This post is a year past due, but here we go! When we moved into our ranch home last summer, I ditched the second living room and turned it into a dining room. I’ve never seen the point in having two sitting rooms in a house smaller than 2000 sq. ft. Especially when the “dining area” is a cramped 6′ square space in the middle of the kitchen. So on the very first day we moved in, we swapped the hanging light fixture with the ceiling fan and set out to build a long n’ large table to fill the new room.
I love farmhouse tables. LOVE. I mean, who doesn’t? They stand for a timeless fixture of American generations, taking a beating and allowing every little nick or mark to commemorate a memory spent with family. BUT, as you might already know, new farmhouse tables are expensive. Restoration Hardware’s farmhouse table will set you back by almost $3000!!!
Enter Ana White. If you’ve never heard of Ana, formerly Knock-off Wood, your world’s about to change. She is a revolutionary carpenter changing households all over America! Not only does she post free woodworking plans that are super easy to follow, but fans post photos of their finished pieces so your inspiration for a project is endless!
Our farmhouse table is a mixture of two plans. We made the bottom from these plans:
And we made the top of the table from these plans:
First off, we bought all new wood to make this table. I spent the previous year searching for decent reclaimed wood from an old barn or something and never found wood that felt safe enough to eat off of. Plus, there are great tutorials for staining wood to look worn and old.
We put together as many pieces in the garage as possible but did the majority of assembling inside the room. My husband jokes that the table stays with the house if we ever sell. Here’s what the wood looked like before any stain:
I started by adding two layers of stain which made only a subtle difference. So then I started working with Minwax gel stain in walnut, applying it to cracks, edges, and corners in order to get the aged look. Be careful not to leave this stuff sit too long, it works quickly.
We were lookin’ real good after a few more coats of stain.
Then came patience: wait a day, brush on a coat of poly. Wait a couple days for coat one to dry, then brush on another coat. The good thing is that since we were going for the worn look, I didn’t have to worry about perfection. So you’ll find a few bubbles here, a brush bristle there, and guess what–I don’t care.
The finished piece is beautiful! We receive so many compliments on it. Though I would change a few things if I could: we thought we’d be smart and lengthen the tabletop to squeeze in more seating. But we didn’t increase the bottom. So now that extra space for a chair means straddling each of the four corners. Major oversight!
Also, I’d use an odd number of planks across the tabletop so that the center of your table is flat. I have a super hard time setting dishes or decor down the middle of the table because it makes for an unlevel surface.
Someday soon, I hope to redo the dining room, maybe adding beadboard, crown molding, can lights, etc. I’m thinking of painting all my mismatched chairs to one color, varying shades. Of couse, the farmhouse table will still be the main feature.
I super love Ana White’s website. My list is long of plans I’d like to make someday: console tables, farmhouse bedframe, and even a bathroom sink cabinet. Thanks so very much Ana for sharing your plans!