DIY Farmhouse Dining Room Table


When we moved into our split-level ranch, we didn’t have nearly enough pieces to furnish every room. We also didn’t have an endless budget to purchase brand new furniture for all of those empty rooms! So, for a whole year we lived with a 6-foot folding table and wood folding chairs in our dining room. It wasn’t a big deal to us because we rarely ate meals at the dining room table (and still don’t to this day), but after a year I was starting to get the itch to replace it with something that felt a little more permanent.

Matt and I both love a mix of modern and traditional styles. We also both have expensive taste, which doesn’t fare well when you have a small budget. After shopping around for a while and realizing that purchasing the dining room table of our dreams would set us back several thousand dollars, we decided to DIY a simple farmhouse table that would suit our needs for the short term.

There are tons of “DIY Farm Table” tutorials on Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. They all vary a little bit in style and technique. We ended up finding a tutorial by Ana White via Honeybear Lane that was closest to the style of our liking and modified to fit the size we wanted to fill our space. I had always envisioned hosting holiday dinners or entertaining friends around a generously sized table with room for plates of food and floral arrangements down the center. With that vision in mind, we extended the width and length of the table plans to make room for up to four chairs on each side and one chair on each end, seating a total of 10!

Besides the size change we stayed pretty true to the plans and materials. For this project we ended up purchasing the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig which was a fabulous investment, as it has served us well for many projects since! That said, we would even recommend splurging for the more robust Kreg pocket hole jig models 520 or 720, as they have built in clamping and additional features that make set up and execution faster and easier.

We lived with the table unstained for some time before I decided on a stain color. For some reason, choosing stains has always been far more difficult for me than choosing paint colors. I imagine it’s because I’m too impatient to prep the wood properly so the color I pick never ends up looking like I think it will (lesson learned the hard way!) It was helpful to live with the table a bit and start to visualize the rest of the room before committing to a color. We went with Minwax Wood Finish Oil-Based Semi-Transparent Interior Stain in Weathered Oak. It didn’t feel too trendy or too rustic and I thought it would pair nicely with some future pieces I was visualizing for the room (like dining room chairs!)

Here’s something to remember – you can always make changes. What you live with now, does not have to be what you live with in 20 years. It might be, but it doesn’t HAVE to be. If you don’t have the money to buy your dream piece of furniture, just wait. Ask yourself if you can live without it. If you can’t, find something that works as a temporary solution – but don’t stop there. Many times we fill a void with “something that works” and just live with it because we’re on to the next thing. Stay true to your vision and keep evolving as pieces you love pop up (hello thrifting!) or you’ve saved enough to buy THE piece. We invite you to welcome change, the possibilities are endless!


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