With the pandemic keeping more of us home-based than usual, home projects are at an all time high and many are looking for something else they can strip down, shellac, paint or distress. Why not get those creative juices flowing to create a picnic table that doubles as a conversation piece?

People everywhere are getting creative and disguising picnic tables as their art palettes. You don’t have to be a Van Gogh or a Rembrandt to disguise an ordinary picnic table into a work of art. Here are some ideas to inspire your imagination.

Paint the picnic table to look like a watermelon. Paint the top of the table the shade of red that most resembles the color of a watermelon. You can use your own discernment or simply search for a paint color labeled watermelon. Lowe’s sells spray on Krylon Colormaxx in the shade of watermelon.

After the base color is dry, hand paint on some black seeds. The bench seat and legs of the table can be painted to look like the rind of the watermelon with two different shades of green.

For the family looking to turn their table into a place to gather for a game, paint one end of the table as a checkerboard and set the other end up as a place to play tic-tac-toe. The tic-tac-toe end can be painted with chalkboard paint so chalk may be used to play the game.

Those looking for a more elegant appearance could paint the table a base color of their liking and then paint a formal looking table runner down the middle length-wise. Painting on placemats is another option as well.

Family-fun could be part of the project when children are allowed to be part of the painting party. This project is especially good when the children have a picnic table of their own. Let the kiddos paint and decorate their own picnic table with hand prints, their names, or whatever they want their table to look like. Check to make sure any paint that will touch their skin is safe to the skin.

It doesn’t take an art lesson to paint on geometric shapes or a big sun or moon to brighten up a plain old picnic table.

For the true artist the tabletop canvas could provide a place to show off their skill by painting red hot chili peppers, a few large lemons, a mountain landscape or seashore. A field of flowers or an array of daisies, roses, or sunflowers always adds a delightful image to a plain surface. The project is only limited by one’s imagination.

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise normally appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday editions.

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