Introduction: How to Paint a Table

In this instructable, I will show you how to paint and waterproof a custom table for all sorts of activities. This project is not very easy and requires a lot of time and patience.


For this Instructable you will need:

- wooden slab (whatever size suits you best)

- table legs (you can choose to make these or buy ones already made, making these will not be included in this instructable)

- Paint and paintbrushes (whatever kind you want, I think heavy acrylic works best)

- primer

- Sealer(Rustoleum Clear Gloss Sealer is Great to use)

Above are the essentials for the table but I also highly recommend you gather these items too:

- ruler

- painters tape

- exacto knife

- carbon copier paper

- sandpaper

Step 1: Priming the Table

For this step, It helps to sand your wooden slab first and then apply coats of primer. I used two coats which I found to work pretty well but its really all up to you.

Step 2: Form a Layout

You'll want to form a nice layout to help guide you when painting your table. I sketched out to scale where my different paintings would be on the board to help me with measurements and to say on task. I recommend keeping an open mind because your ideas will change and you might decide you don't want something or you want to add something. My layout changes at least 5 times probably more.

Step 3: Painting the Table

Now you begin the fun part. There are different methods of painting that you can use when panting your table. This will also be the most time-consuming part of the project.

1. Free Hand -this is by far the most challenging way to paint and all you need is your ideas, paint, and your brushes and you can get started. In order to do this, you don't need much but you do need a steady hand to form good lines. This will take the longest to complete.

2. Carbon Copy Paper- I recommend this method because it is more precise and tends to be quicker. There are different steps and the supplies recommended on the first page are also required.


carbon copier paper

painters tape

Exacto knife


1. first paint the background color of the section of your table.

2. Wait till the background section is dry, and then cover that section in tape. Make sure you know the borders of that section because it's easy to lose them when covered in tape.

3. Next, Print the image, decal, etc. of what you want to put on your table and tape that picture to the correct side of the carbon copy paper.

4. Then, tape the copy paper down on the section of your table and begin to trace the image, decal, etc. and then remove the copy paper.

5. With precision, take your Exacto knife and cut along the carbon copied lines and then pick out the tape.

6, Finally paint over the tape and wait till dry and then remove all the tape in that section.

These are the two common methods and I used a little bit of both.It all depends on the image you want to paint and how you want it to look.\

I also used fluorescent paint for effect under a UV light.

Do this for all your sections.

Step 4: Sealing the Table

Once you've completed all the painting your going to want to seal your table. I used Rustoleum Clear High Gloss to seal my table and did 2 final coats. '

Tip: If you're worried about paint getting on your finished sections it helps to spray a quick coat of sealer just over that certain section.

Step 5: Finished Product

Now your all done!

You'll notice I left two sections blank, in my case this is a gift for a friend and he wanted to do his own designs in those sections but you might consider leaving sections blank for ideas later down the road.