Trash to Treasure - Our Picnic Table

In keeping with the August Kitchen theme, today I'm going to reveal our upcycled picnic table!

I thought it would be nice to have some furniture out on our newly poured concrete patio. If money were no object, this is what I would have purchased. The Eastfield Collection from Lowe's. The set is only $998! Ha!

So, obviously, I realized I had to come up with another option. Money doesn't grow on our trees, after all. So that's when I hopped on Craigslist looking for a deal. And it was almost as if the clouds parted and God smiled down on me. The very first item to come up, no joke, listed just 30 minutes prior, was this round picnic table with 4 benches. Priced at only $55!!!

So I promptly emailed the couple and asked if I could come get it that night. A few minutes later, we were on our way. When we brought it home, it looked like this:

The Craigslist ad had stated that this was in excellent condition. In all honesty, we did NOT agree. There were about 5 layers of paint on this puppy and they were all bubbled up and peeling off. Not to mention, I absolutely hated the color. It was rather depressing. But we still thought $55 was a fairly good deal. And I loved the "X" legs on the table and benches. And the fact that the table was round was cool too. So I got to work restoring it. Slowly over the course of a couple weeks, Levi & I plugged away at it. (He mainly watched from his stroller...)

First I tried just scraping the paint off with a scraper. That only got me so far (mainly the areas that were already loose came off easily...)

So then I decided to try a can of Paint Stripper that we already had from Lowe's. It peeled off the top layer of paint easily but would have to be reapplied over and over to get all the paint off. I did not have the patience for that. Nor enough paint stripper. I'd already used most of the can on half the table top. Not to mention I had to wear gloves and this stuff was Toxic (with a capital T folks!). It smelled horrible!


A day or so after I'd given up on the paint stripper and about given up on the table itself, our friend Drywall Daryl was over painting our foundation for us. He sat down for a few minutes to eat a slice of our homemade pan pizza with us and suggested we use a heat gun to heat the paint and then it would easily scrape off. He knows all kinds of tricks! Love this guy! So Dave brought his heat gun home from work the next day (I'm so lucky to be married to a mechanic with all the tools!) and I set to work using it. It's basically an industrial strength hair dryer, ladies. It gets HOT. I set it somewhere between 600 and 900 degrees and it would heat the paint in a matter of seconds and it would scrape right off. All 5 layers at once. So amazing! And so much better than dealing with toxic chemicals.

So after maybe 3 hours in 90 degree weather, I scraped all the paint off the top of the table then realized it would take FOREVER to scrape all the paint off the table legs and all the benches and it wasn't even that loose in those locations anyways. So I ended up just sanding the table legs and benches and knocking off the worst of the peeling paint and then I just started priming all of it. I put 2 coats of Kilz Primer on the table and benches.

Then I had to make up my mind about what color to paint the table. I had all kinds of ideas running through my mind (thanks to Pinterest!). I thought about painting it turquoise

or bright yellow

but I did not have any turquoise or bright yellow paint and would have to spend more money! and I thought maybe they would look too bold or modern for our house, especially next to our pale yellow siding.

Then I realized I had some really nice quality exterior red paint leftover from our front door. Almost an entire gallon! And white trim paint leftover from the interior and exterior of our house. So I thought about painting it red and white striped (alternating colors on the boards of the table to) - sort of like what was done on this deck:

But Dave thought that would look too much like a candy cane. And then I considered taping off a geometric design on the table top like this credenza from Centsational Girl:

In the end, the geometric design is what I finally decided on. So I began painting the table and benches red. And planned to tape off lines for a white geometric pattern later on.

But after painting and painting and painting....for days...and days....four coats in all, I was just done. I decided a plain red table and benches was going to be ok. And so far we are loving it. Maybe someday I'll decide to add that geometric pattern. But for now, it works just fine.

And we are having SO MUCH FUN eating outside on our spacious new patio!

What pieces of furniture have you painstakingly restored to beauty? Do you have any tips/tricks to share?

By the way, I'm linking this post up to Beth's Home Stories A2Z Tutorials & Tips Link Party {23}. Head over there to enter the Stella & Dot $50 giveaway this week. And if you enjoyed my little "You've Been Remodeling Way Too Long IF..." post, check out Beth's post from last Saturday. It's a similar idea and absolutely hysterical!


Andrea Morello said...

How many gallons of the primer did you need for this project? We are working on the same project!

Blogger said...

I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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