How to Build a Wooden Table for Outside

Do you want to take your outdoor entertaining to the next level? Are you tired of using plastic tables and chairs for friends and family gatherings? Then building a wooden table for outside is the right project for you!

How to Build a Wooden Table for Outside

With just some basic supplies, this DIY project won’t require much time or money but will provide an extra touch of class to any backyard. In this blog post, we’ll cover the materials needed, how to build it step-by-step and offer ideas on customizing it for that perfect outdoor stylish look. Always follow safety guidelines when handling tools and saws.

Read on to learn more about how to build a wooden table for outside that will have kids and adults alike admiring!

What Will You Need?

Be sure to read the specifications of your wood type to ensure you use proper dimensions, as woods vary in size. You’ll need:

  • Wood boards (3/4 inch thick) – four side pieces and four top boards, depending on the table size
  • Deck screws (2 inch)
  • A circular saw
  • Sandpaper (220-grit)
  • Drill bits (countersink and drill size matching the screws)
  • Wood glue
  • Polyurethane sealer

Once you have the materials, it’s time to get building!

8 Easy Steps on How to Build a Wooden Table for Outside

Step 1: Building the Table Top

Start by cutting your wood boards to the desired length for your tabletop. Remember, the length and width of your tabletop will dictate the overall size of your table, so plan accordingly. If you have a table saw, this is the ideal tool for the job as it provides a precise and straight cut.

Cutting Your Wood Boards

Ensure to follow safety guidelines while operating the saw. After cutting, line up your board’s side by side to form the tabletop. Inspect each piece to confirm they are of the same length. The next step will be securing them together, which we will cover in the following section.

Step 2: Securing the Table Top

Now that your boards are cut and lined up, it’s time to secure them together to form your tabletop. Place two smaller pieces of wood perpendicular to your tabletop boards at each end. These will act as support. Apply a line of wood glue along each support where it will make contact with the tabletop boards, then place it back down onto the boards.

Pre-drill holes through each support into the tabletop boards to prevent the wood from splitting. Use your deck screws to secure the supports to the tabletop boards. Make sure the screws are well embedded, with their heads flush with the surface of the wood. Finally, let the glue dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Building the Table Legs

With your tabletop assembled, it’s time to move onto the legs. Cut four pieces of wood to your desired height, becoming your table legs. Remember, the height of your table will significantly impact its functionality and comfort, so choose carefully.

A typical outdoor table stands about 29 to 31 inches high. After cutting, sand each piece to remove any rough edges. Be careful not to sand too much, as you don’t want to shorten the pieces.

Step 4: Attach the Legs

Apply a Layer of Wood Glue

Next, attach each leg to the bottom of your tabletop. First, apply a layer of wood glue where the leg will connect with the tabletop. Then, pre-drill holes through the tabletop into the top of each leg to prevent splitting.

Secure each leg with deck screws, ensuring they are well embedded and their heads are flush with the tabletop surface. It’s crucial to ensure all legs are equal in length and correctly attached to ensure your table stands evenly and sturdily.

Step 5: Strengthening the Structure

You’ll add support beams between the legs to strengthen your table. Cut four pieces of wood to the length between the legs. These pieces will be attached parallel to the tabletop, connecting each pair of legs at their midpoint.

Apply wood glue to each end of the support beam before positioning it between the legs. Pre-drill holes and secure each support beam with deck screws. This additional support will add rigidity to the table, making it more durable and long-lasting.

Step 6: Sand and Finish

Once your table is structurally complete, it’s time to sand and finish it. Start by sanding the entire table, including the legs, to smooth out rough spots or sharp edges. Ensure you wipe off any dust with a damp cloth after sanding. This step is crucial as it not only improves the visual appeal of your table but also prevents potential splinters.

Once you’re satisfied with the smoothness, apply a coat of polyurethane sealer to protect your table from outdoor elements. This will help preserve your table’s durability and lifespan. Allow the sealer to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before using the table. Congratulations, you’ve just built your own wooden table for outside!

Sanding the Entire Table

Step 7: Final Touches

With your table built and sealed, you now have the opportunity to add any final touches that suit your style or needs. Consider staining your table a specific color to match your outdoor decor or applying a second coat of sealer for extra protection.

