I’m so excited about this project. Like really, really excited!! I’ve been wanting a farmhouse table for a VERY long time. Spending summers on the Cape, my aunt and uncle would throw some of the most wonderful dinner parties. They weren’t stuffy or formal. It was always just friends and family gathered at the house with the occasional drop in guest or two…or more! No matter the quantity, guests were always welcome. My Uncle David had a massive farm house table big enough to seat 10-12 people. It was the perfect size. There were so many wonderful meals and memories had around that table…his marriage proposal to my aunt, lobster dinners and my favorite, playing craps! Yup, at 7 years old, I could play craps like a boss! Anyway, the point is, yes, the people absolutely had something to do with the memories, but so did the table.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I had a dining room table that I never sat at for dining purposes, not even once. It was one of those pieces that I painted on a whim and decided I wasn’t crazy about. Remember my post about my old blog and comparing it to a room in my house I’d just rather pretend wasn’t there because I wasn’t crazy about it? Well, that’s kinda how I was feeling about our dining room table, except there was no running from it. It was there, front and center, first thing when you walked onto our house.
Well, the mood struck and I decided it was time. I took the littles out to Home Depot along with my cut list and selected the wood for the table frame. I had already purchased the table top boards two months prior. I know. 2 months!?
The top was made from (4) 2×12’s cut to 88 inches. I’d even started prepping them thinking that the visual might spark some great revelation about what direction to head in, but alas I couldn’t decide what kind of table I wanted to make. So the top sat…and sat…and sat some more. This is how the table top boards evolved.
I had thought about purchasing proper table legs, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $50+ per leg, so I decided to create my own. Initially I was just going to go with untreated 4×4’s, but they were surprisingly hard to come by. You definitely can’t get them from Home Depot or Lowe’s and every local lumber yard I called was a bust. I decided (2) 2×4’s secured together would work just fine. More on those later.
I enlisted the help of my Bub since two people are always better than one. We decided to assemble our frame first. For right or wrong, this is how we found it easiest to begin. We lined up our (2) 78 inch 2×4’s (the sides of the table) against the outside of the heads of the table which I had cut to 36 inches. The following picture was with the boards up, but not secured. A this point, prior to securing, it’s important to check for square. There’s an awesome vid on YouTube that I found here on how to do that.
We opted to use our Kreg Jig which was really the right call for this project. We set the kreg to 1 1/2 inches and used the jig on the shortest side of the frame (the heads of the table) We used 2 1/2 pocket screws to secure to the sides. This is how we did the kreg joints. Also make sure to check out this awesome guide on how to select the appropriate screw size for your project.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Kreg Jig, this is it. It’s not nearly as intimidating as you might think. It’s super user friendly as long as you read the directions or watch the instructional DVD…or you can be irresponsible and overly excited to begin like I may have been, and just watch the Shanty 2 Chic vids on getting started.
Once we were sure the the frame was square, we went ahead and added our supports. Funny thing about that. I forgot to have them cut during my first trip to Home Depot. I ran out to Lowe’s just because it was a little closer than Home Depot, and had them cut to 36 inches and made sure to tell the guy at Lowe’s what we were using the wood for so he’d be extra careful to ensure an exact measurement. Initially we thought 5 supports would be the lucky number. We got them placed though, and came to the conclusion that it was overkill, so we used (3) 2×4 supports instead. We made the same joints that we’d done at the head of the table, creating pockets on the ends of each support.
Now the legs! Although I was bummed that I wasn’t able to find untreated 4×4’s, we came up with a pretty good alternative. We used (2) 2×4’s cut to 29.5 inches (a total of 8 for the entire table, 2 for each leg) and just screwed them together. So they didn’t have such a 2×4 look, we decided to use our Ryobi router to give them a little personality.
Although we didn’t photograph this step, we did also use the Kreg Jig to secure the first 2×2 table leg to the long part of the frame. We had to secure them this way because we had already made Pockets in the short end of the frame. Had we gone with attaching the first part of our leg to the shortest part of our frame, we would have run the risk of hitting the other joints. Once the first 2×4 was in place, we secured the second half of the leg to the first with three evenly spaced 2 1/2 inch screws.
After the legs were attached we decided to relocate the table to the dining room where I would later paint it, along with the undersides of the table top. I used Homestead House milk paint stain in Sherwood. I had a little assistance with this part! As a side note, I love this paint!! No smell at all and a little went such a long way.
The next morning, we moved the frame and boards for our top outside so I could sand them and give the whole piece a distressed, barn wood look.
I gave the frame and table top a good wipe down and brought them back inside. At this point, we still had a few more steps until we could call this project complete. We placed our table top boards on the frame, measured and measured again and got the boards placed as evenly as possible. Yes, we wanted them perfect, but the fact is, authentic old barn wood is far from perfect. We decided that we were totally cool with a little imperfection. If this isn’t you, a few steps back, you could have planed your boards to ensure that they were perfectly even and would lay nicely. Two of our boards were slightly bowed, but we went with it and called it character.
We made 4 more sets of Kreg joints across every support and along the long sides of our frame. The placement of these will be based entirely upon the size and placement of your table top boards. We simply marked of the placement on the underside supports with a pencil. We screwed the table top to the frame which surprisingly eliminated almost all the bowing!
At last, this project was nearing the finish line!! I applied several coats of minwax Wipe-on Poly in a satin sheen and allowed 24 hours between recoating.
Here’s the finished farmhouse table!
Now it’s time to continue the journey of having intentional stuff in our home and not just meaningless crap to fill a space. It’s time to get to laughing, eating, making memories and of course, teaching our littles the fine game of craps at our new, made with love, farmhouse table!
Although we don’t have super detaild plans on how we constructed our table, I’d be happy to answer any questions. You can also check out More Like Home. She’s got some pretty good plans that are similar to ours.
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