DIY Concrete Dining Table

This post is totally overdue, but here we go!! If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know we spent a few weekends building a concrete outdoor dining table! First – WOAH, that project was way more complicated and difficult than I assumed when we first began. Truthfully I thought it was a one-weekend project (more like 3, or was it 4?) By the end I wasn’t sure I’d even share a blog post on it since it certainly isn’t a beginner project (and I’m no expert on the topic even after we finished) but alas, we LOVE it and are so happy we saw it through!!

DIY Concrete Dining Table Supplies:

  • 6″x6″x12′ Pine – We purchased ours from a local lumber yard and they cut them down to 30″ for us. (4 legs at 30″ tall each) If I did it again I’d reduce to 28″ to account for the 2″ table thickness.
  • 4″x4″x12′ Pine – Used for bracing the table, cut at the local lumber yard.
  • Metal grid (to brace the inside of the concrete, view the linked YouTube video!)
  • Melamine cut to 44″x96″ – Used for the concrete top mold
  • Melamine cut to 2.75″x44″ (x2) and 2.75″x96″ (x) – Used for the concrete mold sides.
  • Wood Screws – For the melamine mold
  • Lag Screws – For attaching the wood frame to the wood legs
  • 8 Bags of Countertop Concrete Quikrete
  • Portland Cement for filling holes/air bubbles.
  • Silicone and Caulk Gun
  • Miniwax Stain – We chose Dark Walnut
  • Epifanes Clear Varnish – We spent extra to get this brand because our dining table is outside and will be exposed to sun, and rain!
  • Cheng Concrete Sealer, Wax, and Polish
  • Gloves, clean cotton cloths like an old t-shirt for staining, drop cloths, etc. are all needed too!

We didn’t have a complete list or even a plan to be honest, I knew the measurements in my head and sketched them on a piece of paper and let my vision do the rest (with a lot of consulting my husband who is pretty handy!) My inspiration was a beautiful outdoor dining table that was way out of budget. Our goal was to stay under $250 for our build, but we chose the more expensive concrete (specifically for countertops) and that changed our budget substantially, as well as choosing chunky-ier (not a word) 6″x6″ legs (vs. a 4″x4″ size). We still came in under $400 and I feel great about that (especially knowing I can’t even buy a nice dining table this size at Target for that price!!)

I found this tutorial on YouTube and watched it (more than once) to get the hang of what we should do and in what order.. I highly recommend checking it out if you attempt this!! View here.

Here is the order we did things:

  1. Using 2 sawhorses, and extra 4×4’s, we set up the melamine form. Screwing the sides to the form. Cleaning it out with water and alcohol to make sure it was totally clean!
  2. Next, we caulked the seams and allowed it to dry.
  3. We mixed up the concrete and poured it into the form, we should’ve added the metal grid sooner, so learn from our mistake! I used a rubber mallet to bang the edges to help work air bubbles out.
  4. We used an extra piece of wood to help level the surface of the concrete (watch the YouTube video if you’re confused on this!) Then, covered with a tarp.
  5. We used an orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper to clean up the concrete once it had cured.
  6. Next, we built the legs and frame for the underside of the table. Once assembled, I sanded it with 100 grit sandpaper, then 220 sandpaper.
  7. Stained the legs, only needed 1 coat! Then I coated it in the varnish, I ignored the instructions and just did a full coat with a paintbrush, no dilution.
  8. Here is where we stalled, once we had the help we needed to flip the table and move it from the garage to the final spot (and on top of the legs) we were so thankful to have that done!!
  9. Sanded the top and sides of the concrete with varying grit sandpaper, starting with a courser grit and going finer each time.
  10. The tedious job of filling in the holes with Portland cement began, I honestly just did as much as I could stand and called it quits (this project is taxing y’all!)
  11. The concrete sealer was next, followed by the wax once the sealer was dry!
  12. My husband finished it up by using shims to level the table as the ground we put it on was unlevel!

Things I’d Do Differently:

  • Poured the concrete in the backyard instead of in our garage, getting a 700lb (because of the size, the table is MASSIVE!) concrete top into an alley, through a tight sidewalk, across the yard, was HARD. And I wasn’t even a part of it.
  • Which leads me to my next point, we truly underestimated how heavy the concrete top would be and truth be told, we don’t know many people in our area still from our recent move, so that really held us up in finishing the table, figuring out how we’d get it from point A to point B!
  • We’d have spent a lot more time “vibrating” the table or even figuring out another way to do it besides manually, the point of this is to get out air bubbles, we didn’t do this nearly enough. It’s normal for a concrete counter to have air bubbles, especially one the size of ours!

I was super tempted to purchase outdoor dining chairs from my favorite store (ahem West Elm) but went with these budget-friendly Target chairs instead! I’m super happy with them! Find them here!

If you liked this post, I’d love and be oh-so-grateful if you pinned the below image on Pinterest!❤️

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