Farmhouse Table, Part 2

Our dining room table is done! This has been an idea in the making for months now. I previously talked about the inspiration for this table in Farmhouse Table Part 1. Between building this, traveling for the holidays and running into missing materials, this project took a lot longer than we expected. In the end it was completely worth every day.  I hope this will be a part of our family for years to come.

These are the super long instructions! I wanted to make sure to document all the things we learned on this project.

Farmhouse Table

I am breaking the instructions into two parts. The first will be the construction on the table and the second will be the finishing instructions.

Part 1: Farmhouse Table Construction

Materials needed:

  1.  Wood (We used pine, see cut list)
  2. Wood glue
  3. Wood filler
  4. 1 1/4″ wood screws
  5. 2″ wood screws
  6. Sandpaper (110 grit)

Tools needed:

  1. Sander
  2. Square
  3. Clamps
  4. Electric Screwdriver
  5. 1/8″ counter bore drill bit
  6. Measuring tape
  7. pencil

 Cost of Materials:

  1. $80 from local lumber yard
  2. $5 from Home Depot
  3. $7.50 from Home Depot 
  4. $2 from Home Depot
  5. $2 from Home Depot
  6. $8 from Home Depot

Total Cost for construction: $105.00

Wood Cut List:

5 – 2X8 @ 5’ 5 -1/2″ (top boards)
2 – 2X10 @ 3’ 1/4” (top short boards)
2 – 1X4 @ 2’ 9-3/4” (short skirt)
2 – 1X4 @ 6’ 6-1/2” (long skirt)
4 – 4X4 @ 2’ 5-1/4” (legs)
7 – 1X2 @ 2’ 9-3/4” (supports)
2 – 1X4 @ 2′ 9-3/4″ (extra end supports)


This was our first real woodworking project and was filled with many learned lessons, the first being where to buy our wood from. At first we went to Home Depot, this is where I expected to find everything we needed. I went in with my list and filled my cart with a new sander, clamps and sawhorses (yes this was my Christmas present from Alex and I was excited). We picked out our wood filler, wood glue, nails and a stain to try. We also picked up a wood conditioner which we didn’t end up using, I will tell you more about that later. The last and most important thing on the list was the wood. I had gone online beforehand and verified what size boards Home Depot sold but I didn’t think to check on what types of wood they sold in each size.  We wanted to buy cheap wood with lots of character, but they only sold the 8×10 and 8×12 in cider which cost a lot more then we wanted to pay. After talking with the helpful Home Depot employee we were referred to the local lumber yard.  We were going to buy some of the wood at Home Depot but was told that we should buy all of it from the same place because the appearance of the cuts can vary by location (yet another helpful tip).

With all the wood bought we had the fun task of sanding all of the boards. Alex took charge and powered through this step.  A few of the boards were a little damp from the lumber yard (I blame this on the Seattle rain). We had to resand these boards when they dried out.

After the sanding was done we laid out the boards for the table skirt. I held the corner together, using a square, while Alex drilled two pilot holes in each joint. We then drilled a 1/8” counter hole with a depth of about 1/8”, just enough for the head of the screw is recessed into the wood.

Wood glue was then applied to overlapping part of each board.

The boards were then held together again while they were screwed together through the pilot holes using 2”screws.

We then used a pencil to mark out equal spacing on the long side of the skirt for the six cross beams. Pilot holes and counter bores were drilled while using a square on both ends.  Wood glue was applied and 2”screws were drilled in completing the frame.

Next we then laid out the table top boards on the frame. Using a tape measure we centered the frame under the boards.  Then we drilled a pilot and counter bored holes at the both ends going through the table and into the skirt.  We then used 2“ screws to attach the frame to the table.

We then flipped the table over so the top was facing the floor. Using 1 1/4” screws we attached the center boards to the frame through the cross beams.

After all the boards were screwed in we realized that the ends were a little uneven so we added another 1×4 board to each end.

