White plastic outdoor furniture, not your style? It doesn't have to be. And you also don't have to buy new and expensive outdoor furniture to upgrade your space, because, with a little work, almost any piece of furniture can be used outside if properly treated. Of course, metal is material that have been designed to handle the elements way better and longer, which makes them well-suited for outdoor use. Any treated indoor piece will not be impervious to damaging heat, rain, and snow, so for the longest use consider placing treated indoor furniture on a covered patio or porch. With that said, here's how to transform indoor furniture into outdoor furniture.
Can an indoor table be used outdoor?
Why not? Because most indoor dining tables are made of wood that is not treated to withstand outdoor conditions, they are susceptible to water damage. But you can safely use most indoor dining tables outside on a temporary basis. You’ll have the best results on a clear day with the protective covering of a tablecloth.
Indoor furniture can be used on open lawns and other weather-vulnerable areas, too, if it is treated properly beforehand. With just a little work, you can have a new outdoor living area with all the comfort of the indoors.
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor tables?
Furniture meant for indoor use would tend to fade, discolor, or, especially in the case of wood – disintegrate with constant exposure to sunlight and rain. Outdoor tables, on the other hand, are built specially to weather the elements and provide a versatile option for use in and out of a home.
How to turn your indoor table into an outdoor table?
PART 1: PREP
Once you’ve found a piece, simply follow these simple steps to prep and paint it.
Step 1: Clean. Your surface should be as dust- and dirt-free as possible. We recommend a diluted solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) or dish detergent to help it along.
Step 2: Repair. This step is only applicable if your piece has any damage that needs attention. In many cases, minor wear and damage can add character to an older piece, so it’s not always necessary to address. Glue down corners where the board is coming loose and patch holes with wood putty. If your piece is in good shape to start, you can skip this step.
Step 3: Sand*. After you have a clean, repaired surface to work with, a light sanding will help create a better bond for the finish you’re about to apply. Clean off any residual sawdust before proceeding to the next step.
PART 2: PAINT
Step 4: Select. Choose a paint that’s made for exterior use and suitable for furniture, like Glidden® Trim, Door & Furniture.
Step 5: Coat. Your goal here is to coat every surface that would be exposed to the elements. You don’t just want to cover it, you want to encapsulate as much as possible. The more protection you can provide the wood, the longer your piece will last outdoors.
Step 6: Cure. You probably know it takes anywhere from a few hours to a few days to dry, depending upon the type of finish and relative humidity. But you may not know that your paint needs far more time to fully cure. So while it may feel dry to the touch after a short period, you’ll want to give it the time it needs to completely settle onto your furniture. If at all possible, store your drying piece in the garage or shed for a few days to a few weeks for the best results.
Step 7: Enhance. After your piece has cured, it’s a good time to add any other decoration or enhancement you would like, including further paint treatments and decorative trim.
PART 3: CARE
As noted above, an interior piece of furniture will not last forever when it’s outside, even when all of the above steps are followed. Sunlight, moisture, and temperature fluctuations will all contribute to damaging over time. So when possible, using the piece on covered porches and patios will prolong its life. You can also recoat every few years or as needed. In either case, you can always give an old or unwanted piece of furniture new life outdoors while adding character to your space.
Make your project easier with metal table legs/bases from Flowyline, why not?
Metal outdoor table legs and bases from Flowyline Design are highly crafted by handmade metal furniture makers, so they are prolonged to use, unique look, contemporary elegance, are budget-saving, easy-setting, and are easy to care for.
Go especially well with any of your table or benchtops, be it the live edge, wood, or epoxy, be it your custom table, dining table, console table, or oval butcher block table.
These metal table legs and bases are always packed nicely, ready to be delivered to spruce up your living space, and come equipped with adjustable levelers hidden well in the feet. All you need to do is to bolt the base on your table or benchtop and go.