How To Stain A Picnic Table

Staining a picnic table is an excellent way to not only enhance its appearance but also protect it from the elements. Whether your picnic table is made of wood, metal, or plastic, staining it can prolong its lifespan and ensure that it remains functional for years to come.

While the process may seem daunting at first, with the right materials and technique, anyone can successfully stain their picnic table. In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to properly stain your picnic table.

We will cover everything from choosing the right stain and prepping your table to applying the sealant for added protection. By following these guidelines, you can create a beautiful and long-lasting finish for your outdoor furniture while also satisfying that innate human desire for belonging in a community of DIY enthusiasts.

Choose the Right Stain for Your Picnic Table

Selecting the most effective type of wood finish is crucial to maintaining the longevity and aesthetics of outdoor furniture, particularly for picnic tables that are exposed to various weather conditions.

When choosing a stain for your picnic table, it’s essential to consider both the aesthetic aspects and functional qualities of different types of stains. Stain color options range from transparent to opaque, and each one will alter the appearance of your table differently.

You’ll also want to take into account the environmental impact of different stains; some may contain harmful chemicals or have a higher carbon footprint than others. It’s important to read labels carefully and choose a stain that aligns with your values while still providing adequate protection for your picnic table.

Gather Your Materials

Gather Your Materials involves preparing sandpaper and brushes for staining a picnic table.

Sanding the table first is necessary as it helps remove any rough edges or left-over debris from prior use.

Brushes should be chosen appropriately – natural bristle brushes are best suited for oil-based stains, while synthetic bristle brushes work better with water-based stains.

The next step is to acquire the stain and sealant required for finishing the project, which will be discussed in detail in the following paragraph.

Sandpaper and Brushes

Preparing the surface of the outdoor furniture using sandpaper and brushes is a crucial step in achieving a smooth and even finish.

Before starting, ensure that you have gathered all the necessary materials such as sandpaper of varying grits, ranging from coarse to fine, and different brush types.

Start by using the coarsest grit sandpaper to remove any roughness or previous stains or paints on the picnic table’s surface.

Sanding with a back-and-forth motion is ideal and should be continued until no more bumps or uneven spots are visible.

For corners or tight spots that cannot be reached with sandpaper, use a small brush to get into those areas.

Afterward, switch to finer grit sandpapers for each pass over the surface until it feels smooth enough upon touching it with your hands without any snagging sensations.

Finally, use a clean brush to dust off any debris from sanding before proceeding with staining.

Stain and Sealant

Achieving a durable and long-lasting finish for outdoor furniture requires applying an appropriate sealant that can protect the surface from weathering, UV rays, moisture, and other external factors.

When it comes to staining and sealing a picnic table, it is essential to choose the right type of sealant to ensure maximum protection against environmental wear and tear. There are different types of sealants available in the market such as oil-based, water-based, and hybrid sealants.

The oil-based stain provides excellent penetration into the wood fibers but has low resistance to UV rays. On the other hand, water-based sealants dry faster than oil-based stains but require more coats for adequate protection. Hybrid sealants combine both oil-based and water-based properties providing superior durability with fast drying times.

Before applying any stain or sealant, make sure that the surface is clean and dry by using sandpaper or brushes as discussed previously in this guide. Once you have selected your preferred stain color and type of sealant, apply a thin coat evenly across the surface using a brush or roller following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Allow sufficient drying time before applying additional coats if needed until you achieve your desired level of coverage. Finally, once all coatings have dried completely according to their respective instructions, use fine-grit sandpaper lightly over every inch of the stained surface to smooth out any rough spots or drips that may have formed during application.

In conclusion, staining and sealing your picnic table has significant benefits such as enhancing its appearance while protecting it from harsh environmental conditions ensuring its longevity for years to come!

Prep Your Picnic Table

Before beginning the process of enhancing the appearance and durability of your outdoor eating surface, it is essential to ensure that all debris, dirt, and grime have been completely removed from the surface.

Cleaning tips for your picnic table include using a pressure washer or scrubbing with a brush and soap solution. Once cleaned, allow ample time for the surface to dry before moving on to staining.

It is also important to consider weather protection when selecting a stain for your picnic table. Opt for a product that contains UV inhibitors to protect against sun damage and waterproofing agents to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood grain.

Proper preparation will ensure that your newly stained picnic table looks great and lasts for many seasons to come.

Apply the Stain

The next step in the process of enhancing the appearance and durability of an outdoor eating surface involves applying a protective coating to ensure that the wood remains resistant against weathering agents such as moisture and UV light.

Choosing the stain color is an important consideration, as it affects both the aesthetics and longevity of the table.

Begin by stirring the stain thoroughly to ensure even distribution of pigments throughout the liquid. Then, using a brush or roller, apply a generous coat to each section of the table in long, even strokes, ensuring no areas are missed.

Allow this coat to dry for at least 24 hours before adding additional coats if necessary. It’s crucial not to rush this stage as it can affect how well your table resists wear and tear over time.

For best results, opt for two coats of stain applied thinly rather than one thick layer which could lead to inconsistencies in coverage.

Finally, allow adequate drying time (usually around 48 hours) before use so that your newly stained picnic table is fully cured and ready for outdoor dining once again!

Apply the Sealant

To ensure optimal protection against weathering agents and prolong the lifespan of an outdoor eating surface, applying a sealant is a crucial step in the process of staining a picnic table. When choosing a sealant, it’s important to consider factors such as its durability, resistance to UV rays and water, and whether it’s suitable for use on wood.

Once you’ve selected your preferred sealant, start by stirring it thoroughly to ensure even distribution of any pigments or additives. Next, using a brush or roller, apply an even coat of the sealant in long strokes along the grain of the wood. Be sure to cover all areas evenly but avoid over-saturating the surface with too much product.

Allow time for the first coat to dry completely before applying additional coats if needed. Depending on your chosen product and environmental conditions, you may need multiple coats for adequate protection. Once complete, allow ample drying time before exposing your newly sealed picnic table to harsh weather conditions or regular use.


In conclusion, staining a picnic table is a simple process that can be achieved with the right materials and techniques.

The first step is to choose the appropriate stain for your desired finish.

It’s important to gather all necessary tools and materials before starting the process of prepping your table by cleaning and sanding it down.

Once your table is ready, apply the stain evenly using a brush or roller, making sure to follow the grain of the wood.

After allowing sufficient drying time, apply a sealant to protect against weather damage and ensure longevity.

With these step-by-step instructions, you can easily transform an old or dull-looking picnic table into a beautiful, refreshed piece for outdoor gatherings.