For this week’s DIY project I decided to get back to my patio and work on another part of my Oasis project. Refinishing the patio table was the last major piece that I had to do, and since the weather was beyond amazing this weekend, it was a great time to get outside and work on my patio (and tan!). Over the course of 2 days I was easily able to sand, stain and put on a gloss finish. It took 2 days but that is because I have a tendency to start my projects after 2pm instead of in the morning. If I was smart, it would have been only 1 day :) If you have been putting off a project like this, you have no excuses not to do it, because it takes so little time! So how did I do it? Check it out below :-)

First you’ll want to clear everything off the table you are going to be re-doing. As you can see, mine was in desperate need of re-finishing, thanks to the tomato hanging basket I left on the table last fall. Oops.

Next, you’ll want to sand down the table with a good grit sandpaper. 200-grit is usually a great starting point, and then moving to a lower grit to smooth things out. I used 150-grit the entire time and it worked wonderfully. Make sure you are removing all of the old finish, or it could affect your final product.

When sanding, make sure you are going with the grain. Otherwise you could end up with seeing the sanding lines/swirls after you’ve stained or painted. I have done this in the past, thinking it would look cool and interesting. It did not.

Make sure to do this in a well ventilated area (ie. outside) and you might want to wear a mask, as the sanding dust kicks up easily and it isn’t pleasant hitting the back of your throat. Also, depending on when the item was painted, it could contain lead and other harmful chemicals that you don’t really want to ingest.

Getting to this point took me about 30 minutes. Not too shabby!

Once everything has been sanded, use a damp cloth to wipe all the remaining dust off before you go about staining. Make sure the table has dried before starting the next step.

Random fact: I have some wonky joints in my fingers and found that sanding makes them ‘lock’. Fun times!

As with sanding, when you are staining or painting, make sure you are going with the grain. Make sure your strokes are smooth and that you create an even layer of stain. You don’t need a lot of stain, but make sure to thinly cover the piece you are working on, without gaps. You can always do multiple coats to obtain the look you want.

With staining, you want to wait up to 3 minutes (while the stain is still wet as you don’t want it to tacky or dry), and then use a cloth (lint-free is a good choice) to wipe the excess stain. I used paper towel, as I usually do, and I have never encountered problems. Just don’t use really linty, or towels, as they will leave trace.

As you wipe, again go with the grain and ensure you don’t leave any blotches of stain, as they will do just that, stain. If you need to touch up any areas so that they match the rest of the table, just brush on in the necessary spot and the wipe off, you don’t want to leave it on for long at all, in case you end up over-staining that spot.

And yes, I know, what’s up with the sweatpants if the weather was so amazing? well, Sunday morning/afternoon wasn’t all that awesome, but Saturday more than made up for it!

It took me about 50 minutes to stain and wipe the entire table. I ended up doing 2 coats to get to my final colour. Give it 24 hours to fully dry and then you’re ready to enjoy your ‘new’ patio table.

I put a clear gloss over top after everything was dried to protect the wood and stain. I used a spray can gloss, but you can also use a paint-on varnish or gloss.