Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kids Picnic Bench: Finished and Painted

I finally finished painting Jaynas picnic bench. My husband thought I was crazy to do two coats of paint, antiquing, glazing, staining, and two coats of top coat on an outdoor kids picnic bench, but I love how it turned out.

I am hoping this will be one of those items that Jayna will want to pass down to her kids someday. I built it well enough and treated it well enough that it could be. That is if I can part with it and the memories it will hold by then of her being a little girl playing in my backyard.

For Painting Technique How To Click the Read More Button Below...

I can not express enough the difference your painting tools, products, and techniques can have on your final and finished projects. Now this does in no way mean you have to buy the most expensive paints and tools to have a great finish. It just means you have to be smart and use quality products.

I once again used products from one of my favorite companies General Finishes. The paint used for this project was one of their water based Milk Paints.
Milk Paints are the star of the furniture fashion market. They are interior/exterior acrylic paints suitable for indoor or outdoor furniture, crafts, and cabinets to produce a high quality satin sheen finish. This furniture paint provides a tough, high-quality painted finish for your project and is available in 20 of today’s most popular colors. I chose Buttermilk Yellow for the picnic bench, and applied two coats with a foam brush. (foam brushes are the key. I did not just use them because they are cheap.)

Once painted I used a phillips head screwdriver and sandpaper to antique the picnic bench. I wanted this antiquing to look and feel very light, controlled, and on purpose.  I just loved the star shaped pock marks the screwdriver made. The little clusters look really playful in the corners of the picnic bench. Jayna ended up doing some antiquing of her own to it with an old hinge while I was distracted. So if you do not want your children antiquing all your furniture in the house it may be best to not have them watch you pound furniture with a screwdriver. The sandpaper I just used to run along select edges of wood taking it down to the bare wood so that it will pick up the stain I will apply later. I used a small electric handheld sander to round down all the corners on the picnic bench so that they were safer for Jayna and wouldn't scratch her getting on and off of the bench.

Glazing was the next step I did on the picnic bench. I used my favorite glaze color  Van Dyke Brown from General Finishes
Glaze Effects are translucent water based colors used to create beautiful decorative finishes such as distressing, marble, shabby chic, burnishing, color washing, rag rolling and wood graining. I watered a little of the glaze down (a little goes a long way) so that the look would not be too strong. Then I applied it to the picnic bench with a foam brush immediately wiping it off with a lint free rag. I wanted the glaze to pick up some of the wood grain and dirty the color up just a touch. I didn't bother glazing most of the underneath portions of the bench. 

Next I took q-tips and my Minwax stain in Dark Walnut that I have shown you before and applied the stain to the corners and edges I had previously sanded. Again I used a lint free rag to wipe the stain off almost immediately after I applied it. This step is what gives my corners that dark color. 

Last but not least I applied a General Finishes Exterior 450 clear top coat to the picnic bench. 
Designed for exterior wood applications, EXTERIOR 450 outdoor varnish provides your wood with a tough, protective finish that will withstand the rigors of the sun, rain, and wind. DO NOT over look this step. This step and product will give you so much satisfaction with your project. It will give any furniture piece that factory finish look you have always been trying to achieve. I have used polyurethane and five million other recommend top coats and this the pot of gold. Just apply in even coats with a foam brush again. 

You can see the nice shine and protection it gives the picnic bench.

To find out where you can buy General Finishes products visit their website and look for a retailer near you. Their prices are really reasonable. A pint of Milk Paint is around $12.00, pint of Glaze about $10.00, and a quart of Top Coat will run you $18.00 to $25.00 depending on which one.  Their products go a long way if that seems like a lot to you. All in all I probably spent about $30.00 on this project. I already had the glaze and some of the painting tools.

If you have questions about this project leave a comment or contact me. Thanks!


  1. You are amazing! I absolutely love how the table came out.

  2. What a great project. It surely will be an heirloom!

  3. What a beautiful little table. I love the buttermilk yellow and your finishing is beautiful!

  4. Luv that shade of yellow...looks like somebody luv's it already:)


    I’m having a GIVEAWAY…come by and check it out…I think you will like it!

  5. Gorgeous! Definitely an heirloom that you'll want to pass on to your grandchildren!

    Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours day! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  6. Soooo sweet. I bet your little one really enjoys it. I know my boys always like furniture that is just their size.

  7. The bench looks great. I recently painted a dining room table black using 2 coats of latex paint. I sanded the table really good before and waited about 18 hours between coats. However, the table is pretty tacky feeling still and it's been about 3 weeks. What would be something to use to get the tackiness feel off because I'm quite nervous to put anything on it because I know it will leave a mark. Thanks Jenny