20 November 2012

Build This: Dining Room Table

Building a dining room table has been my dream for about 2 years now. We finally got rid of our hi-top dining room table/chairs (thank you Craigslist!) and within 10 minutes I had already ordered my new chairs online!

I had given Craig fair warning that this day would come...and to be honest it was a lot easier than we had anticipated! We didn't use any specific instructions. We really just played it by ear. All that I knew was that I wanted a thick plank table top and I didn't care too much about the rest.  We went to Home Depot and bought cedar planks and asked them to cut them all an even 7' long. Easy Peasy! We didn't even have to break out the saw at home. I'll give you a quick step-by-step on how we did the rest....

Step 1: Arrange the planks in the order that they look best. The specific type of wood that we used had lighter and darker areas, as well as, knots and defects. These are all good things! We tried to line up each one so that the best side was facing up....actually once you figure out exactly how you want it to look you'll need to flip it upside down. We used ratchet straps to make these as tight as possible. (note: learn from our mistake and put a tarp under the table to keep it from getting scratched!)
Step 2: Once your table top is all in place you'll need to put a healthy coat of Liquid Nail down. This is helpful when you put the piece of plywood down, just to keep it from shifting too much. Place your plywood down on top. We had this cut smaller than our table top to keep it from being seen too much. Use 2 additional ratchet straps to hold everything in place. Obviously you'll need to walk and/or jump on the table to make sure its sticking :)

 Step 3: Use the longest wood screws that you can find that will NOT go all the way through the top. You want them to be as long as possible but not TOO long! For example, if your wood is 3 inches long, you'll probably want to get 2 1/2'' screws. We made sure that each plank had about 4 screws in it.

Step 4: Assemble! There are lots of different ways that you can make the base of your table. You can buy wooden or metal legs, you can use an existing table base or you can build it from scratch. We bought these trestles at Ikea for about $30/piece and they took to the stain pretty well. They're real sturdy and visually appealing - to me, of course. There is an additional piece to these trestles that isn't shown which we screwed into the table top and it attaches straight to the trestle base.

Step 5: Sand & Clean. This part is really important. We didn't need a big fancy sander for this project so we just whipped out the good ol' Dremel. Once you sand everything and there are no splinters left (ouch!) you'll need to clean the table. Mostly I used the hand held attachment on my vacuum cleaner to get all the residue out from in between the planks and wiped it down really well.

Step 6: Stain & Seal. This part is fun! We used this stain (Early American) on our dressers and the color is completely different. Each type of wood takes stain differently. It turned out much darker than I expected, but its kind of fun to see how it turns out. (Note: We're more of a 'go with the flow' kind of couple so we were fine with it, however if you're really looking for a specific color make sure that you test out the stain on a scrap piece of wood so that you'll know how its going to turn out.) We used Varathane brand and thought at first that the Stain + Poly combo would work....it wont. You really need to put several coats of Polyurethane on the table after its stained. Each brand is different to be sure to read and follow the instructions on the back.  
Here's a little peek of the finished product. We also made some matching shelves to hang on the wall and found a fabulous over sized pendant light to hang above the table. There are still several things to do in this room, but its really coming together and I'm already loving it!

Tomorrow I'll give you a little peek at what my Thanksgiving table looks like :)


  1. Once I have a house I am totally DIY'ing all over that thing! haha
    It's tutorials like yours that make me inspired and confident that I can tackle all those DIYs I pin :) Thank you for the lovely tutorials. I am absolutely smitten with your blog, too!

    tiana of l'esthetique

  2. omg, this is such an amazing DIY!! i LOVE your table. i am totally showing this to my husband! we need a new table so bad!

  3. wow that is awesome!



  4. That table is amazing! I really want to make one


  5. So! SOOOOO awesome! I always thought the perfect table was a homemade one! Perfect for one's needs. This came out so great!

  6. awesome, i definitely want a farm house table someday... like, when i have a house

  7. That's incredible. I'm pinning that for future reference.


  8. Do you have any pictures of the finished table showing the legs clearly along with the top? I'm thinking of making one but want to see some additional pictures if you have time to send them. Thanks! krista@thereimers.org

  9. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.
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  10. The legs need to be made and finished


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