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Outdoor BBQ Island...From an Old Table

Create a handy, wipeable outdoor bbq island from on old table! The table we selected for this project came to us for free. Someone else's trash is our treasure yet again. Originally an outdoor gardening table, it had seen better days. Chipped paint and absolutely coated with cobwebs and dirt. We almost passed this one by, until we realized it was the perfect height for a grilling prep table which we needed for our back patio. Could we actually clean it up enough to use it for food prep?

Not just any table will do for this outdoor bbq island project, be sure to select one based on height and the size of your space. Keep in mind that a solid wood table will last a lot longer outside than a laminated particle board one, so steer clear of those. Plastic and metal should hold up nicely as well.

outdoor bbq island before outdoor bbq island after

Outdoor BBQ Island...From an Old Gardening Table

Step One - Cleaning & Sanding

outdoor island sanding

The first thing I did was remove the rubberized top. It was attached with a staple gun and was so old it broke into little bits. Underneath I found an entire ecosystem of bugs. At this point I considered scrapping this project, but on further inspection I found that they were just on the surface and really could be cleaned off. I soaked the table with a garden hose and then sprayed it with distilled white vinegar (no, probably not necessary, but it made me feel better) and then let the whole mess (er, table) sit out in the hot sun.

Once it was fully dry, I started sanding. The wood was quite splintery in some areas and I wanted to smooth out all the chippy paint before priming.

Step Two - Prime, Paint & Vinyl

outdoor bbq island painting

I try to enlist helpers whenever possible and since Mr. DIY is the grilling guru in our household, the wee one and I set to work on this bbq island in time for Fathers Day. While normally I would use spray paint when doing something in plain white (so much faster!) I wanted the little one to be able to be involved, so we opted for the old fashioned way with brushes. We used two coats of primer.

outdoor bbq island painted

A wipeable surface is a must for a grilling table, so I wanted to attache vinyl on the top. Unfortunately, none of the patterened vinyl yardage caught my eye so I bought the thickest clear vinyl I could find and layered that on top of a patterned cotton fabric. I simply folded the edges under and used decorative nails to tack them down.


outdoor bbq island table outdoor bbq island

This grilling table has become a handy spot for prepping and even serving when we entertain outdoors. We'll likely get some baskets or metal buckets to further organize our bbq accessories and we're also considering adding a hook or two to the side to hang grlling tools.

Happy grilling!

After all, it's your might as well love it!



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