Large gray and DIY composite decking table with brown exterior stained legs with outdoor dining chairs
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DIY Outdoor Table: What to do with leftover composite decking?

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Learn how to build a large outdoor patio dining set for your family

We recently put a brand new screened-in porch and deck on to our house. This was the first time in a LONG time that this was not a DIY project that we wanted to tackle. We absolutely LOVE this outdoor space, but we needed ideas for what to build with our leftover composite decking.

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Ideas for leftover composite decking

We have some project ideas for our leftover composite decking and one of these projects was to create a DIY outdoor table that would be able to sit more than 10 people.

We decided on making two smaller and skinnier composite decking outdoor tables instead of one large one. We thought this would be more versatile and would not be too heavy for moving around.

We also recently just made our own DIY folding tables out of plywood to use in our basement. If we end up needing to sit more people outside, we plan on using these as well!

To buy or not to buy?

If you shop around for different outdoor tables, they can be quite pricey. So we knew when we saw the stack of leftover composite decking that we would figure out a way to make our own outdoor table that would be WAY MORE BUDGET-FRIENDLY!

I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a new table when we could make one!

I am totally a DIY paint girl or repurpose something into something amazing girl! Luckily for me, my husband loves to build new things sometimes using materials we already have. In this case, we had a lot of leftover composite decking to use and it was the perfect project for him!

Gray DIY Outdoor Table

Supplies :

-Composite Decking: I absolutely love the color and boards we picked out for 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)

Construction Adhesive

-3″ Screws (my husband really recommends these screws for outdoor projects and pressured-treated wood)

Miter Saw

-Painter’s Tape

Exterior Stain

Steps to create composite decking outdoor table

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.

Shopping for outdoor dining tables

I really loved this table set from Target, it just wasn’t going to be large enough for what we wanted.

I also considered the following tables:

White Wash Seville Outdoor Table-World Market

Leads Gray 7-piece Dining Table-Home Depot

Better Homes and Gardens 5-piece with Sectional-Walmart

You can see some of our other favorite products on our page here.

We made two of these tables so that we could put them together and really fit our extended family!

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.

2. Miter outside composite decking edges of the outdoor table. We decided to create a picture frame on the outside and fill 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.

Mitered gray composite decking used to create DIY outdoor table

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.

**However: please note that I wish we would have changed this design and made the inside slates going 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. Each table we made 71 1/2″ long and 32″ wide. We wanted a longer and skinnier table for our space.

Composite Decking Table top planed out

5. Gather pressure-treated posts. We used sturdy posts because my husband liked the look of a thicker base. I am pretty sure this table could have been built with cheaper pressure-treated 2 x 4s.

Pressure treated wood used for the base of DIY outdoor table

6. Use saw to cut the posts. We cut our posts to 29 1/2″ tall.

Using a saw to cut pressure treated wood for posts for DIY outdoor table

7. Build the frame for under your DIY outdoor table. We used pressure-treated 2 x 4s to create a rectangular base at the size of 27″ x 66 3/4″.

Create the beginning frame out of pressure treated wood and place on top of composite decking

8. Drill 3″ screws to attach 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.

Long galvanize screw used to attach pressure treated wood post to outdoor wood table

Tip: Use clamps to secure the post to the table frame. (See picture below)

Attaching wood frame to post to create a base for composite table top to go on.

9. This is a simple step: Flip the frame over (don’t mind our trash can overflowing!).

Table Frame for DIY Outdoor Furniture

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″.

Add an extra 2' x 4' to the inside edge of outdoor table frame

11. Use the drill and screws to attach the composite decking picture frame to the pressure-treated wood frame.

Add mitered composite decking top to pressure treated wood outdoor table base

12. Use construction adhesive to attach the inside pieces of composite decking.

Smaller gray composite decking placed inside mitered table top frame on pressure treated wood base

13. Flip DIY outdoor table over and use painter’s tape to frame out the composite decking tabletop and pressure-treated wood.

Blue painter's tape used to separate pressure treated wood outdoor table base and composite decking table top

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 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).

Dark brown exterior stain being applied to pressure treated outdoor table base

14. Let the DIY outdoor table dry and then flip over and set-up in your outdoor space. We also made DIY outdoor benches using the same steps list 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

We loved this process so much…

Or at least how much money it was saving us, that we decided to make two outdoor benches out of composite decking. We used 3 pieces of composite decking on top and cut them to 48″ long and made them 16 1/2″ tall.

Gray DIY outdoor dining table and benches made with leftover composite decking

People now have somewhere to dine outside!

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.

Gray composite decking top  of a DIY outdoor dining table

What is your favorite outdoor dining space project? If you like this project, you may also like seeing some of the amazing flower pots we made to plant things that would help repel mosquitos.

We absolutely love our DIY outdoor dining space and hope we inspired you in your next DIY project!

Hello! My name is Erin and I am a DIY nut. Currently, I live in Ohio with my beautiful family. My husband and I love making our house a home through DIY projects. I hope this site inspires you to become a DIY nut!

