Learn How to Transform a Patio Set Into a Summery Lemonade and Snack Table

It's easy to restore outdoor furniture with a coat of paint and a scalloped edge.

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outdoor patio table and chairs
Photo: Ashley Poskin

The summer sun can wreak havoc on your outdoor furniture, especially if it sits outside unprotected during the winter months. After a few years, it can start looking old and worn, and you might be tempted to replace it with something new—but before setting it out on the curb, consider giving it a second look.

For this restoration project, we tackled an out-of-date, almond-colored patio table using a few cans of spray paint and some strategically-placed stickers to create a classic scalloped edge. While we were at it, we traced on some perfectly positioned placemats that can be easily wiped clean and will never go missing. Paired with ​French bistro chairs​ ($256 for 2, overstock.com) and a classic ​cabana-style striped patio umbrella​ ($109, overstock.com), this furniture set was restored to be the center for all outdoor dining this summer and beyonf.

To recreate the look at home, follow our steps: For a table of similar size and shape (in fiberglass with metal legs), you will need approximately two cans of primer and two cans of spray paint. You can certainly use a roller or brush to apply the paint, but spray paint makes covering the legs much easier; pick up a Rust-Oleum ​Spray Grip​ ($5, amazon.com) to make the process even smoother.

patio table before and after restoration project
Ashley Poskin


Before painting, clean the table with mild dish soap and a hose to remove any dirt, cobwebs, or other debris. Next, take a fine-grit sanding block ($5.71, amazon.com) and quickly go over the surface of the table, around the edge, and on the legs. You aren't looking to remove paint from the surface, just looking to scratch it up and provide an adhesive surface for the primer. Wipe clean with spray and a dust cloth.

painting a scalloped edge on the patio table
Ashley Poskin


Spray the table with primer, then give it a top coat according to the directions on the can. We used Rust-Oleum's Flat White Clean Metal Primer ($4.27, amazon.com) and Semi Gloss White Spray Paint ($4.38, amazon.com), respectively. For best results, hold the can 6 to 8 inches away from the surface of the table, and move in quick sweeping motions back and forth. Be sure to give your table ample time to dry between coats.

To create a scallop pattern, apply Avery Round Color-Coding Labels ($4, amazon.com) all around the edge of the table so that the left side of the circle slightly overlaps the previously laid sticker. Go around each edge and press firmly. Next, use ScotchBlue Sharp Lines Multi-Surface Painter's Tape ($10.36, homedepot.com) and cover over the top half of the circles to protect the top portion of the table from the contrasting paint. To prevent any potential bleeds, spray a layer of base coat ($10, amazon.com) to seal the stickers' edges.

Once the base coat seal is dry, paint any exposed areas around the edges of the table in a contrasting color. We chose Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover Premium Latex Paint in Semi-Gloss Black ($4, walmart.com) Remove the tape and stickers before the contrasting color dries to avoid peeling the latex paint; let the painted edge cure for at least 24 hours.​ (Note: Since sticker labels aren't specially formulated in the same way painter's tape is, you may experience some stickers leaving behind a sticky residue. If this happens, don't peel up the residue up right away, let the table cure overnight before gently rubbing the remaining stickers off.)


Lose the fuss of setting a table with our easy-breezy summer solution: paint them. We traced the outline of a scalloped charger ($3, michaels.com), then brushed on the same black paint used for the edge of the table, but this could also be done in chalkboard paint. (Then, imagine drawing on new designs each time you dine al fresco.)

Lastly, you'll want to coat the entire table and legs with Rust-Oleum American Accents Semi-Gloss Clear Spray Paint ($10, amazon.com) to prevent chips or scratches. Set the table in a safe place and let the paint cure for at least five days before using it. Dress it up with a new ​umbrella​, ​chairs​, and soft cushions, and you won't think twice about missing out on your favorite restaurant.

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