Build Your Own Cedar Picnic Table: Part Four: Sand and Stain

Our table and benches are completely built and we just need the finishing touches. I mentioned in a previous post that I was sad we had to put holes in the face of the table, and that Spencer consoled me and in the end it turned out okay… here is a little reminder of the holes…

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We used Minwax Stainable Wood Filler to fill the holes. We like this wood filler for so many reasons: easy to use, stainable, doesn’t shrink or crack and is so easy to sand. With that being said… it isn’t a miracle worker. You can still see where we filled the holes but it looks so much better than gaping holes.


The wood filler sort of fills like sand… nice and gritty. Overfill the hole just a little bit. Add enough to completely fill the hole, but not too much that you have to sand forever.


After the wood filler dries (a couple hours) sand! We used our quarter sheet sander and it worked like a charm… if you don’t have one… I would invest!


We like to wipe our projects off with a slightly damp cloth or blow them off with a compressor to get rid of any loose dust that may still be lingering and then it is time to stain.

For this project we used Behr Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing All-In-One Wood Stain and Sealer. We went with this for two reason: Amanda really loved the color (Cordovan Brown) that we mixed, and it is a stain and SEALER!

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We bought three 8 oz jars and the nice people at Home Depot whipped up the color Amanda wanted. It is a great color! We used an older Purdy paintbrush that we had and starting on one end, brushed the stain on.

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so… let us just say that Cedar is like Pine is unpredictable… especially with stain. It will go darker around knots and lighter on other areas. We like this look. We like the unpredictability… especially with an outdoor picnic table. That being said… all we did after we sanded and sanded was brush the stain on. We followed the grain of the wood and liberally applied the stain with our brushes. We made sure there was a nice even coat and that the stain didn’t puddle. We applied two coats and used up all three jars of stain.

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And we love the end result! The table is a beauty and the stain and sealer has been great so far. I wonder if it will really last the 6 years but for now it is wonderful. I love that we didn’t have to apply a separate sealer and I would totally recommend it for outdoor items…. indoor we totally go a different route! You can see the variance of color in the table… we love it! Cedar is red and beautiful on it’s own so if you don’t want huge variances, just apply a sealer.

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And we are done! Whew-ey! We have loved doing this “Let’s Build It” series together this month and cannot wait for next month!

In case you missed a tutorial for this series you can go here:
Build Your Own Cedar Picnic Table
Part One: Table Top
Part Two: Table Legs
Part Three: Benches

Have a great weekend and build something together!

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Hey there! We are Spencer and Amanda, a DIY husband and Wife team, sharing projects we build and create together for our home. Since buying our home in 2007 we have had the saying that Spencer builds it and makes it work and Amanda makes it look good. We hope you will stick around because we always have projects in the works!

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