How to Refinish Outdoor Furniture in Two Easy Steps 1
Home DIYs

How to Refinish Outdoor Furniture in Two Easy Steps

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When a couple I’m friends with shared a pic on their socials of their new patio table, my first question was (quite naturally for me):

“What are you doing with your old one?”

This is how I’ve scored more pieces of furniture than I care to admit.

When a friend announces they’ve gotten a new _________, I always try to ask what they’re doing with the old one, as usually they’re going to toss it out.

It turns out, my friends had tossed their old acacia table to the curb. I immediately drove over with my tool kit in my hatchback. I dismantled the legs and somehow fit the whole thing in my teensy car (#hatchbacklyfe) and then reassembled the whole thing when I got it to my house.

refinishing old outdoor table
Yeesh…it’s looking slightly rough, eh?

I actually love this table (despite its current rough appearance). My friends and I have had six years worth of parties and conversations around it, so I was really happy to be able to give it a good home.

It was quite the eyesore as-is, but here’s what this IKEA ÄPPLARÖ table looked like new:

Ikea ÄPPLARÖ table
In its original form.

Luckily refinishing outdoor furntiure isn’t very hard at all! It really all comes down to two steps: Sand & Stain.

Step 1: Sanding!

I grabbed my lil electric sander and got to work!

There is a bit of technique behind this. Make sure you’re sanding in long strokes with the grain of the wood. This will help ensure you get a nice, smooth, even texture.

using electric hand sander

The goal here is to remove all of the exposed rough sections and original stain.

sanding outdoor furniture
Halfway there!
sanding off old stain from outdoor furniture
See the difference?

After everything was sanded & smooth to the touch, I wiped everything down with a dry cloth, then a wet cloth, then a dry cloth again to make sure all the dust was gone.

Step 2: Staining!

Now for the fun part.

I chose this one coat waterproof stain for this project, but there are plenty of colors to choose from. This can only cost $15.

You’ll just want to make sure you pick a waterproof stain to protect your furniture from the elements!

valspar waterproof stain
The chosen one!

I stirred it with a sad little plastic knife from my junk drawer…

stirring stain
Hmmm….looks a little dark. Wonder how it’ll turn out!

…and painted it on!

staining outdoor furniture
Oooooh! So pretty!

Much like the sanding step, you’ll want to make sure you’re using slow, even strokes that go with the grain of the wood while applying the stain.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re not over-applying the stain so it spreads evenly.

staining outdoor table
Such a difference!
staining outdoor IKEA table
So far so good!

After I finished the main table, I put the leaves back on…

staining leaves of outdoor table
So close!

…and stained those as well!

outdoor IKEA table re-stained
Aaaaand we’re done!

I was pretty thrilled with our new (FREE) patio table!

re-stained patio table
SUCH an improvement!

But I couldn’t help feeling like something was missing.

I went to my garage and saw this old light fixture another friend of ours gave us after a recent renovation.

old ceiling light
Pretty, isn’t it?

We tried and tried to find a good place to put this in our home, but just couldn’t make it work.

Until now!

I removed the hardware from the glass part of the light fixture.

removing hardware from light fixture
You are no longer needed.
colorful glass light fixure
Ready for your new life?

I filled it with soil and added a few lovely Petunias!

restored outdoor furniture
Cheerful, huh?

This works especially well since the center hole of the light fixture can be put right over the umbrella hole on the table for mess-free drainage!

Now Mr. Refashionista and I have a delightful place for dining alfresco and outdoor game nights! And we can’t wait til we can have our friends over to enjoy this table for another six years (at least!).


How to refinish outdoor furniture before and after
How to Refinish Outdoor Furniture
From Light Fixture to Table Planter
A '90s Kathie Lee Dress to Top Refashion
How to Dip Dye a Sweater (or any Fabric!)


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