In summer, we eat dinner outside on the deck most nights.  Unfortunately our outdoor table has copped the western sun and the weather over the past few years and is showing signs of wear.  Time to refinish the outdoor table and restore it to it’s former glory.

Refinish Outdoor Table Top

Wear & Tear on the Table

I bought the table on eBay a few years ago for about $100.  It was a turn of the century piece and was nice and solid.  I painted the turned timber legs white and stained and varnished the table top.  I used the table in my creative space area of our old house.  You can read all about the original transformation on my old blog Stylish Settings.

Creative Space Desk

The problem was, I used interior stain and varnish on the table as it was used inside.  When we moved to our Queenslander, this table was the perfect size for our upstairs deck area.  It’s only 90cm wide, so is a bit narrower than most standard dining tables, which gives us more room to walk around the table.

Over the years the weather and sun have broken down the varnish and it is peeling and scratching.

Restore outdoor table signs of wear

I was always putting a tablecloth over it to hide all the scratches.

Restore table top

Step 1: Sanding Back the Surface

The first step was to sand back the whole tabletop and get a smooth surface to re-stain.  I  used a small hand sander.  It took a good 45 minutes to sand it back.  Using a larger belt sander may be quicker.

Refinish Outdoor Table Sanding Back

and 45 minutes later….

Refinishing outdoor table sanding

You could also use paint stripper to remove the stain if you wanted to.

Step 2: Staining the Timber

The next step was to stain the timber with an outdoor timber stain.  I used Cabot’s Water based Deck and Exterior Stain in Merbau.

Refinish outdoor table apply stain

Now don’t worry if the stain looks a bit patchy when you first apply it.  As you cover the surface and apply 2 to 3 coats, the colour will even out.

Refinish outdoor table 2 coats

Step 3: Applying a Varnish

The final step was to apply a durable and hard wearing clear coat to protect the timber.  Again, I used a Cabot’s water based clear coat in a satin finish.

Refinish outdoor table

Now the table top is a similar stain to the decking boards.  I like the darker stain.

The Re-Finished Table

Refinish Outdoor Table Top Refinish Outdoor Table Top Refinish Outdoor Table Top Refinish Outdoor Table Top

Sources:  The white chairs and black seat cushions are from IKEA   |  black outdoor rug find similar at Zanui   |   rattan tray from Alfresco Emporium   |   Marble pot (no longer available) from Kmart   |   Scented candle (smells amazing) from Lake Home & Gift

DIY How to refinish an outdoor table