Refinish Redwood Picnic Table (Like A Pro)




Redwood furniture is undoubtedly very precious and expensive. Whether outdoor furniture or indoor, the premium quality and elegant look of the redwood blossoms up the environment anyhow and increases the natural beauty. But what if the redwood furniture becomes dull and loses its shine? It would be terrible.

Refinish Redwood Picnic Table

Do you want to fix redwood outdoor furniture or a picnic table? Need to refinish the table? But wondering, how to refinish redwood picnic table? No need to be worried. Read ahead and get the solution to your problems.

Redwood Picnic Table Refinish

In short, if the redwood picnic loses its shine and becomes dull, the only solution without replacing it is to refinish the table. The right refinishing methods with proper guidelines can undoubtedly bring you the best outcome and help the table get back its beauty, elegance, and shine.

Wait a moment before you rush to refinish the table. This is not everything about the process. To learn about the entire process read ahead and bring the best outcome for your redwood furniture. So without wasting a second, let’s dive into the process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Different types of finishes are available such as stain, paint, oil finish, etc to refinish the redwood picnic table.
  • The restoration process of a redwood picnic table has many steps such as gathering the tools and materials, cleaning the table, sanding, applying wood brightener, and refinishing.
  • During the refinishing process, one needs to apply the right finish on the table and let the finish dry before applying another coat of finish.

Different Types Of Finishes That Can Be Used On Redwood Picnic Tables?

If you are thinking about what do you finish a redwood picnic table with, let me tell you one thing, different types of finishes are there that can be used on a redwood picnic table. However, it is better to choose the appropriate finish for a redwood picnic table before you start the process. Want to know about the finishes? No worries, I am here to help you deal with this. The different types of wood finishes are:


Mainly, the stain is a popular and perfect choice for redwood outdoor furniture. It helps to enhance the natural beauty of the picnic table while applying the natural colour. You can choose the stain of any appropriate shade you want. Wood stains can protect the picnic table from UV Rays.


Sealer is one of the best finishes for a redwood picnic table. This is a very popular choice. The sealer will work as a protective layer and protect the table from any kind of damage like water damage, warping, etc.


Basically, paint is something different and can bring a different look to the redwood grains or to the picnic table. You can choose any colour of paint from your choice and paint the picnic table and get protection against any kind of element.


Varnish is a durable finish and can help you bring a glossy and shiny look to the redwood table. The outdoor finishes can help you to protect your redwood picnic table from UV rays and daily wear and tear. You can use varnish during the restoration of the hardware table.


Oil finishes like teak oil, tung oil, linseed oil, or oil-based polyurethane finishes, etc are also good choices. Oil finishes can increase the natural beauty and can protect the redwood picnic table from water damage as well. There are oil-based finishes and water best and you can choose the best oil for outdoor redwood table restore process according to your preference. Oil finish is a perfect choice for refinishing a mahogany table as well.

These are the types of finishes for redwood furniture and you can choose the one that is more suitable for you or according to your preference.

How Do You Restore An Outdoor Redwood Table?

To restore outdoor redwood furniture you need to go through a process that needs to be maintained properly along with the guidelines. Want to know the process? Here you go:

How Do You Restore An Outdoor Redwood Table

Gather The Tools And Materials

To restore a redwood table you need some necessary tools and materials and need to use them in the right way. Such as:

  • Sandpaper like coarse sandpaper, or fine-grit sandpaper to sand the table and remove existing finish. You might need sandpapers to refinish the kitchen table without stripping.
  • Sanding blocks to sand the table smoothly.
  • Paintbrush or roller to apply wood brightener, stain, or finishes to the table.
  • Finishes like wood stain or sealer to finish the table.
  • Clean cloth or dry cloth to clean the table.

Clean The Table

Start the process of cleaning the table. First, clean the wood surface and the entire table with a dry cloth. Make sure you are using a clean cloth. Remove the dust, dirt, or debris from the table. Now clean the picnic table with mild soapy water and a clean cloth. Make sure you are not using any cleaning product that contains harsh cleaning chemicals. Let the table dry before you move forward.

Sand The Table

After cleaning the table properly, it is time to sand the redwood outdoor furniture. Sand the table with coarse sandpaper or fine-grit sandpaper lightly. Remove the old finish and stains. Try to use the finer sandpapers. Keep sanding lightly until you get a smooth wood surface. This step is necessary to get a shiny surface.

Apply Wood Brightener

Applying a wood brightener is a very important step for restoring outdoor redwood furniture. It can help you to restore the natural colour of the redwood. Let it dry completely before you rinse it off with water.

Apply A Finish

After ending the process of applying a wood brightener, check the table by pressing your finger lightly on the wood surface and see whether it is dry or not. Now apply the suitable finish on the unfinished redwood according to your needs such as paint, stain, sealer, oil, resin finish, etc. It is better to use a high-quality finish for a shiny surface and a better outcome.

This is how you can restore your redwood picnic table before you start the process of refinishing. Make sure you are following the steps properly during the entire restoration process.

How To Refinish Redwood Picnic Table? Step-By-Step Guidelines

Confused about whether to refinish  redwood picnic table before and after restoration? If so, the answer is after restoring the table you need to refinish it. And refinishing has a process of its own.

How To Refinish Redwood Picnic Table

I know you might be wondering what it is. No worries, I brought you the step-by-step guidelines to help you to complete the refinishing goal. Such as:

Gathering Tools And Materials

If you are reading this long you may read the restoration process above. Didn’t you? So let me clear you one thing, till now the process is exactly the same and I am explaining a part of the restoration process in detail for you which is “refinishing a redwood picnic table or outdoor furniture”.  This is kind of a tricky process and also the most important part of restoration and you might get confused. Therefore, I am explaining this to you in detail with guidelines.

