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Easiest Way to Stain a Wood Table

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I’ve built many DIY tables in the last few years, and I promise you that this is the easiest way to stain a wood table!  I partnered with HomeRight on this project to show you a step by step tutorial!

How to Stain a herringbone Picnic table and benches

A couple of years ago, my husband and I built this herringbone picnic table. We were so tickled with it, because it was built entirely out of the wood from my son’s old tree fort. You can read all about the process HERE and get the free plans.

Well, apparently disassembled tree forts produce quite a bit of wood! In addition to this picnic table, we also made a hammock stand, some planters and this bench on our deck!

Step 6 and After - wood deck with diy storage box

After all that building, we were still left with a nice amount of wood and now we had a picnic table with no seats. Seems like an obvious next project, huh?

So before we got carried away with summer plans again, we set out to build a set of benches for our beloved picnic table.

How to Build a DIY Picnic Table Bench

We really didn’t use any plans for these benches, because we were building them to the exact dimensions of the table we had built. We also were going with picnic benches that were as simple and straight-forward as possible. We may just be a little burnt out on projects after our major renovation!

How to Stain a herringbone Picnic table and benches

You can see above the basic framework we used to assemble the base of the benches. We used pretty much all 1×4’s and 4×4’s because that is what we had left-over and we were determined not to buy any more wood.

Even if your measurements are off based on your specific table, this is a good pattern to use for the framework. This will give you a nice solid bench that doesn’t wobble or tip. I know you’ve all sat on those benches where if a person stands up from one end, the other end goes flying.  Not the case with this bench. This baby is solid as can be!

How to Build a Picnic Table and Benches

Once we had the bases assembled, we used 2×4’s for the seats. We also used additional 1×4’s as an apron around all the sides.

When I built the table originally, I had just sealed the top with Thompson’s Water Seal. It had pretty much completely worn off since then. Since I had 2 “brand new” benches to go with our table, I wanted to stain all 3 pieces to match.

Easiest Way to Stain a Wood Table

Guys. This is the part of a project where I usually start losing steam.

Staining is messy and smelly and I’m always annoyed by how many steps are involved (wipe on, wipe off).

So I’m always backing out and painting wood (like with my wood desk makeover or my upcycled bench projects).

Or else I try to find to new technique that could help me avoid some of those tedious, time-consuming steps.

Enter the HomeRight Stain Sprayer…

How to Stain a Picnic Table_

This was my first time using a sprayer for stain, but it won’t be my last. Anything that can cover a table and 2 benches and ends with my hands looking this clean, gets my seal of approval!

hands after staining

I won’t bore you with the specific details to set up your sprayer, because it comes with a very detailed manual complete with pictures. I followed the steps exactly as the manual outlined and had my sprayer filled and ready to start in just a few minutes.

When you start, make sure your sprayer is about 10″-12″ away from the surface you’re staining. I also try to go in very even, horizontal motions. Try to keep the speed that you’re moving the sprayer the same so that you get a nice even coat.

how to use a stain sprayer on wood

This bench was the 1st piece that I stained. Once I was done with the table and 2nd bench, I immediately photographed this 1st piece.

Just look at that nice even coat!

How to Stain a Picnic benches

The very BEST part, though, is how quickly this part of the project went! Once I had my sprayer filled, I had both benches and table completely done in under 10 minutes!!

Your jaw should be hanging open right now, because that is INSANE!!

Under 10 minutes compared to what would take me hours to do by hand! Yep, I’m sold. In fact, I’m a little annoyed by how much time I have spent hand-staining other pieces of furniture.

I started with this:

How to build benches for a picnic table

And 10 minutes later, I had this:

How to Stain a Picnic table and benches with a sprayer

It was particularly helpful for the tabletop. Anything with intricate patters, like this herringbone top, can be such a paint to try to stain by hand without getting drips or uneven coloring. The sprayer did a perfect job of getting in all those cracks and grooves evenly without any dripping!

Supplies to Stain a DIY Picnic Table and Benches

I used about 2 quarts of stain for both benches and the table. Yours may vary depending on the size of your pieces. 

Be sure to PIN THIS POST for the next time you need to stain a piece of wood furniture!

Easiest way to stain wood furniture