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Our DIY Farmhouse Style Dining Table

A couple of weeks ago I shared Our Farmhouse Style Fireplace Makeover with you and let on towards the end that it was time to fix the farmhouse style table that we had started.  So without further ado, I am here to share our experience with our DIY dining table that we started right around the same time as our fireplace makeover.diy farmhouse dining tab

The dining table that we were previously using, which we just sold today, was a generous gift from my parents to Ben and I back when we were living in Fairview Heights, prior to kids.  This pub style table lasted us through 3 moves and 4+ years of little hands working all sorts of destructive magic.  The structure of the table itself was still in good condition and would look like new if refinished.  The top of the table had definitely seen better days.  The chairs needed some screw replacements and a much needed uplift to the chair padding due to toddler spills…still occurring what seems like every other night at best.

Older Pub Style TableOlder Pub Table with chairs

So, we could have just done a refresh on our previous table, but for multiple reasons wanted to try doing something new on our own.  If it was a total flop, we could always go back and refinish our old one …or buy…we really didn’t want to the latter.  We wanted to start from scratch to 1) have more surface space, 2) accommodate our kids with something a little bit lower (and no seats with fabric!), and 3) to bring a different style into our home.

I like the farmhouse look, there is something about it that just feels warm and inviting to me, though I know this look is not for everyone.  Doing a quick Google search, many of the tables I liked ranged anywhere from $500 – $1,500 and upward…ugghhhh!  Given that our boys are still slopping food, drinks, crayons, paint, and whatever else it might be all over the place, it is hard to justify spending that much on a table that we will likely go through before we end up with something more permanent.  How people manage to keep “nice things” “nice” when there are toddlers in the house, I have NO idea!  Yes, we have crayons that are washable…but apparently we also have crayons still that are not.  For anyone that didn’t see my Instagram story last week, Jack drew with blue crayon all over our whiskey barrel that we use for shelving in the dining area…added some new character I suppose.  I could be more of a stickler about keeping things clean, but I guess that just isn’t something I feel like dedicating a bunch of time too (don’t get me wrong -we are generally clean people)!

Anyhow -new table plans!  Ben already had a few pictures he had been looking at online for tables he thought he could make work.  I showed him a few that I liked too and luckily we were both on the same page.  I asked him today if there was any website that he used as a reference when constructing the table so I could give appropriate credit and he said that he just went off of a picture that he googled.  I just sourced the photo and it is from Erin Spain’s Blog, it looks like she has made a few different tables and has tons of other cute projects!  Ben was referencing the 2nd photo that she has on her blog post.  I’m going to include a similar one below that we took and identify some of the “pieces” I’ll be referencing in the directions. Hopefully this will help make things more clear.  1st LESSON LEARNED: when writing a blog post for a DIY project that you are working on in conjunction with your husband -DO NOT wait until it is finished to write.  Take notes together throughout the entire process to avoid frustration by both individuals :-).  Don’t worry, 2 projects down and we still love each other.

Disclosure: Please note that I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  The affiliate links I’ve chosen to use below are all handpicked by me.  Please also note, we are not professionals in woodworking!  This is just a detailed account of what we did as a couple trying to save a dime, while still making our house feel like a home.

Supplies:

DIY Farmhouse Style Dining Table Directions

Directions:

