Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Sexiest Dining Table You'll Ever Meet

I know that I'd mentioned in my Playing With Barn Wood Post that I was working on a dining room table. It's done and I'm ready to show you the entire how to build a barn wood table process and the final product! 

Let's start at the beginning:
My mom and I bought barn wood from a man taking down his barn. These 3 pieces were $20. We spent a total of $40 and got 7 pieces of wood and an old barn door. This is the wood when I started with it:
I gave it a good long sand. Then I used Howard's Feed & Wax on it with a rag. You're supposed to wipe it off after letting it sit for awhile, but I didn't. This is after one application of it. It brought the color out super fast and it smells good! I squeezed it directly onto the wood in the beginning (you can see the darker swirls on the bottom of the picture). Don't do that. Apply it to a rag first so the application is even. 
Try to sand outside or in a garage or something. Everything got really dusty!

The next day was warmer so I brought the wood outside. The middle board is the original untouched color. The one on the right is how it looks right after sanding. The one on the left is after treating it with Howard's Feed & Wax. I sanded the one on the left to even out those spots I'd made after applying the Feed & Wax directly to the board. 
 This is after they were all sanded and treated. Beautiful huh? It really looks like a tabletop here! 
After treating the wood and giving the wax a day to sit (I did just because. I don't know that you have to!) I applied Polyacrylic. I actually sprung for the right kind of brush for once because I'm sick of picking bristles out of a clear finish and leaving prints behind! I didn't have to do that once! 
 It goes on milky/purple but dries within a few hours enough for a second coat (sand it lightly between coats).
After a lot of thought I landed on hairpin legs. I didn't want the table to be super heavy and I wanted to keep it kind of modern.
This is where my work stopped and my wonderful father stepped in. He hates building things. I used my sweetest voice, and somehow it worked. I showed him a basic idea of the frame I wanted and let him go to work. Here's a progress shot:
 He finished it and put on the legs in the basement so I could approve. After I did he took them back off and we carried this big boy upstairs. 
He did good huh? It's nice and sturdy. Also- How sick does the "white" shag rug look? I should not be trusted with white. Neither should my pets. I plan on painting another rug with yellow or red accents in the near future. Back to the table though...
Here he is upright. Hot huh? Definitely way bigger than my old table! 
After some repositioning the table worked way better flipped sideways from how I had the last table. The light fixture is also rotatable, so I spun that around. (p.s. I can barely handle these pictures because of the rug. I think I'm getting a new rug before I get new chairs!) 
Hopefully you didn't think I was leaving it two-toned! I pulled out my never-ending gallon of porch and floor paint that I've used here and here. I wanted it to be really glossy looking but figured it would make a good, strong, base on the wood. I also used a little can (peeking out from the big one if you squint) of Rustoleum high gloss black paint. I gave the legs a coat with the Rustoleum and the wood a coat with the floor paint. After the floor paint was dry I gave the wood a second coat with the Rustoleum.
Then I gave the whole top and the wooden sides another coat of Polyacrylic to seal and protect it, and give it a uniform texture and shine. 

So finally... Let's get to the after shots of this sexy beast! 
The chairs and the rug will be gone soon. I'm pretty sure I know what kind of chairs I'm getting, but will wait until they're mine and I love them before showing them. I'll be getting 4. 2 for where you see the chairs. 2 for the head and the foot of the table. Daddio and I will be building a bench for the other side of the table. I have 1 piece of barn wood left. that will be the seat. He'll build the same frame that I'll paint black around it, and I'll be buying 4 more short hairpin legs. When he heard this yesterday he almost passed out and told me "NO WAY." Once he has a few days to sleep on it, I'm sure he'll remember how much he loves me and help a girl out though! He earns bragging rights too with this project!

Here's a few more shots so you can see a close up of the wood and its finish. It's also not totally level in some places and there's some imperfections. I love that! This wood has hung out with cows for 100 years! Someone that's probably no longer living made the nail holes. It's seen rain, snow, and tornados. Now it's in my dining room. That is very cool! Way more cool that Pottery Barn! 

So there you have it... How to build a barn wood table! Stay tuned for a bench and some coordinating chairs soon! 


  1. I can't thank you enough for your blog. You not only create beautiful stuff, but you illuminate the creative process, which means making mistakes, going back to the hardware store many times, trying and failing, being unsure until you try things many different ways, learning halfway through what not to do... I live with someone who will not validate this process, so seeing your site encourages me to keep going, because it is so, so worth it. Thank you! Your projects are gorgeous!

  2. Awe thanks for the comment! I definitely have needed to go back to the hardware store more than I care to admit! Especially during my kitchen cabinet and stair makeovers. I, like you, love the process of creating as much as the finished product. Keep at it!

  3. Were these boards from the outside of the barn? My mom and I are in the process of taking down a barn for the wood. I love the look of the outer walls but I am not sure what they will look like once cleaned up and ready for use. I know they will still be beautiful though! I am not exactly sure what we will do with all this wood lol

  4. Wow first of all I'm SO jealous that you've got abundant barn wood! To answer your question- I think so. It was in a big pile beside a nearly demolished barn when I saw it. My mom got a barn door too from the pile that looked exactly the same, which makes me believe these were exterior. Giving them a good sand will help you see what you're working with and their potential! Stop back and let me know what you do with them! I'd love to see it!


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