DIY – Building a Farmhouse Table and Bench

When Shirley mentioned she liked farmhouse tables, the wheels in Chris’s head started turning and he decided he would try to build one.

Research phase:

There are a number of examples online of people building some great tables online (e.g. here and here). Also there were also some great ideas of making new wood look like old, aged barnwood, which involved dissolving steel wool in vinegar and wiping the wood with a mixture of the solution and tea to “weather” the wood. This causes a reaction between the dissolved iron and the tannic acid in the wood (and the tea) to create a greyish color that mimics weathered wood.

Execution phase:

We had some wood in the garage and bought some more douglas fir wood from Home Depot and Ashby Lumber. We tried to find some inexpensive table legs at some salvage stores but ended up ordering some farmhouse table legs online.

The total project cost was about $174 (see below), not including the pocket hole tool (i.e. Kreg Jig) The table turned out pretty well, though we probably should have waited until the wood dried a little bit more before assembling the table as there has been a bit of shrinkage as the relatively moist wood in the table equilibrated with the interior of the house. The house smelled like vinegar for a few days. The table was used during Sierra’s birthday party and has seen lots of guests already.

Table and bench costs:

  • 4 Farmhouse table legs from osborne wood $95
  • Douglas Fir 2x6s and 2x8s for tabletop         $28
  • Douglas Fir 2x8s for bench top                       $23
  • Old 2x4s for table apron                                   Free
  • Old 2x4s for bench legs                                     Free
  • Low VOC sealer (Polywhey cheese-based!)  $28
  • Vinegar and steel wool                                      $4
  • Assorted screws                                                  $2
  • TOTAL COST                                                 $174

6 thoughts on “DIY – Building a Farmhouse Table and Bench

  1. I just want to know 2 things. When is Chris going to start his own show on DIY or Oprah’s network? And, where did Dylan get those amazing cheeks??!!!

  2. The finish on the top of the bench is just the polywhey sealer described in the post. The wood treatment is the vinegar/steel wool, while the legs of the bench are painted white.

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