The Best Finishes For an Outdoor Picnic Table

Picnic tables are a quintessential part of outdoor living, providing a great place for family and friends to gather for food, fun, and conversation. Choosing the right finish for your picnic table is an important decision as it will determine the quality, appearance and longevity of your investment. The best way to ensure that you get the most out of your picnic table is by selecting a finish that offers durability and easy maintenance. In this article, we will discuss the different types of finishes available for your picnic table along with their pros and cons so you can make an informed choice when purchasing or refinishing one.

Types of Picnic Tables

When shopping for a picnic table, there are several types to choose from. Wood is the most popular material used in these structures; however, metal and plastic options are also widely available. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to choosing a finish:

Wood: Wood is probably the most traditional material used in making picnic tables; however, it requires regular sealing or staining to keep it looking its best over time. It’s important to note that some woods (such as teak) are naturally more resistant to weathering than others (such as pine).

Metal: Metal picnic tables are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability and low maintenance requirements. They don’t require any special sealants or treatments but they do need periodic cleaning to stay looking good over time.

Plastic: Plastic picnic tables offer a lightweight alternative to wood or metal options; however, they require more frequent cleaning because dirt tends to stick more readily than on other materials. Some plastic models come pre-treated with UV protection which helps extend their life span outdoors.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Finish For Your Picnic Table

Before selecting a finish for your picnic table there are several factors you should consider including durability, maintenance requirements and cost:

Durability: The finish you choose should be able to stand up against harsh weather conditions such as rain or snow without fading or cracking easily. Finishes made from polyurethane or oil-based paints tend to be more durable than water-based paints while powder coating provides superior protection against rusting compared with paint finishes on metal surfaces.

Maintenance Requirements: Finishes vary greatly when it comes to how often they need reapplication; some may only require annual touch-ups while others must be applied every few years depending on exposure levels. Choose one that meets your needs based on the amount of time you’re willing to dedicate towards upkeep each year – less expensive options may end up costing more in terms of labor hours down the line if extra work is required more frequently than expected!

Cost: The price tag associated with different types of finishes can vary quite significantly – vinyl coatings tend to be cheaper than polyurethane-based ones for example – so factor this into your decision before committing to one option.

Benefits Of Using Wood Stain On Your Picnic Table

Wood stain is a great way to protect your picnic table while adding color and character. It’s easy to apply and requires minimal maintenance – all you need to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth every once in a while to keep it looking its best. The finish also allows the natural grain of the wood to show through, which creates an attractive look that doesn’t require any special treatments or regular upkeep.

Benefits Of Using Paint On Your Picnic Table

Paint is another popular finish for picnic tables as it protects from the elements while giving you the ability to customize your table with different colors and designs. It’s important to remember that paint can chip over time, so you may want to choose a more durable finish if you are planning on using your picnic table frequently or keeping it outdoors for extended periods.

Benefits Of Using Powder Coating On Your Picnic Table

Powder coating offers exceptional corrosion resistance and durability, making it ideal for metal surfaces such as those found on picnic tables. This type of finish won’t chip or flake like a paint can and requires very little maintenance; simply clean it off periodically with a mild detergent solution to keep it looking its best over time.

Benefits Of Using Polyurethane On Your Picnic Table

Polyurethane is known for its superior protection against moisture damage and UV rays, making it one of the most popular finishes for outdoor furniture including picnic tables. Not only does this type of finish provide long-lasting protection but it also gives wooden surfaces a glossy shine that won’t fade easily even after years of use outdoors. Plus, unlike other finishes such as paint or powder coatings, polyurethane won’t crack or peel when exposed to extreme temperatures or humid weather conditions.

Tips For Applying The Finishes Properly To Ensure Optimal Performance And Lasting Beauty

Once you have chosen your desired finish, there are certain steps you should take to ensure optimal performance:

  • Thoroughly sand down any rough patches before applying the chosen finish.
  • Use painter’s tape around the edges where two pieces meet (e.g., tabletop and legs).
  • Allow each coat at least 24 hours before applying the next one.
  • Always follow directions on product labels carefully.
  • Test out small areas first before finishing the entire surface.

Common Mistakes People Make When Applying Finishes To Their Picnic Tables

Applying finishes incorrectly can result in lackluster results; here are some common mistakes people make when refinishing their picnic tables:

  • Not properly preparing surfaces before painting/staining: This step is essential for ensuring that your final result looks great! Sanding down any rough spots will help ensure an even application without bumps or irregularities after drying.
  • Not allowing enough time between coats: It’s important to give each coat at least 24 hours to dry before applying the next one to achieve a better result.
  • Not paying attention to directions on product labels: Many products require specific techniques or application methods; it’s important to read the instructions and follow them closely!

Best Picnic Table Finish Conclusion

When it comes to selecting the right finish for your picnic table, there are many options available – from traditional wood stain to more modern powder coating. Consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, cost and personal preference when choosing a finish that best suits your needs. With the right care and attention, you can ensure that your picnic table looks great for years to come!