29 Comments

  • Laura

    That came out just as nice as any store bought table and for a fraction of the cost. And it will match your deck and age with it. Really nice work.

    • Erin

      Hi Laura! We loved that we were able to only buy pressure treated wood and could use material we already had for our DIY outdoor dining table! Thanks for the nice comment.

  • Louise O'Boyle

    This is amazing, you make it look so easy! I really wish I was skilled like you. It’s a fab idea for leftover materials.

  • Matt

    In 2012 I built a 96 inch long 40 inch wide patio table with Trex decking. The base is a trestle style made of cedar. I’ve had a outside year around for 8 years and it still looks as good as the day I built it. The combination of cedar and composite make it virtually maintenance free. I highly recommend composite but would recommend cedar (even though it’s more expensive) over pressure treated pine.

    • Erin

      Hi Matt. Thank you for the advice. We were trying to keep this project a little more budget-friendly as we weren’t sure how long we would actually use the tables. We are currently building raised planter beds out of cedar and know that they will hopefully last a very long time! Thanks for visiting our site.

      • Jim Sutro

        Just completed construction of ab out 200 square feet of outdoor raised planting beds, (4 boards x 5 1/2 inches vertical)

        Highly recommend that you use TREX or another composition for the sidewalls. They will NEVER rot away. I used 4 x 4 ground contact pressure treat for the corners, and am starting to think that I should have invested in stainless steel angles, which also will NEVER rot away,

        It does take a stiffener about every 4 lineal feet because the compost is so bendy it will look like a pumpkin if not reinforced laterally.

      • Erin

        Hi Youg! Thanks for the kind words. We attached those inside 2 x 4s from the outside 2 x4s using 3″ screws. We hope that helps you in your DIY outdoor dining table design!

  • C. W. Rice

    I think to add a bit for finish to the project, at least on the picture frame, i would have rip sawed the tongues & groves off the edges of the boards. As well as the field boards you used for the infill of the top, square edges would have made it look nicer in my opinion. But that option is limited, without a table saw or a rip fence attachment for a circular saw.

    • Erin

      Hi. Thank you for the advice. Yes, we simply were trying to make do with the leftover supplies that we had without having to really purchase anything new. We appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback. Good luck with your DIY projects.

  • Ted D.

    Hi Erin,

    My wife has been wanting to replace our older metal-and-glass hexagonal table for 6 with one that would seat 8-10, but everything she found for sale was $800-$1200. She sent me the link to this article and I priced it out around $200 at Lowes. I bought the materials Saturday morning, spent a little over an hour with my buddy’s compound saw, and started assembling Saturday evening. After a little more than $220 and 5-6 hours of build time, we’re both really pleased with our 77″ long x 35″ wide version of your table! I’m not a handy man at all, but following your tutorial, my wife said I made it look really easy.

    I did have to scrap the idea of using glue because the composite decking I found locally has a scalloped bottom instead of a solid bottom, so there just isn’t enough area to glue it down. It took me 2 62ct boxes of stainless steel decking screws to put it all together.

    I also took Matt’s advice above and went with rough cedar posts and boards instead of pressure treated. The cedar color looks good with the dark grey composite top.

    • Erin

      Hey Ted! I am so glad that you were able to use our outdoor table tutorial to build your own! I love that people are posting and sharing their ideas and thoughts. Great job and I am glad that it worked out well for you.

  • Loren

    Erin I love this DIY!! I do woodworking and crafts and I’m always looking for great ideas. Would it be ok to use this plan to make these and sell them?? Don’t want to steal your plan if you wouldn’t be ok with that. I’m in Ohio as well! Thanks!

    • Erin

      Hi Loren. Are you saying make these outdoor tables and sell them? I don’t see why not. I just wouldn’t want you to copy the actual plans and sell those. Thanks.

  • Barb

    I love this table. It there a reason you did not screw the boards in from the bottom? I have never worked with composite decking and not sure this is feasible but am curious to know if it would work if I built a similar table.

    • Erin

      Hi Barb. My husband chose to go for an industrial look with screwing the top that way. I am sure you could totally screw the composite decking from the bottom for a cleaner look. Good luck with building your outdoor dining table.

  • Jamie

    I just got done building my deck and cross this so I built me a table using this method. I built it a little longer (76”) and wider (36”). I’m waiting for the paint to dry on the frame and then going to attach the deck boards. I did it this way because I wanted the boards underneath to be white instead of the wood color. It looks great so far and it is a little heavy.

    • Erin

      Hi Mike. We just screwed the inside frame 2″ x 4″s from the outside 2″ x 4″. Once the tabletop is on and you have stained the pressure-treated wood, you don’t even notice the screws.

  • Chad

    Hi,
    What would you recommend as a replacement for the composite decking?

    It does not seem like any of the hardware stores in my area carry composite decking.

    • Erin

      Hi Chad. You could always use cedar if you want a nicer or more natural tabletop. However, this would be a more expensive option. Or you could make a pressure-treated wood top table as that is what normal picnic tables are made of.

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