Refinish Your Cedar Picnic Table

3 Materials
6 Hours

The first piece I ever remember refinishing was a picnic table with my grandpa. We sanded and sealed, and I do recall it was a lot of work. So when my client brought me this picnic table, I knew what tasks lie ahead.

The wood was intact and didn't need to be replaced. All I had to do was grab my belt sanding and get to work. I sanded, and sanded, and sanded.   And then I sealed and sealed and sealed. And finally it was finished. Yes, it was a lot of work but so worth it in the end.

Once I got through all those layers of boat varnish that had been used to preserve it, I could see how worth it refinishing can be! I sealed this piece with three coats of satin finish. It did an amazing job soaking in, reviving the wood while sealing it and preparing it for living outside. 


The legs got a fresh coat of black spray paint, and the cedar against the black legs really makes the table pop! 

Since we decided to seal this piece without staining it, there is a chance it will weather and turn gray (slivering) over time. My clients actually wanted a gray finish, so they were okay with the natural weathering that will happen. BUT if you do an outdoor project and want to maintain the color, consider starting off with a layer of exterior stain before sealing. 

I'm so happy with how this table turned out, makes me want to go look for an old camp style picnic table to refinish for my own back porch.

For more details about refinishing cedar please click my blog link


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Jenni Ingram
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  1 question
  • Bet33553639 Bet33553639 on Jul 30, 2018

    How do u make old wood smell good ? I have several piece in the garage that smells any clues or are they ready for the wood pile? Beth


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