Non-gormless Picnic Table

Materials: Gorm shelves, 30″x20″

Description: My thrift-shop picnic table was showing the effects of two and a half months of an Oklahoma summer — the top was warped, peeling, and all the finish had flaked off, but the metal base was just fine. I wanted a new top that was solid wood, not veneer over particle board, but that the rain (if we ever got any again) would not be able to puddle up on. The classic wood slat tabletop would be perfect, but I didn’t want to build one from scratch.

I figured that three GORM shelves would be ideal, and cheap. The trim on the edges extends a bit beyond the last slat, so on the end pieces I sawed them off. To make the spaces between the slats even where two shelves joined, I also shaved a little off the trim on that side.

For weatherproofing, I did two coats of stain (Rustoleum in Cabernet) and four coats of satin finish spar urethane. I did the underside, too, to prevent uneven warping. It’s been sprinkled on once already, and the moisture beaded up nicely.

To connect the pieces, I used metal mending plates, two for each joint. Not only is it sturdy, I can take it apart for moving.

~ Janet Brennan Croft, Norman OK