I hate to start a post that I cannot finish so I think will refer to this as picnic table refinishing part one and part two.
Nearly 19 years ago my brother gave us this wonderfully solid picnic table from our local lumberyard as a wedding gift.
While the table has seen its fair share of backyard barbecues and birthday parties it hasn’t been in regular use for several years. Parked underneath a big tree where it was no longer getting sunshine either, the wood began to resemble the bark of the tree itself. Hard mossy growth had crusted over the entire top surface & benches. It was in no shape to even paint…
It made me a little sad every time I would catch sight of it sitting in the yard knowing that the only thing it was being used for these days was a jumping off point for the kids and their tire swing.
I’ve been playing around with some large-format vinyl stencils in the shop this week and one nice evening got inspired to refinish the table hoping to ultimately decorate it with outdoor vinyl or a stencil. A few minutes into the project it was clear it was going to be more than one evening commitment…
The first step and by far the most time-consuming was to sand it down. I used a hand held rotary sander. Eight sanding pads & approximately an hour and a half later the surface was looking smooth & fresh.
I did try to leave a little bit of the dark areas under the mossy overgrowth, thinking they would add character and maintain a bit of the weathered effect yet when I stained the wood.