There’s something about moving into a new home that gets your brain going. Project overload going on around here. If it appears like I’m jumping around from one thing to another, it’s not just on the internet. That’s going on in real life too=).
We’ve had our patio furniture set for probably 8 years, and it’s seen better days. We loved the comfy chairs, which are now chipped and recline a little too much for comfort. No one has quite tipped themselves backwards yet, but it’s coming I’m sure. The winds around here can be fierce, and while the tile-topped table isn’t light, there have been a couple storms where it has been knocked over and tiles have been broken. I used a few mis-matched tiles leftover from our kitchen floors to make a checkerboard pattern mixed with the original table tiles, but it’s just not cutting it anymore.
When I pulled the table out of storage this spring, I knew this idea that had been floating around in my head was going to get it’s day to shine sooner rather than later!
I can’t even begin to tell you how simple and cheap this was! It took me a little forethought, an afternoon or so to build, and I used materials we already had, so the price was a whopping $0!! Even if you didn’t have the materials on hand, they are not very expensive, and I would guess could be done for less than $50.
Since I wanted to reuse the base of the table for a little wood + metal rustic industrial vibe, I started plotting my plan of action. I took the dimensions of the base, added a little overlap and came up with the rough size I wanted. Then came creative part. We had ripped out this small room in our shop and I was left with 5 2×8’s that I was trying to use up. I was initially just trying to reuse as much as I could to reduce costs, but then it turned into a little game with myself to see if I could do it using ONLY what we already had. Little things amuse me!
Here’s what I came up with to efficiently use my existing 2×8’s. Pretty official plans if I do say so myself! I didn’t have enough boards to use them planked the length of the table, but by cutting them shorter and adding the horizontal end pieces, I had just enough! I also like the look and a little added interest this gives it, as well as a little extra structural support.
I started cutting my boards to length and laying them out on the floor to get an idea of how it was looking. You can see that these boards are far from perfect, and if I were paying for them, I would be more selective. But hey, these are going outdoors, exposed to the elements, and they were FREE! So, I’m not complaining about the rustic charm they’re adding to the table. I just tried to fit them together however they worked best.
Once I had them all laid out where I wanted them, I used my Kreg Jig to make pocket holes that would hold the table together, and be hidden underneath.
I was pretty excited to test out my new circular saw the hubby bought for me. So romantic, right?! Some girls get diamonds, I get tools. Really, he bought it because he was tired of me asking for his help, since his was clunky and awkward for me to use. But, whatevs. I got the saw AND a tutorial how to use it. He’s a keeper, that one=).
Once I had the long boards together, I used a trick hubby taught me to make sure the boards were an even length. I screwed a scrap 1×2 into the center of the table accounting for the blade and guide width. Then I clamped down the sides and I had a guide for making my cut straight. Worked like a charm!
Now that I had the ends cut to length, I made pocket holes in the horizontal boards and secured them with 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws.
And that’s it! The table top is done- and not too difficult, right? And now for the fun part- the finishing touches. If your wood is looking a little rough, you can sand it a bit before applying any paint or stain, mine just needed minimal sanding and we were ready to go.
In keeping with the frugal spirit of the project, I dug deep in my paint cabinet, and came up with a couple cans of stain to make a custom color. I like to add some gray to keep the table looking fun and modern. I mixed equal parts, but this is where you can go crazy and make whatever color you want! The gray is very subtle with any of the darker stains, so if you want even more gray color, use maybe a 3:1 ratio.
I also don’t typically let the darker stains sit for very long on the wood before I wipe them off. Again, personal preference, but I usually work in very small sections and wipe off almost right away. After the stain dried, I roughed up the edges a bit more with the sander.
I was so anxious to get it on the table top, I didn’t even apply any lacquer for these pictures!
But, I didn’t want all my hard work to be for nothing, so I dug around a little further in my cabinet and found some to seal it. I used 3 coats of a satin finish lacquer, and I didn’t even bother sanding in between coats. Some projects definitely require that level of attention to detail, but a patio table that was on it’s way to the dumpster?- Nah, and it looks great!
We do have a covered patio that helps shield it from the elements, but I’m planning on re-sealing it once a year or so. It’s been out there for several months already, and is still looking fabulous!
The cracks and splits in the wood just add to the rustic feel of the table. I love them!
Ready for summer parties, backyard barbeques, a glass of wine while the kids play in the yard? Yes please!
Now I just need to come up with a plan to rehab my chairs. Or break down and buy new ones… we’ll see… I mean, I kept the table, so that justifies new chairs, right?!