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Our Pastel Picnic Table

Updated: Jun 23, 2018

This is full-size picnic table, not a child sized one

I’m first going to preface this by stating the complete obvious: I have never painted anything in my life. Okay, I painted my bedroom walls when I was 17 and that was a complete disaster. But at 27, I’ve only lived in rental houses and haven’t painted anything since. Not even furniture. I’m a Rookie – not even the red-shirted-freshman style Rookie – but like, I didn’t even know how-to-open-the-paint-can Rookie.

But! I wanted to give my kiddos a super cute picnic table and I was going to figure this out on my own! (Sort of…) I’m 100% the type of person that has to do things herself. What better way to learn something than to fail at it miserably?

Okay, so here’s the details:

- I went to Home Depot and bought a picnic table kit. They’re $109. If you choose to do this totally free-style (go for it!) then I’m positive you’ll be able to find specifications on Pinterest.

- You need a sander. My awesome side kick husband has a handheld one and I’m not sure I would have been able to sand the whole thing without that little piece of construction heaven.

- Sandpaper, obviously. We used the purple sheet ones from Home Depot with the number 120 on them. It was a four pack and then my husband cut them in thirds to fit our sander. We had more than enough. I have no idea what the numbers mean, but 120 worked well. I spent the first night just sanding down all of the pieces to be smooth.

First time ever using a sander!

- Primer. So this is where I went very wrong! The sweet lady at Home Depot must not have understood how little I knew about painting because she talked me into spray-paint-style primer. Umm, no. That was a disaster. I had to return that to get the roll-on kind.

- Brushes. I used a roller brush for the primer and then I used cheap wooden brushes for the paint. I wanted it to look more homemade and un-perfect, which is why I chose the wooden brushes. If you want cleaner lines then I’d say go for the roller OR a more expensive brush.

- Paint. I used the interior/exterior sample sized paints. I wanted each strip to be a different color, so I chose 9 different shades. The bottom pieces were painted white as well as the bottom of the table. If you choose that route, grab two or three sample sized white paint cans. Maybe it’s cheaper to get the big paint can, actually. You should ask. But I wouldn’t know the answer to that since I kept having to buy the little guys.

- Painter’s Tape. It’s the only way (to my knowledge) of keeping the colors separate.

The point of feeling like there was light at the end of the tunnel (hallelujah!)

- Stain (If you choose to stain any of the pieces). I originally wanted to paint the base pieces white and then do a dark stain on the table and benches. But decided since this was for the kids, the colorful pieces are way more fun.

- Seal. Another area in which I went really wrong. Don’t buy the spray paint kind! It made our table look blotchy as all get out. Buy the paint-on kind!

- A really, really patient and handy husband. He’s the one who essentially put the entire table together. It wasn’t that hard, but I never could have done it without him ;)

All in all, the experience was actually a lot of fun! The kids were able to put their handprints on the bottom of the table, along with us, and it’s something we get to remember for years to come. Our little Lennon decided to paint all over some handprints when I was helping her siblings wash their hands, but again, more memories to look back on and laugh!

Sweet little Lenny Lou

In the coming weeks we are going to paint a checker board on the top as well as paint some rocks as the pieces. I’ll update with those pictures ;)

Have you ever painted or built a picnic table for your family? I’d love to see what you were able to create!


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