Each year in July our family attends a week long family reunion. We go camping up past Driggs, ID (which if you haven’t been, you should put it on your list) and it’s seriously the highlight of the summer. For as long as we can remember, we’ve had this little wooden table that we take each year and let the kids sit at for meals. Over the years it’s obviously been used, loved and sadly it’s deteriorating. This last year, our mom took the table to a friend who made a pattern to cut out a few replicas of the table. Then guess what we got for Christmas?? Yep, the tables (jump for joy)!! Of course, we couldn’t just let them sit there without adding some life to them so we started brainstorming up some cute ideas to paint and finish them. Without further ado, we bring to you what we like to call “the most amazing, space-saving, super fun Puzzle Picnic Tables!”
Marie – Game Table
Acrylic Paint-for games
Paint brush and/or Sponge Brush
I began by sanding my table. Not an easy project but totally worth it in the long run. I wanted to make it a fun color that I loved but would still be cool in the hot sun, and since I love anything in the shade of turquoise the Ocean Mist was perfect for the table top. I did London Grey for the bottom parts of the table. It ended up looking more of dark brown. I did 3 coats of each color.
Then I measured my table into thirds and taped off my checker board using a 14X14 inch square. My checker squares were 1 3/4 inches. For my tic-tac-toe I measured my lines at an inch. I used white acrylic paint and a foam brush and applied 3 coats to achieve the desired thickness.
Lastly, I did 3 coats of polyurethane, waited for it to dry and then put my table together. I LOVE it and my kids LOVE it. Let the summer fun begin!
Michelle – Hexagon Pattern
Sample Paint Colors for Hexagons
Rollers and/or Sponge Brushes
Gloss Clear Coat Spray Paint
Surprisingly, this came together pretty quick. Don’t let the words “hexagon pattern” scare you. I chose to paint my table solid white and then add some color with the hexagons.
I primed the table pieces first (two coats both sides) and then painted with an exterior white paint (again, two coats both sides). Once the white paint was dry to the touch, I grabbed my hexagon template so I could begin taping the pattern. A few helpful tips — I found my hexagon template here. The great thing is this website has various sizes — I used the 5″ on the tabletop and the 4″ on the bench. I also laminated the hexagon to keep it sturdy while taping and added a little painter’s tape to the back to keep it in place.
Now once I had the hexagon prepped, I found the center of the table and placed my first hexagon here. I taped around it and worked my way out from the center all the way down the one side and then flipped and worked all the way down to the other side. I then put the table together. Mostly so I didn’t have to sit on the ground while I painted each hexagon. Before I did that though, I sealed the tape by painting over all the hexagons with my base paint (in this case, the exterior white). This is a tip a learned a while back. It keeps whatever color is going on top from seeping through and running under the paint. With all my bright colors going on white, this was a MUST!!
After the white paint was dry, I began painting with the other colors. I wanted my color scheme to be “summer fun” so this is the colors I came up with. I actually had all the colors on hand already, except for the yellow. Nothing like using up leftover paint!! I didn’t stick to any pattern. I wanted it to be random so I just started painting.
I actually had to do 3 coats to make sure I couldn’t see any white showing through. Once I had the third coat on (and before the paint dried all the way) I pulled all the tape off. This is always SO scary for me but it worked out perfectly! Lastly, to make it easy to clean off after the kiddos eat or play on it, I sprayed it with a gloss clear coat.
Misty – Pineapple Design
Wrapping Paper or roll of paper
I knew I wanted my table to be something that screamed “SUMMER!” so of course I chose a pineapple. I started off by sanding…and sanding…and SANDING. I wanted it to be SUPER smooth and nice, who likes slivers?! I wanted my pineapple to be gold so I painted the table top front and back in gold. I used almost 2 cans of gold just for the front and back of my table top to get the coverage I wanted. Then I took some wrapping paper and traced around the edge of the tabletop and then drew my pineapple inside of that. This was a time consuming part with a lot of erasing. I used a yard stick to measure and space out the lines evenly. I actually ended up doing too many lines at first so then I decided to just use every other line.
Once I was happy with my design, I went over it with a marker so it was easier to see. Then I began cutting the pieces out. As I cut each piece I taped it on the table in the pineapple shape so I wouldn’t forget where each piece went.
Next I took my pieces and placed them on top of the vinyl and cut them out. Again, I was careful to keep track of where each piece went. Once all the vinyl was cut out I carefully placed the vinyl on the table, spacing each piece out a bit. I was just really careful to make sure all the vinyl was stuck down securely before I started painting. I also made sure not to angle my spray paint when spraying so that paint would not creep under any lifting edges of vinyl. I waited until it was completely dry before peeling off the vinyl. ***I do not recommend using permanent/outdoor vinyl, yes it sticks to the wood better than the indoor/removable vinyl but I felt like it slightly pulled up some of the paint when I removed it.
For an added fun idea I had my boys do their hand prints on the other side of the tabletop, so now it’s reversible! It will be fun to look at these as the years go by. The last step was the coats of polyurethane, in my opinion the most tedious part…are we done yet?! I can’t even explain how GOOD it felt to do the last coat!
I’m completely in LOVE with how this turned out and love how summery it is! It was definitely worth all the sweat, tears and late nights! We are looking forward to lots of hot summer days eating ice cream and evenings of sipping lemonade at this CUTE table.
What do you think? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. We love that they each fit our personalities but most importantly that our kiddos love them and are so excited to use them!
One more thought before we go, the AWESOME thing about these tables — and hence the name “puzzle table” — is it goes up quickly and comes apart quickly. You can seriously take this table anywhere and have it up in no time! We thought you’d like to see these babies come together so we put a quick video together. Cool, right?