DIY Picnic Table Redo!

As a bit of a departure from my normal papercrafting projects, I decided to work on a Pinterest-inspired project this weekend.  My fiancé built this for us about five or six years ago and I love it.  It’s sturdy and seats about 12, if we’re really friendly. It’s functional, but was looking a little worn. An update was in order.

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First step: primer.  Even as worn as the wood was, I wanted to prime the surface so it would accept the paint better and cover a few stains.  Kilz is great at covering stains, even the greasy kind. This is two coats of Kilz, un-tinted.

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Next step, tint the remaining Kilz.  This part was definitely an experiment. But, if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t lose much.  A half a can of $8.00 Kilz and couple of hours sanding and repainting?  I could risk it.

I didn’t want to buy more paint if I didn’t have to and I didn’t want to waste the remaining Kilz.  I decided to try and tint the Kilz with a colorant I already had.  I didn’t think acrylic paint would be vibrant enough, so I went straight for the hard stuff:  Dr. Ph. Martin’s India Ink in blue and green.  I added a little of each and stirred and repeated until I got the color I want.  I was nervous that it would separate from the Kilz or not be a smooth coat, but this is the result.  I loved the custom color once it dried, but I admit to being very nervous when it went on and looked mostly white with a blue tinge. It dried much darker than it looked wet and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  The picture below is pretty accurate for color.  It’s the perfect shade of aqua to play up the colors I planned for the details.

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Next step: stencils.  I used my Silhouette Cameo and made simple stencils of bees and ants. I also made a really not-so-simple stencil for the sunflower but ended up not using them and freehanded that instead. Here’s one stencil of the bee – I’d removed the outer part of the stencil but hadn’t yet peeled off the interior stuff.

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And then the bee got some details. (No these are not my hands.  I enlisted the fiancé’s help!

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And here’s the final product. Everything was painted in multiple coats of FolkArt acrylic craft paint. The sunflower and bees contrast nicely with the color of the table, I think.  The little ants crawling here and there are one solid color – a mix of red and chocolate FolkArt acrylic craft paint.  I used the same paint for the sunflower with brown as the base coat and then a coat of orange before I put the yellow on top. The final detail was the little flight trails for the bees, one of which makes me think his picnic may have included a adult beverage or two.

I put two coats of Varathane water-based urethane over the top and will probably add some more coats over the next week or so.  The manufacturer recommends a minimum of four coats but I want it to dry completely between coats.

I’d love to know your thoughts on my DIY Picnic Table redo!  Leave a comment below.

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