Consider adding soft pads to the bottom of the table legs to avoid scratching your deck or patio. You can also install hooks on the side of the table to hold grilling tools or hanging plants for added functionality and aesthetic appeal. Remember, this is your creation – feel free to personalize it.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Table

Now that you’ve put the final touches on your table, it’s time to enjoy it! Whether you use it as a dining table for summer barbecues, a display stand for your favorite outdoor plants, or even as a place to relax and enjoy a good book, your homemade table is a testament to your skills and creativity.

Remember to care for your table by cleaning it regularly and reapplying the sealer as necessary to protect it from the elements. Proper maintenance ensures that your outdoor wooden table provides years of service and enjoyment.

Following the steps outlined above, you can easily build a wooden table outdoors in no time. With some basic tools and materials, plus your creativity and hard work, you can create something practical and visually stunning. So get building – your outdoor table is waiting!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

Applying a Uv-resistant Coating
  1. Use waterproof glue or sealant when attaching the pieces of lumber. This will protect your table from the rain and other elements.
  2. Before assembling, pre-treat all wood that is to be exposed to humidity with a protective varnish or water-repellent solution. This will help prevent splitting, warping, and cracking due to moisture.
  3. If you plan to use your wooden table in an area that receives direct sunlight, applying a UV-resistant coating on the surface is a good idea. This will help prevent premature fading.
  4. Make sure to use screws that are appropriate for outdoor furniture and the type of wood you are using. Stainless steel or brass screws are recommended for best performance and longevity.
  5. Lastly, if you use a wooden top for your table, it is best to cover it with an umbrella or other shade source when not in use. This will help protect the wood from sun damage and fading.

With these tips and tricks, you can build a beautiful and durable wooden table that will last for years of outdoor use.

6 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid using nails or staples to join the pieces of lumber together. These will not provide a secure connection and can easily be pulled apart by the elements.
  2. Do not use regular wood glue for outdoor furniture, as it is not designed to withstand exposure to moisture and humidity.
  3. Do not drill holes in pieces of lumber without considering the type of wood you are using and the position of the screws. This could weaken the structure of your table.
  4. Do not leave your wooden table exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, as it can cause fading or damage to the wood over time.
  5. Avoid using any type of oil-based paint on outdoor furniture. Oil-based paints will attract dirt and grime, making it much harder to keep your table clean.
  6. Do not use pressure-treated wood for outdoor furniture, as the chemicals are toxic and hazardous to your health.

By following these tips, you can build a beautiful and long-lasting wooden table that can withstand the elements and last for years.

How Do You Waterproof a Wood Table?

Waterproofing a wood table is an important step in ensuring your furniture can withstand exposure to moisture and humidity without warping or cracking. Clean the surface with mild soap and lukewarm water to waterproof a wooden table. Then, apply two coats of sealer or varnish designed for outdoor use and let it dry completely between each coat.

Avoid Using Any Type of Oil-based Paint

For extra protection, you can apply a clear or tinted sealer on top of the varnish to ensure your table is water-resistant. Lastly, when setting up your outdoor wooden table, placing it in a shady area with minimal direct sunlight is best. This will help prevent fading and discoloration caused by UV rays.

You should also ensure to periodically inspect and clean your wooden table for any signs of wear or damage. Regular maintenance will ensure that your outdoor furniture remains in great condition and looks its best for years.

Now, with these tips, you’ll be able to build a beautiful and durable wood table to withstand the elements for years of outdoor enjoyment.


Building a wooden table outdoors can seem daunting – but with the right materials, plans, and tools, you can do it! From start to finish, taking your time and being aware of safety risks should always be your top priority.

With the right measurements, cuts, and attention to detail, you’ll have a beautiful and lasting piece of furniture you made yourself. To prolong the life expectancy of your new table, make sure to treat or stain the wood properly based on its type and the location of where it will be placed.

And if you ever choose to change up the look down the line, remember that sanding it down and painting over is an option. Overall, be proud of yourself for completing such a task – there’s nothing quite like looking at something you made with your own hands!

Hopefully, the article on how to build a wooden table for outside has given you valuable insights and tips on getting started. Now that you have the know-how, it’s time to start building! Good luck and happy crafting!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

Leave a Comment