I am so excited to share with you our DIY Dining Room Table Project today. It’s taken longer than originally planned but the result is so worth it!
Earlier this year we completed our dining room remodel including new ceilings and walls. Then after the holidays, we installed new hardwood floors throughout our first floor. Finishing the flooring was our final project to finish out our dining room project. With that complete, we were ready for furniture and B and I were both ready for a new table.
Knowing the end was near, B and I started getting serious about finding a new dining room table. Even though we had a pretty good idea what we wanted it was hard finding a good quality table that didn’t cost more than our entire dining room remodel. I had eventually narrowed it down to a few that I shared in a round up post here. In the end, we weren’t happy what we could get for the money.
After going back to square one, I found a few examples on Pinterest of some great farm tables similar to the look I wanted that people built themselves. I shared a few of the plans / designs with B and we decided that was the route we wanted to go. It’s been a much longer process getting this table done, but I thought I’d share our progress and tell you about what we’ve done so far.
The Table Base
We used basic construction lumber for the legs / base. It’s not the prettiest wood but I knew I wanted to paint the base so it didn’t matter. We picked the best boards we could and sanded everything down before finishing. It’s amazing how far a good sanding will go to making the wood look better! B assembled the whole thing and then we filled holes and sanded everything down until it was smooth and even. Once the base was ready, I painted it with two coats of chalk paint. I wanted a matte finish and have been so impressed with this paint on other projects. The paint is Rustoleum Chalkpaint in White Linen which is a true white.
The Table Top
When it came to the top, B didn’t want to use construction lumber so we had to find somewhere that sold good, finish wood. We contacted a few places and settled on a great lumber company about 30 minutes from home. B and I went to their shop on Good Friday while we were both off work and I’m so glad we got to go together. I had never been anywhere like this so it was a lot of fun looking through their stock at all the options.
While I knew I didn’t want a live edge slab for our table, we have fun imagining all the things that could be built with some of the pieces. Some of the slabs were 5-6 inches thick which was so amazing to see.
The walnut options were beautiful and had so many colors through them. For our table, walnut would have cost well over $500 so I took a few photos instead.
I learned that I do not like Ash or Poplar. I also learned that I can see no difference between red and white oak. I’m glad the pros could tell. In the end, we decided on White Oak. The grain is really pretty and it’s not too light and not too dark.
Once we decided on the species, we gave them our size requirements and they left us while they picked out the wood, planed the boards and squared up the edges and loaded everything into our truck.
When we got home, B and I laid out the top. We knew we wanted breadboard ends and the boards weren’t all the same width so we had to make sure we liked the “pattern”. Once we had it laid out, B prepped the edges for biscuits and then we worked together to glue and clamp all the pieces together. Once the main part of the table was dry, B cut the ends and we did the same for the breadboard ends.
You may notice in the photos that the two outer boards are thicker than the inner boards. We saved about $50 by using thinner boards for the inner part of the table but I wanted the edges to appear thicker more in proportion to the table base. Since this “ledge” is on the underside, no one will ever see it and it provide a nice inset area that the table base fits into.
Once everything was assembled and dry, B sanded everything down. He was careful to soften the edges just enough to keep them from being sharp. Sanding also removes any glue that seeped out from between the boards.
With sanding was complete, we cleaned the table top using tack cloth as our final step. Before staining, I tested stain on a couple scraps. I tested one coat vs. two coats and once I decided what I liked, I stained the entire table top. I used “Weathered Oak” which adds just a touch of gray to the wood while bringing out all the warm tones. One coat of stain was enough. A couple days later, we sealed the top with the same matte polyurethane as we used on the floors. It’s water based and has a matte finish.
We are now working on matching benches for the two long sides that use the same design. B is scaling down the legs and cross rails proportionally and I cannot wait to get them done and into the house too!
The table is huge and perfect in our room. It could easily fit 10-12 people which is awesome. I also really love the simple, clean design!
The dining room table has been on our list for a long time. Even though we ended up not buying a table, we are thrilled with the final result. The added time it took to track down the right wood and build it ourselves gives the table more meaning for us. In the end, the cost for the project, including the benches, totals about $370 which is a huge cost savings that we can put into a future project.
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