DIY Outdoor Concrete Table

Build an outdoor table that will withstand the elements and rejuvenate your yard.

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The key to this trendy table is its powerhouse materials. Cedar's natural resistance to the elements, including moisture, helps it hold up to the weather outdoors. We left this table base unfinished, but you can stain the wood to make it even more durable. This homemade base is 22×46 inches from the outside edge of each leg..

For the tabletop, look no further than concrete. Concrete is a surprisingly manageable medium with an earthy vibe and unbeatable durability. It's also forgiving—if you mix in a little too much or not quite enough water, you'll still be OK. Countertop concrete is done with a fairly dry mix that will set overnight. Rough edges and small air pockets add rustic appeal to concrete. This project is relatively small (the top is 24×48 inches) so you can pour it without a wire-mesh stabilizer and heavyduty frame. For a tabletop larger than this, you will need both.

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What You Need

  • 4×4×30-inch cedar posts (4)
  • 8-foot 1×4 cedar boards (3)
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • 1 1/4-inch exterior galvanized screws
  • Drill with screwdriver bit
  • 2×2×48-inch foam strips (3)
  • Foam tape
  • 2×28×52-inch foam insulation board
  • 2×4 boards
  • Biodegradable colorant
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Handheld drill with paddle mixer
  • Wheelbarrow
  • 70-pound bags of concrete (we used 2 bags of Buddy Rhodes Concrete Counter Mix)
  • Shovel
  • Rubberized work gloves
  • Concrete trowel

Before You Begin: Cut Boards to Length

Cut the cedar boards to the following lengths: 

  • 3 3/4-inch pieces (8)
  • 3-inch pieces (4)
  • 15-inch pieces (4)
  • 39-inch pieces (2)
  • 17 1/4-inch pieces (2)

Step 1: Attach Pieces to Posts

Predrill holes for the screws, then use screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bit to fasten one 3-inch and one 3 3/4-inch piece on two adjacent sides of each post; pieces should be flush with the post top.

Step 2: Make the End Pieces

To make the end pieces, connect two posts by predrilling and fastening with screws one 15-inch side piece to the 3 3/4-inch block. Fasten on both post tops. 

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Step 3: Attach Corner Blocks

On each end piece measure 6 inches from the bottom of the posts. Attach one 3-inch corner block on interior of each post by predrilling and fastening with screws.

Step 4: Fasten Piece to Corner Blocks

Predrill and use screws to fasten one 15-inch piece to the corner blocks. The end piece is now braced at top and bottom for rigidity and support.

Step 5: Connect End Pieces

Connect the end pieces by predrilling and fastening with screws the 39-inch side pieces to 3-inch corner blocks on the post tops.

Step 6: Predrill and Fasten

Position the 17 1/4-inch pieces evenly spaced along the side pieces. Predrill and fasten with screws.

Step 7: Make Foam Frame

Tape the foam insulation strips together, forming a 24×48-inch rectangle. Tape the rectangle to the foam insulation board. Then build a wooden frame from 2×4 boards to fit tightly around the foam frame. Set the mold on a solid surface.

Step 8: Mix Colorant

Mix colorant according to manufacturer's instructions. We put a bag of premeasured colorant in a 5-gallon bucket of water, then used a paddle mixer to blend.

Step 9: Mix Concrete

Mix concrete according to instructions. We poured the colorant into the wheelbarrow. Then we added the concrete mix, and used a shovel to blend. The concrete is ready to use when it's the consistency of cookie dough.

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Step 10: Press Concrete into Frame

Wearing work gloves, put concrete mix into the mold, pressing the mix into the frame. Smooth with the trowel. Follow manufacturer's instructions to allow the concrete to cure.

Step 11: Place Top on Base

Remove the mold and place tabletop on base. You'll need two people to move this heavy tabletop.

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