DIY Weather Proofed Table {with Restore}

So let’s quickly rewind to Wednesday’s post showcasing my favorite local second-hand shop, Estates & Consignments. As I mysteriously mentioned, I managed to make one small purchase that day while photographing the space. I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave empty-handed and subsequently ended up carting home the tiny plywood side table you see below. Admittedly, it’s not the most exciting piece of furniture – at least as it was – but I, of course, had some rather unusual plans for it.

What were said plans? Well, we currently have a $5 plastic side table out on our back deck that has seen better days. The spray paint finish that I had added last season was flaking and it was high time we upgraded from the plastic finish to something a little more substantial, especially with the addition of my new party/potting table. So I snatched that little table up with an outdoor lifestyle in mind. But, as we all know, wood isn’t entirely weather proof. Enter Rust-Oleum’s Restore.

Now I should go ahead and mention that Rust-Oleum has no idea that I am doing this project and, frankly, they might think I’m just as crazy as the woman at the hardware store thought I was after hearing what I had planned for it. If you aren’t familiar with the product, it’s meant to seal decks, sidewalks and patios with a super weather resistant finish. More on that soon though…

The first phase of this project involved giving my new-to-me table a mini face lift. It was already the perfect size, but I decided to give it a little flair by changing the profile up a bit – namely with a little detailing in the leg region. With the help of my dad and his woodworking shop, we got down to business drawing out a plan, creating a template using foam core board and, finally, cutting the shape with a jigsaw.

In my imagination, I was hoping to mimic the look of those mod/traditional tables – You know, the ones with the flat legs that feature a curved silhouette (like this or this). After using our template to draw on the swooped edge, dad handled the heavy-duty tools and made quick work of the leg design. It only took about 10 minutes and even those particularly intimidated by power tools could have handled this step. As long as you follow standard safety practices, I’d categorize this as a novice project.

And here she is all “flaired” and ready for a brand new top! Although the table came with a top, it sat flush with the edge, just begging for water to lie stagnant on top. I wasn’t about to take any chances since this was going to be an exclusively outdoor piece, so we cut down a new piece of plywood that sat above the table apron by about a quarter of an inch.

And now it’s time to chat with you about Restore. This was definitely a trial and error project. I had never used the paint (?) before and had no idea what to expect, so I was a little surprised by just how thick the stuff was. In the photo below, you’ll see my scrap-wood-stirer sitting up in the middle of the can with no movement. It had the consistency of wet concrete, and was just as grainy and chunky (oh, how I hate that word…).

^^Terrible photo, but I like how you can really get a sense of the texture with that highlight on top.^^

Rather than grab the roller made specifically for the Restore product, I first wanted to see if I could use what I had – in this case, a paint brush. Unfortunately, no matter how careful and even my brush strokes were, the texture in the paint didn’t spread consistently. The next morning after making the 20 minute trek back to my parents’ house to continue the project, I came downstairs to this little scene. My dried and gunky table, topped with all manner of tools my dad had set out before leaving for work. He clearly knew that I had a day of damage control ahead of myself.

See how uneven the texture was? This wasn’t the product’s fault at all – It was entirely mine. Luckily, the situation was remedied within a quick hour using a hand sander and after applying a second coat of the material with a roller.

Once the piece had had its 24 hours of dry time, I took it outside to assess the situation and was in love. I’ll admit that this was definitely a project that could have easily gone from bad to worse in no time at all, but I’m actually really pleased with how it turned out. The textured finish is not only durable, but gives the table some much-needed character. I think, had I known just how concrete-like the finish would be, I would have chosen one of their brighter colors (like a minty blue or even yellow), but I’m counting my lucky stars that I now have this faux-concrete trick up my sleeve. Oh the possibilities…

I challenged myself to go beyond my standard spray paint or stencil m.o. and consider this outcome, no matter how wacky or unconventional, a resounding success.

Have a great weekend, guys!

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