New Outdoor Dining Table

Our outdoor dining table went kaput this year. It was cheap, but we thought it would last longer than four years. The wood went rotten, and one of the extensions wobbled right off. There’s a reason you’ve been seeing an increase in tablecloth usage outdoors lately.

Yesterday, I convinced a hesitant husband to pack up the kids with me and head to IKEA for a replacement. We were successful, as evidenced by the car being partitioned by a very large box.

I chose this table. It’s slightly smaller than our previous table, but there are no moving parts on it and I’m hopeful that it will hold up better. It already has a gray stain so it looks a smidge weathered, but I don’t want the dang thing to actually weather and fall apart the way the other did. Perhaps a winter storage cover is in order. Or a coat of paint. Or some sort of actual maintenance from us. (To be fair, the other table did call for restaining/sealing, and we never did it.)

I’ll have more photos later this week. We had some company for lunch and I put together a very red, white, and blue table setting. (Here’s a little sneak peek!)

The new table is solid pine. What do you think? Any tips on helping it survive Chicago’s weather? Stain it? Seal it? Find some place to store it in the winter? The legs do fold down.

53 Responses to “New Outdoor Dining Table”

  1. Emily June 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Yes, you should at least oil it, and definitely find a cover or a place to store it for the winter. Both should help it hold up beautifully.

  2. Queen B June 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    It’s Ikea. It’s specifically designed to last approximately two years. Good luck!

  3. Jessica June 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    We have the same Ikea table as your first one. I have been super meticulous with weather sealing it each spring and covering it every winter and it still looks like crap. Last year the entire thing peeled. So, don’t feel that bad. :)

    • Making it Lovely June 25, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

      Ha! Well, I certainly could have at least tried to keep up with the maintenance.

  4. Lydia June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    We had the same issue with our Ikea table. It lasted about 4 years with oiling and storing it away for the winter. You get what you pay for.

  5. Julie June 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    It sounds like a winter thing. I have the same Ikea table (applaro) in Los Angeles and mine looks perfect after 2 years and a recent re-glazing with the bottle of $5 stuff they sell at Ikea. I’m not sure if anything will stand up to snow and winter if you’re not covering it…

  6. Lena June 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    You didn’t seal it and left it outside in the Winter and then you are surprised that its broken after four years? You know, always people buy stuff at Ikea, since its cheap they treat them like shit, they break, they complain, they buy something more expensive, treat it very carefully and then tell people how much better its holding up than that cheap Ikea shit.
    Seriously, we don’t even let our plastic chairs who are meant to be left outside outside during the winter let alone a wooden table! And then you don’t even seal it.

    • Making it Lovely June 26, 2012 at 12:00 am #

      I know, it was my fault for not maintaining the table. I’m not claiming that our old table wasn’t a good one.

  7. onestorybuilding June 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    1) Meticulous sealing, 2) protecting it with an outdoor furniture cover during the summer months, and 3) putting it away during winter months.

  8. Andrea Howe June 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Get the really nice all weather covers. I’ll shoot you a link to the ones we bought last year. After we put the pool in we decided to invest in nice furniture and chaise lounges for the pool. We then invested in good covers, even for the fire pit, and I tell you it makes the world of difference! I read tons of reviews and they all claimed that they work even in the harshest climates.

    • Making it Lovely June 26, 2012 at 12:02 am #

      I’d love to know which ones you have, thanks.

    • Julia June 28, 2012 at 8:13 am #

      I would be interested in knowing where you bought the covers from too!

    • Lisa Beck November 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      Did you ever post where the covers were purchased?

  9. Grace June 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Leaving any type of wood outside in the winter is going to ruin it pretty fast. You need to at least put a waterproof cover over it. The care instructions will probably tell you to stain or oil it every year, too.

  10. Danielle June 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    I live in Michigan and even with our relatively mild winters these past few years, we still put everything ‘summer-y’ away for the season. It’s just not worth the risk. Garage storage is a must and for a wood table, I’d take the extra precaution and raise it off the concrete floor – and away from possible rain and snow.

    Good luck with the new table!

  11. Michael Crabtree June 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Pine requires a chemical treatment if you expect it to withstand weather, rot and insects. There are many, many other woods better for outdoor furniture. I could easy picture your shopping for another table next year. Research (chemicals are not necessary) and spend a little for something that will last, making a responsible choice. Just my recommendation. Good luck.

  12. Kathryn Humphreys June 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    What a beautiful day for an outdoor lunch. I’m sure if you tuck it away in the winter this one will last for a bit.

  13. Ash @ HumberHomeProject June 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I love the new table! It looks like a modern picnic table :)

    I have no tips on how to make it survive a Chicago winter since I’ve never owned outdoor furniture. haha. But I think if you spend some time prepping the wood for the weather it should last you at least as long as the last table did :)

  14. Ellen June 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Wonder if it would slide underneath the bed with the legs folded? If you don’t have a garage that is…

    • Making it Lovely June 26, 2012 at 12:04 am #

      We do have a garage, it’s just quite small. We’ll probably be able to find room for it with the legs tucked away though.

