By Gerald Dlubala
Picnic table coatings have come a long way. Here’s why. Enjoying a meal outside at a local park, stadium or outdoor venue makes for a great outing.
Time spent in nature turns your boring, stay-at-home, what-to-do day into a day of anticipation, relaxation, and good times.
Who doesn’t want, or need more of that? A quality, easy-to-clean, metal picnic table or park bench can enhance these activities by creating the center point or hub for your day’s events, from games, meals, and prep areas to being the catchall place for coolers and bags.
But a great picnic table will easily become the best place to sit, talk, and catch up with friends and family in a casual, relaxing way, restoring the lost art of conversation and personal interaction.
Quality, useful, and aesthetically appealing tables simply encourage the use of the space for gatherings and events.
However, a picnic table that is in disrepair, splintering, broken, carved or vandalized in some manner doesn’t only discourage people from using it, but will also cause visitors to reject the entire area, painting that space as dirty, dangerous, and unkempt.
No one wants to have a family picnic in an area considered sketchy, unattended, and in obvious disrepair.
Picnic furnishings can be an easy target for vandals
Random acts of vandalism have always been a lingering issue for anyone in charge of the care and upkeep of public gathering places.
More specifically, park vandalism is an issue because it is one of the most likely places to see a picnic table vandalized.
This type of defacing is also one of the biggest pet peeves of park managers, rangers, and gathering space managers.
They see it on a continual basis, and it’s “admittedly tiring”.
It’s one of those repetitive issues that those in charge have to continually monitor and fix.
The older wooden picnic tables present the perfect canvas for graffiti artists and amateur wood carvers, announcing anything from a political belief to their current emotional state, to a new love interest.
All of this reading material is then there for the next group of visitors to see, read, and live with for at least the day, if not longer.
Needless to say, if the graffiti includes vulgarity it will make it uncomfortable for a family with small children, or any group of picnickers that want to spend the day there, only to have to cover up or continually hide the doings of others.
It’s been noted that some vandalism occurs because of unhappy or unsatisfied guests. So even though some of the vandalism may occur randomly, it may also be a sign that visitors are unhappy or unsatisfied with something in the park.
In that case, it’s a matter of listening to the visitors, reading the reviews, and making your park or gathering place a better place to visit, use, and or spend time.
But random graffiti is unpredictable, and incurs expense to repair or remove. In the case of gouging, carving, and “amateur woodworking,” the repair or replacement of the pieces, or in a worst-case scenario, the whole picnic table, can add up.
There is also no guarantee that the problem is solved and won’t return, as early as the next day.
Better picnic table coatings
There is a way to drastically cut down the incidence of this type of picnic table vandalism, however.
When replacing those picnic tables or park benches, either out of necessity or simply because of product lifespan, quality, fabricated metal tables with tough coatings become a sensible and economical alternative that should be considered.
They can be chosen in a wide range of colors, making the ability to match your business or school colors an easy and fun option.
And just think how easy it would be to draw the eye of visitors to a brightly colored metal table, making it a great and attractive way to mark and suggest gathering spaces based on the preferences of your business or park. You can choose where you want people to gather and congregate.
Benefits of thermoplastic-coated metal picnic tables
Other benefits of choosing thermoplastic picnic table coatings for your gathering space include:
- Style and size selection. Whatever style and size you need to fit your space, from the small bistro style tables, through larger than normal, family style seating, quality metal picnic tables can fit your needs. ADA qualified seating is available as well, all with rust resistant, long lasting finishes.
- Resistance to environmental conditions. From those scorching UV rays on a sun drenched afternoon, to the gully-washing rains of harsh summer storms, to the ice and snow of the bitter winters, metal picnic tables hold strong thanks to their thermoplastic finish, retaining their usefulness and aesthetic looks for that next anticipated outing.
- Customized color options. Choosing a quality metal table means the availability to choose the color as well. Think about the aesthetics of having tables and benches that match your school, university or workplace logo color schemes, making your outdoor space tie in naturally with your indoor space, creating a unified campus. For park managers, it would be great to have picnic tops and benches in unique, eye-catching colors to attract visitors to the gathering locations that you want them to use. With bright, inviting coatings, those gathering and picnicking areas will be clearly marked and noticeable.
- Maintenance? What maintenance? Quality metal benches do away with the concerns and continuous monitoring of splintering and wood chipping, extensive deterioration that comes with repeated, constant use, natural rotting due to the changing environment. While spills, juices, and other food related fluids can soak into the older, wooden picnic tables, metal tables will not hold those spills to later attract bugs, nuisance animals, or worse. The coatings allow the tables to be wiped down and sanitized, something that naturally porous wood can’t offer. In addition, for metal picnic tables with perforated tables and seats, fluids cannot pool up but fall right through.
Common sense choice
With all these advantages, it becomes common sense to replace those damaged, carved up, carved on, or deteriorating wooden picnic tables with new, thermoplastic or powder coat finished metal picnic tables.
Virtually maintenance free, they are highly rust resistant, certainly fireproof, and long lasting, which translates to being economical.
The structure of the tables are such that the elements will have minimal effect. Those amateur graffiti poets and woodworkers will no longer have your tables available as canvases for their uncaring public displays. Those thermoplastic coated tables will immediately bring a smile to your face, a relief to your checkbook, and a shortening to your to-do list.
Note: The Park and Facilities Catalog now offers picnic tables and other products that are covered with a proprietary SealGuard coating that is even stronger, more lustrous and vandal resistant than thermoplastic. See our guide to picnic table coatings and coatings for other metal site furnishings.