DIY Dining Room Table

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It’s safe to say that Nate and I are on a budget. He is in grad school and I just started an entry level job. But just because we’re on a budget, doesn’t mean that we can’t have a nice home! I love this DIY table because it looks way more expensive than it actually was.

We were able to use the table legs from our old table to save money. You may be able to find a good deal on table legs at a secondhand store. We bought our old table from a thrift store for a good price. If you do find one, you can give away the table top (or repurpose it) and use the legs for this DIY. If not, I have linked below to some table legs on Amazon that are very similar to ours!

If you thrift the table legs, this project will probably be somewhere around $150 (without the tools and with Lowe’s coupons ;)).

Supplies:

  • 2 10’x9″x2″ boards cut in half to make 4 5’x9″x2″ pieces (if bought at Lowe’s or Home Depot, they will cut them at no extra charge) (this makes a 5’x3′ tabletop)
  • 2 small boards to secure across the bottom of the tabletop, or 4 to make a frame for attaching the legs if needed
  • Wood glue
  • Stain (we used Minwax dark walnut)
  • Polyurethane
  • Pre-stain
  • Fine bristled nylon paint brushes
  • Staining rags
  • Sandpaper
  • Table Legs

Tools:

  • Clamps
  • Electric sander (optional, but convenient)

Steps:

1. First, you should figure out how you want the boards arranged. This is important to figure out how they fit together best, and to see how the knots will look. We’re both like the way knots look, so we made sure they were face-up on ours. I personally think they give wood more character and depth, but everyone is different. (This is also important to consider when buying your wood).

2. Once you have the boards arranged how you want them, you simply glue the boards together using the wood glue and clamps. If you want to use glue instead of screws, clamps are essential for ensuring a solid bond between the boards. you will need extra long clamps that can stretch across the boards. The good news is that the clamps are reusable so you can save them for other projects, like a DIY coffee table 😉

3. You should leave the boards clamped for at least 30 minutes if they fit snuggly, or overnight if tension is needed to hold them flush.

4. Next, attach the cross pieces to the bottom of table as shown in the picture below. This is to stabilize the joints and gives extra wood to screw the legs into without going through the table. we also added pieces lengthwise so that we could secure the frame of the legs all the way around.

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5. Starting with 100 grit and tapering down to 250 sandpaper, sand the table top. It’s easier and much quicker to use an electric sander than to manually sand the entire table (we were lucky that some friends let us borrow their electric sander). It was a lot of work for us to get it as smooth as we wanted using the electric sander, so we can’t imagine doing it by hand. *Ventilation is extremely important during this step and the following*

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6. After sanding, be sure to wipe and clear the table of all dust. Once it is clean, apply pre-stain using cotton rags. Follow the instructions on the can for application and drying time.

7. After the pre-stain is dry, apply the stain with clean, new cotton rags. Again, follow the instructions on the can. I recommend applying at lease two coats, which was enough for us, but three would have looked nice also.

8. After you apply the stain and it is dry, apply multiple coats of polyurethane using a paint brush and following the instructions on the can. I recommend 3-5 coats. We only did three because we were tired of waiting, but it does get smoother and more durable with each coat.

9. Once the table is dry, all that is left to do is attach the legs!

If you make this table, let me know! I would love to see pictures. 🙂

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