How to Build
a Picnic Table



  • Crown Molding
  • 8D Finishing Nails
  • Wood for blocking
  • Masking Tape
  • Paintable Caulk

Job Preparation

  • Pick your molding. A good basemark is 1/2" rise for every foot of ceiling height. A well-balanced crown molding is usually a little narrower than your baseboard
  • Hold a piece of molding in place to judge what alignment to place your crown
  • Put masking tape around the walls and ceiling so the rail trim will cover about 1/2" of tape
  • Use stud finder to find studs and ceiling joists, mark where they are on the tape
  • Mark framing locations and snap chalk lines on tape

CPO Tips:

Since solid wood molding is more expensive, molding made from MDF (combination of wood and resin) can save time and money. Do not use in kitchens or bathrooms because humidity will make MDF warp.

Ex.) 1:

Ex.) 2:

Ex.) 3:

Diagram 1:

Measure Corners and Cut Molding

  • Measure the length of wall for your first piece of molding
  • Room corners are not always a perfect 90 or 270 degrees. Use your adjustable protractor to find the angle of the corner
  • Adjust miter saw accordingly and cut the first piece

CPO Tips:

The holes that secure the legs (B) to the upper support (A) should be drilled 2" from top of upper support (1 1/2" from bottom), so the carriage bolts won't be in the way.

Ex. 1:

Diagram 2:

Attach Leg Frames to Table Top

  • Position table top upside down. Using four 2.5" wood screws, attach leg frames to braces on bottom of table top
  • Using the last 8 ft 2x4, cut two 24" pieces with a 45 degree angle on each end. These will be your leg frame braces
  • Measuring from the bottom of the table top to the bench support, make a mark 17" on the middle of the support
  • Make a second mark on underside of table top from the inside area of the bench support to center board on underside of table top.
  • Your leg frame braces should line up with the marks you just made
  • Secure braces with 2.5" wood screws and then with carriage bolts

CPO Tips:

If your leg frame braces do not line up with your marks, pull the leg assembly over until they do, otherwise the legs / table top won't be 90 degrees.

Diagram 3:

Finishing Your Classic Picnic Table

  • Flip table up and install your seats with the 60" 2x6 timber
  • With leftover scrap wood, add supports underneath the seats and table top in the middle, to keep them aligned
  • Cut supports to be approximately 1" from either edge of table top or bench seat. Finish up with 2.5" wood screws
  • Enjoy your new classic picnic table!

Diagram 4:

Diagram 5:

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