Outdoor Work Table

4 Materials
4 Hours

I am new to the woodworking world. I don't yet have my basement set up as a workshop...and I don't imagine that is anywhere on my current to-do list. I do my projects in my back yard when it's sunny (or at least not raining). My tools are stored in my shed and for the past year, I've been using my old IKEA deck table. I no longer have that table and the extra table I did have was only 4' long and not really made for exterior use. To be frugal I decided to retro fit that little table with a workshop top. It will also double as a buffet table when we cook out.

This is the table. Metal legs and a fake wood top. To its credit, it was heavy.

I started by making a rectangle frame out of 2x4s. Using my trusty Kreg jig. I used the table as a guide to cut the studs. I wanted the frame to fit snugly over the table.

I had a sheet of 1/2" plywood cut to 36" x 72" for the top. I laid this on a flat surface- top side down.

Next, I placed the framed onto the top and set it exactly how I wanted it.

I screwed the frame to the top in two places on each side, going in with the screws at an angle.

While the top was upside down, I gave it a coat of deck sealer.

I also applied Rustoleum rust inhibitor to the metal supports under the table.

When all was dry, I placed the table, upside down, into the frame. Luckily, it fit perfectly. At this point, I turned it over and covered it with a tarp because it was going to rain!

Once the sun came out, I was back to work! Here it is with the final coat of deck sealer. Before painting on the sealer, I used my belt sander to smooth out the top and edges...but I wouldn't want to run my hand across it! After the deck sealer dried, you wouldn't believe the difference! All splinters are sealed in! And now the table is water repellant!

This one will serve a dual purpose... work table by day, and buffet table by night (with a tablecloth of course).

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Heje
    on Aug 28, 2019

    How is the table top holding up in the various weather conditions? Good idea with plenty of space to work.

    • A
      on Aug 29, 2019

      To be honest, I will have to change it out next year. I think I will use pressure treated planks - almost like a deck. This shouldn't be difficult because of the way the tabletop frame was made.

  • Luce
    on Jun 23, 2020

    how to paint a brick wall white

Join the conversation

3 of 18 comments
  • Debra McMenamin
    on Jun 23, 2019

    Great idea. Our home could easily be an IKEA showroom! One of the things I love about IKEA furniture is that it can be changed to meet our needs. We had a pine wood dresser and window dresser from that store when we lived in a smaller place. When we moved, we no longer needed them but our youngest son did for his new room. I used exterior white paint and they turned out very nice matching his bed frame. He is married with his own son and still has the furniture!

    • Al.C.Jr.
      on Jul 1, 2019

      That's cool durable... I'm surprised the daughter in law hasn't change it out by now.

  • Theresa Holz
    on Jun 23, 2020

    Hunk did a similar DIY with plywood and plastic spacers instead of a frame box. This was used onto of our dining table when we needed more room for guests at meals.

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