Our current house has been the first home we have lived in where we have a ‘formal dining room.’ We are not formal people, by any means….. but I knew we would eventually need to get a big table that seats more than 4 people. For the first time in 5 years, we are within 3 hours of both our families, and I knew we would be hosting family get togethers (my hubby is 1 of 6 kids!). I started looking for a table that would fit our style, and holy smokes, large farmhouse tables are pricey, y’all!! A DIY farmhouse table it was!
At the time we were waiting to close on our new house, so my kids and I were living with my parents while my husband was tieing up loose ends at our old house in New Mexico. I was busy working on projects for the new house, and I knew if I wanted a table big enough and in my budget, I would have to build it. Being at my parents house was a perfect time to build a new piece of furniture because my dad is super handy and can build almost anything! I found the plans to our table and bench on anawhite.com via the Shanty2Chic girls (You can find them here: http://ana-white.com/2012/06/plans/fancy-x-farmhouse-table & http://ana-white.com/2012/09/plans/fancy-x-farmhouse-bench).
I asked (begged) my dad to help me build it. At this point, my husband thought the table wouldn’t fit, and my dad thought I was crazy for wanting a ‘picnic’ table and a bench INSIDE my house. If decorating was left up to either of them everything would be camouflaged or racing inspired. Anyways, the directions (link posted in paragraph above) were pretty spot on, although Dad did change a few things up in the bench to ‘make it more stable’, so he says. I think he just liked his idea better! He did the building, and I did most of the finishing part. Our table is 8 feet long and made of pine. I wish I had more pictures of the ‘process,’ but at the time, I didn’t even think about it! Here is after Dad finished building the table.
As far as the finish- I went back and forth on this. I knew I wanted a distressed look and not too dark of a stain. I sampled over 10 different stain colors! Dad had the idea to blow torch areas of the table and bench to distress it. Note: go very lightly.. it is easy to go overboard very quickly. I really like how this technique turned out! After the torching, I stained it in Minwax Wood Stain in the color Provincial. Once dry, we used Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane to seal it. We chose this kind because it prevents rings from being left on the table from cups. My dad sprayed it on, which gives a smooth finish without any brush strokes. The total cost for materials was right at $120. After a year and a half of constant use, it is still in fantastic shape. It is super durable! This is after the table was stained and sealed.
To this day, we still love the table and bench. I paired 3 Ikea INGOLF chairs in white with it. When we need more seating, there is still plenty of room to add a chair from our breakfast room to each end of the table.
My kids have even taken their kid-size hammers to the bench when I wasn’t looking. While I initially freaked out, I quickly realized it adds to the distressed look and makes memories, although they know they aren’t allowed to regularly hammer the bench anymore! Both boys play with cars, legos and puzzles on the table for endless hours, and we have had countless family and friend get togethers around this table. Our dog even likes it- under the table is his favorite napping spot! Having one side as a bench has worked out great- it is perfect for all the kiddos to sit at. I know a lot of formal dining rooms are off limits for kids, but we use ours daily, and most of the time it looks like this:
It has become a key place for our family to hang out and spend time together. The fact that my dad build it just adds to the meaning of it, and why I cherish it so much!
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