This summer one of our projects is updating a portion of the yard that is dedicated to kid play. Currently that space has been neglected and the toys out there were not cared for during winter and it just looks terrible. Not fun and bright and imaginative as you would like a play space to be.
So the first thing we have planned is Craigslisting a bunch of stuff the kids outgrew. As my husband was pulling things out to clean and photograph, I discovered this little picnic table and bench set I totally forgot we had.
Since we were planning a pool party with some kiddos, I decided to see if I could make the little table work before we donated it. I am so glad I did because with just a bit of paint, it turned out awesome! I am so glad this was the first project I took on as the results were so fantastic, I am for sure motivated to keep going.
I know not everyone will have a little picnic table tucked in a corner of the yard but perhaps you can keep an eye out at garage sales, Craigslist or try this technique on a brand new picnic table. Unfinished tables are extremely inexpensive- about $90 for an adult size and $50 or less for children’s tables.
Here is the poor table and chairs before:
Horrifying and awful yes I know. This poor old dear had about 3 years of hard living under her belt and was going to hit Craigslist under FREE when I decided to freshen her up with a coat of white paint.
We had the paint on hand and since the stability and construction of the set wasn’t an issue, it would work perfectly for the little people at our upcoming party. I tossed the cushions and the umbrella. That umbrella the kids kept hitting their heads on anyway so more of a nuisance than a help.
I used two coats of Valspar Paint + Primer in a glossy exterior paint. The paint went on really fast and after letting it dry, the glossy white really transformed this table.
Here is a peek from our party- I used an outdoor rug to dress her up and a roll of craft paper as a tablecloth for the kids to color. I think it already looks amazing and that crisp white is so pretty again the turquoise of the pool, the bright green of the grass…
The kids loved this table and it was super handy so I decided to make it a bit more fun as a starting point for our updated kid’s outdoor space.
Off to Lowe’s and I bought a pretty rainbow of samples of paint. Note samples of paint are not ideal as they are a satin finish and usually the lowest quality of paint, but for this project I just rolled with it at $3 per sample.
The colors I used are:
Oh So Red 1009-1
Hint of Cherry 1004-1B
Tangerine 2004- 1B
Dandelion Wish 3001-1B
Chopped Chive 6006-8B
Rushing Stream 5005-10B
Purple Gala 4002-10A
So I didn’t even bother taping the table, I just lightly brushed on each color on the planks of the table and allowed the paint to dry. Then I added a second coat and that was it! For our rainbow we used Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple. It is hot as heck here in Sacramento so the paint dried really quickly and I did the entire project in one afternoon while the kids were swimming.
After the table was painted the benches looked a bit unfinished so I chose the turquoise paint and just did two quick coats on the top.
Once the painting was done, I used a spray can of Valspar to seal the wood. This was recommended by the paint department but I think if you live in a rainy climate or plan to have this table for a long time, it would be worth painting on two coats of a sealant just to be safe. I might still do that at the end of summer. We’ll see 😉
And that is it! The finished project:
Another picture from the top:
And the top of the table from the little benches:
I toyed with the idea of adding a fun quote with my Silhouette cameo or some words on the benches but decided to leave well enough alone.
What do you think? Inspired to turn something junky into something wonderful this weekend?
Here are a few other projects you might like:
Children’s Painted Pot (you can see it on the table above although my succulent seems to need CPR at the moment)