  1. We decided to have our table top 5 feet in length and approximately 40 inches in width.  On each end of the table, we cut the 1st layer of supporting wood (2 x 4s) to be 2 inches inward from the table top edge (approximately 36 inches in length).  A skill saw was used to cut the supporting layer of wood at a 45 degree angle on each side.
  2. We then measured the 2nd layer of supporting wood (2×4) to match the short end of the 1st layer of supporting wood and cut again at a 45 degree angle on both sides.
  3. The same process was repeated with the 1×4 that was used for the third layer of supporting wood, but of course the measurement matched with the shortest end of the 2nd layer of supporting wood.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 4 times and this will give you your supporting wood for both sides of the table, top and bottom.
  5. Cut 1×4 to 4 inches in length.  Repeat 4 times and these will be the table feet for each corner of the table.
  6. Cut your north and south 2x4s to length for desired heighth of table.  You’ll have 2 supporting beams.  We cut ours at 19 inches.Lumber cut for DIY Farmhouse Style Table
  7. Cut 2x4s to desired length for diagonal support beams on north and south sides with 45 degree angles (8 pieces total).  These are basically shorter versions of what we did in steps 1-3.  We chose to have space in between the top diagonal support beams and the bottom diagonal support beams, but you could plan accordingly so that all 4 meet in the middle on each side.  I believe it was easier to not have them meet in the middle (hence our decision to not do so).
  8. Now it is time to start assembling the table together.  For your north and south sides respectively, take your 2 supporting beams and center them to the 3rd layer of supporting wood -screw them together (4 screws).  Do this for the top and bottom.
  9. Then align your 1st and 2nd supporting layer of wood and screw into the 3rd supporting layer of wood (4 screws).  Do this for the top and bottom on the north and south side.
  10. Screw the 4 table feet into the bottom, 3rd supporting layer (3 screws).  Be careful not to screw through the angled wood.
  11. Take your 8 diagonal support beams and align them so that they are flat against the top/bottom of supporting wood and the 2 supporting beams.  Use 1 screw to screw into supporting wood and 1 screw to screw into supporting beam.  Repeat 8 times.
  12. Cut 2x4s at 48 inches long (2 of them) and then screw into your structure on both ends (2 screws from top diagonally and 2 screws from bottom diagonally).  You will do this process twice; once with the top board and again with the bottom board.  For the bottom board, use excess 1×4 lumber to sit bottom board on to create desired gap between floor and bottom board of table.
  13. Use wood putty to fill in screw holes and cracks between the wood.  We missed a few, but I’m not complaining.DIY Farmhouse Style Dining Table
  14. Sand structure.
  15. Stain or paint the bottom of the table per your preference.  The process of staining, painting, and sealing this table is what turned this table into such a “process” for us. Originally I decided that we would just go with the entire table stained with the Espresso Minwax because I thought it would be easier to match chairs later on.  Well, the stain looked fine in our dim lit garage, but even after multiple coats, it just looked sloppy in the daylight.  Maybe this was because of our sanding job, maybe because of the type of wood, who knows, we aren’t professionals!  So, I decided to prime the stained wood and then paint it a light gray color, which could be mistaken for white.  I like the chalk paint look, but wasn’t able to find what I wanted without putting in a special order so I just made it.  There are lots of ways to make chalk paint by mixing other things into regular paint with a little bit of water.  I’ve used both baking soda and Plaster of Paris on past projects.  I think I used Plaster of Paris on our buffet type piece of furniture that I did years ago and it is still in wonderful shape.  Our desk on the other hand, I think I used the baking soda, and it has not held up well.  So, I decided to go with Plaster of Paris on a whim…except that what I thought we had in our garage already was not Plaster of Paris, it was Patching Plaster.  Do I really know the difference between the two?  Nope!  However, they mixed the same, and seemed to do the trick so this will be an experiment to see how it holds up.  Bad stain jobBad stain jobDIY Farmhouse Style Table primedDIY Farmhouse Style Table painted white
  16. Sand stain grade project panels & stain. Ben did 2 coats of stain with a sponge brush.  (I added a 3rd after Step 18). Stained Panels for farmhouse dining table
  17. Connect stain grade project panels with 4 metal brackets.
  18. Connect the table top to the legs with L shaped metal brackets; we used 8 brackets.  Connect 2 on the outsides of each leg and 2 on the insides of each leg. Make sure screws are short enough to not go through the tabletop.DIY Farmhouse Style Dining Table pre-poly finish
  19. Seal table with polyurethane.  Okay, this was the other step that held up our progress and left us with a half finished table in our house for what seemed like forever as we deciphered what to do. We put the first coat of poly on the top and ended up with issues on the top of the table and the bottom.  The top had bubbles and the bottom turned yellow; some nice words were said :-).  I think the problem with the top was we forgot to sand it down first (and maybe using a sponge brush?) and the problem with the bottom was we shouldn’t have used the poly in the first place since I mixed the paint.  Soooo…we sanded the top of the table down and also repainted the bottom of the table with 2 coats of my mixed paint.  Sanded TabletopRepainted table bottom
  20. Then we used Mineral Sprits with an old t-shirt to wipe down the tabletop completely clean.
  21. To finish off the bottom of the table, we sprayed 2 coats of the RUST-OLEUM Chalked Protective Top Coat.
  22. To finish off the top of the table, we used a paint brush specifically for poly and did one coat of equal parts mineral spirits and poly. We then continued to do 2 coats of the poly with a light sand in between.
  23. Finally, we finished!  She isn’t perfect and you won’t find her at a store, but that is part of the reason I love her, it is unique to us and she will be well loved.  I ordered these metal chairs off of Amazon to go with her in the Gun Metal color.  For 4 chairs you can’t beat the price!  We will also be able to keep these much cleaner than our last chairs.  Note: I did not anticipate our 2 year old picking up one of the sanding blocks and running it over the chair…you can imagine my reaction…again…just adding character! DIY Farmhouse Style Dining TableDIY Farmhouse Style Dining TableDIY Farmhouse Style Dining TableDIY Farmhouse Style Dining Table

