About five years ago, I scoured Craigslist in search of two vintage swivel club chairs I could have reupholstered to suit my tastes. I found the perfect pair of chairs and then set out in search of a fabric. At our local fabric store, I fell head over heels in love with a remnant bolt of blush Ralph Lauren silk velvet fabric. The fabric was expensive, but a steal for what it was, and as I was checking out I asked the staff at the store “will it hold up as an upholstery fabric?” I was told yes, and that was the primary intention for this fabric. So I felt confident in my decision, spent my several hundreds of dollars on the fabric and didn’t think twice about it. We dropped the chairs and fabric off at the upholsterer and were eager to see the finished product. A month later, when we went to pick them up, the upholsterer told us offhand that that fabric was a little tricky to work with. That was my first indicator that maybe, I hadn’t done my homework on the fabric.
One of the appeals when buying our house was the ample outdoor space. But when it came time to furnishing both spaces, our little folding teak two seater table and chairs that fit great on our small patio weren’t going to cut it.
Given that we have a lot of space on our stone patio, we wanted a big table for entertaining and to visually fill up the space. I did a lot of searching and quickly came to the conclusion that:
- Outdoor furniture is very expensive
- Most outdoor furniture at the mid- and low-end looks super generic and boring
And since we were furnishing the patio on a ‘new-homeowners-with-a-lot-of-projects-to-tackle’ budget, I didn’t want to pay a lot for something that I wasn’t obsessed with. Our starting point was a set of modern, clean-lined washed wood chairs that we found at Homegoods. They weren’t super cheap once you added up the six, so we quickly narrowed the scope of our budget for the table.
After a lot of searching, I remembered that the ultimate diy-ers Yellow Brick Home had built a beautiful table from scratch last summer. So, I presented the plan to my husband who said it was doable and before I knew it, he had already picked up all the wood from Home Depot and had gotten started on making the cuts. We spent a few weekday evenings assembling the base, an afternoon putting the rest of it together and then knocked out painting the table on a Saturday. And because it surprised us, I will warn you that the lug nuts required a ton of manual effort to get in place (thanks Cory!).
All in all, this 10 foot table cost us about $200, including paint and offers us more than enough space to seat eight and even ten, in a pinch.
We followed this plan from Design Confidential to pretty much a T, with the exception of raising the height of the base by about an inch to ensure enough clearance for the arms of our chairs. The table is a replica of a Restoration Hardware table and is simple enough in design to go with a lot of different vibes.
(Don’t worry we shimmed up those two middle planks so they were even before painting)
For paint, we debated at length what color to paint the table, knowing that we already had wood chairs that would be very hard to compliment. We also used pressure treated lumber, which isn’t great for staining, so paint was a must. Though, I do think this table would look awesome in a natural wood finish.
White won out for a few reasons: there’s a white sort of wash on the chairs so white seemed the most complimentary and it would stay the coolest in the hot sun. Grey and black were close contenders but they would have become much hotter to the touch. We also know that we’re going to have to repaint the table every few seasons, so we can always mix it up in the future. And let’s be real, while I wanted to do gray, I knew it would take me ages to decide on the right shade and summer is practically already here, so we were in a hurry to enjoy it.
For paint, we used Superpaint (an exterior grade primer + paint) from Sherwin Williams in Extra White. We’ve had a small amount of bleedthrough on the spots we filled in with wood filler, but otherwise it went on great.
We still have a lot that planned for this space, including adding vines to the fence behind to table to break up the expanse of white, and lots of twinkle lights. Regardless, we’ve been taking advantage of this table for every meal at home, or at least we were until it started raining for a week straight.
We can’t wait for all our summer bbqs and to host friends and family around the biggest piece of furniture we’ve ever built.
Update: We’re on our third season with this table and we haven’t had to give it a fresh coat of paint and it still looks fabulous. This table is one of the best projects we’ve tackled to date, and has hosted a lot of dinner parties, bbq’s and brunches.