How To Build a DIY Patio Table

Looking to enhance your deck or patio? This low-maintenance DIY patio table is a great place to begin.

Next Project
Time

A day

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

$500

Introduction

The simple, sleek, and low maintenance design of this DIY patio table will be the perfect addition to your deck or patio.

Tools Required

  • Basic hand tools
  • Drill/driver
  • Miter saw / circular saw
  • Pocket hole jig

Materials Required

  • 1 - box of composite decking screws w/ plugs
  • 1 – cedar 4x4x10’
  • 1 –box 2-1/2” exterior washer head screws
  • 2 - 20’ solid (no groove) PVC deck board
  • 3 – cedar 2x4x16’
  • 4 – Adjustable feet
  • 8 - 3/8” stainless hanger bolts
  • 8 - 3/8” stainless nuts
  • 8 - 3/8” stainless washers

An outdoor table should be tough. After all, it stays out in the weather and needs to withstand summer BBQ spills, toy car races, rocks from the yard and all the things your family will place on it. This is a simple design that uses rugged, low-maintenance PVC, plus rot- and weather-resistant cedar.

Project Overview

Patio Table W Cutaway How To Build A Diy Patio Table Project OverviewTMB STUDIO

Cutting List

KEY QTY. PART DIMENSIONS
A 4 Legs 4×4 x 29″
B 2 End apron 2×4 x 26-3/4″
C 2 Side apron 2×4 x 55″
D 4 Corner brace 2×4 x approx.6-7/8″(cut to fit)
E 4 Stretcher 2×4 x 28-1/4″
F 6 Table top 1×5-1/2″ x 64″

Project step-by-step (12)

Step 1

Cut the table base parts

It’s best to use a miter saw to cut all your parts, but a circular saw will be just fine if you’re accurate with your cuts.

I set up a stop block on my miter saw to cut the legs, side and end aprons, and stretchers out of the deck lumber. With a stop block, I can make sure each part is cut to the same length.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 05 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Cut The Table Base PartsTMB STUDIO

Step 2

Choose the best face

Identify the most attractive sides of the cedar pieces for your patio furniture. Look for imperfections as well as the tone of the wood so it matches the other sides. Mark the ‘bad’ side of the board, then drill two pocket holes on each end of the aprons (B & C) on this side.

While you’re at it, drill pocket holes into the ends of the stretchers (E). One side gets one in the center, and the other gets two near the edges.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 02 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Choose The Best FaceTMB STUDIO

Step 3

Patio table legs

Arrange the aprons and legs with their good sides facing out on a large flat work surface. Position each apron 1/2-inch from the outside edge of the legs, then fasten them together using exterior washer head screws through the pocket holes. Fasten all four legs in this way to create the frame of the table.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 04 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Patio Table LegsTMB STUDIO

Step 4

Space out the stretchers

Flip the table to stand on its feet. Then space out the four stretchers (E) evenly, about 10-3/8-inch on center. Fasten them between the side aprons using exterior washer head screws. Be sure the tops are flush with the side apron (C).
Fhmvs23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 1 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Space Out The StretchersTMB STUDIO

Step 5

Fasten corner braces

Using a few longer cedar 2×4 offcuts, cut a 45-degree angle on the ends, then cut the four corner braces (D) using a miter saw. The measurement from the long points of the cuts should be approximately 6-7/8-inch. With the corner braces sitting tight against each apron, the brace should be just touching the corner of the leg, but a small gap here will work fine.

Fasten each of the braces in place with a pair of screws into each apron. Next, drill two, 5/16-inch pilot holes through the center of the brace and into the leg for the hanger bolts. Bore out the holes in corner brace with a larger 7/16-inch drill bit.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 06 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Fasten Corner BracesTMB STUDIO

Step 6

Remove pocket screws

Fasten the aprons near the legs together with a piece of scrap 2×4, then remove the corner brace followed by the pocket screws securing the aprons to the leg. The leg is now detached from the table base.

Re-attach the corner brace, slide the legs in place and tighten them on. Upon removing the pocket screws, the legs can be removed for transport or storage of the furniture during winter.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 08 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Remove Pocket ScrewsTMB STUDIO

Step 7

Drive in the hanger bolts

With the corner brace reattached, slide a washer on the hanger bolt followed by two nuts. Keep the nuts toward the end of the bolt. Using two wrenches, tighten them together. When tightened together. they won’t turn on the bolt. This lets you tighten the hanger bolt and drive it all the way into the table leg.

Once the hanger bolt is in place, loosen the bolts against each other. Remove one and tighten the other to secure the table leg.
How To Build A Diy Patio Table Drive In The Hanger BoltsTMB STUDIO

Step 8

Bore a hole for feet

Flip the table upside down. On the bottoms of the legs, draw two lines connecting opposite corners to form an ‘X’. This is the center of the leg. Then, with a 1-1/2-inch Forstner bit, bore a hole in the bottom of each table leg about 3/4-inch deep.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 10 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Bore A Hole For FeetTMB STUDIO

Step 9

Drill deep for adjustable feet

The feet I’m installing are adjustable up to 1-1/2-inch. They’re fastened with a T-nut into the 1-1/2-inch hole we drilled in the previous step.

To make room for the adjustment bolt, drill a 1/2-inch hole two inches deep. Then place the adjustable foot’s bolt into the hole and give it a light tap with a hammer to seat the T-nut.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 11 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Drill Deep For Adjustable FeetTMB STUDIO

Step 10

Layout the outdoor tabletop

Flip the table upright and cut all the PVC deck boards two inches longer than the table base. Lay the boards on top of the base with a gap around 1/16-inch between each. Make sure the overhang is consistent on the sides and the ends.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 13 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Layout The Outdoor TabletopTMB STUDIO

Step 11

Fasten the top

Use special composite deck fasteners made for PVC deck boards. I ordered these screws along with the composite decking at my local lumberyard. The screws came with a special drill bit that set the screw into the boards just right, along with matching plugs.

I used a speed square lined up to the framing in the table base to help drive the screws in the same place and in a straight line over the width of the table. If you’re building this table to be taken apart, don’t drive screws into the tops of the table legs.
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 14 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Fasten The TopTMB STUDIO

Step 12

Hide the screw holes with plugs

The plugs for the decking material comes with grain on the surface that matches the grain of the composite decking perfectly. Orient the plugs so the grain direction is continuous. Give them a few taps with a hammer to drive them flush with the tabletop. You’re done!
Fhmpp23 Mb 09 07 Patiotable 15 How To Build A Diy Patio Table Hide The Screw Hole Swith PlugsTMB STUDIO