Friday, July 9, 2010

A Picnic Table for the Kids

My table is done! Building this was a lot easier than building the bed. I got the plans from here. I have found so many plans I want to build off of Knock-Off wood. I did alter Ana's plans a little. Since my kids are too big for her pre-school table, but not quite big enough for her Bigger Kid's table, I decided I would make the over all height to match their PB craft table of 22 inches instead of 24. At that height, even I can sit in it so it is perfect.

I started out sanding all the pieces. If there is one thing I learned from building the bed is that once it is built, it is sometimes difficult to get the sander to fit in all the areas you need sanding. Since the table has gaps, allowing for drainage, I sanded all the sides of the wood, knowing that it would be oober difficult to get my fingers into those gaps after assembling all the pieces.

I also knew I would be building the picnic table by myself so I thought it would be easier if I didn't go in the order Ana describes in her plans. I decided to start by building the legs first instead of following her plans to build the table top first. By building the legs first, I was able to lay the pieces flat and screw them in without having someone hold it up. I was also able to make 2 identical leg pieces so I didn't have to worry about matching the angles and adjusting them later on.

When the legs were done and I needed to attach the center bar, I relied on clamps to hold up the wood as I screwed the pieces together.

Once the center piece of the legs was attached, I flipped it over and at that point, I screwed on the table top and the seat. I countersinked the screws and covered them up with some wood putty.

It took another couple of days to decide upon the finish. I usually like staining, but hold your breath, I decided to paint it instead. That is a big step for this girl who's dad stains everything since, "covering the grain of the wood would be a sin.." he used to say (of course he said this in Vietnamese).

Now comes the painting. I first added a layer of this primer.

After 1.5 hours in the 100+ degree heat, I was about to give up. I enjoy the actual building, not so much the priming or painting. It was so hot, the primer seemed to dry in 10 minutes!

Next came the layer of paint. I wanted to paint it green, but there were too many choices. Then I checked the mistints section and discovered an exterior semi-gloss full can of paint for only $5. That saved me $33 since a gallon of that paint would cost $38.00! Score!

Since they don't tint their mistint paints, I asked what I could add to the paint to make it green. After learning all I wanted to know about primers and exterior paints, she said she would try to tint it for me for free! Double Score!

Here is what she came up with. I wasn't going to ask her to make any other adjustments since I didn't want her to get in trouble so I took it as is and then I decided to add some black paint I had to the color to make it a little darker.

The final outcome is this:

I rounded all the corners and sides like I did with my bed I built.

A few hours later and it was ready for its new home in our backyard.

I love how it turned out. It has already been used by the kiddos and parents alike. I haven't decided if I want to drill a hole for an umbrella, but I do plan on sewing some cushions for the seats. That will definitely add the touch I want.

Final cost of this project

Wood $25.00
Screws $10.46
Paint $5.00
Primer $7.68
Total: $48.14

That's not too bad of a price. Our little tikes picnic table was $69 to buy. The kids have outgrown that so I plan on selling it. One project down, many more to go.

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