head diy Design Fanatic: Pottery Barn Inspired Picnic Table

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pottery Barn Inspired Picnic Table

Hope you had a fabulous weekend...I sure did! 
It was AMAZING and FABULOUS and I promise to tell you about it by Wednesday, so be sure to stop by again soon.
In the meantime...

We're working on our deck makeover;
a deck refinish with a 
new color, 
new furniture, 
new accessories and
new everything...

except for the grill
(the grill is good for a few more years).

It was about time. We bought our Tropitone patio furniture wayyy back in 1986.

Don't say it...I know...
Some of you weren't even born yet. 

Since I don't have big bags full of money, this makeover had to be done on a budget. 
A seriously tight budget. 

I've wanted to make for Mr. Fanatic to make me a picnic table ever since I saw this beauty on The Reading Girl blog.  I sent the link to Mr. F two years ago...
and waited...
for just the right place to put it.

The top of our very old patio table had been accidentally broken years ago by one of our daughters, who shall remain nameless. 
Mr. F fixed it by making a top out of tile, but alas, the tiles were falling off and the top was falling apart.
We definitely needed a new table and NOW. I scoured Craigslist and found
NOTHING I liked.
So, it was time to make the Reading Girl's table.
Now how to finish it...hmmmm

I saw this great table on the Pottery Barn website and really loved it. The price, not so much.
Looks like the price dropped a bit...When we started this project, the price was $1,199. I love the contrasting zinc top.

 Loved this table I saw on Style Decor too. Both of these table were our inspiration.

It was settled and Mr. Fanatic and I went off to the store and bought some wood. 
If you go to The Reading Girl's website, she has a link to Ana White's website(I met her this weekend!) that has a cut sheet with instructions.
That's what Mr. F did.
The wood cost us pretty close to $100. Not bad.

One Saturday, Mr. F cut all the wood, then dry fit it.

He used his handy Kreg Jig so he could attach all the screws so you wouldn't see them.

One of these days, I'm going to learn how to use one because it looks pretty simple.

Mr. Fanatic cut all the pieces for the table, then
this is where I came in...
I used the solid stain that was leftover from staining the deck...
You know, the first coat that I hated on the deck floor and then proceeded to try just about every color on the color chart?

Yeah, that one.

It was perfect to give the look of the Pottery Barn's zinc topped picnic table. 
The color is Nantucket Gray in  Olympic solid color deck stain. 

KariAnne over at Thistlewood Farm created a faux zinc memo board that had THE most perfect finish from Martha Stewart that I would have loved to do, but it was expensive, so I used what I had.
I went to the Home Depot and bought some transparent waterproofing deck stain in Cordovan Brown for the legs and apron. I loved both colors on the first try, unlike my deck color choosing fiasco that ended up costing too much money. 

Here's a tip: if you are refinishing your deck and are choosing a new color, go to The Home Depot and try our a few samples. Their little samples are only $3.68 in our area (at the blue box store, you have to buy a whole quart for $15+)

I stained all the pieces before the table was put together, just to make it easier.

then Mr. Fanatic put the table together. He used a 2 x 4 to line up the ends of the 2 x 6's for the top.
diy picnic table, pottery barn, behr deck stain

Then, he lined up the apron and attached it to the table top.
Kreg jig, Kreg tools, picnic table, diy

The instructions called for brace pieces to secure the top to the apron. You can see more detailed instructions on the link below. Ana White's website has a cut sheet and detailed instructions, plus photos from several people who made this table, as well.
Kreg jig, Kreg tools, picnic table, diy, Behr deck stain

Love these vintage clamps he uses.

After the legs were attached to the apron, we were almost finished...
Kreg jig, Kreg tools, picnic table, diy, Behr deck stain

She's a beauty!
If you notice, the stringer wasn't finished, so I put two coats of stain on it when it was all finished.
I also applied one more thin coat to the top of the table and touched up some spots on the legs.
Kreg jig, Kreg tools, picnic table, diy, Behr deck stain

When Mr. F took the table out to the deck, I was ecstatic!
I just love the contrast of the Cordovan Brown legs against the two different grays. 
Don't you  get excited when you love a project when it's finished?
diy Design Fanatic.com

diy picnic table, Kreg jig, Behr deck stain

diy picnic table, Kreg jig, Behr deck stain

diy picnic table, Kreg jig, Behr deck stain

I found the two chairs on a trip to HomeGoods. 
Only two chairs??? What about the other side, you say?
picnic table, Kreg jig, Behr deck stain
Well, that's our next project. Mr. Fanatic is going to build a bench with storage that's also works as a chaise lounge. (saw it on Pinterest)
Can't wait to dress it up with accessories, too.

