This is a great weekend project that transforms a dated but still-sturdy outdoor table with tiles and a stained timber frame to tidy up the edges. All you need is an undercover workspace, simple tools and gorgeous tiles – ours are leftover from a previous project. Make sure your table is strong enough to carry the extra weight of the tiles, and adjust the measurements to suit the size of your own table and chosen tiles.
Clean the table all over with sugar soap wipes. Using a caulking gun, apply construction adhesive over the top of the table and position the sheet of cut-to-size marine plywood, pressing it down evenly and flush with the edges. Work out the positioning of the tiles – our tiles fit without needing to be cut.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to combine tile adhesive with water in a bucket, mixing it into a smooth, toothpaste-like consistency. Use a notched adhesive spreader to apply it in 5mm-thick sections, beginning at one corner of the table.
Position a tile flush with the table’s edge, add tile spacers and position the next tile. Repeat to cover the table, putting tile spacers between tiles for even gaps. Wipe with a damp cloth to press the tiles into the adhesive while removing the excess. Leave to dry.
Run the nozzle of ready-mixed grout along the edge of the tiles, using a damp sponge to smooth it into the gaps while removing the excess. Leave for 30 minutes and use a clean sponge to wipe away the grout haze that develops on the tiles as it dries.
Measure the table length to cut two pieces of 65mm x 12mm pine with a handsaw. Working on one side at a time, apply construction adhesive along the plywood, clamp the pine flush with the tabletop and tap in 30mm nails with a hammer every 200mm.
Measure the table width, including the frame sides, to cut two pieces of 65mm x 12mm pine. Apply construction adhesive along the plywood, clamp the pine to the table and tap in two 30mm nails into each side of the frame, and every 200mm along the ends.
Position painter’s tape on the tiles around the edge of the tabletop. Smooth over the frame with 180-grit abrasive paper, rounding over the corners slightly and wiping away dust with a damp cloth. Apply two coats of stain and varnish with a brush, leaving to dry after each coat.
Tape around the top of the frame. Apply gap filler between the tape, smoothing with a damp cloth to remove excess. Remove the tape and leave to dry. Finish the tabletop with clear tile-and-grout sealer, running the applicator along the gaps, wiping away excess with a cloth and leaving to dry.
*Timbers vary by state and territory; contact your local store for further information.