Make It Work! – Little Tikes Picnic Table Redo

MAKE IT WORK!

Imagine that line in Tim Gunn’s voice (or, if you live in my house – it’s Baileywick’s voice).

Actually, don’t, that is more intimidating than I had originally thought.

Anywho – I have been checking out cool stuff on Pintrest, and this picnic table redo is all over the internet.  Basically you take a Little Tikes Picnic table and redo it.  I had grand hopes, even though I have read blog after blog that talks about the difficulty of spray-painting plastic.

Upfront, I’m going to state that those blogs that did this redo as a sponsored blog posts seem to be the ones that had the easiest time spray painting.  I hate to think someone isn’t being truthful, but WOW – I would say it was pretty difficult to make it work.  I did a ton of research, and it looks like Little Tikes plastic is made of something fancy-smancy that doesn’t allow ANYTHING to stick to it.

Some other blogs stated that this paint would work:

This did NOT work, however, notice the handy red thing that turns it into a "spray gun".  That costs $4, is reusable, and worked GREAT!

This did NOT work, however, notice the handy red thing that turns it into a “spray gun”. That costs $4, is reusable, and worked GREAT!

FYI and *spoiler alert* – it doesn’t….

So then I went with the second most popular suggestion – cheapest paint you can find, with primer and clear coat top.

The Second Try: Primer, 2 cans CHEAP paint, Glossy Cover Coat

The Second Try: Primer, 2 cans CHEAP paint, Glossy Cover Coat

FYI and *spoiler alert* – “work” is a relative term…

Here’s the plan and the process:

First, CLEAN the table.  Clean that sucker like your life depends on it.  Dirt is an enemy to spray-paint.  This was when I let the four and a half year old help (GO actually was a huge help); she took Lysol Wipes and scrubbed down the seats.

Helper Girl is cleaning!

Helper Girl is cleaning!

Lots of Lysol Wipes and Elbow Grease

Lots of Lysol Wipes and Elbow Grease

Please note I used old boxes around the table at all times.  Do it in the beginning, otherwise you might forget and spray paint something you love!  😉

The bottom half (notice the cardboard boxes).

The bottom half (notice the cardboard boxes).

Take apart the table next.  Mine has a nice popout feature.  I had to use the flathead screwdriver give it that “nudge” out, but otherwise, didn’t have to remove any screws.  Granted, this means I had to alter the direction of the plastic during my spray painting of layers, but I would rather do that.

I did a couple of light coats – with no little girl in sight.  I had strapped Went into his stroller and parked him upwind of the fumes.

Stuck safely in a stroller, giving directions very loudly!

Stuck safely in a stroller, giving directions very loudly!

Letting it dry outside, we moved inside to work on the top of the table.

The fabric - *love*!

The fabric – *love*!

I laid out the fabric (I chose a flannel for two reasons – 1: loved the pattern and 2: I wanted a slightly thicker fabric to hopefully stand up better to wear and tear).  Placing the table top upside down, I started with the two short ends.  I used a light duty staple gun and wish I had sprung for a heavy duty one.  It worked, but about every other staple came out jacked up.  😦  Disappointing, but I’ll know for later.  (A heavy duty staple gun would make a GREAT birthday or Christmas gift…hint, hint, hint.)

My helper is straightening the fabric - VERY important step.

My helper is straightening the fabric – VERY important step.

My other helper is still giving directions, loudly...

My other helper is still giving directions, loudly…

Ends first!

Ends first!

I moved on to the long sides, with GO helping to “stretch” the fabric and give it a nice tight covering.  The corners weren’t hard, I just pulled and stapled and pulled and stapled.

The corner job

The corner job

Both ends secure.

Both ends secure.

The bottom of the top - all staples in.

The bottom of the top – all staples in.

After securing the flannel, I lifted the top up and laid down the 12 gauge vinyl sheet.  I found this on a roll at JoAnn’s Fabric (cost was only $5.99 a yard).  Bonus was they gave me a giant cardboard roll to bring it home on.  I have NO idea what I will use that for, but I’ll find something!

The sadness of the Staple Gun.

The sadness of the Staple Gun.

The vinyl went down the same way – short sides first, then long sides.  I did trim some vinyl as I did the corners, but that was mostly because the staple gun wouldn’t have held up to all the thickness if I had simply folded over.

Check out those incredible corners!  :D

Check out those incredible corners! 😀

I must admit – I am VERY pleased with how the top turned out.

Finished top, first try (and first fail) on the bottom.

Finished top, first try (and first fail) on the bottom.

Bottom Second Try: Primed (Or: Optimis Primed)

Bottom Second Try: Primed
(Or: Optimis Primed)

First Coat of Cheap Black Paint

First Coat of Cheap Black Paint

Second Coat of Cheap Black applied, plus one try of the Clear Coat

Second Coat of Cheap Black applied, plus one try of the Clear Coat

Now, to make sure the bottom is dry and cured and put it all together.

DONE!

DONE!

It looks rather spiffy, if I do say so myself!  It’s not perfect.  But my two younger Caterpillars will LOVE it.  I am hoping to find an offbrand table to redo for them next, because I think it will be an easier redo.  And I have a couple of fancy ideas out there….  😀

Total cost was under $20 for actual materials USED:
Flannel – $6.99 per yard/1 yard
12 Gauge Vinyl – $5.99 per yard/1 yard
Picnic Table – Free from my Mum
Spray Paint – The Paint that “Worked” $.92 per can/2 cans

Actual work time (not including the time/days that spray paint should dry/cure) was less than 45 minutes.  Seriously.  Without “help” I bet I could have done it in 30 minutes.  So, any local friends who have an old table and want a “new” one – I’m happy to do it for you.  Just bring by the table and a $20 for supplies! 😀  But don’t bring me a Little Tikes Table.  This is a time when the cheap plastic table, not the name brand, is going to work SO much better!

The Before

The Before

DONE!

DONE!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

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