Apply The Stain Or Sealer

Once you apply the wood brightening product and it dries completely, it is time to start the refinishing procedure of the redwood table. Apply the wood stain or sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

For Stain, Paint, Oil Finishes

Apply a coat of stain or apply a coat of paint, or oil finish using a paint brush or roller evenly on the table in the directions of the redwood grains. Let the stain or paint dry before you apply another coat of stain or paint if needed. Do not forget to clean the excess using a clean cloth to get the shiny surface.

For Sealer, Or Varnish

Apply a thin coat of sealant or varnish on the table using a brush or roller. And let the coat dry. Before you apply another coat, remove the excess by sanding the table lightly to get a smooth and shiny surface. After sanding, clean the table using a lint-free cloth and apply another coat of sealant if needed.

Let It Dry

You can choose the one that is more suitable for your table or according to your preference. But make sure to dry the finishes after applying. Dry the finish completely before starting to use the table. The drying process can take a few hours to a few days depending on the situation. You need to do this after applying finish on wood when fixing a warped picnic table.

This is how you can refinish your redwood picnic table. Redwood is expensive and their furniture is as well. Before replacing the table just because it has an old look or damaged look, you can simply refinish it in this proper way.

Signs That Your Redwood Picnic Table Needs To Be Refinished?

Basically, it is important to understand when your redwood picnic table needs to be refinished. There will definitely be some signs that will help you to understand the time to refinish a table. I am pretty sure, to avoid great loss and damage you might be interested in knowing the signs. Here they are:

Signs That Your Redwood Picnic Table Needs To Be Refinished?
  • When the colour of the table faded or became dull it is a sign that the protective finish has worn off and you need to refinish it.
  • If you notice any crack or peeling on the existing or old finish that means you need to refinish the table as the protective layer is wearing off.
  • If you notice any water stains on the wood surface, then be sure your table is no longer protected at all and it is time to refinish the table.
  • For any visible damage like deep scratches, gouges, or cracks, it is better to refinish the table.

After noticing such signs on your redwood picnic table, try to immediately refinish the table as it can protect you from more damage or loss.

How To Choose The Right Type Of Finish For Your Redwood Picnic Table?

You might be thinking, what is the best outdoor finish for redwood?

How To Choose The Right Type Of Finish For Your Redwood Picnic Table

The answer depends on different factors. However, it is important to choose the appropriate type of finish for the redwood picnic table, as the suitable one can bring you the best outcome. Such as:

Desire Look

Always try to choose the finish for your desired look. If you want to enhance the natural beauty of the table, you can choose stains. For a glossy, or shiny look, you can choose varnish.


Do you want a finish that will protect your outdoor furniture, or picnic table from UV rays, moisture, etc? You can choose sealer, varnish, or stain.

Easy To Apply

If you are looking for a finish that is easier to apply and you don’t need to give that much effort to apply it, you can choose oil finish, paint, or stain.

Environmentally Friendly

Thinking about the environment you can choose an environmentally friendly finish. You will get these finishes with a label of VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds on it.

You can consider these factors while choosing the right finishes for the redwood picnic table. What is the best finish for redwood dining table? No need to be worried. You can use the same techniques to choose the best finish for your dining table or for refinishing your dining room table.

How To Cure The Finish And Ensure A Long-Lasting Finish?

It is obviously crucial to know how to cure the finish and ensure a long-lasting finish. It can help you avoid frequently facing this issue. Such as:

How To Cure The Finish And Ensure A Long-Lasting Finish
  • Do not forget to read the instructions that are provided with the product and work accordingly.
  • Let the finish dry completely. You can maintain the time given on the product label.
  • Increase the usage to let the finish get fully cured.
  • Maintain the table regularly and properly. Apply coats of finishes frequently to keep the look new. 

You can follow these tips to get helpful during this process of refinishing a redwood picnic table.

Troubleshooting Tips For Common Refinishing Problems

Looking for troubleshooting tips for common refinishing problems? No worries. Here are a few tips for you:

Uneven finishSand the table, apply the finish again, and let it dry properly before you start using it.
Drips or runsSand the problematic area and apply a thin coat again. Let it dry completely.
Bubbles or blistersSand the area lightly and don’t be aggressive while sanding. Apply the finish again and let it dry completely.
Sticky finishLet the finish dry before you apply another coat and do not forget to remove the excess.
StainsSand the stained area and apply the finish again.
Peeling finishSand the area and apply the finish evenly. Don’t forget to clean the surface before applying the finish.

Frequently Answer And Question (FAQ)

How Often Should I Refinish My Redwood Picnic Table?

Generally, you should refinish the redwood picnic table every two to three years.

Can I Refinish My Redwood Picnic Table Myself?

Yes, you can definitely refinish your redwood picnic table by yourself using the right methods with proper guidelines.

How Long Does It Typically Take To Refinish A Redwood Picnic Table?

Though it depends on many factors, it can typically take a few hours to a few days to refinish the redwood picnic table.

What Is The Best Oil For An Outdoor Redwood Table Restoration?

Tung oil is definitely the best choice for an outdoor redwood table restoration.


No wonder, you may get the answer to your question, ‘How to refinish redwood picnic table?’ You can proceed with this process at home by yourself. You just need to apply the right methods following the guidelines step-by-step. However, you can hire a professional if you are unable to perform the process as this process is time-consuming and tricky.

If you want to get more tips about table refinishing, stay connected to Table Restore.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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