How to Seal My New Picnic Table

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Sealing your new picnic table protects you from chemicals in the wood.
Sealing your new picnic table protects you from chemicals in the wood. (Image: picnic table image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Treated wood picnic tables are designed to be long-lasting, even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. The main purpose of sealing the table is to protect you and your family from the potentially harmful chemicals that are sometimes present in treated wood. It is quick and easy to apply a sealer to make sure your new picnic table is safe.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Environmentally friendly cleaning solution
  • Bucket
  • Stiff scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Polyurethane sealer
  • Paintbrush

Prepare your picnic table for sealing by removing all dirt, dust, debris and oil with a soft-bristled brush. Mix an environmentally friendly cleaning solution with water in a bucket. An oxygen-based cleaner is free from harsh chemicals and will not damage the surrounding lawn. Read the manufacturer's instructions before use.

A soft brush will pick up small pieces of debris.
A soft brush will pick up small pieces of debris. (Image: broom image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Apply the cleaning solution to the picnic table, using a stiff brush. Work in sections, rinsing each one with a garden hose before moving on to the next. Leave your table to dry.

A hose is the most effective method of rinsing.
A hose is the most effective method of rinsing. (Image: water hose image by tomcat2170 from Fotolia.com)

Test a polyurethane sealer on a small, inconspicuous area of the table.

Apply the sealer to the entire table, using either a brush or a roller. One coat should be sufficient, but apply two coats to the end grain for higher protection.

A paintbrush is the easiest way to apply the sealer.
A paintbrush is the easiest way to apply the sealer. (Image: Brush image by hugy from Fotolia.com)

Leave the table to dry in a sheltered location.

Repeat the process once per year.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rinse grass and plants immediately, if sealer is spilled on them.
  • Clean brushes and rollers with mineral spirits immediately after use.
  • Keep leftover sealer in a tightly closed container, in a cool area.

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