While the table was in good shape (there were some crayon marks that my mom used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get rid of), it wasn't exactly cute. The top was beige, the base was blue, and the seats were red. Since this picnic table was going to live in Lyla's room, I decided I could make it look cuter with just a little bit of effort and a few supplies.
I decided to spray paint the whole thing and then use some "marble" contact paper to put on the top. I bought a can of Rust-Oleum Spray Paint and Primer in Satin Granite. It said on the can that it would work on plastic so I was sold.
The first thing I did was hose down the picnic table. I wanted to make sure the surface was clean and free of any debris before spray painting. I let it fully dry in the sun. My original plan was to take the pieces apart and spray paint them separately, but I couldn't figure out how to get it apart. There weren't any obvious screws or other hardware. I tried tugging on some places that looked like connecting points, but they didn't easily come apart and I didn't want to break anything. Plus, this was nap time and the countdown was on! So I just decided to spray the whole table while it was fully assembled. I laid out a flattened cardboard box in the yard and put the picnic table on it, top side down. I held the can about 12 inches away and sprayed several thin, light coats. It helps if you keep the can moving the whole time so you don't end up with any runs or globs of paint. It will look like you missed some areas after a coat or two, but that's okay. It's better to do more coats than just do one that looks bad.
I didn't really wait until each coat fully dried before putting on the next one. Time was not on my side, but it worked out just fine to wait just a few minutes in between coats. Of course, I ran out of spray paint before the project was completed. So when Archer and Lyla woke up from their naps, we took a trip to Home Depot to get some more spray paint. They didn't seem to mind the errand because they got to ride in one of those fun race car carts. Lyla made sure to show Archer how to correctly turn his steering wheel.
Once Lyla and Archer were down for their afternoon nap, I went back outside to finish the spray painting. It worked out well that I was able to get the bottom and sides completed with the first can. That portion was dry so I just flipped the table over and started spraying the top of the table with the second can of spray paint. I didn't worry about getting the table top absolutely perfect because I knew I was going to cover it with contact paper.
I let it dry completely for about two days before I moved onto the contact paper step. I let it dry outside on our deck so it wouldn't be so fumy when I brought it inside. To do the contact paper, I cut a section of contact paper that was a little bit longer than the length of the table. I peeled off one edge and lined it up with the edge of the table. There's actually a little lip on the table and I put the contact paper just inside that lip. It was helpful to only take off part of the paper backing. That way it didn't all stick together on me. I just pulled the backing off and smoothed down the contact paper as I went along.
Once I had the whole piece stuck on the top of the table, I really smoothed it out. I started in the center and pushed any air bubbles out towards the sides.
The next step was trimming away the excess contact paper along the edges. First I tried using the edge of a pair of scissors, but that didn't give me a very crisp cut. So I tried a razor blade next and that did the trick. I just followed along the inside lip of the table. I didn't push too hard because I didn't want to go through the paint or cut into the surface of the table. Just some very slight pressure cut through the contact paper.
Once I made it all the way around the table, I just pulled off the excess contact paper like a giant sticker. It was very satisfying!
It turned out super cute! They gray will look perfect in Lyla's room with her other gray furniture. And the "marble" gives it a touch a sophistication. What kid doesn't need that in their toys?! ;) I also like the fact that the contact paper is removeable, so I can just peel that up and replace it when they scribble all over it or take a few bites out of the edges. Such a simple project that will really dress up Lyla's room!