Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DIY 7-Foot Farmhouse Table

(This will be a "mini tutorial."  I suggest you follow the directions in the links provided within the blog for lumber shopping lists and specific building instructions, though I'll provide plenty of pictures of my own here, too.)

A few months ago, my husband and I decide to build ourselves a new kitchen table.  We had just recently finished our kitchen island from an armoire project and were excited to try something from scratch.  Fortunately, we agreed on what we wanted our table to look like!  

Our Pinterest search began, which is how we stumbled upon this amazing farmhouse table on Ana White's blog (be still my heart-LOVE her site).  But the plans for the table in that link were too small for what we wanted (7 feet long).  Imagine my excitement when I found this gal's modified plans for Ana White's table for 7 feet!  AND, she had great pictures that seemed easy for us to follow (we are total newbies at building from scratch).  

Even as newbies, this entire project, from start to finish, took only 1 week total.

And so, one evening while our kids were spending the night at their grandparents house, Ben and I ran to Home Depot after he did a wedding (I was big and pregnant and we were both in dressy clothes buying lumber-it was awesome).

Now, we used the plans and shopping lists from this blog to plan our lumber.  We planned our cuts to maximize our lumber usage and minimize our expenses.  There was no way we could fit these boards in our car.  And, although we have saws at home, we decided to save ourselves some time and pay to have the guys at Home Depot cut it all for us.  We had about 50 cuts, and at $.50 per cut, it totaled around $25...totally worth it!  We left the wood there, they cut it (took them an hour and a half), and we picked it up the next morning.  My advice for this is to take some time and know exactly how the cuts need to be made...they weren't as efficient with the cuts as I would have been, and I told them that at pickup when they tried to charge me for a few extra boards.  When I showed them how they should've cut them, they finished the cuts (on fresh boards as needed) without charge.


We bought a framing square, and I would say this is an absolutely necessary item to ensure that everything you put together is square.  Pictured above and below is the frame of the table.


Doesn't that look simple?  Well, it really is!

The hardest part was adding the top boards to the table.  Making sure that they were perfectly even was a little difficult.  We found it easiest to do the long boards first and the end boards last.  We started with the board in the middle, perfectly centered, and then worked around it.

Flip it over, and this is what it looks like before you add the end pieces.  Sand the edges of these boards before adding the end pieces to the table.  Center and add the end pieces.

Then, you get to sand.  And sand.  And sand.  And sand.  Sand it until it's smooth and the edges are looking good!

The bench is basically the exact same thing (here are the building plans).  But for whatever reason, ours is a little longer than the legs of the table, meaning that it doesn't slide completely under the table.  Not a big deal, but I would make it shorter next time.


Then it's time to finish the table.  We first covered the wood with MinWax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.  This will help the wood to not only soak up the stain evenly, but it will also make the wood harder, which is a good thing for a kitchen table that will see a lot of use.  Once that is applied, we went straight for the stain.  I LOVE Minwax's Gel Stains, as they are super easy to use and not nearly as messy as regular stain.  It's thick.  We used rags to just rub this into the table.  We did 1 really good coat, followed by a second lighter coat.  Put it on, then rub it off after a quick wait.

Finally, once the stain was totally done, we applied the poly.  We used Varathane's No Odor Polyurethane.  We see the "fastest drying," "no odor," "interior" kind.  It is water based and dries quickly.  We did 4 coats of this stuff using little foam brushes (inexpensive and you can just throw them away after).  Put it on, let it dry, sand a little on the rough spots.  Re-apply, let it dry, sand a little on the rough spots.  Repeat until it looks and feels like you want it to.

After the final coat of poly is applied, you'll want to wait about 72 hours to really let it set before using your table for normal use.

And lastly, the chairs.  We scored on these beautiful, old chairs from Ben's mom.  They were from when Ben was little, and they were just being stored in their shed.  I love them!  I used Rust-Oleum's Paint+Primer spray in Satin "Heirloom" color.  And, apparently, I don't spray paint properly (I missed that lesson on tagging in high school).  I thought you just hold down the button and spray like crazy.  After blowing through way too many of these cans, Ben came along and showed me the nice, short spray technique.  He wins.

I sprayed my chairs out front on the lawn :)  And then, I used that same poly as on the table, except in spray paint form, to finish these chairs.

And here's the finished product:

(You can see both our table and our home-made island in this picture.)

The Cost:
In total, this table (including all paints, stains, brushes, and lumber) cost us around $175.  I was able to sell our old table for $100, and then another big toy around the house for $40, which offset my cost to just $35!!!  Not bad :)

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