Painting Our DIY Patio Table, Part II


To see how we built our patio table, see part I here!

Hey, pretty table! Paint looks good on you.

After we shared how the DIY build went down, some of you wondered why we didn’t consider staining the table. We both agree that this hunky style would be so pretty stained, but in our case, we opted for paint since we already have a cedar fence around the yard’s perimeter, and we used a semi-solid stain on our raised planter boxes. Adding another stain to the mix didn’t feel right for our small(ish) yard, and we weren’t quite sold on giving it the same finish as our raised beds. So, paint won!

Choosing the paint color, however, wasn’t a straight path. (It rarely is, am I right?) We agreed with many of you that a sage-like green would be pretty, but every paint swatch I held against the table felt instantly dated against our red paver patio. Too 90s, Scott would say. We had a variety of green paints on hand from past projects, and so I decided to give each of them a go on the tabletop – just to see. The idea of repeating a green we already had in our home was appealing to keep things feeling cohesive from room-to-room, but none of them hit the mark. (Although, neither of us knew what ‘the mark’ was, exactly!) From left to right (bottom to top), we have our workshop walls, garage door, kitchen pocket door and finally, our nook walls:


Outside, some of these colors felt much too bright; what felt more rich and subtle indoors felt like staring into a bag of Skittles outdoors. After talking color options to death, we both agreed we wanted something on the lighter end, something that could be described as ‘fresh’ and ‘clean.’ Although we nixed all of the options above, we tired ourselves to the point that we both finally agreed on a swatch from my Valspar color deck, a pretty minty green called Statue of Liberty, and we picked up a gallon the same day.

But wait! Once we got home, I painted a test swatch on the table, and it felt way too bright. It was all wrong. Against the brick and in direct sunlight, it looked almost white, and although Scott liked the color, he agreed that it wasn’t right for the table. Frustrated, we hopped in the car, and I pulled 5 new swatches of gray-greens, all much darker than Statue of Liberty. Although I always tell our friends to bring paint samples home, we chose a color on the spot – just so we could be done with talking about it. In the end, we landed on Thorntree, a Sherwin Williams color available at Lowe’s, in an exterior grade satin finish. It’s a subtle sage-y green, but with the sun as its spotlight, it appears more playful – in a good way. (On the other hand, it would be a soft, peaceful color in, say, a bedroom or powder room!)

Finally, I could get to work on painting the table! I prepped a few of the knots on the tabletop with wood filler, and I gave the whole thing a quick sand with 220 grit sandpaper using our orbital sander. I didn’t waste too much time on this – it’s an outdoor table, after all! – but 15 minutes of sanding helped to smooth raised knots and burrs on the lumber.


Although clean-up may take an extra 30 minutes, we both agreed that spraying the table would be way easier than using a roller on the legs, center supports and between the tabletop boards. Scott helped me prep our kill room garage with plastic drop cloths, and we closed the curtains to keep any overspray at bay. We have a Flexio 590 that does a great job, and I started with the underside before flipping it over and finishing up the top.


We allowed it to dry overnight before pulling it back outside, and despite the paint drama, we couldn’t be happier with the final color! There’s enough gray in the green to keep it from feeling too candy-like, and depending on the time of day, it may lean slightly warm or a tiny bit blue.


For now, we’re using these patio chairs that we’ve had since our previous home, but eventually we’d like to swap them for something black and sans arms. In the meantime, they do the trick!


We have just a couple more projects we’re hoping to tackle out here before it gets too cold, although our consistently stormy weather has been making it difficult! Rain, rain, go away…

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  • Steph M.10.4.16 - 9:23 AM

    LOVE IT! This is pretty much the shade I was thinking for the color. so good!!ReplyCancel

  • brianne10.4.16 - 12:22 PM

    Love the patio postings. But reconsider taking away chairs with arms–arms are SO much more enjoyable!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.4.16 - 12:50 PM

      Our only concern is that the arms make the table a tight squeeze, but nothing is off the table quite yet!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen10.4.16 - 2:15 PM

    Very pretty!

    We’ve been wishing for a few rain–free weekends to get projects wrapped up, too.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa10.4.16 - 10:28 PM

    Hi, Kim and Scott,
    I have been following your blog for sometime and I love what you’ve done with your patio. I would like to know how your West Elm brass drapery rods are holding up? I am considering the same rods and am wondering how the finish looks after time and if you had any issues with quality. Also, did you use the rings with or without the clips? I worry that the space may be tight if the clip is removed and the drapery pins inserted. Thanks in advance for the update. Keep up the great work! I really look forward to your posts.

    • Kim10.5.16 - 2:43 PM

      Hi Melissa, we still love our West Elm curtain rods! Funny, I just scheduled out a post about our living room with more views of the curtains/rod. Definitely check back tomorrow for that! To answer your question, we used the clips, but I clipped the back of the curtain to give off the illusion of a fake French pleat. The rod itself still looks like day one! The middle extension was always a slightly different color than the outside extensions, but we personally love the natural look that brass provides in that way. There’s no patina for us (yet), but it could still happen in the coming years – something I invite. Hope that helps you out a little bit!ReplyCancel

  • Diana10.5.16 - 8:58 AM

    Looks beautiful! Your whole patio does. How did you finish the table for outside? Or did you use exterior paint?
    Thanks for all of your inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.5.16 - 9:09 AM

      Hi Diana, we simply used exterior paint in a satin finish.ReplyCancel

  • […] Our DIY Patio Table Part 1 Painting Our DIY Patio Table Part 2 […]ReplyCancel

  • Amber Parsons6.26.20 - 10:24 AM

    Hi, I was wondering how the paint holds up on the table. We live in the Chicago suburbs and did stain and poly on an outside table. With the beating it takes from the sun, it peels constantly! ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.26.20 - 10:35 AM

      We’ve had no issues with peeling AT ALL!ReplyCancel

  • D.8.8.20 - 2:23 PM

    We just finished making this table and went with a two tone approach.  We left the table top unpainted and unstained and went over it with a clear semi gloss spar urethane.  This allowed us to show off the wood grain and it gave it a nice warm amber color.  The base we painted using the Behr Marquee One-Coat in the Espresso Beans color.ReplyCancel


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