our gathering tables

We finally finished our outdoor tables! These were a long time in the dreaming/making. We eat most meals outside, except in winter when I am in hibernation. As a family we outgrew our picnic table. When we have friends over, we would eat in shifts. I longed for long tables to fit friends and family around all at one time – tables wide enough to hold plates and all the food in the center too.

While I was away one weekend, Chris took it upon himself to start building me tables. He didn’t have a set design, just a general idea of what I wanted and a goal to use up as much scrap wood as possible. They came out perfectly.

10.15outdoortables-01I showed him this picture from Pretty Pastel Style as the look I was wanting. He took that general idea and ran with it.10.15outdoortables-04The kids all helped and you can see some of the wood was really rough. We knew we would be painting it.10.15outdoortables-05We bought new boards for the tops of the tables and benches.10.15outdoortables-0710.15outdoortables-08One of the biggest concerns (on my part) was what paint to use. I didn’t want to stain the tables because – you know – I like white. The tables will be outside under the elements all year round. The weather elements are nothing compared to the 5 kids. We are not easy on furniture. I decided to use Dutch Boy Porch & Floor paint. My thought is if it is durable enough to cover a porch or floor, it might stand a chance against my crew. I opted for white gloss. Gloss is the easiest to clean. I think a matte or satin finish would be beautiful, but it would never last around my house. I need to be able to clean the tables easily! I also choose to brush the paint on to get in all the cracks. A small roller would work for parts of the table too.10.15outdoortables-0910.15outdoortables-11Slowly this little space is coming together. Next up I want to paint the concrete. It won’t be white, maybe a gray. I think it will make the whole space look clean and tidy…at least every now and then.10.15outdoortables-1210.15outdoortables-13The tables look pretty for a portion of the day. The rest of the time they are beautiful in a different, functional way.10.15outdoortables-1510.15outdoortables-16So many friends and family have gathered around the tables even before they were finished. Lunches. Dinners. Lots of pancakes with lots of little people. It is my favorite place to linger….except at high noon. I did not think about how bright white glossy tables are when the sun is directly shining down on them! Sunglasses at lunch! 🙂

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Ashley - LOVE LOVE LOVE these Ashley!!!!

  • Gill - I love how dirty your boys feet are!! xxx

  • Tanya - BEAUTIFUL!

  • Jess - Ashley, I love the thought and purpose behind your project. So beautiful, in every way.

  • Debbie C - This is so dreamy! Love it!

  • Brittany M - Love the way your outdoor space is coming together! Mine is on a long list of things for my new house. Also LOVING looking at your photos now that our SnapShop is almost completed and I can attempt to guess at your settings and notice all the beautiful composition!

  • Tammy Henderson - Love how these came out. I suggest just tossing an old sheet or table cloth on at high noon to help with the glare. :o)

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - Since I was a child watching The Waltons, I’ve loved the idea of bench tables for families in general. It seems more cozy and wonderful. This is really well built! Looks great! I like that the whole family was involved in making it too.

  • Ranee - Love this…they are beautiful!

  • Kara M - Is it bad to email the link to my husband with a “THIS…this is what I want!” ???

  • kimberly oyler - can i rent out your patio for my birthday? haha just kidding…. but am i? so pretty!

  • Jamie - Beautiful! We have outgrown our picnic table as well. Someone usually has to stand and the baby sits in her little chair. I would love to have something just like this! Too cool.

  • Emily - I love it! Maybe get some umbrellas or shade sails you can unfurl at high noon to stave off the glare. Or pull out pretty tablecloths!

  • Marilyn D. - What is the saw that is in this post? Love each and every post!!!

  • Diana - Those are awesome!! All that painting! And I love the lights. Still trying to convince my husband we need those!

  • Jenny - super fun to have all that outdoor seating. we have 5 kiddos too plus a bunch of student min kids hanging around! appreciate the stages of tables pics 🙂

  • jenn - these are beautiful
    i am wanting some tables for out back yard. missed out on the picnic one that i wanted but on well. hopefully will get a good one soon. love your area. so pretty

  • Heather - Just beautiful!!

  • Emily - This is beautiful! But the comment of painting the concrete gray made me chuckle a little 🙂 Isn’t it already?!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Looks great!! I know so many happy times will happen there!

  • Courtney - They are beautiful! What a great way to gather everybody around the table outside to eat. I love it.

  • Byron - Once again, I am amazed at how creative you and Chris are! Fantastic addition to your wonderful home. God bless!

  • AshleyAnn - Byron – you need to come back over and join us for dinner!

  • Carrie Rowe - I love these! But even more I love your heart of wanting to have people over. so special.

  • Natalie - I love everything about this table!!! Great job!

  • tere - Hi Ashley — it was a year ago that I met you at Be Crafty. I hope all is well. I think I’d like my son and I to take on a similar project to this, as we will be hosting his grad party this summer. Are you willing to share the dimensions for the table and benches? Much thanks. xoxo