  15. Monika / MB Captured June 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Love the outdoor table, looks inviting. Love IKEA for coming through with the goods, they have such simple yet amazing designs.

  16. Jessika June 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    It rains here, a LOT. In fact, it’s raining today (sigh). So, my suggestions? 1-3 coats of polyurethane and a waterproof cover when your outdoor-eating time is done. They even make ones that wrap all around a table, which is great since no moisture will evaporate up inside. I’d also tip the table on its side so no water pools on top (at least do this if you choose to not cover the table). If you stain it, make sure the polyurethane you get is the same type (either water or oil-based). But yes: SEAL SEAL SEAL!!! Then repeat the next summer.

  17. MadlyClumsily June 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    The new table is really cute. I can’t wait to see some photos of it in action.

  18. Eileen June 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Just bought an outdoor IKEA table and am glad to hear someone post about best practices for maintenance. Great ideas from the peanut gallery too.

  19. K June 25, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    I’d love to see the old one sanded down, cleaned up, oiled up and put back to use . . . old wood (that’s been through the ringer, to boot) can be so lovely and resilient.

    • Making it Lovely June 25, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

      It wasn’t just an aesthetic choice to get rid of it. The wood was split in several places and rotting. It had lost it’s structural integrity beyond repair.

  20. Ashly June 26, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Nicole, I just wanted to apologize for all of the people who have left comments along the lines of “what did you expect?” As a new homeowner, tackling a ton of house projects, I totally sympathize with you. We have some items that have fallen to the wayside. It happens, especially when the rest of your life is busier and filled to the brim with projects and family. The new table looks great, and if nothing else, a lesson was learned!

  21. Corrin June 26, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    I grew up in Chicago, and no furniture ever made it through the winter. I’d definitely give it a waterproofing and bring it in for the winter.

  22. eskimo*rose June 26, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    hehehe – so funny, that actual maintenance thing is a pain in the ass!!! We’re hopeless at that too, our outside table has collapsed this year, we actually have a winter cover but forgot to use it!!! Ikea is the only shop I can drag my hubby to with a small amount of enthusiasm – he get’s to eat swedish meatballs when we go ;o) … table looks lovely thou, I’ve never thought about IKEA for outdoor stuff, maybe I will now – thank you x

  23. Beth June 26, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Great looking table! Storing it will definitely prolong it’s life.

  24. Tory June 26, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    I’m a midwestern girl and we always stored the summer furniture through the longgggg winters. It was the only way to keep it from becoming disposable each season. Please tell me you’re at least storing the egg chair over the winter! That was a significantly larger investment than the IKEA table.

  25. Jaimie June 26, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Just an idea for wintertime storage — we have a large outdoor table and a small garage, and we suspend the table from the roof of the garage in winter. Gets it up out of the way and leaves the floor clear! We invested in a teak outdoor table. It’s lovely and has held up quite well, but we need to scrub it and oil it at least twice a year and one year when we weren’t quite diligent enough, my husband gave the whole set a light sanding before oiling it. I think when it eventually comes time to replace it, I’ll try to find something that requires less maintenance. Unfortunately the majority of the metal and glass tables I see are not very attractive.

  26. Sally (Toronto) June 26, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Did you leave it out over the winter? We live in Toronto and we both share harsh winters when it comes to outdoor furniture! We’ve had the same table (the one that went kaput on you) for about 5 years and it’s held up really well, but we remove the wide extensions and put it away in the shed every winter (It’s not like we’re sitting out there anyway). And in the spring we lightly oil it (along with the nicer quality matching chairs we bought elsewhere). I hope your new table lasts a lot longer it’s gorgeous and goes really well with the white chairs.

  27. Dianne June 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    I love youe new table!!!! I live in Evanston and a cover isn’t enough. You need to bring it indoors (we put ours in the garage) for the winter or it won’t last. Besides, bringing it indoors is FREE.

    Enjoy,
    Dianne

  28. Bonnie Morscher June 26, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Hi, Nicole,
    SInce you have that lovely basement, I would store it down there for the winter and those great plastic chairs, too. I live in Milwaukee and I store even our metal patio table set. The first couple of years, I wasn’t so great about storing our plastic chairs, but I learned my lesson when they got brittle and cracked and became basically garbage. I have a Crate and Barrel 2 chair and table set that is metal on my balcony and it is too inconvenient to store that elsewhere for the winter, but I got some great treated canvas covers for them and I tuck them all together in a corner of the balcony with bungee cords for the winter, which seems to do all right. But with wood (and those great Ikea plastic chairs), I would opt for indoor winter storage.

  29. Evelyn June 26, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Oil and store. I know its a pain but we drag our set into the basement in late fall and its survived seven years. That’s my fave table at IKEA, btw! Love the gray with the white chairs.

