How To Paint A Patio Table

Garage sale season is in full swing, and I have a patio table trash to treasure story to tell you.

Patio Table Trash To Treasure Rescue

You’ve heard the saying when life gives you lemons, make lemonade?

Well, one Friday morning a couple of weeks ago, there was an unfortunate accident at our neighborhood playground. (lemons) No one was injured, just so you know. It was early morning when I headed down to survey the damage, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of my neighbors setting up for a garage sale.

I strolled down to check it out and there sat a rusty and kinda crusty patio table with curvy legs. I nonchalantly asked how much and the owner replied “$8.”

SOLD to the girl without any cash on her.

Now I don’t know about you but at 7 am in the morning I don’t have any cash on me or any other time for that matter. She offered to hold it, and I am not ashamed to tell you I ran home, borrowed money from my thirteen-year-old son, then proudly carried my trash to treasure patio table home.

I’m sure you would have done the same thing right?

Trash To Treasure: The Outdoor Edition

Anytime my friend Kimm of Reinvented invites me to a trash to treasure party, I say yes, please!

This trash to treasure patio rescue is just one of the awesome projects in The Outdoor Edition.

So this table is the lemonade sweet friends and to think I might have missed it.

This is my trash to treasure patio table rescue story. I saved this table from it's rusty and crusty existence using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.

(the rest of this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. this simply means that if you purchase any items using the link I have provided, I may receive a small commission.)

I could have just applied a little rust neutralizer, washed it off and called it a day. But where’s the fun in that?

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I mixed up a custom vintage green color using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for my farmhouse side table. I wound up not using it, so I decided it would be the perfect color to use.

Here’s my color recipe:

Two tablespoons Kitchen Scale

One tablespoon Boxwood, plus a little extra 🙂

I mixed up a custom color of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint to give a rusty and crusty patio table a makeover.

I added the Kitchen Scale first, which is the lighter color of the two, then the Boxwood.

The result was not too blue and not too green, just right.

I must tell you I was completely amazed by how well the paint adhered to the metal. I expected to get a little flaking or even chipping, but it went on smooth as silk.

Patio table trash to treasure makeover using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in a custom color mix.

Since I didn’t want this table to look like it was wearing a brand new coat of paint, I used 120 grit sand paper pretty aggressively. I wanted to see some of that rusty goodness underneath.

Then I wiped the whole thing down using a tack cloth to remove any excess milk paint dust.

At this point, I had to decide what I needed to seal it with. Usually, I would apply hemp oil or wax, but I wanted this table to be able to stand up to the elements.

So I checked in with my friend Wendy of Front Porch Mercantile who is my go-to person when I have a question about any of MMSMP products. She suggested I use an outdoor type sealant. So I decided to use Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.

Helmsman is specially made for indoor/outdoor use and will protect your surface from sunlight, temperature change, and moisture.  I sealed my milk painted headboard bench with it last year, and it has held up beautifully.

Sometimes my vision becomes a reality and sometimes, well not so much.

The reality is I am in love with the way this turned out.

Am I allowed to say that about my own project?

I created a custom color mix using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint for my trash to treasure patio table rescue.

Can we chat just a minute about these three olive buckets?

I ordered them from Decor Steals a couple of weeks ago. Even though they aren’t the “real deal” I love the patina they have.

I mixed up a custom color using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint to use on my patio table trash to treasure project.

So now you’ve read my patio table trash to treasure rescue story.

Have you any great trash to treasure stories or garage sale finds to share?  I would love to hear all about them.

Grab a cup of coffee with me and let’s hop around to see what kind of trashy stories these awesome bloggers have to share!

Kimm at Reinvented

Kim at Hunt and Host

Victoria at Dazzle While Frazzled

Pili at My Sweet Things

Randi at Dukes and Duchesses

Ashley at 3 Little Greenwoods

Courtney at All Things New Again

Lisa at The Purple Hydrangea

Tonya at Hey There Delyla

Denise at My Thrifty House

Wendi at H2O Bungalow

Jeanette at Country Design Style


This patio table trash to treasure makeover is just one of the many outdoor projects you don't want to miss from The Trash to Treasure Blog Hop: The Outdoor Edition.

You might also enjoy my Fall Trash to Treasure Project



  1. Kim says:

    That is amazing. I love the style of the table and your paint just brought it to life. Again. And yes, your cash story is my cash story. I never have any and I am constantly borrowing it from my teenagers. They always seem to have loads of it. Go figure! 😉

  2. Sherry Cole says:

    Yes, I have done the same thing. I think my kids are lying now when they say they don’t have any money I can borrow. lol. This table is proof that you can makeover almost any piece of furniture. You recognized the beauty in that old table. Great job!

  3. Pili says:

    This table is awesome, love the color and the texture it has!! You made me laugh with the cash thing, I thought you were talking about me

  4. FLORENCE @ VintageSouthernPicks says:

    Such a transformation! I love it, & am in the process of redoing a patio table myself. It’s not as deliciously rusty as yours though & the surface area it has is mostly glass, so I’m just gonna spray paint it. Really love your neighborhood find though! Pinned.

  5. Mary - the boondocks blog says:

    Lisa this turned out great. I think you should go out more often at 7 am. The color is perfect for this piece along with all that rusty goodness. It reminds me of the lush outdoors. And what can I say about those sexy curves on the legs? A great piece overall. And can I make a confession, we harvest olives every year and yet I have never used an olive bucket. I don’t even thing I’ve ever seen one.. Lol!

  6. Tonya says:

    haha! I love that you borrowed $8 from your son. That made me lol! It was totally worth it because your table looks great!!! I didn’t realize that you would use Milk Paint directly on metal. That’s pretty awesome. Enjoy your new to you side table.

    • Lisa says:

      Tonya, I did a little research before attempting this. I was really surprised it didn’t flake on me, but I chalk that up to the surface not being shiny.

  7. Toni says:

    What a score!! It looks beautiful with your custom mixed paint, and those buckets, I need some of those. Truly a trash to treasure <3

  8. Courtney says:

    I TOTALLY would have done the same thing! Great find…great deal…and great makeover! Love that custom color with just the right amount of rusty goodness coming through. 🙂

  9. Katherine Pittman says:

    You did a wonderful job and thank you for the tips on the products you used and how you use them to finish this table to look like a masterpiece. Great upcycle!!!

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