How to Build an Outdoor Wooden Table: A Friendly Guide

Building an outdoor wooden table is a great way to add functionality and style to your outdoor space. Whether you want to entertain guests, enjoy a meal with your family, or simply relax outside, a wooden table can provide the perfect setting. With the right tools and materials, building a wooden table can be a fun and rewarding DIY project.

To get started, you will need to choose the right type of wood for your table. Cedar, redwood, and teak are popular choices for outdoor furniture because they are durable and weather-resistant. You will also need to decide on the size and design of your table. Consider how many people you want to seat and what type of activities you will use the table for. Once you have a plan in place, you can start gathering your materials and tools.

Choosing the Right Wood

When building an outdoor wooden table, choosing the right type of wood is crucial to ensure its longevity and durability. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the right wood for your project.

Hardwood vs Softwood

The first thing to consider is whether to use hardwood or softwood. Hardwood is denser and more durable than softwood, making it a better choice for outdoor furniture. However, hardwood is also more expensive than softwood. Softwood is less dense and less expensive than hardwood, but it is still a good option for outdoor furniture as long as it is properly treated and maintained.

Weather-Resistant Woods

Another important factor to consider is the wood’s ability to withstand weather conditions. Some woods are naturally weather-resistant, while others require treatment to become resistant. Here are some popular weather-resistant woods:

Wood Characteristics
Teak Naturally weather-resistant, durable, expensive
Cedar Naturally weather-resistant, lightweight, affordable
Redwood Naturally weather-resistant, durable, expensive
Pressure-treated pine Requires treatment, affordable, widely available

It is important to note that even weather-resistant woods require regular maintenance to prolong their lifespan. This includes applying sealant or stain to protect the wood from moisture and UV rays.

By considering the type of wood and its weather-resistant properties, you can ensure that your outdoor wooden table will last for years to come.

Tools and Materials Needed

Building an outdoor wooden table requires a few essential tools and materials. Here is a list of what you will need to get started:


  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Kreg Jig
  • Clamps
  • Orbital sander
  • Jigsaw
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Ear protection
  • Dust mask
  • Work gloves


  • 3 pieces of 1×6 lumber at 8ft long
  • 5 pieces of 1×4 lumber at 8ft long
  • 3 pieces of 1×3 lumber at 8ft long
  • 2 pieces of 4×4 lumber at 8ft long
  • 1/2 inch thick scrap wood at 3ft long
  • 1 1/4 inch Kreg screws (weather-resistant)
  • Waterproof wood glue
  • Exterior wood stain (quart)

Before you start building, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. You can find most of these items at your local hardware store or online. It’s important to wear safety gear when using power tools, so don’t forget to grab your safety glasses, ear protection, dust mask, and work gloves before you start.

The lumber sizes listed above are just a guide. You can adjust the size of the table to fit your needs, but make sure to adjust the amount of lumber accordingly. Also, make sure the lumber you choose is suitable for outdoor use. Pressure-treated or cedar lumber is a good choice because it’s resistant to rot and decay.

In addition to the tools and materials listed above, you may also need some additional hardware such as bolts, nuts, and washers. These will depend on the design of your table and how you plan to attach the legs. Make sure to have these on hand before you start building.

Designing Your Table

When it comes to building an outdoor wooden table, the design is an important aspect to consider. You want to make sure that the table fits your needs and style preferences. Here are some things to consider when designing your table.

Size and Proportions

The size of your table will depend on how many people you want to seat and how much space you have available. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 24 inches of table space per person. You should also consider the height of the table, which should be around 30 inches for comfortable seating.

Proportions are also important when designing your table. You want to make sure that the legs are sturdy enough to support the weight of the tabletop. A good ratio to follow is a 1:2 ratio between the legs and the tabletop. For example, if your tabletop is 36 inches wide, your legs should be at least 18 inches apart.

Style and Aesthetics

The style and aesthetics of your table are also important to consider. You want to make sure that the table matches the overall look and feel of your outdoor space. Some popular styles for outdoor wooden tables include farmhouse, rustic, and modern.

When choosing the wood for your table, consider the color and grain pattern. Cedar and redwood are popular choices for outdoor furniture because they are naturally resistant to rot and decay. If you want a darker wood, consider using mahogany or teak.

You can also add design elements to your table, such as a decorative edge or a patterned tabletop. Just make sure that any design elements you choose do not compromise the structural integrity of the table.

