My sister said we needed a picnic table on this little deck. Kristen, my wife, loved the idea and we found one for sale (on Craigslist) at an RV park in Woodland Park, CO. We hooked up the trailer and picked up this well-used and weather-abused 8-foot table.
Kristen, who is an artist, wanted to paint it black. (I don't even think she knows the Rolling Stones song of that name). I said that with the table on the southwest corner of the house, it would get non-stop afternoon sun and get way way too hot to be used on a lot of days ruing a Colorado summer.
After talking about it on the air and hearing so many listeners agree with me (but figuring I'd lose the debate), Kristen actually came up with a win-win: the lower parts are the beautiful near-black that she chose and the top and benches are a lighter color that doesn't get so hot. Kristen did all the work herself, including sanding, lots of wood filler, more sanding, and then multiple coats of marine-grade spar urethane.
Thanks to everyone who shared your opinions...I think they made a big impact on Kristen's decision to do what she did, and I think it means we have a much more family-friendly picnic table!