The table was then moved onto two sawhorses and a leg board was placed in each corner. We used clamps to hold the legs in place while drilling four pilot holes and counter bores through the skirt and into two sides of the leg, for a total of 8 screws  per leg. We applied glue and drilled 2” screws in all the holes.

Wood filler was then put in all the counter bored holes. After the wood filler dried we sanded down those areas until they were smooth. We finished the construction of the table by sanding the table top to smooth out any spots we had missed before or created during the construction.

Section 2: Staining / finish

Materials needed:

  1. 2 Quarts Benite wood conditioner
  2. 1 Quart #41 Walnut Wood Stain
  3. 1 Quart Satinthane Polyurethane
  4. 3M Final Stripping Pads
  5. 110 grit sandpaper
  6. Sponge brushes
  7. Rags / old t-shirts

Tools needed:

  1. Paint brush

 Cost of Materials:

  1. $33.50 from Daly’s
  2. $10.45 from Daly’s 
  3. $17.80 from Daly’s
  4. $2.41 from Daly’s
  5. already accounted for in construction
  6. About $3 (already had)
  7. Free
  8. about $20 in test colors

Total cost of finishing: $87.00

Overall cost of table: $192


We started off by sampling a couple of different stain colors. We left them on for different lengths of time and put more than one coat on some. We even layered the different colors. In the end we decided that we liked the single coat of Walnut stain left on for 5 minutes.

We got all of our great instructions of how to stain our table from Daly’s in Seattle. The first step was to sand the table, not too smooth because the wood conditioner needs “pores” the sink into.

Using a sponge brush we applied Benite wood conditioner to all the surfaces of the table, top and bottom.  We pooled the conditioner on.  After the whole table was coated, we wiped off all the surfaces with a rag (very little came off).  Wood conditioner helps harden the wood.  We were told to use conditioner that requires a 24 hour dry time. The one we got for home depot wanted us to put the stain on within 1 hour of putting the conditioner on. The people a Daly’s said this will reduce the strength of the wood.

Next came the wood stain, we applied a thick coat of it on using a sponge brush. After five minutes we wiped it off using a rag. We let the wood stain dry for 24 hours before moving on.

The last and most time consuming step was to apply coats of Satinthane Polyurethane. This is what give the table a smooth texture and also protects the surface.  We did this by applying a heavy coat of polyurethane on all the table surfaces (legs, skirt, & top) but not enough so the liquid pooled. We ended up applying two coats to the whole table and an extra coat on the top. In between each coat we sanded the surfaces using 3M Final Stripping Pads. Because of the cold weather we were told to wait 24 hours between coats (in warmer weather this can drop down to 12 hours).

Yay! The table is done! Ours got done during the snow storm in Seattle, so we had to wait for a break in the snow to carry it up from the garage and through the front door.  We love the table! The only thing we might change is the overall height. After we put the pads on the legs to protect the hardwood floor it is about 1 inch too tall. This is an easy fix for the future.

More pictures of the table will be posted at some point.

Thanks for reading

78 thoughts on “Farmhouse Table, Part 2

    • Thanks Dad –

      It is just an optical allusion that Alex is doing all the work. He got fired as the photographer so he became the model. Also he really liked screwing in the screws… that was his job.

      And just for the record, I did have to teach him what a counter bore hole was.

      He did end up helping out a lot.

  1. Is this table a little shorter than the plan on the Ana White website? It looks like your table fits two chairs on the long side, but the Ana White table held 4. I’m looking for plans that fit 6 chairs total so I think yours might work better for us! Would you mind posting the measurements of the finished product? Thanks!

    • Rachel-

      Yes, it is a little shorter. I made the table 7 feet long to fit our space. It actually fits 8 chairs total, I just didn’t have enough chairs collected yet at the time I took the pictures. I will add another picture tonight of the long edge of the table to show this better.

      It is super easy to change the length of the table to the size you need. In my cut list just change the “top boards” and “long skirt” lengths by the amount you want the length changed by.

      Let me know if you have any more questions and I will try and help.

