Farmhouse Table

I’ve been an admirer of rustic farmhouse tables for a long time.   I wanted one at the old house for my kitchen, but we already had a perfectly serviceable dining table and neither the energy or time to make a new one.  This is one of those projects I’ve had tucked away in the mental (I want it) scrap book for some time just waiting for a chance to spring it on my handy – sweetie (aka the project do-er).  In our house I’m more of the thinker up-er of things and he’s more of the make my ideas into reality guy.  It works great for us.  :)

The internet is such a dangerous place for too much inspiration great resource for ideas.  Here are a few favorite farm tables I have pinned on my Pinterest board:

source: http://europaintfinishes.blogspot.com/2010/05/rustic-turquoise-dining-table.html

image source: not found

image source: http://www.primarilypine.com/custom-dining-tables.htm

image source: http://www.countryliving.com/homes/shopping/best-farm-tables-0809#slide-1

I love them all; their chunky legs and smooth aged tops just call to me.  My good friend Barb’s dining table is especially pretty.

Don’t you just love it!?  She and her husband are big DIYers like us so I figured if they could do it so could we.  Copying Being inspired by another’s project is the sincerest form of flattery – don’t you think?

So, where to begin?  I knew I wanted my table to have turned legs but they can be pretty pricey – around $30/ leg at the home improvement stores for the size I wanted.  Eeek – too rich for me.  In comes my good friend Craig.  I found a nice chunky table on Craigslist in the “big city” (ATL) and my sweetie just happened to be there on business.  How convenient, and he just so happened to have my SUV…it’s almost like I planned it or something (teeheehee).  Anyway, we were able to get the table for $50 planning to just use the legs.

table legs

I needed the table to be long (6 ft) and narrow (30 in) because of where I wanted to use it -  as a work table in my craft room.  We originally thought we might be able to re-use the apron from the underside of CL table and just cut it down for the new one, but the old table apron ended up being fiber board, too short, and it was glued on pretty tight – blech.  So we got some oak 1″x3″s to make the new table apron out of.  You can see them in the picture above, stacked on top of the old table edge.

For the table top we used 2″x12″s.  Since I wanted to edges of the boards to sit flush up against each other my sweetie cut off the rounded edges with his table saw.

Ripping the rounded edges off of the 2"x 12"s

Next up – getting the boards together to form the table top.  I pre-stained the in between pieces so I would be sure that the stain would go all the way through.  I thought this step was important since I decided to go with a dark color stain and didn’t want any light color pine peeking through the cracks.  On the narrow ends of the table we decided to do a perpendicular piece of wood, like on Barb’s table above.  Again we were really constrained by the finished size requirement so Steve had to trim down the ends a little bit with his circular saw.  He used the clamps and straight edge as a guide to be assured of a clean cut.

In the picture below you can see how we attached the long boards together with the cross braces.  They are just regular old 2″x4″ scraps we got out of a dumpster.  (We live in a new construction neighborhood, so there are lots of little scraps around, and no we aren’t above dumpster diving).  Once the 2″x12″ boards were secured together it was time to attach the 1″x3″ apron.

Attaching the apron

Screwing the apron piece into place

There was a little bit of math involved with the corner pieces, but we just essentially tried to cheat and copy the corners on the underside of the CL table.  You can see how it all worked out in the picture below.

Because my craft room storage furniture (from Ikea – that I’ll share soon) is white I knew I wanted the bottom part of the table to be white.  I just used the trim paint left over from the construction of the house.  I didn’t prime it first, so I ended up needing 3 coats.  The color is White N333 01 in a semi-gloss finish by Benjamin Moore.  It really does match the Ikea furniture pretty well.

Painting the bottom white

The unblemished top of the table was so pretty at this point I almost hated to go on with my plan to distress it.  I really had to think about it for a day or two.

The unblemished top

Once I took the first swing of the hammer though, the distressing process was pretty darn fun.

distressing the table top with a chain

I used a chain, screws, bolts, washers, cans, screwdrivers, little finish nails and just about anything that would leave a dent when hammered into the soft pine.  I tried to make it random with ample distressing, but not too much.  You know how that goes…

Next up was the stain.  I used my old standby MinWax Dark Walnut.  Instead of using the preferred (recommended) method of painting it on then wiping it off; I just painted it on and left it.  I wanted the table top to be REALLY dark.

dark stained top

Though it stayed tacky for a day or two, eventually it did dry.  Once it dried I put two coats of polyurethane on to make it good and durable.

Since we’ve put it in the craft room I don’t think there has been a day that it hasn’t been in use.

Here, it is covered with a project I was working on for baby girl’s dorm room.

adding ruffles to a store bought bed skirt

There are no drawers in the table so I just mounted my old storage tins to the end of the table.  They are great for holding small odds and ends, like scissors, pens & pencils.  These little buckets are on a rail system and they’re  from my old house where I had the unit hanging on a wall.  It was originally purchased from Ikea.  They no longer carry this version, but they do have a similar one now.  I can’t find it online, but in the store it’s located in the little section where they have the kitchen utensil dividers and trash bag holders, etc.

All in all this project ended up costing less than $100.  We had to purchase the CL table – for the legs, (3) 2″x12″x6′, (3) 1″x3″x6′, and 1 box of wood screws.  We had the 2″x4″ wood scraps, the white paint, the walnut stain, and the poly already in our DIY arsenal.

I am happy as a clam with how it turned out.  It fits in the space perfectly; it’s heavy duty without being clunky, rustic without looking tired, and super functional.  Plus it was a great project for us to work on together.

Have you done any projects lately that have been in your mental scrapbook forever?

*  I have received no financial or other compensation for specific products or sources mentioned in this post.