Finished Picnic Table

Here is an example of someone using the kind of advice provided in our blog and making something great!  

In this case it was one of our customers who wanted to restore a picnic table using the touch up paints we provide at the end of every project. We provided the step by step instructions found in our blog, they did the work and you can see how nice the results were...

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See how it was done here: How to Finish a New Picnic Table

How to Paint a Concrete Floor

Painting your concrete garage floor can bring a much needed face lift to your space, here are the steps needed for completing your next project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTU3sflz3VI

Prep Work

We recommend starting your project by aggressively sanding the floor using a floor sander that you can rent at most any rental yard or Home Depot.

  • Use very coarse paper 36 or 50 grit and sand the floor completely.
  • It is critically important to clean the floor thoroughly after sanding.
  • Start by vacuuming the dust from the floor.
  • Most manufacturers recommended using an acid wash.
  • Next you'll want to patch any large holes using a patching compound recommended by the manufacturer. Smaller cracks can be filled simply by applying a generous amount of paint.

First Coat

  • Next you'll want to apply your first coat of paint (there will be two total)
  • Cut-in (paint with a brush) around the edge of the space, this helps avoid hitting the edges with your roller.
  • Roll the paint on evenly filling any small cracks with paint

Second Coat

A two coat process is highly recommended even if the manufacturer says you only need one coat. The second coat will help the floor last longer and give you better coverage. As an option you can purchase vinyl paint flecks that match your floor. In order to apply these follow these steps:

  • Paint a small square of floor
  • Shake on the flecks, be sure to apply them in small patches while the paint is wet.
  • Leave yourself a little room between painted sections so that you can overlap the floor paint properly without picking up fleck in the paint.

Clear Coat

Using at least one coat of clear finish is strongly recommended because it will help seal the paint flex and give your floor greater resilience.

A couple cautionary notes, floors tend to be subject to hydro-static pressure from under the slab. This sometimes leads to paint failure and no manufacturer will guarantee against that. Also, most all floor coatings today claim that they will resist hot tire marks, but we have found over the years that it can sometimes still be a problem.

 

Here's hoping your floor project comes out looking spectacular.

How to Dispose of Paint

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Disposing of paint may seem like a simple process but it may be more complex than you first thought. It may be tempting to throw out old paint in the garbage but first you will need to know if the paint is oil based or water based.

Oil Based

If the paint you want to be rid of is oil based the law says it is hazardous material and it must be recycled by a firm the is qualified to handle these products. This can vary widely by state and locality. The easiest way to figure this out is to google “where can I recycle old paint near me”? In California this includes many paint stores funded by a tax on every gallon of paint sold. Also local recycling centers usually will take up to ten gallons.

Water Based

Water based paint can be thrown away if they are fully dry. If you have some water based paints you would like to get rid of without going to a recycling center we have quick way to dry out the paint so that it is suitable to throw away. Buy some of the cheapest cat litter you can get and stir that into the paint. Let it stand a while and once it is good and firm it can be thrown out in the trash. If you are looking at a full gallon of paint you will need to use a five gallon bucket to give yourself room to add enough cat litter.

Easy right?

How to Finish a New Picnic Table

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Summer is here and you need a new picnic table for your backyard. The good news is you saw one at the local home-improvement store for a very reasonable price. The bad news is it's not finished, it's raw wood. What do you do? Here are three basic options: clear sealer, staining with a clear sealer topcoat, or painting. With any of these options you will have a weatherproof service that will allow you to wash off any cute child size fingerprints as well as the last vestiges of your evening picnic.

The best place to start your project is by finishing the table before you assemble it. If your table is already put together you can still finish it in the assembled condition. However, the places where one piece of wood meets another will not get thoroughly finished, therefore they are not protected.

Clear Finish Option

If you like the look of the wood the picnic bench is made out of you may want to take the simplest of all options which is to apply three nice coats of a water-based or oil-based clear sealer. We are talking about varnish or polyurethane here. The oil based products are a little smelly, but they're incredibly durable. If you want the most bulletproof of all clear finishes, they can be found at your local Marine supply store. I personally like Epifanes oil based full gloss varnish for this type of project. Oil base can be smelly and take a long time to dry, so as an alternative you can use a high quality, water-based finish from Rust-Oleum.

Steps

  • Pre-sand all the wood
  • Use a very short nap roller and a good paint brush
  • Thin the first coat just a little bit with some water, this helps it soak into the wood better.
  • Sand in between each coat using a fine sandpaper after the second coat. This should give you a smooth finish.
  • Strain the clear coat after the second coat to be sure there are no particles from earlier coats contaminating that last glorious coat of finish.

Paint Option

two-color-tableThe paint option offers you a wide variety of colors. Some folks like to two-tone paint the bench and support members to give a fun and colorful finish to the picnic table. When choosing your paint it is important to note that you will get a little more wear and protection out of semi-gloss but if that's just too shiny for you the satin should work just fine for many years.

 

 

Steps

  • Pre-sand the wood before you get started.
  • Apply a full coat of primer to all surfaces with a good oil-based or water-based exterior primer.
  • Allow that coat of primer to dry thoroughly
  • Apply two finish coats of satin or semi-gloss exterior enamel.
  • Follow the sanding and straining instructions in the first option.

Stain Option

Our last option is to stain the bench with some nice semi-transparent stain. I strongly recommend on oil based semi-transparent stain. The water-based semi-transparent stain doesn't seem to provide as nice a finish as the old oil base products. After you select your stain color and apply it, you are going to want to put at least three coats of the clear finish we discussed earlier over that stain to protect it from the weather.

Stain and clear finish steps

  • Pre-sand the wood
  • Apply your stain using roller, brush and then wipe off excess with a rag.
  • If you are using the oil based stain do not stack up those rags as they can spontaneously combust… no kidding!
  • Hang them to dry for a day or two or soak them in a bucket of water.
  • Apply three coats of the clear sealer as we discussed above.

Like any surface if you live in a place where you get a lot of rain or snow you may want to cover the table to increase the longevity of your finished product. With the clear coat option you will want to keep an eye on any deterioration and recoat the weathered surfaces about every 12 to 18 months. A light sanding and a quick coat of varnish will extend the life of your new table by many years. Enjoy your summer fun!