      • For the wood cultist what’s the third measurement for the wood. Like usually it says 2x8x10?? Just wanted to know if I was missin something when I was lookin at the measurements.

        • The third measurement is the length. I have this listed after the @ symbol. Please let me know if this is what you were asking for.

  2. I love this table! I found this so inspiring that my girlfriend and I decided to build a desk from lumber instead of buying one. It’s turning out great!

  3. Thank you for posting this! I’m planning on starting a similar project soon.

    What type of wood did you use? Has it held up well so far? I wanted to use a hardwood, but I’m finding out that pretty much all hardwood is expensive. I may end up going with pine, fir, or redwood, but I want to know what you guys used first since it came out so great.

    • The table has held up great so far! We used pine for everything but the bottom supports (we got even cheaper wood because it wasn’t going to be seen). We went into this project wanting scuffed up and knot filled boards and that is what we got with the cheap pine. The only problem that we ran into was when we clamped the wood down too hard when sanding it made some marks in the wood that we had to sand out. The surface is harder now after the wood conditioner and Polyurethane finish. I have not noticed any new (after the finish) marks or dings.

      Good luck on your table! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  4. great table. Love the look. I made a farmhouse table as well with purchased farmhouse legs, but I also like the look of the 4×4 legs and they are cheaper. I was a little overanxious to build the table so I didn’t let the wood dry out as much as I should have, so we saw a little shrinkage so I had to take the table apart and re-cut a few pieces then put it back together.

    If you are interested in seeing our table here’s our post:

    • How are your comer pocket joints holding up? I am currently designing our patio table and considering using pocket joints. I am getting mixed reviews on websites about their strength for a table.

      • the pocket joints are holding up fine. I’m using 2 1/2″ screws (3 for each joint) along with wood glue to hold the apron together. I don’t think I showed it in the post but also made a corner brace out of a 2×4 holding the legs to the two apron pieces.

    • It is really sturdy! I was standing on the top fixing the light fixture and moving around like I was surfing (just to test how sturdy) and it didn’t move or shake at all. There is no wiggle in the table when we move it around or when we flipped it over. It is like a rock.

      Let me know if you need more info then that. Thanks for stopping by our website!

  5. My husband just built this table and it turned out beautiful! Thank you for the step by step directions, that really helped!

  6. Great looking table. Do you think you could use this as an outdoor table or is it only an indoor table? In other words, would I need to stain it differently or use spaces between the wood to prevent it from rotting?


    • Rob-

      We actually just built our patio table, I am going to be posting about in in the next few weeks. I am no expert but you should be able to use the same design, it just requires a different finish.

      Apply the wood conditioner and the stain the same as before. Make sure to really coat everything with the wood conditioner (top and bottom) to protect it.

      There are two options for the top coat if you are putting it outside that I was told about at Daly’s. The first being SeaFin Teak oil, this finish will wear down over the years and will need coats added (they said in about 4 years) but does not require us to take it in our table during the winter.
      The second finish we were told about is SEAFIN
      AQUASPAR. If I remember right they told us we would need to cover this table or bring it in for the winter. They also said that when this needs refinished you has to sand it all the way down to refinish whereas the teak oil you can just add coats on top of the old stuff. I recommend going to a local stain store and asking questions so you get the correct finish for your climate. Living in Seattle we just get really wet but not that cold.

      We went with the teak oil because we didn’t want to take it in for the winter. We applied 8 coats to all sides of the table.

      Here is the links to Daly’s finishes, they have info listed about each one.

      I hope this helps.

  7. HI,

    This is quite the impressive table.
    We were looking to make one around 9 to 10 feet long,
    Is that possible?
    What would we need to change?

    • You are just going to have to add the length to the top boards and the long skirt boards. You might also want to add in a couple more bottom supports too. It should work great as a longer table! Let me know if you do this and how it turns out.

  8. This table looks like it’s exactly what I want to make. Do you by chance have the exact dimensions you used for yours?

