Outdoor furniture can be so expensive, and the cheap stuff looks….well, cheap. In our existing outdoor furniture collection, we have a lot of good sturdy pieces that we have had for a while, but it all looked so beat up. With the structures solid, I was thinking there had to be a way to update our outdoor table set. Tile stenciling DIY’s have popped up everywhere for bathroom floors, and it struck me that I could use this same process for our outdoor tile dining table. I am going to walk you through the process I used to update our outdoor table to take on a whole new look! I love how this turned out. Even though the process was fairly simple, I had one little mishap. Ultimately, though, this allowed me to create a more durable finish. Here’s what I did to breathe new life into our old beat up set.
what you will need:
Spray Paint for Metal Table & Chairs (I chose a gray color and used about 6-7 cans)
Bonding Primer for Painting Tiles (I used 2 cans and chose a bright white color)
Paint for Stencil (Any gray that coordinates with your frame color will do)
Stencil (Amazon has some great choices in 12×12)
Stencil Brush (I just used a cheap one)
The first thing I did was take the tiles out of the table so that the metal part was all that was exposed. I cleaned it up a little with some dish soap and water and allowed it to dry. Then, I spray painted the entire table in a Coastal Gray color from Rustoleum. I like their products because they tend to be weather resistant. This was a primer and paint all in one. It probably took about 2 coats to get this all complete. Next, I did this same process for the metal and canvas chairs. I even took the paint right over the canvas part of the chairs and I can’t believe how well this worked! This part was fairly simple, but it works best if you take your time to put the spray paint on nice and even.
Next up was painting the tiles white. For this part, I had some mistakes so, hopefully, I can steer you down the right path and you don’t have to have redos like I did. The first attempt I rolled some exterior porch paint on the tiles. However, this didn’t adhere to the tile and in the rain it peeled right off. Thank goodness I hadn’t stenciled yet.
In my next attempt, I just spray painted the tiles with a Bonding Primer spray from Rustoleum. This was the ticket! As it went onto the tile, I could tell that it was adhering better and would create an easier surface to work with for stenciling. I tried to get good coverage with the first coat here and I was pretty well able to achieve good coverage with a single coat. My intent here was to not get something too thick that might peel off more easily, kind of like nail polish does when you get it too thick.
After the tiles were completely dry, it was time to get the stencil on! Make sure you are using a stencil that is the same size as your tile. The trick with stenciling is to not get too much paint on your brush. As a matter of fact, it looks best with a varied amount of paint, where some areas are somewhat faded. Using as little paint as possible for the stencil helps to reduce the amount of cleanup to create clean lines when you peel the stencil off as well. I used a toothpick to do my cleanup, being careful not to “scratch” so hard that I took off the white paint. All in all, this worked really well. For our table with 12 tiles, it only took me about 2 hours to get all of the tiles stenciled and this was my first time actually ever doing this process.
My last step with the tiles was to spray all of them with a clear coat protective enamel. Again, I tried to go slowly and keep it even. My main goal was to be careful not to create thicker areas of the clear coat that could build up. I chose a satin clear finish and I love the way this finish looked on the table. The product is waterproof and also helps block some UV rays from the sun. Since our table is completely out in the weather, this was important and has proven to help the paint hold up.
After a couple months of having this table complete, it has held up pretty well. There were a few areas of the white paint on the tile that started to chip. So, I went back with the white spray paint and carefully touched it up. I purchased a cheap vinyl table cover with a cloth back to use over the table when it’s not in use, simply by rubber banding it to stay secure. This, I think, is the best way to keep this look preserved if your table is out in the elements. If it is under a porch, I really do not think this step is necessary. The chairs have held up beautifully! I am so pleased with how they turned out and that I decided to go for it and paint the canvas.
All in all this outdoor table update was fairly easy. I would highly encourage you to go for it if you have an existing set like this. It may even be a good idea to go as far as purchasing one of these for cheap on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You could likely get a couple years out of a set like this. And it looks so cute too! Let me know if you decide to give this a try!