Learn how to build a large outdoor patio dining set out of Trex decking
We recently put a brand new screened-in porch and deck onto our house. We are all about DIY projects, but this big deck and porch we left to professionals. They left us with a bunch of leftover composite decking that we just couldn’t waste.
We absolutely LOVE this outdoor space, but we needed ideas for what to build with our leftover composite decking. Here is our step-by-step DIY outdoor table tutorial.
Why use composite decking for DIY outdoor projects?
- More rot resistant than wood
- Is more bug resistant
- Less maintenance
- No need to buy gallons and gallons of stains and sealers like wood decking
- Some companies use recycled materials to create composite decking
- Nails are not as visible (decking technology is always improving)
Why build a deck out of composite decking?
If you are building a deck that you want to last composite decking is the way to go. While the price is more expensive at the beginning you will have less maintenance (like our DIY composite deck cleaner) and it will last for at least 25 years or more as it says in this HGTV article.
Don’t waste money and use leftover cut pieces (see our pile)
In the image above you can see the in-progress composite deck being built. We had a lot of leftover pieces of composite decking since you buy it by the board.
Why not use leftover composite decking pieces when building outdoor composite furniture?
Composite decking will not rot like even pressure-treated wood and bugs don’t seem to like the product. Not to mention you can get Trex or composite decking in a variety of colors without having to stain it.
What can you build out of leftover composite decking?
- Composite decking benches
- Flower boxes made out of Trex
- Outdoor bar made from polywood or composite decking
- Outdoor side table
- Coffee Table
- Outdoor Adirondack chair
- Wall Art
- Step stool
- Cornhole game
- Birdhouse or birdfeeder
- Raised garden bed (you can see our cedar raised garden boxes here)
- Outdoor dining table
- Outdoor playset or platform for a playhouse
As you can see, there are many different project ideas that can be made with leftover composite decking.
To buy or not to buy an outdoor table?
If you shop around for different outdoor tables, they can be quite pricey. The idea that we could reuse a material we already had for an outdoor table was a way more budget-friendly and eco-friendly solution.
I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a new table when we could make one. The gray decking boards would be a great DIY outdoor tabletop.
Decking table design
One of these projects was to create a DIY outdoor table that would be able to sit with more than 10 people. We decided on making two smaller and skinnier composite decking outdoor tables instead of one large one.
Having two outdoor tables allowed flexibility in seating options and they would not be too heavy for moving around.
If you are looking for another DIY table, we also recently just made our own DIY folding tables out of plywood. This cheap folding table is to be used in our basement for my husband’s poker and game nights. If we end up needing to sit more people outside, we plan on using these as well!
Composite Decking: I absolutely love the color and boards we picked out for the deck and knew we had to use the leftover composite decking boards we had.
Pressure-Treated 2″ x 4″ x 16′ (quantity needed 3)
Pressure-Treated Posts 4″ x 4″ x 16′ (quantity needed 2)
3″ Screws (my husband really recommends these screws for outdoor projects and pressured-treated wood)
Composite decking outdoor table tutorial
1. Figure out the dimensions you want to have for your outdoor dining table. Each outdoor table is 70 1/2 ” long x 32 1/4″ wide x 29 1/2″ tall.
Here is an article about how to help determine the right size table for your indoor or outdoor space.
We made two of these tables so that we could put them together and really fit our extended family!
How to determine the height of your outdoor table?
Tip: If you already have chairs, make sure that you are building the height of the table to accommodate those chairs (like ours) or any standard outdoor chair or stool. We also made composite decking benches that you can see at the end of the post.
Here you can see the end height of our table and my husband sitting at our DIY bench. This may help you see the leg clearance and if you need to adjust the original height of the table due to your seating choice.
What is the normal average height of a table?
An average table is normally anywhere from 28-30″ with chairs ranging in height in the 18″ range. Our bench is actually 17″ tall with a table that is 30 1/2″ which fits my husband well, but maybe I would have liked the table to be maybe a 1/2 inch shorter due to the fact that I am shorter.
2. Miter outside composite decking edges of the outdoor table. We decided to create a picture frame on the outside and fill it in with the other pieces.
You will have to do some math to decide the length of your table and how many full pieces of composite decking you will fit in the inside frame.
3. Cut composite decking to fill the inside. We cut our small pieces to 21 1/4″. It took 11 pieces to fill our “picture frame”. We put our inside table pieces going horizontal to use the smaller leftover pieces of composite decking.
Please note that I wish we would have changed this design and made the inside slates to go vertical. It was very difficult to have all the composite decking lay flat and we have some spots that stick up a little. It is nothing a little placemat won’t be able to fix. But you can learn from our mistakes.
4. Layout all pieces of your outdoor tabletop to see how it all fits together. For each table, we made 71 1/2″ long and 32″ wide. We wanted a longer and skinnier table for our space.
6. Use the saw to cut the posts. We cut our posts to 29 1/2″ tall.
7. Build the frame that supports under your DIY outdoor tabletop. We used pressure-treated 2 x 4s to create a rectangular base at the size of 27″ x 66 3/4″.
8. Drill 3″ screws to attach the frame together and then attach posts.
Make sure you do not use just any steel 3″ screws because the metal will corrode over time.
My husband’s favorite drill is this one. You will need to drill pilot holes before you can put in the screws.
Tip: Use clamps to secure the post to the table frame. (See picture below)
9. This is a simple step: Flip the frame over (don’t mind our trash can overflowing!).
10. Add 2x4s inside the table frame so that the composite tabletop can be attached there. Our 2x4s were 7″ less than the frame. Ours were cut to 20 1/2″ x 59 3/4″.
11. Use the drill and screws to attach the composite decking picture frame to the pressure-treated wood frame. You could also attach from the bottom if you do not want to see the screws.
12. Use construction adhesive to attach the inside pieces of composite decking.
13. Flip the outdoor patio table over and use painter’s tape to frame out the composite decking tabletop and pressure-treated wood.
14. Use a paintbrush and use an exterior stain in the color of your choice. I did a lot of research to see if I could use interior stain because I LOVE the look of this color (we have used it on numerous projects in our house).
However, you would need to do another coat of special polyurethane. We decided we only wanted to paint the exterior stain on the outdoor table post once and that we wanted as much protection as possible with the least amount of maintenance.
So we just ended up going with an outdoor stain (one that you would even use on decking).
15. Let the DIY outdoor table dry and then flip it over and set it up in your outdoor space. We also made DIY outdoor benches using the same steps listed above but on a smaller scale.
Related Reading: Looking for more weekend DIY Projects? Check out our post on 50 Home DIY Projects!
Composite decking outdoor benches
You can also make composite deck benches that follow a similar design plan. Use 3 pieces of composite decking on top. Create a base out of matching pressure-treated lumber.
Our benches are 48″ long and 16 1/2″ tall.
DIY Outdoor Dining Idea
Our two DIY outdoor dining tables were so awesome to use the other night! We were able to sit with our whole immediate family and friends. The kids loved the benches and being able to eat outdoors.
What is your favorite outdoor dining space project? If you like this project, you may also like seeing some of the amazing painted flower pots we made to plant things that would help repel mosquitos while we dine.