DIY Outdoor Table: What to do with leftover composite decking?
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Learn how to build a large outdoor patio dining set for your family
We recently put a brand new screened-in porch and deck on to our house. This was the first time in a LONG time that this was not a DIY project that we wanted to tackle. We absolutely LOVE this outdoor space, but we needed ideas for what to build with our leftover composite decking.
Ideas for leftover composite decking
We have some project ideas for our leftover composite decking and one of these projects was to create a DIY outdoor table that would be able to sit more than 10 people.
We decided on making two smaller and skinnier composite decking outdoor tables instead of one large one. We thought this would be more versatile and would not be too heavy for moving around.
We also recently just made our own DIY folding tables out of plywood to use in our basement. If we end up needing to sit more people outside, we plan on using these as well!
To buy or not to buy?
If you shop around for different outdoor tables, they can be quite pricey. So we knew when we saw the stack of leftover composite decking that we would figure out a way to make our own outdoor table that would be WAY MORE BUDGET-FRIENDLY!
Ijust couldn’t bring myself to buy a new table when we could make one!
I am totally a DIY paint girl or repurpose something into something amazing girl! Luckily for me, my husband loves to build new things sometimes using materials we already have. In this case, we had a lot of leftover composite decking to use and it was the perfect project for him!
Steps to create composite decking outdoor table
1. Figure out the dimensions you want to have for your outdoor dining table. Each outdoor table is 70 1/2 ” long x 32 1/4″ wide x 29 1/2″ tall.
Here is an article about how to help determine the right size table for your indoor or outdoor space.
We made two of these tables so that we could put them together and really fit our extended family!
Tip: If you already have chairs, make sure that you are building the height of the table to accommodate those chairs (like ours) or any standard outdoor chair or stool. We also made composite decking benches that you can see at the end of the post.
2. Miter outside composite decking edges of the outdoor table. We decided to create a picture frame on the outside and fill in with the other pieces. You will have to do some math to decide the length of your table and how many full pieces of composite decking you will fit in the inside.
3. Cut composite decking to fill the inside. We cut our small pieces to 21 1/4″. It took 11 pieces to fill our “picture frame”. We put our inside table pieces going horizontal to use the smaller leftover pieces of composite decking.
**However: please note that I wish we would have changed this design and made the inside slates going vertical. It was very difficult to have all the composite decking lay flat and we have some spots that stick up a little. It is nothing a little placemat won’t be able to fix, but you can learn from our mistakes.
4. Layout all pieces of your outdoor tabletop to see how it all fits together. Each table we made 71 1/2″ long and 32″ wide. We wanted a longer and skinnier table for our space.
5. Gather pressure-treated posts. We used sturdy posts because my husband liked the look of a thicker base. I am pretty sure this table could have been built with cheaper pressure-treated 2 x 4s.
6. Use saw to cut the posts. We cut our posts to 29 1/2″ tall.
7. Build the frame for under your DIY outdoor table. We used pressure-treated 2 x 4s to create a rectangular base at the size of 27″ x 66 3/4″.
8. Drill 3″ screws to attach frame together and then attach posts.
Make sure you do not use just any steel 3″ screws because the metal will corrode over time.
My husband’s favorite drill is this one. You will need to drill pilot holes before you can put in the screws.
Tip: Use clamps to secure the post to the table frame. (See picture below)
9. This is a simple step: Flip the frame over (don’t mind our trash can overflowing!).
10. Add 2x4s inside the table frame so that the composite tabletop can be attached there. Our 2x4s were 7″ less than the frame. Ours were cut to 20 1/2″ x 59 3/4″.
11. Use the drill and screws to attach the composite decking picture frame to the pressure-treated wood frame.
12. Use construction adhesive to attach the inside pieces of composite decking.
13. Flip DIY outdoor table over and use painter’s tape to frame out the composite decking tabletop and pressure-treated wood.
14. Use a paintbrush and use an exterior stain in the color of your choice. I did a lot of research to see if I could use interior stain because I LOVE the look of this color (we have used on numerous projects in our house).
However, you would need to do another coat of special polyurethane. We decided we only wanted to paint the exterior stain on the outdoor table post once and that we wanted as much protection as possible with the least amount of maintenance.
So we just ended up going with an outdoor stain (one that you would even use on decking).
14. Let the DIY outdoor table dry and then flip over and set-up in your outdoor space. We also made DIY outdoor benches using the same steps list above but on a smaller scale.
Related Reading: Looking for more weekend DIY Projects? Check out our post on 50 Home DIY Projects!
Composite decking outdoor benches
We loved this process so much…
Or at least how much money it was saving us, that we decided to make two outdoor benches out of composite decking. We used 3 pieces of composite decking on top and cut them to 48″ long and made them 16 1/2″ tall.
People now have somewhere to dine outside!
Our two DIY outdoor dining tables were so awesome to use the other night! We were able to sit with our whole immediate family and friends. The kids loved the benches and being able to eat outdoors.
What is your favorite outdoor dining space project? If you like this project, you may also like seeing some of the amazing flower pots we made to plant things that would help repel mosquitos.
We absolutely love our DIY outdoor dining space and hope we inspired you in your next DIY project!
Are you looking for an inexpensive way to makeover your outdoor space? Here is a DIY outdoor table tutorial that will add to any deck, patio or yard!