Hi there! Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Lots of projects going on around here, but today I’m sharing my farmhouse dining table I built a little over a year ago (waaay before this blog!). This was my very first woodworking project. I did happen to snap a few photos of the process – sorry about the poor quality, these were taken with my phone!
I got this building plan – and the confidence to attempt it – from the amazing Ana White. If you’ve never been to her site, she creates free and easy furniture building plans. I love her plans because many of them are knock-offs of Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware furniture!
Ana also released a really cute book last fall with some exclusive plans you can’t get on the website, plus a lot of tips and advice – its a great book for beginner builders. You can check out her book on Amazon here.
The wood for building this table was around $100! I think Pottery Barn was selling this table for around $1800 at the time. Mine might not look identical, but for the cost differential, I’m a happy camper! The main reason I am sharing this project is partially because its affordable – but mainly because I truly believe any one can build this table, or any of Ana’s furniture plans.
One reason I love DIY is because it allows you to create a beautiful and comfortable home you love, just to your taste, within your means.
For me, spending $1800 on a table just isn’t an option. And I truly believe I enjoy this table immensely more than I would the PB one because of all the hard work I put into it. You can check out the free plans here. Here’s a quick summary of how I did it. I cut all my wood with a miter saw, except for the legs, which I notched out with a table saw. You don’t need anything too fancy a basic miter saw like this one will do the trick. If you don’t have a table saw (I borrowed one), you can use a circular saw set to the depth specified in the plans. Attach the crossbars to the legs using wood screws as specified in plans. I used a Kreg pocket hole jig to attach all the boards. Let me tell you, those things are awesome. Easy to use, makes joining a breeze, AND your projects will be mega sturdy! The jig made it easy! You can see the pocket holes below. Laying out the table top boards to decide the layout. I wanted to make sure I got some knotty spots on top to give it a more rustic look. I joined the table top boards with pocket holes and then attached the table top to the table. Breadboard ends attached with pocket holes to the table top. I measured the bottom board but didn’t screw it on so I can remove it to move the table in and out of doorways when I move. For the stain I really wanted to create a natural-looking aged finish so I used the old steel wool and vinegar treatment. Here’s how to do it:
- A few days before you want to stain: Start by soaking some fine steel wool and white vinegar in a sealed jar. Let it sit for a few days, shaking it periodically. The vinegar will dissolve the steel wool into a dark/black solution.
- Apply one coat of wood conditioner – I always do this before staining to ensure even coverage. I like to put two coats on the raw ends of the wood. This prevents them from soaking up too much stain and being darker than the rest of the wood.
- Brew some very strong black tea and let it cool. Then paint your wood with the black tea. The pine I used is low in tannins so I did two coats of tea to add some more tannins to create a darker wood look. You could do even more coats if you are looking for a darker stain.
- After your tea stain has dried, brush on the steel wool vinegar mixture. After a few minutes you will see the stain developing.
Here’s what it looks like after the steel wool solution application dries. After the table was stained I applied 3 coats of satin Polycrilic. The polycrilic actually took some of grays out of the wood that I was really loving, and lent a green tint to the finish that I don’t love, so I would recommend maybe using polyurethane, tung oil, or paste wax to seal the finish – lesson learned! I still love how it turned out though. I hope you feel inspired to start your own building project. If I can do it, so can you! I’ll have more pictures to show you when I share last year’s thanksgiving table! I am also planning on building a farmhouse bed soon so stay tuned!
Update: My finished DIY Pottery Barn-style headboard can be seen here.
For more DIY furniture inspiration you can check out my DIY Furniture board on Pinterest!Follow Shelly@The Domestic Heart Blog's board DIY Furniture on Pinterest.
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