Yep, we built a table. Well, Kyle built a table and I sometimes held things and loudly voiced my opinion. Want to see?
I’m in love. As with all projects around here, this one took us a while to get started on. We actually bought the lumber months ago (over the summer, I think) but didn’t really start on it until November and then we finished it up a few weeks ago. Sorry, but you know, life and other excuses.
Let’s get real for a minute – our old dining room table was a joke. I bought it used off a fellow student in college for a whopping $125 for the table and chairs. After that, it sat in storage for 6 months and then we used it heavily. It was a cute table but it wasn’t really a quality piece. In fact, it’s pretty close to falling apart as we speak…of course I’m sure it didn’t help that we used it as an indoor/outdoor table when it was clearly never made to spend even a nanosecond in the elements. We maybe left it out in the rain and hot southern sun once or twice (or maybe like every single day for 3 months of soggy, humid summer).
It was never a question that we would eventually be getting a new table but I wasn’t sold on our abilities to build one at first. That changed when I started looking for a new table to fit what we wanted (8ft, a little rustic, built to last) and I couldn’t find anything that didn’t break my little frugal heart into a million zeroes.
Naturally, I turned to the good ole Google for a little help.
Can we all just give thanks for Ana White right about now? She’s pretty much my favorite person these days. Do you want to build some furniture? “Oh I don’t know, what kind of furniture?” It doesn’t matter. Seriously. Just go look on Ana’s site and you’ll probably find plans for it. I love having plans to follow. Crossing off steps of a process or an item on my to-do list is like some weird kind of therapy for me. I loves it. This wasn’t even my to-do list and it still thrilled me to no end.
We chose to go with the 8ft length because that’s what we wanted anyway and the planks were sold in that exact measurement so it made it pretty easy to just keep them as is. You can always mess with the measurements a bit if you want a smaller or larger table. In the end, we decided to go back with some wood filler between the cracks so that the surface was a bit more solid since some of our cracks were a little wider than we would have liked. This is the one thing I absolutely would have done differently with this table – either skip the wood filler and leave the cracks or build the top differently to minimize the cracks. We knew the filler would take the stain a little differently but to be completely honest, that’s the one thing about our finished product that I’m not happy with.
I will admit that we fudged a little bit on this table because some of the measurements on our legs were a little off, leaving some pretty wide spaces. We just shoved in some shims, snapped them in place, sanded, filled, sanded some more, and then stained with the rest of the table. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, especially since nobody is going to be shoving their face right against the legs all the time. And if you do that, I’m going to think you’re a little weird and your invitation to our next party might get lost in the mail…
The last thing we did was to apply pre-stain conditioner and then stain the sucker. We tested a few different stains and ended up with one coat of Minwax Special Walnut. The final step will be to seal it. We haven’t done that yet because we aren’t sure if we’re happy with the finish or if we want to do another coat. We’ve been putting it off but I think this may be the week we finally either do a second coat or seal it. As you can see, the rest of the room is still a major work in progress.
Now we just have to work on refinishing some chairs and figure out the rest of the room. Seeing this makes me wish I could take a hammer to all of that tile but sadly new floors aren’t in this year’s project budget so for now I’ll just have to continue to creepily whisper “patience” to myself every time I walk into the kitchen and dining room.