How to give a weathered look to a budget friendly picnic table

Last Spring, over at City Farmhouse, I shared this picnic table that I had made over. 
This picnic table has been so wonderful for us. We have been using it all summer long,  as I'm sure we will still be using it in the fall and winter months as well. I can just picture the table layered with a plaid tablecloth and apple cider in the fall, and hot cocoa and cozy blankets in the winter. Outdoor dining can really be enjoyed all year long.

My sweet mother-in-law gave me this picnic table for my last birthday.
She had bought this one for under $100 at Lowes and had them put it together.

Before, the table was a raw wood and was intended to be painted or stained.
I thought it over and then decided to stain mine. I figured I could always paint it later if I choose to.
The first thing I did to the table was give it a good sanding with my hand sander.
Then after trying out a few different samples of stain on a piece of scrap wood, I came up with the perfect layer of stain.
(I used the same stain on my picture ledges here)
 I first applied the Rust-Oleum Driftwood stain to the table.  
 I gave it two coats, letting it dry between coats.
 As you can see, the driftwood stain gave the wood a nice light gray base color. 
I then applied 3 coats of the Minwax special walnut stain on top of the gray, allowing the gray to show through.
 Lastly, I applied two coats of  Minwax clear sealer to help protect it from the outdoor elements.
I think by staining the picnic table, it made it look so much more refined. 
 It's hard to believe that it cost under a hundred dollars.

 I took these pictures in the spring time when the trees were in full bloom.
It was so enjoyable dining outdoors in spring's perfect weather, with the fragrance of the blossoms blowing in the breeze.
 It was heavenly.
 The lanterns hanging from the trees are a favorite of mine.  They are solar powered and light up at night.  These were a gift from an uncle who sells them in his store; Backyard Birds, located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

So now that we have lived with the table for a little while, I do have some thoughts on it.
I would have actually like to have put the table together myself. This way I could have stained the boards before hand, there are a few places that I couldn't reach with the stain.

And also it was put together with nails instead of screws,  which caused one of the boards to warp a little.  So I had to turn the board over, screw it down, and then re-stain it.
But otherwise the table has held up nicely.
And really, you just can't beat that price!

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Perfect for any season. I can imagine what fun it would be to decorate it for the holidays.

  2. Looks good....great to have a gathering place! : )

  3. Beautiful peaceful yard. What kind of trees are those?

  4. Is there a brand name for the lanterns? I live in CO, so not much chance of getting to a Utah store.


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