DIY Outdoor Table

What fun I had working with Lowe's Canada to create a Backyard on a Budget! But it didn't come without it's challenges. Being the adventurous DIYer, I decided to build a table. My husband was skeptical and instructed me not to sell our old glass patio table until I was actually finished my DIY one. 

Pfffttt... he of little faith.

 I searched the web to find a table that I liked with clear instructions and one that didn't require fancy power tools. 

 I chose this one from Shanty 2 Chic, which was featured on Ana White's blog along with clear instructions! 

Using an inherited mitre saw and a cordless power drill, which I discovered during my project had a battery pack that drained quickly, I managed to build a solid and heavy table!

While it looks fabulous, I learned a few things along the way. 

Tip #1: Using good working and quality power tools makes a huge difference. 

I managed to use what I had, but boy it would have been amazing to use power tools that cut precisely! My dad came to help me with our mitre saw which he gave to me when they downsized. He knew what angle to cut the wood as the mitre saw does not cut at a 45 degree angle when it says it does. He was able to fudge the angle so it worked. Even with his adjustments it wasn't perfect. Since this table was for outdoors I didn't really care.

Tip #2: Use good quality wood!

 I can't stress that enough. I used 2X4's the cheapest wood I could find. I spent over an hour sorting through the piles of wood at Lowe's looking for straight pieces. Even with all that time sorting my wood warped after it was assembled and stained. I have a bit of a tilt which is fixed with a wood shim under one side of the table. The table top pieces also "waved" a bit. It all adds to the rustic charm of the table though.

Tip #3: Stain a scrap piece of wood before staining your table

Even though I did do that to sample various stains I had in my collection, I still ended up staining the table darker than I thought because I attempted to "touch" up a spot which you can do with paint but not with stain! I learned that the hard way. I ended up with blotchy dark shiny spots and had to sand and add another layer of stain which resulted in a darker colour.

For the stain I used Minwax's Polyshade in Espresso finish.

Minwax kindly provided me with a few can of stains in a variety of shades 18 months ago and I had yet to use them. As an oil-based stain, I found Polyshades more challenging to work with than water based stains. This has only been my second staining project ever, so truthfully I have only used a water based stain once. Frankly, staining SCARES me. I am a paint girl and know almost everything to know about paints but stain is a mystery to me! Polyshades did end up having a nice deep rich colour because it has a built-in clear coat.  Even though Polyshades has a built in clear coat, I still applied 4 coats of a clear coat that was formulated for outdoor use. Now I hope the table can withstand the rain we get our west.

This was a fun challenge and I have to admit I would LOVE to improve my woodworking skills. My inspiration is Chris Kauffman from Gray House Furniture who is a woodworking wonder woman! You have to follow her on Instagram: @chris_kauffman  How I would love to be able to whip up wood working projects like she does, she makes it look so easy.

Now if only we can get some summer weather here out west so we can really get better use out of our newly decorated outdoor space!

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