I'm hoping our total deck makeover will be finished in time to have at least one party or get together with friends...
oh, I am so looking forward to that!
Do you have a deck in your backyard and how do you keep it looking fresh?


link to Ana White's website with cut sheet and instructions on how to build this table HERE

PS: I was not paid by The Home  Depot, Kreg Tools, HomeGoods or Pottery Barn (or anyone else) for this post.
I just wanted to share my experience with you. 

Disclaimer: The above post is how we made our picnic table. I don't take any responsibility for any errors or results obtained from using this information. When using power tools, use safety equipment.


  1. Great job and I love your inspiration tables too!

  2. You guys make a great team! This turned out beautifully!

  3. Your table looks fabulous. Such a great project and the finish is wonderful too. Hugs, Marty

  4. You've done a great job! Love this style picnic table. We've got an old table that needs some TLC that I'm hoping to tackle as one of my next projects. Thanks for visiting Curate | by Carrie Corson today, hope you'll stop by again:)

  5. Wow. Great job. I would love to be able to build stuff. Maybe I'll get my husband to make this for me. I would love it if you would link this up to my link party going on right now.


  6. The table is wonderful. i really like the two colors.

  7. WOW that turned out fantastic Pam!

  8. Hi Pam, I love the new picnic table! And it looks beautiful on your deck. Youasked if we have a deck. Well, not yet! We just moved here in Oct. and we had to get our plans approved. So, all the materials for a deck, hardscaping and pond are ordered and as soon as they come in we can get started. Or actually, the contractor can get started, with Joe's help:) Had lunch with Yvonne today and she mentioned meeting you at Haven and how sweet you are. I WILL be there next year and hope we meet. XO, Pinky

  9. you did wonderful! and for that price, you can now have 10 of those tables :) well done

  10. Pam, meeting you was one of the best parts of Haven!!! LOVED being able to hang out together and spend time really getting to know you... kindred spirits here!!!
    You and your hubby really put together a great picnic table!!!! LOVE the top too!!! It makes it more upscale!
    I can just image how many fun and memorable family dinners you will have around a table you built!!!!
    Blessings and xo

  11. This looks exactly like the one from Pottery Barn; you guys did a great job! Looks amazing!

  12. Looks amazing, Pam! I'm envious of your vision and your skills (your hubby's too)! I love that you painted the top blue for a bit of pop! I'll say it again how much I loved meeting you and hanging out ... such a FUN time! Hope to see you soon!

  13. What great a job and I love the color combination!!


  14. Gorgeous! I love it. I am sooo looking forward to fall and outdoor parties.

    Thanks for the inspiration dear!


  15. Pam, love the table and that you choose a different color on the top. Featuring in my weekly wow's on Friday. Glad to have met you at the conference and to have found your blog.

  16. Love it Pam... it is even better than theirs!

  17. Beautiful job and great color. Looks like you ran out of steam on the instructions after the greatly detailed top!!! Any information available on how to do the legs? I see that they are butted but don't see how they are attached to each other or to the table top.

  18. MaryAnn, more detailed instructions are on Ana White's website. We didn't include our detailed instructions, but the link to her website is at the end of the post. Thanks for pointing that out; I will put a sentence at that point about going the link below.

  19. Love your blog. I just followed you and hoping you'll follow back :)

  20. The wood router is important among trade tools as a result of it adds ornamental detail that enhances and defines the ultimate look of your trade project. Used properly, this tool is to the artisan what a fine applier is to Associate in Nursing creative person.

  21. Woah, that's pretty impressive! You know, making a table from wood is nothing like a walk in the park, but you guys definitely didn't screw things up and really made a fine table.

  22. Are you sure you didn't buy the table from Pottery Barn? It looked identical to it! By the way, did you sand the wood at all?

    1. Thanks for the compliment, James! We did sand the wood before staining/painting.

  23. Wow, your table looks really cool. I want to have one in my front yard. Hmm, since you've inspired me, I'll try to make one. Thanks so much!


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