DIY Garden Table

Written by pat olsen
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DIY Garden Table
Decorate your garden table with ceramic tiles. (ceramic tile floor or wall texture image by Ana de Sousa from Fotolia.com)

This round garden table seats six for an informal afternoon luncheon, or you may decide on a smaller round for the perfect two-seater in a small, private garden nook. This version features a ceramic mosaic tile finish, but the plywood round could also be painted and then embellished with hand-painted art for a one-of-a-kind look. You can buy the base at a lumber store or even use an old pedestal column.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Pre-made table base or pedestal column
  • 60-inch round plywood tabletop to seat six
  • Medium and fine grain sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Polyurethane glue
  • Ceramic tile glue
  • Mastic
  • Variety of ceramic tile pieces, all the same thickness
  • Tile cutter
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Tile sealant
  • Acrylic art paint (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sand the plywood round top with medium and then fine-grain sandpaper to remove splinters and prepare the surface for either paint or ceramic tile glue. Paint the tabletop on both sides with one or two coats of acrylic paint if desired. Dry thoroughly between coats. Painting the underside will help preserve it from the elements.

  2. 2

    Purchase a metallic pedestal table base from the lumber store, and screw the plywood round top into it, or you can adapt a pedestal base by bonding it to the centre of the plywood round with polyurethane glue. Allow the glue to cure for at least 24 hours before lifting the table top.

  3. 3

    Plan a pattern for the top of the table by laying out pieces of ceramic until you find one that pleases you. Use the ceramic tile cutter to clip off sections of tile that overlap the table's edge. Continue to clip and fit the pieces that will be glued around the table's edge.

  4. 4

    Sand the plywood top with medium sandpaper only to create a "tooth" that holds the tile glue. Glue each piece of tile in place according to your pattern. Allow the glue to cure for a day. You may also attach tiles with mastic. This is a resin-based tile adhesive that's much denser than regular tile glue, and it will hold heavier pieces better.

  5. 5

    Mix the grout and apply it with a damp sponge. Press the grout down into the spaces between the tiles. Use a clean damp sponge to wipe excess grout from the tile surfaces. Buff each tile with a soft cloth and then allow the grout to dry thoroughly for at least three days, before finishing it with tile sealant. Apply the sealant according to product directions.

Tips and warnings

  • Hand-painted tole art makes another handsome finish for this table. Even without extensive lessons you can transfer a pattern to a painted tabletop and stroke on acrylic paint to make a pleasing one-of-a-kind finish. Seal with a couple of coats of acrylic finish to protect your work.
  • Although broken ceramic plate shards appear charming on a tabletop, remember that they won't be the same thickness and will form an uneven surface. This can be remedied by using a coating of mastic to glue the pieces to the table, where the thicker pieces can be sunk more deeply into the glue and the thinner pieces floated on top.

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