  30. Megan June 26, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    I will echo what lots of other people have said: use a stain or oil to seal it each spring. But you need to be careful when you apply the stain: stain is best applied on a day when it is overcast and the weather is about a consistent 20 degrees, even the overnight temperature (this is Canadian weather). Applying stain in the wrong conditions is just as bad as not applying any at all – the stain won’t stick and it will just peel off.

    I have the small patio set from Ikea and it has lasted for 7 summers with regular spring maintenance and shed storage in the winter. I just upgraded to the table that you are putting to rest – I hope it lasts as long as my old set!

  31. Marilyn June 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    I felt like our 3 year old ikea VINO table was getting ready to be replaced. Legs looked fine but the wood tabletop was really looking horrible. It has been on our deck since day one with no cover, no seal, and no maintainance! This spring we got our deck resealed and the guys were nice enough to pressure wash the table for me. It looked great after a good wash, then I got the stain sealant that Ikea sells and I’m in love with table all over again. I will be investing in a good cover this winter. :) I was really surprised by how easy it was to apply the stain sealant, should have done it from the start.

  32. michelle June 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    love the table and the chairs! I do hope no-one has suggested this already? There were so many comments I couldn’t read through them all as I am on a one hour blog reading limit (trying to stick to it !!) Have you thought about having a piece of glass cut to size to put on top? Not sure how costly that would be but I did i before with an outside table with great success.

  33. how2home June 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    This table is phenomenal! You think this table could be a DIY project?

  34. sp June 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I’m new to outdoor furniture and we just bought the Bollo folding table at Ikea for our balcony: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20055690/
    Am I supposed to stain/glaze it now before we put it on the balcony? or just re-glaze it next year?
    Luckily it’s small enough to be stored indoors during the winter.

  35. Rachel May June 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Since Chicago gets a lot of snow, you might consider putting it away in winter so the weight of the snow doesn’t warp the wood(maybe that would help?).

    I think no matter what, staining AND sealing it would be good. When we built our raised garden beds, we used Thompson Wet Seal (it’s a clear poly for outdoors, like decks and such)to keep the wood from rotting-that was a year ago and it still looks the same. So far, so good.

    Hope this helps! The new table looks great-I like your chairs, too.

  36. Margo Morgan June 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    Your new table looks great! And it’s not like you didn’t say in your earlier posts that it wasn’t cheap, or that you maintained it. I’m all for trying not to buy things over and over and keeping tables out of landfills, etc (although the old one could easily go into a fire pit and be gone after that) but really nice teak tables are EXPENSIVE. And it’s so nice to enjoy dinner outdoors. Again, the new one is a beaut! :-D

    - MM

  37. kiera June 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    TOO STRANGE! Hi – long time reader and lurker lured out of lurking mode because I have the exact same table as your “old” table and have been searching for a new one. At IKEA this week I found a lovely table in the As-Is section…. your “new” table! But the sad part of the story is that I couldn’t buy the lovely new table because I live in Hawaii and the table was in Pennsylvania. So I had to walk away. But now I’m just scheming how to make a version of it myself! Enjoy that new table for me!!

  38. Anna June 27, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    I say…let it weather like the last one! You love changing things and I know its wasteful but maybe you can use the wood for a lovely winter fire or something once it dies. Ikea never lasts long anyway…if you spent $1000 on an outdoor setting I would say treat it with care, but this way you can update the outdoor look as you so desire! I love it by the way! Looks beautiful.

  39. julie. June 27, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Yes well you’ve only been slightly busy the past 4 years with having two kids! :) We live in Michigan and always put outdoor furniture away in the shed for the winter. Just this year I sanded down and stained/sealed our old wood table and it looked like new. Our outdoor chairs are metal ikea and almost 10 years old and they still look great. Storing out of the winter weather really helps.

  40. Anja June 28, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    The table went “kaput”? So funny, i love how you use german words every now and then.
    Of course i knew, there’s no englisch word for “kindergarten”, but kaput was new to me.
    Like cranky. Which obviously comes from “krank”

    Ok, that was completly Off topic… Ähm….Nice table!
    ;-)

  41. casacaudill July 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    We came *thisclose* to buying the table that just died on you. And then we almost bought the new replacement table but I was gung-ho about having an umbrella, so Alan made me leave empty-handed. I’ll be interested to hear how it weathers the coming years.

  42. Wendy Miller July 5, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    We have really wet winters also (Seattle) and have a vinyl cover we purchased at Amazon that covers our table in the winter. I just pulled it off yesterday and after 4 years the table is still in excellent condition, it wasn’t even dirty!

    I have a question for you, I need a couple of outdoor rated extension cords and I’d rather not have those big ugly things lying around that look like we are a construction zone! What have you found that looks a bit prettier?

    • Making it Lovely July 5, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      We don’t use outdoor extension cords for anything, so I’m not much help there. Sorry.

  43. Kathy July 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I like hte new table! I have the same old one as you had – it definitely doesnt hold up too well. I sanded and painted it last year, and it’s under a cover where it gets limited rain/snow on it, but even with all that its still warping. Oh well! It was still a good deal.

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