DIY Outdoor Table Redo

The treasures from trash mentality makes furniture renovation a highly sustainable DIY project. Want to make a creative redo forever green? Choose materials that will last, and an antique that will stand the test of time. Consider it a cheap thrill for your home.

If not for the sheer reuse value, most would agree that renovating a piece of furniture is more eco-friendly than buying a replacement. This is becoming the standard for those who strive to reduce, reuse and recycle. Renovating furniture in an environmentally conscious manner brings a home closer to being in harmony with the environment.

What makes this table green? The table was a hand-me-down in disrepair. We used it for years and years with the broken tiled top, but when we renovated our screened-in porch, we decided it give the ‘ol babe a facelift. The slate was leftover from a woodstove backdrop we did a few years ago. The paint and caulking was also hanging around in the garage. We bought only the bonding adhesive which has the Greenguard stamp. This means the product has been certified for indoor air quality making it a safer alternative to most adhesives.

DIY Outdoor Table Redo Materials

  • Table: We used an old iron table base with broken tiles. These types of tables sometimes can be found fitted with a glass top in junk stores or garage sales.
  • Tiles: We used 8 X 8 slate quarry tiles. Many tile stores have assorted leftover tiles and they will give them away rather than throw the tiles in the garbage. For an alternative to a tile top, cork, bamboo or other leftover flooring can be used and cut to size. Ask flooring companies or contractors for leftovers.
  • Steel brush
  • Dust Mask
  • Adhesive: we used Liquid Nails
  • Caulk and caulking gun

What to do:

1. If the table is rusty, clean it up with a steel brush. Use a good dust mask when cleaning, especially if there are any paint remnants. Vacuum up the rust and paint chips when done.
2. Paint the table.
3. Once the materials have been fitted to the tabletop, glue them using an adhesive and a caulking gun.
4. For tiles, you may need to grout them once the adhesive has dried. Cork or bamboo can be caulked around the edges to finish the project.

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.


Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago


Pat W.
Pat W5 years ago

What fun!

Tim Cheung
Tim C5 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago

Very clever!

Darla G.
Darla G.7 years ago


gail d.
gail dair7 years ago


Laurie T.
Laurie T8 years ago

I used a similar application on an old patio table. This was one of those plastic type tables that should never have been manufactured to begin with. I had a few left over tiles from my bathroom reno and some other tiles found in someone's garbage. i broke them up and using green contact cement, glued them into a mosaic pattern and used eco-friendly outdoor grout to fill in the spaces. (When I find the grout container, I'll post it!) My little recycled plastic table has held out for over 6 years now and still looking good.
Another DIY salvaged project was to replace a bureau top that was too badly damaged, with a piece of countertop, salvaged from a Habitat for Humanity re-sale shop. It looks just like a real marble top and now has a beautiful new life in my kitchen!