In summary, when designing your outdoor wooden table, consider the size and proportions to ensure it is functional and sturdy, and the style and aesthetics to ensure it matches the overall look and feel of your outdoor space.

Preparing the Wood

Before you start building your outdoor wooden table, it’s important to properly prepare the wood. This will help ensure that your table looks great and lasts for years to come. The two main steps in preparing the wood are cutting and sanding.


The first step in preparing your wood is cutting it to the right size. Make sure you have all the necessary tools, including a saw, measuring tape, and square. Measure and mark your wood according to your plans, and then carefully cut along your markings. Double-check your measurements and cuts to make sure everything is accurate before moving on to sanding.


Once you’ve cut your wood to the right size, it’s time to sand it. Sanding helps smooth out any rough spots or edges, and prepares the wood for staining or painting. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots, and then move on to a finer grit sandpaper to smooth everything out. Be sure to sand both the top and bottom of your wood pieces, as well as any edges or corners.

As you sand, be sure to wear a dust mask and safety goggles to protect yourself from sawdust and debris. You may also want to use a sanding block to help keep your sandpaper flat and even. Once you’ve finished sanding, wipe down your wood with a damp cloth to remove any remaining sawdust.

By properly preparing your wood through cutting and sanding, you’ll be well on your way to building a beautiful and durable outdoor wooden table.

Table Assembly

Building the Frame

To build the frame of your outdoor wooden table, you will need to follow the steps below:

  1. Cut four pieces of wood to the desired length for the legs.
  2. Cut four additional pieces of wood to the desired length for the top and bottom rails.
  3. Use wood screws to attach the top and bottom rails to the legs, making sure they are level.
  4. Add diagonal braces between the legs for added stability.

Attaching the Top

Once you have built the frame of your outdoor wooden table, it’s time to attach the top. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Cut your desired table top to size and sand the edges smooth.
  2. Place the table top on the frame and make sure it is centered.
  3. Use wood screws to attach the table top to the frame, making sure they are evenly spaced.
  4. If desired, add additional support to the underside of the table top for added stability.

Once you have completed these steps, your outdoor wooden table is ready to be used and enjoyed!

Finishing Touches

After building your outdoor wooden table, it’s time to add the finishing touches. This will not only enhance the appearance of your table but also protect it from weather elements. Here are two important sub-sections to consider:

Applying Sealant

Applying a sealant is crucial to protect your table from moisture and UV rays. There are different types of sealants available in the market, including oil-based, water-based, and polyurethane. Here are some steps to follow when applying a sealant:

  1. Sand the surface of the table to remove any rough spots or splinters.
  2. Clean the surface with a damp cloth and let it dry completely.
  3. Apply the sealant using a brush or roller, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Let the first coat dry completely before applying a second coat.
  5. Repeat the process until you achieve the desired level of protection.

Adding Decorative Details

Adding decorative details to your outdoor wooden table can make it stand out and add a personal touch. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Paint the table in your favorite color or add a design using stencils.
  • Add a tablecloth or runner to protect the surface and add a pop of color.
  • Add a centerpiece such as a vase of flowers, candles, or a bowl of fruit.
  • Use decorative plates, glasses, and utensils when dining outdoors.
  • Add cushions or pillows to the chairs for added comfort and style.

Remember to choose materials that are weather-resistant and suitable for outdoor use. With these finishing touches, your outdoor wooden table will be ready for many enjoyable meals and gatherings with family and friends.

Maintenance Tips

Taking care of your outdoor wooden table is essential to ensure it lasts for many years. In this section, we’ll cover some tips on how to maintain your table properly.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is the key to keeping your outdoor wooden table in good condition. Here are some tips on how to clean your table:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush or a sponge to remove dirt and debris.
  • Mix a mild detergent with water and apply it to the table with a sponge or brush.
  • Scrub the table gently and evenly.
  • Rinse the table with clean water.
  • Allow the table to dry completely.

Annual Check-Up

It’s a good idea to give your outdoor wooden table an annual check-up to ensure it’s still in good condition. Here are some things to look for:

  • Check for any signs of rot or decay.
  • Inspect the table for cracks or splits.
  • Look for any loose or broken parts.
  • Check the table’s finish for any signs of wear.

If you notice any issues, it’s important to address them as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your table. You may need to sand and refinish your table or replace any damaged parts.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your outdoor wooden table looking great for many years to come.

Leave a Reply