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How to Seal My New Picnic Table

By C. Giles ; Updated September 21, 2017
Sealing your new picnic table protects you from chemicals in the wood.

Treated wood picnic tables are designed to be long-lasting, even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. The main purpose of sealing the table is to protect you and your family from the potentially harmful chemicals that are sometimes present in treated wood. It is quick and easy to apply a sealer to make sure your new picnic table is safe.

A soft brush will pick up small pieces of debris.

Prepare your picnic table for sealing by removing all dirt, dust, debris and oil with a soft-bristled brush. Mix an environmentally friendly cleaning solution with water in a bucket. An oxygen-based cleaner is free from harsh chemicals and will not damage the surrounding lawn. Read the manufacturer's instructions before use.

A hose is the most effective method of rinsing.

Apply the cleaning solution to the picnic table, using a stiff brush. Work in sections, rinsing each one with a garden hose before moving on to the next. Leave your table to dry.

Test a polyurethane sealer on a small, inconspicuous area of the table.

A paintbrush is the easiest way to apply the sealer.

Apply the sealer to the entire table, using either a brush or a roller. One coat should be sufficient, but apply two coats to the end grain for higher protection.

Leave the table to dry in a sheltered location.

Repeat the process once per year.


Things You Will Need

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Environmentally friendly cleaning solution
  • Bucket
  • Stiff scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Polyurethane sealer
  • Paintbrush


  • Rinse grass and plants immediately, if sealer is spilled on them.
  • Clean brushes and rollers with mineral spirits immediately after use.
  • Keep leftover sealer in a tightly closed container, in a cool area.

About the Author


C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."