    • The table is 7′ X 3′-1/4″. It is really easy to change the length to what you want just increase or decrease the lengths of the “long skirt” and “top boards” from my cut list. You can also add or take out some extra supports from the bottom depending on the length you choose.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  9. My husband and I are headed to the store tomorrow to get what we need to make this table. We have been browsing around for a while on what instructions we wanted to use and these are perfect. Cant wait for it!

  10. Hi!

    I found your blog through the Ana White website. We’re thinking about using her plan to make our kitchen table. We’re total beginners though, and I’m a little worried that we’d e in over our heads. I have no idea what a pilot hole or a counter hole is. Well…my husband took a woodworking class in high school 20 years ago and still thinks he’s an expert ;).

    How much time did this take you, and how easy did you find it?

    • You can do it! I was also very nervous to start with. It ended up being really easy. We actually ended up building a second table for our patio after this one.

      As for time: the construction of the table can all be done within a day. The most time consuming part is all the sanding. The stain and finish can take around a week depending on how you decide to do this. Make sure you take your time doing this part because this is what is going to keep your table looking amazing for years to come.

      Don’t get too worried about the terminology (I had to teach my husband these words before we started).

      Pilot hole – this is a small hole (smaller than the screw diameter) made were you are going to drill the screw in. A pilot hole is use to prevent the wood from cracking when you put the screw in.

      Counter bore hole – This is just a hole that gets made were you are going to drill in a screw (use the pilot hole as a guide when making this hole). It makes it so the screw head is not sticking out of the side. You will cover the hole with wood filler later to make it flush with the table.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions I can help you with!

      • Thank you so much for such a detailed answer! I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos, so I was able to figure out what a counter hole was, but the pilot hole was still troubling me. We’ve decided to definitely go ahead with it, and I’m planning on using a combo of this post and Ana’s website to help guide us through it. Thanks again!!

        Also, I should have mentioned this before, but your table looks amazing!

  11. Your table looks great! You are very kind in sharing this and providing the rest of us with great directions. I plan on building this table for my wife’s birthday at the end of this month. We’ve bought all the lumber (whitewood for the top and skirt and ceder for the legs). We start the assembly process in the morning! I do have a couple of questions though. When you attached the six underside cross beams, did you simply lay them on the floor inside the frame, or did you somehow hold them up off the floor to make sure they were completely flush and drilled them in? After that you said that you laid the table top boards on top of the frame and then attached the top short boards to the frame. Then you flipped the whole thing over and attached the top long boards. Could you have done these two steps the other way around? Laying the frame on top of the top boards, securing the supports and then flipping it over and attaching the top short boards? To my way of thinking that would be easier unless there is something I’m missing?

    • We just held the cross beams up as flush as we could. If they are a little below the edge it will be okay. Just make sure it is not popping over the skirt boards. The reason we didn’t lay them on the floor was because it makes a really awkward angle to use the drill.

      You really could do the board attaching the other way around. The reason we did it this way was so we could make sure visually that the table top looked good. It would make it easier to align the skirt if the table top was on the floor.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. Let me know how it turns out!

  12. Hi, table looks amazing great job! My wife and I are looking to make a farmhouse table as well. We have a quick question about what appears to be a measurement discrepancy. For the tabletop, you use 5, 2×8 boards which would make the overall width of the table 40″ however the end boards are only 3′ 1/4″ or 36.25 inches. In every plan we have come across a similar discrepancy seems to appear but it in all the pictures they seem perfectly aligned. Please help us make sense of this!
    Stefan and Vanessa

    • Lumber is actually smaller then the size they are named after. For example a 2×8 is really 1 1⁄2 in × 7 1⁄4 in. It has something to do with a standard of what the wood is originally cut at. After the wood is dried and planed it ends up being a smaller ending size. Check out Wikipedia for more info and a lumber size chart.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    • Sure they are labeled in the cut list as legs.

      4 – 4X4 @ 2’ 5-1/4” (legs)

      let me know if this is what you where wanting.

