table in garden

Table Makeover for a Garden Retreat

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This post is sponsored by Ace Hardware. I received compensation and product, but all opinions and content are my own.

As we’ve been adding to our garden year after year, I couldn’t stop myself from daydreaming about putting a wood table in the middle of everything. Not only is it very European to have an outdoor dining table, but the possibilities of what you could do with it…oh, the possibilities!

It’d be perfect for entertaining, just plain ol’ aesthetics, or creating your own little retreat. A quiet spot surrounded by plants where you can read a book and have a place to set your coffee? Ahhh.

When looking up outdoor dining tables online, I was surprised to see that some were upwards of $1,000! For a table that’s just going to sit outside? No thanks. Yes, you can build one, and it’s usually cheaper, but we’ve been building a lot lately and we didn’t want to start from scratch.

We’re handy people and we knew if we could find an old table we could refinish it into something long as we had the right tools!

In order to get the right tools, we headed to Ace Hardware. Shopping at our local Ace is a family favorite activity. 😉 We’re about 3 minutes away, which is so nice, and interestingly, 75 percent of the U.S population lives just 15 minutes from an Ace Location!

Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, the majority of Ace’s 5,000 stores are independently owned by local entrepreneurs. The family that owns the one in my town is super nice, and I love the little touches they add to the store. I love it when I can pour myself a cup of coffee (that they provide) and then browse the cutest little kid boutique!


Will loves the mini shopping carts and the popcorn. 😉 I love that things are easy to find, and everyone that works there is so helpful!

We picked up the Craftsman 21 in. L x 3 in. W Corded Belt Sander 7 amps 800 FPM Variable Speed to do a table makeover for our garden retreat!

No matter your DIY project or tool, whether a sander, drill, or saw, Ace Hardware has what you need! Including quality brands like Craftsman and MILWAUKEE.

We found the table that we were going to give a makeover to on Facebook Marketplace. Though it was a good size for our smaller garden space, I was not a big fan of the top. Not only did it have a paint finish that was not to my liking, but lo and behold, it was all sealed in with a shiny varnish.

Titus and I each got to take a turn with the sander and we were shocked at how quickly the project went! I loved that the sander was so powerful and efficient. It surprised me at first with its power, but it’s made well and easy to grip!

I don’t think it took more than an hour to sand the whole table! That was shocking for me, because I used a big sander for a project more than half this size, and I’m pretty sure it took me all day haha.

belt sander table makeover

Make sure to check the manual to ensure you are wearing proper safety equipment before operating any tool.

belt sander table makeover
belt sander table makeover

After the paint and varnish were gone, it was time to paint! The kind people at Ace helped me pick out the right paint I would need. Whether it’s paint, tools, grills or anything else, the Ace associates will kindly help you find it!

I went with Ace Rust Stop in Sand. It took 2 coats and then I couldn’t wait to get it in the garden!

table in garden

Now, how about that transformation?! I’m dying over the neutrals and how now it looks like a table that fits my aesthetic.

Now that you’ve so patiently read my table makeover story, I want to leave you with 3 tips for creating your own garden retreat!

3 Tips to Create a Garden Retreat

1. Find the right size table
What are your desires and needs for your outdoor space? Want to entertain and have dinner outside? Go for something extra long and big! Just want to have a place to sit, relax, and read? Go for something smaller or a round bistro table. Want to make a bunch of food just for you and your hubby? Something medium size will do. 😉

If anything, I hope this post has shown you that you don’t have to be limited by what you see in the stores. If you have the right tool, like the belt sander, you can find anything second hand and do a table makeover to create the perfect garden retreat!


2. Get some seat cushions
If you’re going to be sitting out there for long periods of time, you want to be comfortable! Seat cushions can quickly get expensive, depending on your size, so here’s a little tip: use pillows! Pillows are inexpensive when found at a thrift store or you can get super basic ones and buy pillow covers…also really inexpensive!

3. Find a way to make yourself feel closed in
It’s not a retreat if you can *feel* your neighbors breathing down your neck! If you live in the city like me, don’t worry, you can still have your quiet space…because it’s not an outdoor retreat without some privacy! Trellises are nice because you can also plant things on them, but old wooden doors would look cool. Shutters would fit with a French Country theme as well!

Other ways to create a garden retreat vibe would be including lights and throw blankets, but I go into more ideas here on easy ways to class up your deck or patio for some more inspo!

The belt sander was amazing and helped me to create the perfect outdoor spot in more than half the time it would have taken me with my other tools.

You can visit Ace-Hardware for more information. The shopping experience is really convenient too, because you can buy online and pick it up from the store or have it delivered to you!


If you need me, I’ll be sitting outside, reading my book, and not sharing my snacks with anybody. 😉

Okay, okay, I’ll be nice.

I’ll think about sharing. 🙂

Do you want to do a table makeover now to create a garden retreat? Let me know what projects you’re interested in doing!
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garden table makeover


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.