This is my last post in a series of updating my outdoor patio. I promised last week that I would write a tutorial for how I made my outdoor wood plank tabletop for my round coffee table.
I want to be honest here, I never liked this patio set. But, sometimes we have a small budget to work with and need to make the most of what we have. I have so many projects and home decor ideas for my house that I need to reserve my budget for other things. Here is the before picture. Warning…ugly picture to follow!
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This is where I began brainstorming ideas for how I could give this set a little farmhouse charm, without breaking the bank.
- SANDING DISCS
- DUST MASK
- 1″ DECK SCREWS
- RUSTOLEUM SPRAY PAINT
- MINWAX HELMSMAN CLEAR TOP COAT
- MINWAX GEL STAIN
- BEHR ULTRA TOASTY GREY SAMPLE
- PRESSURE TREATED FENCE PICKETS
- BLUE SHOP TOWELS
PAINT THE BASE
I started by spray painting the base with Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I also painted the four chairs.
This was pretty simple, I just pressure washed the set and left it in the sun to dry. Then I placed it on some drop cloths in my backyard and spray painted it with two thin coats of paint. I did the fabric seat support, too.
MEASURE AND CUT YOUR BOARDS
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.
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. When we arrived home, we left them in my driveway to dry out in the sun for two days.
Next, I laid eight of the boards out 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 gave me a 3/4″ overhang when the table was complete. Next, I traced all the way around the table.
I removed the table and cut each board roughly the size of the pencil markings with my miter saw. Then I clamped each board to my workbench and used a jig saw to cut along the pencil line.
I was careful to cut slowly and stay on the line. Once they were all cut, I arranged them back together to form a circle. Here is a look at the underside of the table.
Using my remaining 2 boards, I cut braces to hold the tabletop together. To do this, I placed the pickets on top of the circle and marked the length. Then I cut them down to size. I did this with a few boards across the bottom of the table.
ASSEMBLE THE TABLETOP
Line all of your boards up in position and drive a wood screw 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.
SAND THE FACE SIDE OF THE BOARDS
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.
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.
I have to admit that it was a lot of sanding. Be sure to wear a mask, since pressure treated saw dust is unhealthy for you to breath in.
Before you start to paint, make sure to clean the surface of your tabletop. I vacuumed mine 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.
STEPS TO A WEATHERED PAINT FINISH
This sounds like a lot of steps, but it goes quickly after your first board. 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.
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.
Next, place small strokes of Minwax Walnut Gel stain randomly and wipe them off with a shop towel.
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.
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.
SEAL YOUR FINISH
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.
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Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope your outdoor wood plank tabletop turns out beautiful!