  13. It’s really nice. I was wondering if there is any space between the 5 long and 2 short top boards and/or if they are glued to eachother.

    Best regards

  14. I just built this table this weekend and it came out great. I do think that the size is off for the short boards on your list though. We came about a half inch short on both sides (the long top boards were wider than the short top boards). I think the measurement should be 3′ 1-1/4″. It was easy to remove and add new ones though.

    I added the extra supports also which helped to pull the long boards and short boards closer to level.

    One question: Did you test the stain with conditioner or will the conditioner not have any effect on the color?


    • Thanks for the comment. I will look into the lengths when I get home.

      We tested without the conditioner. I don’t think the conditioner will effect the color but am not 100% sure about this. It will effect the smoothness of the grain colors.

      I would love to see pictures when you are done!

  15. Hi Sarah, your project looks great. Just a quick question the board at the end looks a differ color than the rest of the table. Did you do something different of is it the picture? Or was that plank from a different batch?

    • Hi David,

      They are a different cut of wood. They are actually a different size from the center boards. It is not as noticeable in real life.

  16. hi there! this is such an inspiration! I’m looking forward to making one my own. I’m not a very handy person so I’m thinking of buying the wood cuts from either Home Depot or Lowes. (I live in NYC so everything is pretty much expensive.) Do you think there would be a drastic price difference if I bought wood from HD or Lowes vs finding it at a lumber yard?

    • I not sure if there was much of a price difference between home depot and the lumber yard that I went to. The biggest difference is the wood selection. I first went to Home Depot and they didn’t have the correct size wood that I wanted and that is why I ended up at the lumber yard. Good luck on your table!

  17. ThAnks so much for the info! Told my husband that’s what I want for Christmas….him to help me make it. My question is…did it seal up well on top & smooth so food don’t get stuck btwn the top boards?

    • Sorry about the slow response. I have been really busy with the holidays and planning our overseas move!

      We didn’t seal up the holes. I have seen this done on blogs in the past. We currently just use a toothpick to get anything we spill in the cracks out. Sorry I can’t be of more help on this subject.

  18. HI Sarah! I have been pining away for a farmhouse table for the last 5 years and haven’t seen any that weren’t extremely expensive. I love to build with wood, so I am in love with this table and so thankful that you posted the instructions! My question is similar to Aprill’s, I was wondering if you have food get stuck in the grooves between the top boards?

    • Food sometimes gets in the grooves. We don’t have them sealed. I normal use a toothpick to get anything out that spills down there. Not ideal but it worked.

  19. Love your table! My hubby and I were looking for a DIY tutorial so glad I found yours. We live in Seattle and I was wondering which lumber yard you got your wood from.

  20. Thank you so much for the easy plans for the beautiful table and bench! It is exactly what I was looking for. My dad was a wood shop teacher so I do projects often, but when I called my very non-crafty husband in to look at this he came in rolling his eyes…he just left saying, “Let’s do it!” with a grin on his face! He has NEVER done that before! Yay! Thanks again!

  21. awesome table! going to make this for our new home in seattle, actually, shoreline : ) in your post i tried finding how long it took you to make this but couldn’t. thanks so much! jo

  22. I am so totally impressed by this project. You are an inspiration to me. I am going to do this too, but perhaps start with a smaller version. I am eagerly waiting for your next project. How about a 3 level wooden plant stand, for potted plants outside. I would follow you every step of the way!!

  23. Planning on building my own table in the next month or so and the more I see the tables without the stretcher on the bottom the more I like them. Just seems like it would be more practical if you ever had to move it with the ability to take the legs off individually.

  24. My boyfriend and I (also both engineers…civil though) built your table! Thanks so much for the tutorial. We LOVE the table!

  25. Hey ! My husband just built your table last weekend….it’s looks amazing !! So happy we found your blog & built out own :) one question though, nobody at Home Depot here in Canada (& neither do I) knows what a stripping pad is. Is this a neccissary step

  26. I love your table! My husband and I are planning on starting our project this weekend. I was just wondering what the final measurements of your table are? I noticed that the length of the table is 7′ but I’m not sure how wide or tall it is?


