How to Paint a Dining Table for Outdoor Use

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Barbecues, outdoor parties or a simple weekend lunch with the family are all great occasions to use an outdoor table. An outdoor table is a nice addition to your outdoor patio and yard, if sometimes a costly one. If you have an old dining table you just cannot bear to throw away, repurpose it with paint or varnish to create a table for outdoor use.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Oil-based primer
  • Disposable gloves
  • Outdoor paint
  • Finishing pads
  • Marine spar varnish or tinted polyurethane
  • Lint-free shop paper towels

Using Colored Paint

  • Clean the dining table with mild liquid soap and water. Allow the table to dry completely.

  • Use the sandpaper to remove any finish that is on the wood table. You need to sand away the existing finish completely prior to applying a new coat of paint to ensure the new paint adheres properly.

  • Use a paintbrush to apply a coat of oil-based primer to the table. An oil-based product penetrates the wood surface easily and is more durable than water-based products. Wear disposable gloves to protect your hands from being stained by the paint.

  • Apply outdoor paint to the freshly sanded dining table. You can choose to use spray paint or gallon paint and a paintbrush; either method works well. Outdoor paint is important to use as it can withstand the weather elements, such as rain, snow and sunshine, which can warp and destroy the wood surface.

  • Allow the freshly painted dining table to dry for 48 hours before using.

Natural Wood Finish

  • Follow Steps 1 and 2 in Section 1 to prepare the indoor dining table for outdoor use.

  • Use a finishing pad to apply marine varnish or tinted polyurethane. You can purchase these pads at paint stores and home improvement stores. Work with the grain of the wood for a consistent and natural wood appearance.

  • Wipe off the varnish or polyurethane with lint-free shop paper towels. Wipe in the direction of the grain. The shop paper towels are more durable than commercial paper towels and you can purchase them at paint stores and home improvement stores. Work quickly before the varnish begins to dry and becomes too sticky to work with.

  • Let the varnish dry overnight and repeat Step 3 up to five times. Numerous coats of varnish give the wood the durability to endure outdoor elements.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply paint or varnish in a well-ventilated area. Allow finishing pads to dry completely before disposing of them according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • Move the painted dining table indoors during cold winter months to protect it from the harsh elements.

References

  • Photo Credit Thomas Jackson/Lifesize/Getty Images brush in paint image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com
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