Finishes - How to Refinish a Wooden Picnic Table
After a number of years, wear
and tear can take a toll on a wooden picnic table. Rather
than spend money on a replacement, take time to refinish
the surface. Here are the basics of how to refinish a
wooden picnic table successfully.
Tools and Materials
Step 1 - Apply a Chemical Stripper
The first part of this process involves applying a
chemical stripper to the wooden picnic table. A chemical
stripper is a very harsh chemical that is designed to
remove polyurethane finish from wood. Because of the toxic
chemicals in the stripper, you are going to want to make
sure that you are very careful when dealing with it.
During this part of the process, you may want to consider
wearing some gloves so that you do not have to make
contact with the chemical stripper. Pour the chemical
stripper onto the surface of the wood and make sure that
it is all covered. Read the directions on the chemical
stripper to determine how long you need to leave it on the
Step 2 - Scrape
After the chemical stripper has been allowed to do its
job, you should be able to start scraping the finish off.
This job is best performed by using a putty knife. Take a
putty knife and press it down firmly into the table. Take
your time and make sure that you have removed all of the
finish from the wooden picnic table using this method.
Step 3 - Clean the Stripper
At this point, you should clean the stripper off of the
wooden picnic table. Most of the time, you should be able
to hose it off with some water. In other cases, you may
have to use turpentine in order to remove it from the
wooden picnic table. Check the label on the stripper to
see what the manufacturer recommends.
Step 4 - Sand
After you let the table dry, it is time to start sanding
it. Take some sandpaper or a small sander and use it to
smooth out the surface of the picnic table. You will want
to try to get it as smooth as you possibly can. Once you
are done with this, you should try to remove all of the
sawdust that you just created.
Step 5 - Apply Wood Filler
At this point, you may need to apply some wood filler to
the table. This will help fill in the gaps around the
grain of the wood and make it look smoother.
Step 6 - Stain
Once you have allowed the wood filler to dry, you should
be able to apply stain to the wood. You can choose any
color that you want for this part of the process. You
should be able to apply it with a rag or a paintbrush.
Step 7 - Seal
Once you let the stain dry, you can then apply a
polyurethane finish over the top. You might want to apply
two coats and let both of them dry thoroughly before you
use the table.
Painting tips & tricks of
Giving old wood a fresh look
Exterior wood siding can be painted, or stripped and
painted. Strip paint using a torch by burning the old paint
and scraping it lightly being careful not to damage the
wood. Clean the surface with trisodium phosphate (TSP),
which you can find in the paint department of your local
home renovation centre. Repair siding where needed and
caulk. If you are repainting in the same colour, apply the
finishing coat after the wood is dry. If you are changing
colours, apply a primer coat followed by the new colour,
using exterior paint (an oil based primer will be necessary
if going from oil to latex). Avoid painting in full sun, at
sunset, in the early morning, in the rain or in the wind. To
keep bugs from sticking to the fresh paint, simply add two
tablespoons of citronella to the paint.