Making a concrete outdoor table

Written by jourdan townsend
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Making a concrete outdoor table
Many public parks have concrete furniture. (picnic table image by Xavier MARCHANT from

Outdoor furniture can turn a boring porch or patio into a festive gathering area. Good all-weather furniture, however, can cost a small fortune, and what is affordable for the average homeowner is often not durable. If you'd like to make your own outdoor furniture, take a cue from parks and other public areas. Concrete is durable and can stand up to all kinds of weather, while still being easy to clean and fairly stain-resistant. Seal your new concrete table with masonry sealer to keep it looking sharp for a long time.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Table saw
  • Plastic-coated lumber
  • Wood sealer
  • Paintbrush
  • Trowel
  • Prepared fibre-free concrete
  • Prepared reinforced concrete
  • Rubber float
  • Wooden screed
  • Metal finishing trowel
  • Orbital sander
  • 100-grit sanding discs
  • Soft cloths
  • Water
  • Muriatic acid
  • White plastic bucket
  • Paint roller
  • Garden hose
  • Concrete filler
  • Construction adhesive

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  1. 1

    Decide on the length and width of the table. Cut 2-inch-by-4-inch plastic-coated lumber to the appropriate lengths. Build a square or rectangular frame. Cover one side of the form with more lumber; brush a layer of quick-drying wood sealer over the bottom with a paintbrush and let it dry.

  2. 2

    Create a shell of fibre-free concrete inside of the form. Trowel the concrete on 1 inch thick all over the bottom and sides of the frame. Let the concrete set for 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Fill the form almost full with reinforced concrete. Leave the top quarter of the form empty. Use a rubber float to smooth and level the fibre-free concrete.

  4. 4

    Fill the remaining one-quarter of the form with fibre-free concrete. Use the rubber float to finish the concrete. Drag a wooden screed, or levelling device, from one end of the form to the other to make the concrete level, then smooth the surface with a metal finishing trowel.

  5. 5

    Wait three to four days and remove the concrete from the form. Sand the top and sides of the concrete with a random orbital sander fitted with a 100-grit disc. Wipe down the concrete well with a soft cloth.

  6. 6

    Mix four parts of water and one part of muriatic acid in the white plastic bucket. Gently apply the acid mixture all over the concrete with a paintbrush or paint roller.

  7. 7

    Rinse the concrete thoroughly after 10 to 15 minutes. Let it dry for two days. Apply a 3/8-inch-thick coat of concrete filler over the top and sides of the concrete with a clean rubber float.

  8. 8

    Place a new 100-grit disc into the orbital sander and sand the concrete again. Wipe down the concrete to remove all of the sanding dust. Use construction adhesive to apply metal legs or another base of your choice to the table and let it dry overnight.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not touch the muriatic acid or acid solution. Follow the hazardous chemicals guidelines to dispose of any extra mixture.

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