Colorful Picnic Table Makeover

refinished picnic table
A couple years back I found a cool picnic table on craigslist that was a whopping 12 feet long.  Which meant everyone sitting around one table at the holidays.  It came in a gray finish and for a handful of years it did the trick.  But eventually the stain wore off and it started to look old and grungy–and not in a cool vintage way.  See what I mean, ick:
For a while now, I’ve had this vision in my head of a cheery, bright and colorful planked picnic table in our backyard. With Spring fast approaching, this seemed like the perfect time to make that vision a reality.  So I got to work sanding and painting and sealing, until…
picnic table painted
Now when I look at the finished product I become overwhelmed with happy happy happy.  I just can’t help but smile when I see these colors.
picnic table for spring
painted picnic table
colorful picnic table
colorful painted picnic table
spring time dining table
spring flowers table
The table was stained with a coastal gray color so I began by sanding down the face and edges. I loooove my Black & Decker Mouse–its super easy to handle and gets the job done, not to mention its a great price.
After I finished sanding I made sure to clean off all the dust really well.  I even stood up on the table and swept it a few times to be sure 🙂  Next, I painted one coat of Rust-Oleum satin white paint that is for outdoor use.  I didn’t stress about painting perfectly and I only painted one coat because I knew I would be distressing it later.
Already so much better, but still just…blah.

I waited over night for the white paint to be completely dry. Then I got started on the fun part–adding bits of color.  Now, here’s where I took a risk and with my limited knowledge about paint, I’m not sure how this will play out in the long run.  I used basic acrylic paints for the colors–many of which I had to mix to get the color I wanted.  Again, I didn’t worry about painting perfectly because of distressing.
The acrylic paint dried very quickly. So within 30 minutes I was ready to start sanding again.  I began by distressing all the edges.  I tried not to switch the sandpaper very often because I like how the paint builds up on the paper and then it starts to distress in a unique pattern (see below). 15-IMG_1741
16-IMG_1726Because I wasn’t sure how these paints would hold up outdoors in the elements, I ended with two coats of a clear outdoor spray paint to seal it.
And now I’m ready for Spring, fresh flowers, watermelon, strawberries and bbq’s with family & friends.  picnic table painted
refinished picnic table

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Ashley Stock


  1. Love this!

  2. Oh my gosh, I love, love, LOVE it! I’m having serious table envy right now. =)

  3. This makes me want to go buy a cheap Lowe’s picnic table just to paint!!!! Love it!

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this table! Now, just wish I had a big enough outdoor space!

  5. LOVE THIS!! I’m gonna start checking out the swap & sale sites on Facebook for a picnic table now 🙂

  6. It’s so cute and fun. Love it!

  7. Love this! It instantly makes me happy too! 🙂

  8. What a great idea! And I love the final result! I’d love to give this a try with my old picnic table before spring hits. 🙂

  9. This is the most adorable and whimsical idea I have seen for a backyard in a long time. I’m in love!


    Ms. Darling

  10. Love love love it! I need a backyard to fill with color!

  11. LOVE this!!! I want to do this to mine! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. annie andersen says:

    Your blog and style makes me happy! =)

  13. ı want to this picnic table ım very like this is.

  14. Sara Morey says:

    I love this picnic table! Such a cute idea! I see that it’s been a few months since you painted it. How has it held up???

  15. Mary Betanzos says:

    I love this table, and am planning to replicate the idea on my kids’ picnic table. I love the colors and am wondering if you used any non-hand mixed colors, and if so, which, and what were they? Thanks for the lovely idea.

  16. Crystal says:

    Very beautiful table. Thank you for being descriptive 🙂

  17. This is gorgeous!! I want to do mine now! And yes, thank you for the details!!
    Sounds doable.

  18. Love this inspiration! <3 Why I don't think about it before paint my picnic table to white 🙁 Luckily I can fix it ^^ Thank you for sharing the idea, I love it!

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