Oh, oh, oh, and I can’t forget, remember when I was talking about the costs of buying a table earlier on??  We spent under $150 on this one (not including chairs).  If you include the chairs, we are still well under what it would have cost for many of the other ones I liked.  Now given, this price will fluctuate a little bit depending on whether you have supplies on hand or not, we did have a few already.  If you have any questions, please ask away in the comments.  Or give us a pointers for future projects!!!  The next thing on my list is much more simple…stay tuned for some DIY placemats.

Infused Water: Round One

Fruit Infused WaterFeelin’ thirst?  Read on for some easy, refreshing takes on everyday water.  If you happened to read my last post, then you know that I’m trying getting my daily intake of water.  Combine that with feel pretty cruddy the last couple of days and I felt a serious need to cleanse my system with some goodness.  Fruit infused water is nothing new, but for some reason I always forget about it.  Occasionally I’ll think about throwing a lemon in , but that is about as far as it goes.  Recently I was on Wholefully, and saw a mouth watering pitcher of Strawberry, Lime, Cucumber, & Mint Infused Water and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  So with fresh ingredients in the fridge, I whipped up 5 different kinds to try.

No need to explain how to make these, you simply throw in all of the ingredients that are in the title, easy peasy :-). If you have fresh fruit, rather than frozen, I’d recommend going with all fresh.  However, frozen is fine too – I used a mixture of both.  Also…all of these would make great base options for mojitos!Infused Water Ideas



#1 Strawberry-Lime-Mint 

Strawberry, Lime, & Mint

 

#2 Blueberry-Blackberry-Cucumber-Mint

Blueberry Blackberry Cucumber & Mint Infused Water

 

#3 Lemon Raspberry

Lemon Raspberry Infused Water

 

#4 Orange-Peach

Orange Peach Infused Water

 

#5 Watermelon-Cucumber-Mint

Watermelon Cucumber & Mint Infused Water

This last one ended up being my favorite.  Eating the fruit when the water is gone is one of the best parts about these -and the watermelon was the best!

Cheers!

 

Fruit Infused Water

Fruit Infused WaterFruit Infused Water

 

Our Farmhouse Style Fireplace Makeover

I’m so excited to finally have a pretty fireplace to look at, she has been a couple months in the making due to the availability of materials, various pieces of equipment and tools, helpful family members, and my inability to make a decision on what I wanted to actually put on the mantel.  In any case, she is at a point where I’m satisfied.  I still want to add a galvanized basket to put blankets in by one of the bottom corners…but again, I can’t decide which one and who knows when I will make a decision!  I may need some help from you guys on which looks better :-). Farmhouse Fireplace Makeover

In January I wrote my very first blog post here and talked a little bit about the Lumberjack themed party that we held for Jack’s 2nd birthday.  I included a few pics in the post, but I neglected to include a pic of our mantel that we had decorated…on purpose.  Don’t worry I’ve included a couple below –

Before Mantel Picture
Lumberjack Birthday MantelI strategically hung the banner over a bunch of holes that are in the wall and that cutie patootie in the frame is where I focus most of my attention as his momma.  However, without our normal sign that typically hangs just above his picture and whatever decor I’m feeling at the moment, there is a huge eye sore…see all that smoke stain from candles?  Yikes!

