4/5 | Dining Room Table DIY
I have been dreaming of a big dining room table since seeing The Vow in 2012. I know-big dreams, right? But really, big tables are great, aren't they? I have a love for food and for hosting, so having a giant table with lots of people gathered around eating is seriosly like a dream come true.
We've had an actual dining room to house such a table for a little over two years now, and after moving into a house from what was basically an efficiency sized apartment-I realized that filling a home with furniture adds up really fast. So we've been taking it slow and about a year ago I decided I was tired of waiting till we saved up for one and this is one thing that wouldn't be too hard to make (with the help of my hubs)!
We didn't do a great job at keeping track of the exact cost, but as we backtracked, Ben and I both think it was about $100 for everything (not including the tools). If you love it and want to make one of your own, here is what you'll need:
- Two sets of table legs. We got ours from Ikea here, but you could buy any that you like, or even make your own.
- One 8ft 1X12 common pine board (take your time to find the least warped)
- Two 8ft 1X10 common pine boards (not warped)
- Four 8ft 2X3 studs (not warped)
- Eight 2" corner brackets with corresponding screws
- Four 3.5" corner brackets with corresponding screws
- Wood glue
- Finish nails 2.5" length
- Drywall screws
- Pickled oak wood stain by Minwax
- Clear, satin lacquer
- Tape measure
- Four wood clamps that can span 30"
First, lay out a tarp to protect your nice floors if doing this inside ;) Then pick which side of each of 1X10s and 1X12 you would like for the tabletop and arrange the three boards together as you'd like the tabletop to look with the 1X12 in the center. Put a nice bead of wood glue along the entire length of the side edge of one of the 1X10s that butts-up against the 1X12. Place the four clamps evenly spread out along the two boards to compress them together and to rid of all gaps while the glue dries ...if some glue comes out, that's okay, we'll fix it later. Then put weight on the boards to keep them flat against the floor to avoid warping at the seam.
After the first joint has a few hours to dry, remove the clamps and put a nice bead of wood glue along the entire length of the side edge of the other 1X10 that butts-up against the 1X12. This time, clamp all three boards together and place weight on them to keep the tabletop flat... we scrounged up a few objects around the house for this.
After a day of drying, remove the clamps and sand the whole tabletop and edges to be nice and smooth. This is also the time to sand down any glue that may have seeped through the joints.... YOU NOW HAVE A TABLETOP!
Since we have kiddos, I assumed this table would need to withstand much wear and tear, so we created an incredibly sturdy base to strengthen the table and now even my husband and I could stand on it. Using the three 2X3s, cut two pieces at 77" and five pieces at 18 3/8." Put some wood glue against the end of one of the 18 3/8" pieces and place it perpendicular to the 77" board and aligned with its end. Drive two finish nails through the two pieces to further secure them in place. Similarly, add another 18 3/3" leaving a 1 5/8" gap between the two 18 3/8" boards. Repeat these steps in securing the two 18 3/8" pieces along the opposite end of the 77" board. Then add the last 18 3/8" piece in the center of the 77" piece.
Put glue on all the open ends of the 18 3/8" pieces, align the other 77" piece along them, and secure the completed frame using two finish nails in each connection. The frame may be slightly wobbly at this point, so drill the four 3.5" corner brackets along the upper inside edges of the four outermost corners that they'll fit (depicted above).
Now to connect the frame to the tabletop, screw in one side of the 2" corner brackets along the center of each side of the two inner rectangles we created when making the base frame. Be sure the brackets are all aligned with the top edge of the base frame and the open/not screwed in side should be facing inward.
Next, center the frame to the underside of the tabletop and trace the inside edges of the frame. Put a bead of wood glue on the inside of your trace marks where the frame will be positioned and then push the base into position on top of the glue and screw in the second side of the bracket to the tabletop (make sure your screws are short enough to not go through the tabletop... ours were 3/4" length).
Add weight to along base to keep it snug against the tabletop while the glue dries. After drying, flip the table right-side up and slide the table legs within the 1 5/8" gap left on each side. The weight of the table and the snug fit should keep the legs in place, so we've actually gone without additional securing.
Now for the finishing touches... using a rag, lightly apply the pickled oak wood stain to the tabletop, its edges, and the bottom frame moving in the same direction as the wood grain. After it dries, feel free to keep adding stain until it reaches the color you like (it will appear less white once it's sealed). Let the final coat of stain dry three days and then apply a thick coat of clear, satin lacquer to the same areas, using a fine paintbrush and moving as the same direction as the wood grain (PRO TIP: NEVER shake the lacquer, but gently stir before application to avoid bubbles). Let the lacquer fully dry before another application, but to make ours withstand the wear and tear of kids, we made four thick applications. If bubbling should occur though, feel free to lightly sand those areas once its dry with an extremely fine sandpaper.
And there you have it! We've now been using this table for about 4 months and are still loving it! It cleans up really nicely when food and who knows what else has been spilled on it. It also has gotten a few dings here and there from Oliver banging toys on it, but it still looks beautiful and I kinda love that it now has little imperfections.
If you decide to make your own, I would love to hear how it goes!
- xoxo, Cass