How to Paint a Picnic Table

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Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Mild detergent

  • Hose

  • Bucket

  • Scrub brush

  • Wire brush

  • Medium fine sandpaper

  • Tack cloth

  • Primer

  • Tarps or dropcloths

  • Exterior primer

  • Paint brush

  • Paint roller

  • Paint tray

  • Exterior paint

  • Exterior spray paint

New paint is a quick fix for a weathered picnic table.

Everybody loves a picnic with delicious treats and yummy delicacies. But a worn or dirty picnic table with peeling paint can make your appetite head south. Fortunately, it's easy to bring a weathered table to back to life with a little TLC and a cheery coat of paint. Make a weekend project of painting your wooden picnic table, then enjoy a picnic with your family in the great outdoors later.


Step 1

Mix a small amount of mild detergent and water in a bucket. Remove excess dirt or stains from the picnic table with a scrub brush dipped in the solution. Rinse well, and allow the table dry thoroughly.

Step 2

Remove loose or chipped paint with a wire brush. Scrape in a repetitive motion to lift away any large chunks.

Step 3

Smooth any rough paint patches or worn wood with a piece of medium fine sandpaper. Feather the edges of any pits or scratches.

Step 4

Wipe away any sawdust or debris with a tack cloth. Paint or primer will not stick to dust or dirt.


Step 5

Lay a drop cloth on your exterior patio, garage, grass or wherever you will paint the table.

Step 6

Spray or brush an exterior primer on the bare wood. Don't forget the legs of the table. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding to paint the picnic table.

Step 7

Apply a quality exterior paint as the final finish. Use a spray can or paint brush and use smooth, even strokes. Let the first coat dry thoroughly, then apply another coat.

Step 8

Allow the coats of paint to dry completely before using the picnic table.



Elle Smith

Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.