Shabby Chic is all the rage these days, and having a picnic table indoors is certainly that! The low cost of obtaining a picnic table, along with the countless creative ways to stain/paint the table, are the main advantages to utilising a picnic table as a dining table. We couldn't really afford a dining table and chairs at the time, and the picnic table was very rarely used and rotting outside on the lawn. You could easily buy a new picnic table for under £100, buy a used table for peanuts on Gumtree, or even get a second hand one for free on freecycle.
Step 1: Preparation
Firstly, if your picnic table is second hand and in a state of disrepair then it will require some maintenance work. If the table is wet you will need to keep it somewhere dry (indoors, shed etc.) to allow it to dry out. Once the table is dry you will then need to sand it down to remove chips, loose debris, old varnish and algae. You could carefully remove each length of wood and sand them separately, or sand the entire table as a whole.
Additionally, you may need to replace a length of wood or two, and you will also need to check that the table is secure. Ours had a bit of a wobble so we tightened all the bolts, which fixed the problem.
Step 2: Colour
Now you will need to stain or paint the table. We have an old-fashioned, traditional house so we went for a walnut wood stain to match our interior. However, you could choose any colour you liked! White would look match a seaside/nautical theme perfectly.
Step 3: Dress the Table
We considered creating soft cushion seats, using foam and material...however we liked the way the table looked without this. Instead we found a brown and cream runner to go along the middle, and added slate coasters. Finally we placed a homemade willow fruit bowl in the centre.
With thanks to http://www.thehireman.co.uk