DIY Project: Kids Garden Picnic Table Upcycle

Now we are well on our way into the summer I thought it was about time I gave the kids’ garden picnic table a bit of a makeover.

I got this table three years ago from Groupon for around 35 quid. It was beautifully painted bright rainbow colours and came with a matching parasol.

The table itself has lasted really well, still solid and in excellent condition (structurally) but the paint had faded massively and left it looking a little sad and neglected at the back of our garden.

On a whim about a month ago I decided it would be fun to paint it with the kids. It was a very boring afternoon, I wanted to keep the kids occupied for a while and for some STUPID reason, I thought this would be a good idea. I found an old tin of white emulsion in the garage and we went at it, aprons on and armed with paintbrushes. Seriously – I have no idea what came over me. It was a disaster. 1. A four and a two year old should NEVER be allowed to ‘help’ paint ANY furniture. 2. After desperately trying to make it look slightly better all the emulsion just flaked and peeled off anyway. Leaving white paint on anything and anyone who touched it.

The bench partially sanded – see all the flakey white emulsion!

So it really was in desperate need of a makeover (or at least stripping so the kids wouldn’t come in with white paint flakes all over them every five minutes!).

I started by sanding all over the bench, getting as much of the disastrous white emulsion off as possible. I used Harris Taskmasters sandpaper in medium from Homebase. It was £2 for a pack of four and was more than enough to do the job properly. This was honestly the hardest part for me, I just find sanding super boring.


Once that was done I gave the table a quick was and left it to dry properly before painting.

Sanded (as much as I felt needed) and ready for painting!

Although our garden is nowhere near being ‘done’ yet, I know I want to fill it with some really bright pots and flowers, going with a kind of exotic feel so I decided on painting the bench like a bright blue/green shade and a hot pink. I went with the Johnstones Garden paint in Seagreen Spray and Paradise Petals, again from Homebase. I have upcyled a few bit of furniture in the past but still always find it daunting to get that first bit of paint on! After two coats the bench looked great but I gave it an extra coat just to get that perfect finish.

The finished result! This all cost me £17 and I have about half a tin left of each of the paints so they will come in really handy for future garden projects!

Want to upcycle your own garden furniture?

You will need:

Sandpaper – I used Harris Taskmaster Medium sandpaper £2 for pack of four from Homebase

Exterior Wood Paint – Johnstones Garden Colour in Seagreen Spray and Paradise Petals from Homebase for £7.50 per tin (I have loads leftover).

Paintbrush – Used a Harris Woodcare brush I already had but you can still buy from Homebase for £8.50 for a pack of three.

Thanks for reading – I hope you found this useful/inspirational!

Amy xx

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