    • The width is 3′ 1/4″ and the height is 2′ 6-3/4″.

      Good luck on the table! I would love to see finished pictures when you are done!

  27. I like the idea of assembling the table top separately …I used a KREG jig to attach my 2×4 and 2×6 …it made a HUGE difference and held REALLY tight…I went back and bought the KREG clamp to made everything SO much easier!

  28. Just bought all the wood for this project. I am so excited. I have a question about the wood conditioner. In the beginning of the project you said that you ended up not using wood conditioner, but in the staining section you said that you did. Not sure if we needed to use the wood conditioner or not. Beautiful table by the way, hope ours turns out half that good.

  29. You mention that the ends were uneven so you added an additional 1×4 to each end. Can you describe what was uneven and how the extra boards solved the problem?

  30. @Robin They did use the conditioner, just not the one they bought from Home Depot because the guys at the lumber yard recommended a better conditioner.

  31. Just finished our table today. It turned out awesome. Thanks so much for your blog, without it I would never have been brave enough to attempt it.

  32. Hi! I’m trying to build this for my wife for Christmas, but am having a really hard time getting pine 4x4s that aren’t treated. They have cedar, but they are considerably more expensive. We’re in Pennsylvania. Any ideas?

  33. Hi, I LOVE this table! I’m soo impressed! One question.. and I hope i’m not repeating what others have asked but in terms of the wood.. the sizes you say are like 2×8 and 2×10 but does that mean its 2″ thick and 8 or 10ft long? how about width? or is it 2ft by 8ft and 2ft by 10ft and 2 inches thick? Sorry.. I know this is probably a ridiculous question but I’m a beginner and just learning. Thanks!

    • Okay so I re-looked at the cut list and I’m so sorry I didn’t do that before asking the question. I now see that you have an “@” just after the dimensions. wow.. i’m so sorry!

  34. Just finished my table! I have never made anything before, but after reading our blog I decided to give it a try. I followed your directions (other than I used oak) and it turned out beautifully…THANKS

  35. We made this and it turned out even better than I thought it would! We made the bench a little differently but followed your directions for the table pretty closely, although we didn’t drill any counterbore holes because we used countersinking screws, so they went below the wood without needing the holes (we did do pilot holes though). We also added small L-brackets to connect the legs to the top, just for extra support. I’m sure that wasn’t needed, but we just wanted to make sure. We also used A LOT of glue. I was worried about stuff getting in the grooves on the top so we filled them with wood filler so there is only a slight groove left. The wood filler took the stain perfectly. We used pine boards, and the 4×4 legs were douglas fir. We used Minwax pre-stain conditioner, 2 coats of Minwax Dark Walnut stain, and 3 coats Minwax fast-dry polyurethane and Elmer’s Carpenter`s Wood Filler. Overall I am so impressed with the turnout and it is REALLY solid and sturdy. Thanks!

    • That turned out great. I was wondering what to do for the legs because we couldn’t get untreated pine 4x4s here. They had cedar, but I wasn’t sure how that would look. I’ll look around for the Douglas Fir. Thanks!

  36. Just built your table today & your measurements & everything were right on! It turned out fantastic!! I do have 2 quick questions: did you stain the bottom of your table & also what kind of brush did you use for the polyurethane? Thanks in advance:)

  37. I am super excited to make this table. Thanks for sharing your directions! I have a few questions:
    –I am making the table slightly wider and shorter (5 or 5.5 feet). Could you tell me how close to the edges your table skirt is? I am trying to see how I should alter the measurements.
    –Do the end supports edge right up to the table legs? And, if so, does this mean that the legs go right up to the edge of the top end boards?
    –Did you stain the underside of the table?


  38. Hello. I just bought all the wood and it’s cut. I’ll be putting the top together tomorrow. Please wish me luck

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