My vacation table


September 4, 2014 by twinoaksstudio

Hi everyone!

I have this odd habit of working on “projects” while on vacation.   I understand vacation time is suppose to be down-time, but with me it becomes time to get something done!

I had been looking for a long, narrow, casual dining table with a farmhouse vibe for months.   My sister and her family were going to be visiting us at our cabin in West Virginia and our existing table was small to begin with.   So not only did I need a table, but I needed it soon!   I decided to test out my carpentry skills and build one.

I checked out the building plans on Ana White’s website.   I did not see a table plan with the dimensions I was looking for,  so I decided to take ideas from her plans and build my own.

The first piece I started with were the legs.   I purchased a simple maple table off of craigslist a couple of years ago for $20.   The table top was  damaged, but the it was the legs I was after.   Nice and chunky, all I needed to do was strip the paint and repaint them.  Yes, they look straight from the ’80s!

table legs before

My next step was to get a general size for the table.   I wanted it to sit at least 6, but have the ability to squeeze 10 around it.   I wasn’t sure if I really wanted something terribly big – its not a huge cabin.   My husband encouraged me to build it as long as I thought would fit in the space.   It would be the central gathering place, he said.   We are always eating or playing games or sewing or something.   I’m glad I took his advice 🙂     I ended up envisioning a table between 38″ and 40″ wide and roughly 7′ long.

I did a lot of measuring and sketching.   And more measuring!    I ended up with a “cut” list, which turned into a shopping list for a trip to my big box lumber store.   Once I got to the store, I realized I needed to change my shopping list as the width of the boards on hand I would use for a table top were not adding up to 38-40″.   In the end, I varied the width of the boards, so the table would end up being 39″ wide.   I learned a lot picking out my lumber – read some of my tips in this post.

table boards

My next step was to start measuring the boards and making cuts for the top of the table, the apron, the support pieces underneath, and the corner support blocks.

The other crazy tip I can offer is this – stain the inside of the table top boards before you create your table top.  Just in case there are any gaps between the boards when the table is done, they don’t look odd because the gaps will be the same color as the top.

Before I attached the apron, I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes everywhere.   Along the apron, the underneath support beams.  Lots of jigging!

table construction

The hardest part of the table build was making the corner braces for the table leg bolts.   I have a mitre saw and that was a big help, but drilling the holes in so they align perfectly with the bolts on the table legs was a real pain.   I made lots of drilling errors and had a lot of blocks not line up.

table underneath

Before I stained the table and painted the legs and apron, this is what it looked like.   Yes, I did the majority of the building on my front porch!   The side of the house became awfully dusty.   It may look like snow in the picture but it is really sawdust.  The legs had been stripped of paint but they still looked green.   One interesting thing with the legs after stripping them – the legs had an great texture to them.    The wood was not a top grade at all and the paint originally used on them was like a massive candy coating.  table mockup

For the top of the table, I used General Finishes Candlelight gel stain.  I only applied one coat.  I followed it with 2 coats of wipe-on polyurethane, a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax, and 2 coats of Annie Sloan dark wax.   I love how the dark wax accentuated the knots.

table top

Here is a side view.   Feel free to photoshop in some really great wood floors for me 🙂

table done

For the legs and apron, I used a couple of Miss Mustardseed Milk paint colors.  For the base coat, I created a custom mixture of French Enamel and Flow blue.   I painted Grainsack over the base coat.   I top coated with Annie Sloan clear and dark waxes.

table leg painted

I love the texture on the legs 🙂   I also love how many people we can squeeze around the table.   It ended up being 39″ wide and 86″ long.

The total cost of this table?   Around $100 in materials, including the legs and lumber.   The paints and stain I had on hand.

table done2

I am happy to report that this table hosted my sister and her family, including 2 wiggly little boys.   There was a lot of  great food eaten around this table, and many stories told.   Its off to a great start 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

— Pauline

PS – I will be linking this post up with the following link parties.   Thanks for hosting, ladies!

Miss Mustardseed Furniture feature friday

Miss Mustardseed Milk Paint Masterpiece Mondays

My Repurposed Life

– Elizabeth and Co.


10 thoughts on “My vacation table

  1. Jo says:

    How could this be any more perfect? Love it and plan to make one myself (with my measurements). Thank for the details. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  2. Pam Marvel says:

    Looks great!

  3. Kristen says:

    I love the table…and really love the maple windsor chairs you paired with it…

  4. Thank you so much! Someday those chairs will get painted. One step at a time 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks so much for the step by step pictures and words. I’m wanting a new table top to make mine longer, so this will really help.

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