Since early February, I have been dreaming of a beautiful outdoor space to dine and entertain in. I was picturing of a French/farmhouse-inspired space that was beautifully
appointed with a farm table, gray wicker chairs, and lots of elegance –
I even created an entire Pinterest board to that effect. But have you ever priced outdoor furniture? In my opinion it is insanely overpriced. And since it’s seasonal, you can’t get any good deals on it during the time you actually need it (like spring and summer). During my search, I fell in love with this Holden set from Target, but at $900, I knew it certainly wasn’t going to happen.
Then one day, after hitting a few estate sales, I decided to pop in to one of my favorite thrift stores. As I approached the furniture section, I could see four white farmhouse table legs sticking up in the air. My pulse quickened and I of course ran right over in case someone would immediately snatch up “my” farmhouse table : ) When I inspected the piece, I could tell it needed some work, but it was very heavy and well-made. Then on one of the leaves, I noticed something…a Pottery Barn sticker and the original $600 (in 2001) price tag. I couldn’t believe it!
I couldn’t immediately find a price, so after about 20 minutes of trying to wrangle up the manager, he glanced at the table and said, “25 bucks.” Sold. I loaded my new PB farmhouse beauty into the back of the car and couldn’t believe my luck!
Here is the before (note the stunning paint job : ) My mother-in-law was an amazing help and helped me sand, repair, paint and seal the table. Here’s how we did it:
How to Turn Indoor Furniture into Outdoor Furniture
(sorry I don’t have photos of the process, but it’s fairly self-explanatory)
In our case, we carefully sanded down the entire table, then filled in the scrapes and divets on the top with wood putty.
2. Prime and Paint
We did this in one step with paint + primer, but you definitely want primer involved somehow. You also want to use outdoor paint, not indoor. This will stand up better to the elements. We used off-the-shelf white from Ace Hardware in semi-gloss (left over from another project).
Sealing is the key for having outdoor furniture. Seal every last surface and crevice, even the underside of the piece, including the bottoms of feet. We used water-based polyurethane from Sherwin Williams. Since it was white paint, they advised us to use water-based as it’s more milky and does not have the usual yellow tint to it. Put a minimum of three coats on for proper protection.
As an early birthday present, my in-laws bought me the wicker chairs from the set I wanted. I LOVE them! They are beautiful, elegant and comfortable. For the side chairs, I just bought cheap plastic stacking chairs from Wal Mart ($14 each), but they are fine for now and don’t look too bad since they are white.