I wish I had before pictures of the floor surrounding the fireplace to show you, but Ben started working on this sooner than I had expected and I didn’t get a shot.  If I had, you’d see that there was a jagged gap between the laminate wood flooring and the slab that leads up the fireplace, not very cute.  Needless to say when Ben said he was willing to try doing something new to the fireplace I JUMPED at the offer!  Before Jack was born and we painted his room, I had suggested doing an accent wall with wood.  Ben looked at me like I was crazy…so I was kind of surprised that he was on board with this, but no need to question when something is going my way :-).

For this makeover we used the following (Note:  Some of the links included below are affiliate links and by clicking on them I may earn commission at no expense to you.  I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  Feel free to contact me if you want to know specifically which are affiliate links and I’d be happy to share!): 

  • Chop Saw
  • Skill Saw
  • Bandsaw
  • Concrete Saw (lots of saws…we are lucky to have men in our family that own these items)
  • (4) 16×24 Wetcast Yorkstone Patio Blocks (Color: Charcoal)
  • Stain
  • White paint
  • Brown Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Sponge Brush
  • 3/4 inch Sheathing (cut to size)
  • Grout
  • Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Constructive Adhesive
  • Caulking Gun
  • Hammer
  • Blue Bar
  • Nail Gun
  • Nails
  • 2 boxes of Everest Peak 6” x 24” Sculptured Stack Stone; 6” x 18” Scuptured Stack Stone “L” Corner (We special ordered this through Menards)
  • (9) 1” by 8” boards
  • Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain (Espresso 273)

The following list details what we did, or should I say what Ben did with a little help from his dad.  My only assistance with this project was staining the wood, vocalizing what I liked and didn’t like, and throwing the decor up there.  That being said, trying to get the nitty gritty details of how this was done from Ben was …fun, as some of you may imagine :-).  I’d ask “so what did you do next?”  Then he would reply with something vague like “I put it up.”  SO, if you have questions, just ask…and I’ll ask Ben!

  1. Painted the wall a brown color from the mantel up.  We wanted to avoid having any white show through any cracks when the wood boards got put up so Ben painted the wall to be safe. The paint job didn’t need to be pretty for this as you’ll note below and we actually could have gone without it.
  2. Cut the boards at random lengths to stagger on the wall and cut the ends with a skill saw at 45 degree angles to transition into side walls smoothly.
  3. Sanded boards using sanding blocks and stained the boards with Minwax stain using sponge brush.
  4. Nailed boards up on wall with nail gun, hitting every stud and used skill saw to make cuts in the board to fit with plant shelf and ceiling smoothly. Mantel Makeover in progress
  5. Removed marble around fireplace and on the floor with a hammer and blue bar; cleaned this area out.  Also removed trim.
  6. Cut 3/4” sheathing to fill in the gap where marble was on the floor.Mantel Makeover in progress
  7. Cut patio block stones with concrete saw to fit around the pillars of fireplace (only had to cut 2 of the 4).
  8. Evenly spaced patio block stones in front of the fireplace and filled the gaps with grout.
  9. Cut stack stone with chop saw to fill in around the sides of the fireplace.  We lucked out that it didn’t need to be cut for the portion going across the top.
  10. Put loctite on the back of the stack stone and placed around fireplace.  This needs to be held in place per directions.  We rigged something up using a baseball bat and slab of wood as you can see below.  (These 2 lovely men may or may not have been bickering below). Mantel Makeover
  11. Cut previous trim to fit around newly laid stone and used nail gun to nail back in place.
  12. Painted trim and mantel with white paint to freshen it up.
  13. Added some décor: 2 Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Vases with Flower Froggers, a Rustic Windowpane Mirror, & 2 sets of 21″ Green Plastic Eucalyptus & Beach Bassword Bush.Farmhouse style mantel decor
  14. Done!

Huge shoutout to my hubby for volunteering to do this AND for finishing it to my liking.  Not including the mantel décor, this project was under $200 for us.  Also a special thanks to his dad for popping over to help and to his brothers for having some of the equipment that we needed!  Now…onto trying to fix the farmhouse style table that we started…

Farmhouse Fireplace MakeoverAshley Gorman Signature