This DIY Outdoor Tables blog was written by a paid contributor. All photos were taken by Kate Hollingsworth.
As the weather gets warmer, I find myself heading outside to relax and entertain. However, the more time I spend in my backyard, the more I realize that it needs a few updates, which got me thinking of budget-friendly project ideas, like a DIY outdoor table. I already had the perfect thrifted teak lounge chairs, but I needed some tables to go with them to make the space feel complete.
Keep reading, and I'll show you exactly how I created this stylish and affordable trio of DIY outdoor side tables using metal buckets, wooden rounds, and Flex Paste.
● 2 Flex Paste, 3lb tubs, white
● 4 metal buckets
● 3 wooden rounds
● Putty knife
● Outdoor paint
● Optional: 6 small screws
Note: For the metal buckets and wooden rounds, feel free to use whatever sizes you’d like. I personally went with one larger bucket which measured 16 inches wide x 10 inches tall and three smaller buckets that were 13 inches wide x 15 inches tall. For the wooden rounds I used one, 24 inch round and two, 16 inch rounds.
First, you’ll need to remove the bucket handles. Do this by drilling through the rivets from the inside of the bucket. (The rivets look like little metal circles where the handle connects to the bucket. The drill bit you would typically use for wood can easily be used on metal.) Simply drill a hole straight through each rivet and the handle should pop right off.
Note: Before using Flex Paste, make sure to read all directions carefully. Wear gloves and protective eyewear. Work in a well-ventilated area.
Put on your gloves and remove the lid of the Flex Paste. Next, take out the silica gel packet and peel back the protective foil layer, placing them both to the side. It’s important to keep these items safe, as you’ll need them later to preserve your remaining Flex Paste.
Using your putty knife, skim the top layer of Flex Paste and then apply the product to the outside of the buckets. Make sure to coat the buckets systematically, finishing one bucket before moving to the next. Flex Paste remains workable for about 15 minutes, giving you plenty of time to smooth it onto a section of the bucket and shape the swirl marks to produce a more rendered look. Get creative! I found that the more random you make the swirls, the better it looks.
Flexpert Tip: Try to replace the protective foil as much as possible while working to keep your unused Flex Paste from drying out.
I wanted one of my DIY outdoor side tables to be tall, so I decided to stack two buckets on top of each other. Start by turning one bucket upside down and smearing the rim of its base with Flex Paste. Then, place a second bucket (right side up) on top of the first bucket, so they meet end to end. Next, cover the seam where the two buckets join with a coat of Flex Paste, making sure to swirl the paste to blend in the seam.
Flexpert Tip: Save any remaining Flex Paste in the tub by replacing the foil layer, making sure to squeeze out any air from between the paste and the foil. Add the silica packet back on top of the foil and replace the plastic lid, pushing down firmly to seal.
Once the Flex Paste is dry and fully cured (24-48 hours), it’s time to paint the table bases using outdoor paint. I used some leftover paint in a moody slate black color, but you can go with whatever color you prefer.
Once the paint is dry, it’s time to add the tabletops! I used teak rounds, which I sealed with outdoor timber oil earlier in the day, for my tabletops.
Using a putty knife, apply a layer of Flex Paste around the top rim of each bucket. Then, flip each bucket over and set them down onto the round table tops.
My dining room table doubled as a workstation for this project, so I needed to have it cleared off before dinner! Since Flex Paste takes 24-48 hours to cure, I decided to add a couple of screws through the rim of each bucket into the round tops so that I could move the tables right away. This step is optional, as the tabletops should lock into place without screws once the Flex Paste dries.
I love how these DIY outdoor tables turned out! Not only do they look great, but they’ve added some much-needed function to this space as every seat will have easy access to a table. Now I’m all set for some outdoor entertaining in style, thanks to Flex Paste!
By Kate Hollingsworth
My name is Kate Hollingworth and I’ve been a serial DIYer for 25 years. I recently turned my love of home renovations into a thriving business where I design and execute entire room overhauls in my clients’ homes. I’m also a content creator on IG @houseofhollingsworth, where I showcase innovative methods to create stunning DIY projects. And I’m an expert when it comes to creative ways to incorporate Flex Seal Products!