment. My son and I picked through the pile and found the best ones. (Be sure to bring work gloves and a cover to protect your trunk.) When we arrived home, we left them in my driveway to dry out in the sun for two days.

Next, I placed eight of the boards on my work bench and arranged them so that the best portions of the boards were lined up together. I flipped my coffee table over on top of the boards and used it as a guide for my cuts. Then I placed a small scrap board against the rim of the table and put my pencil on the outside of the board. This will give you a 3/4″ overhang when the table is complete. Trace all the way around the table to make your cut line.

Using your pencil line as a guide, rough cut the boards into a manageable size. Then, clamp each board to your workbench and use a jig saw to cut along the pencil line. Take your time, cut slowly and stay on the line. Once all your boards are cut, arrange them back together to form a circle. Here is a look at the underside of the table.

How to build an outdoor wood plank tabletop.

Use your remaining 2 boards to cut braces that hold the tabletop together. To do this, place the pickets on top of the circle and mark the length. Then cut them down to size.


Position your boards together and drive a wood screws into the support boards from the bottom of the tabletop. I used (#8) 1″ square drive deck screws. Take care not to sink the screws in too deep. Pine is a very soft wood and they could poke through the face side of the tabletop. Be sure to use coated or weather resistant screws.


Always wear a dust mask when working with wood. It’s best to work in a well ventilated area (outside is best). Both pressure treated pine and cedar dust are unhealthy to breath in.

To save time, I only focused on sanding the top and edges of the tabletop. I started with a belt sander and 40 grit paper and sanded the edges smooth. Leave the round tabletop hang over the edge of your workbench and turn it while you sand the edge. Then sand the top one plank at a time.

How to build an outdoor wood plank tabletop.

Next, I moved to my orbital sander with 80 grit paper and again sanded the edges and tabletop. Then I went to a 180 grit and finished with 320.

Before you start to paint, make sure to clean the surface of your tabletop. I vacuumed it with a shop vac and then wiped it down with a damp rag.

I also flipped the top over and painted the edges of the support boards black. This just helps them stay hidden.


This process goes quickly once you get started. I absolutely love the way this finish turned out and will be using it on some of my other furniture projects. Here is a close up.

DIY outdoor wood plank tabletop.

Start with a paint wash. I used a sample of Behr Ultra Toasty Grey. Mix about a teaspoon of paint in about 2-3 teaspoons of water. Honestly, I never measure, I just eyeball it. Wipe it on one plank, let it sit for about a minute and wipe it off with a blue shop towel. It should be pretty dry when it is wiped off.

How to paint a wood plank top.
How to paint a wood plank top.

Next, place small strokes of Minwax Walnut Gel stain randomly and wipe them off with a shop towel.

How to paint a wood plank top.

Using a clean dry brush, dip the tip of the bristles directly into the toasty grey and wipe it off on a blue shop towel. Then make random brush strokes with the grain of the wood. I wiped it down with a clean shop towel again after this step.

How to paint a wood plank top.

If it’s not the exact way you want it, just go back and add more stain or paint, until you get it right. Just don’t repeat the paint wash in step one. At this point water might mess up your finish.

I often grab items off of my paint shelf and experiment with them. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Grab a piece of scrap wood and practice, you will be surprised what you can come up with.


This is a very important step! If you skip this step, all of your hard work will be ruined. Especially if you are putting your project out in the elements! You’ll want to use a good outdoor sealer like Minwax Helmsman. I added three coats to my table top with a foam applicator. Letting each coat dry for 2 hours before reapplying. For a smoother finish, you can sand in between coats with 320 grit sandpaper. Since it’s an outdoor table, I chose not to sand in between coats.

DIY outdoor wood plank tabletop.


I’m always up to something new and sharing my best DIY tips along the journey. I also love designing free printables to go along with my projects. For instant access to my library and regular updates on blog posts, subscribe at the top sidebar or at the bottom of this post. You’ll receive a welcome email with the password to enter the library along with regular updates on my most recent blog posts.


Do you like learning budget friendly ways to spruce up your home? Follow me on PINTEREST. Did you know that you can hover over the images below, click on the red Pinterest circle and save it to your OUTDOOR SPACES or DIY PROJECTS BOARD on Pinterest? It’s so helpful to Pin It now and save it for later, when your ready to start your project.

How to update your patio furniture for a fresh makeover this summer.
How to give your outdoor patio furniture a makeover on a small budget.
DIY Wood Plank Patio Furniture Tabletop

I hope you’ve found some motivation and inspiration for your own patio furniture makeover. Summer is just around the corner!


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