3.21 2013

Weatherproofing a Wood Table


~ As promised, I’m back to show how I prepared this CL table for use on our back patio ~


I haven’t started on the benches yet ~ I’m sure I will finish them to match the table color, then find a bright outdoor rug to ground the table and define the area.


We are just starting on our patio space, and one of the first things Kevin did was hang these cute outdoor lights overhead.


The lights create the right amount of bling and ambiance while hanging out back.


    Anyway, back to the process of refinishing the table.

First, I sanded through the old stain and finish with 120 grit electric sandpaper. Then, I smoothed it all over with 220 grit. You can see the table after sanding here.


Next, I used a pre-stain wood conditioner, since pine is so soft and porous and the wood would have otherwise looked too blotchy. The stain color I chose was what I had on-hand, Minwax oil-based special walnut.


Since the final finish was going to be applied with my spray gun, I chose a water-based product. This is Spar Urethane in satin, which is supposed to be good for furniture used outdoors, as it claims to expand and contract during changes in temperature. I applied 5-6 coats, and will be sure to update at a later date whether or not I would recommend the water-based Spar. They make an oil-based version, and that is what I would have used if I were brushing this product on. But, my spray gun wins almost every time, and I go for the easiest clean-up :)

p.s. I could only find the water-based Spar at Home Depot; my Lowe’s only carried oil-based.


Whomever built this otherwise amazing table used PINK wood filler all over it!  I mean, it was everywhere.


So, after staining, I took some acrylic craft paint and a small brush and blended the pink in with the rest of the table color.


After painting….


…and after sealing with the topcoat.


Here’s one more shot of the finish that I am expecting to hold up to rain and the major AZ temperature swings.


Up next is a boy’s antique dresser set in midnight blue!

8 thoughts on “Weatherproofing a Wood Table

  1. Thanks for sharing the process and products for re-finishing your table. Shudder at the pink filler! Great fix with the acrylic craft paint. I love your choice of benches for seating. Have you considered using a different color of stain for them (darker?)? The strands of lights are so cute. What a great area!

  2. Love ALL your recent posts C! Glad to see you back at it :) This table is awesome! You did a great job on it (no surprise there:). LOVE your lights and back patio. What a pretty place to spend time as a family. You guys are doing beautiful work on your home! Tell K hi for me and nice work on getting those lights up, certainly sets the mood :)

  3. Hi Christa, I just happened upon your blog. I too love refinishing furniture. I was wondering if you would recommend the water-based Varathane for someone who doesn’t have a sprayer? I use brushes for everything. I have a wooden table&chair set on my back patio as well. I acquired a stain+polyurethane mix from a neighbor. It was labeled as being sufficient for outdoor furniture, but after 4 months I can tell it’s beginning to wear already.

    Also, when I do use another top coat would I need to re-strip the top or just apply over top? (I haven’t had to go back on my work yet, so I’ve never done this!)

    Thanks in advance, I love your projects.

    • It’s so hard to say without looking at the project. I would probably sand off as much of the finish that looks like it is wearing and restain and apply the topcoat. If I were to just brush I’d use oil-based (work outside) because the brush marks level out better, sanding in between coats per the directions. that’s about all the advice I can give without actually seeing a picture :) Feel free to send me one.

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