DIY Farm Table + Bench for $150 {Tutorial}

Hi sweet friends!

Earlier this week, I blogged about the simple + neutral farmhouse-style gallery wall that I created as part of our dining room makeover using antique-looking pieces that I had collected over time. I really do love how it turned out! It’s kind of funny… when you’re renovating an older house, it can sometimes feel like you’re not making much progress. And then I’ll be sitting in our dining room and think back to how it looked when we first moved into our home two years ago, and realize just how far we’ve come!

Our dining room makeover actually all started with this little farm table + bench of ours. And I’m just a tad bit excited to be sharing the tutorial for it with you this morning. You see, this was actually one of the very first projects I worked on for our home! And it was THE first thing that I put in our dining room, before anything else.

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

My dad and I built this farm table + bench a few summers ago, and it has really been put to use like crazy ever since. It’s by far my favorite project that I’ve worked on so far. And it’s so special to me that we made it by hand and will get to enjoy it every single day for years to come.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a bit of a homebody. I love the comfort and simplicity of just “being” at home. And I enjoy doing all of the things that go into making our house a home – whether it’s cooking from scratch, renovating our home, working on a DIY project, scouring for handpicked antique + vintage pieces for our home, or even folding laundry and cleaning (I’m crazy, right?).

In a world where it can feel like you’re always so busy and on the go, it feels good to make a point to slow down and do all these little things for my family. And create a home that we love coming back to at the end of a long day. It’s those quiet, simple moments that I cherish the most. You know what I mean?

To me, a farm table is basically the epitome of simple living. It’s reminiscent of those bygone days of life on an old farm, where generations of a family would gather around the table for a home-cooked meal… to sew quilts and clothing… to tell stories. And, naturally, it is totally my style – cozy and inviting, yet incredibly functional.

I’ve had a soft spot for farm tables ever since I can remember, and I think that’s why. I really want to recreate that warm, nostalgic feeling in my own home.

And so as soon as we moved into our house, I started looking for a charming little farm table to call our own. I searched for months and months on end, but never found one that I really loved within our budget. Most were just way too expensive.

And then it donned on me – why purchase a farm table when I can built my own exactly how I want it for a fraction of the price? And that’s pretty much how this $150 farm table + bench project sprung to life!

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

Aside from my junking addiction, I really do enjoy building my own furniture – particularly when it comes to pieces like this that I want to last and possibly even hand down within my own family one day. When you really think about it, what’s better than knowing you made something by hand with love and labor?

Thank goodness for me, I have an amaaazing dad who can built just about anything! Honestly, I don’t know how he does it, or what I’d do without him. But I want to learn everything I can from him. So I ran the idea past him, and we got right to work on this fun little project together!

After looking around a bit, I stumbled across this really great DIY farm table from I Heart Naptime, which was inspired by this tutorial from Ana White.

That style was almost exactly what I had in mind, although I knew that I wanted to create a more distressed, time-worn look by using milk paint and antiquing wax. I also made a few other tweaks to the tutorial, and here we are!

Note: This step-by-step tutorial is for building a 6-foot table and bench.

Supplies

For the Table:

For the Bench:

Miscellaneous:

Funny little story… so, after I had picked up the wooden legs for the table and bench one night, I left them laying out on the floor without even thinking twice about it. At that point in time, Sierra was still very much in her puppy stage, and basically thought it was one big stick (…yuuuup). I can’t say I blame her! Nothing a little sanding couldn’t fix. At least I was going for more of a rustic look, right?

Tools

  • circular saw
  • orbital sander
  • drill
  • mini jig pocket-hole kit
  • carpenter square
  • router with rounding bit
  • paint brushes
  • cloth rags
  • disposable gloves
  • measuring tape
  • pencil

Dimensions

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

Cut List

The beveled edges of the 2×6 lumber boards will need to be removed. Use a circular saw to trim ¼” off of both long edges of each board. This will square the edges and create boards that are exactly 5″ in width. You can leave the boards at 72″ in length for now.

For the Table:

  • (8) 2×6 – 72″ in length (for tabletop boards, already cut to 5″ width)
  • (2) 2×4 – 60″ in length (for side aprons)
  • (2) 2×4 – 32″ in length (for end aprons)
  • (2) 1×2 – 32″ in length (for end-apron trim)
  • (2) 1×2 – 60″ in length (for side-apron trim)
  • (2) 2×2 – 33″ in length (for support struts)

For the Bench:

  • (3) 2×6 – 72″ in length (for seat boards, already cut to 5″ width)
  • (2) 2×4 – 50″ in length (for side aprons)
  • (2) 2×4 – 7″ in length (for end aprons)
  • (2) 1×2 – 7″ in length (for end-apron trim)
  • (2) 1×2 – 50″ in length (for side-apron trim)

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

Now that all the boards are cut to size, let’s get this party started!

Instructions

  1. Start out by drilling two pocket holes per apron end. Then, drill 1 ½” upward-facing pocket holes on the underside of the table every 10″ or so. Attach the legs to the apron.
    DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150
  2. Now it’s time to build the tabletop! First, make sure all of your boards are perfectly straight. Otherwise, you’ll need to use bar clamps to pull everything together tightly. Next, fasten each of the tabletop boards together using 2 ½” pocket-hole screws and wood glue.
    DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150
  3. Cut the tabletop to 68″ in length (or 58″ for the bench) using a circular saw and carpenter square. Sand down the top, ends and edges with an orbital sander to smooth out any uneven surfaces. Finally, use a router with a rounding bit to round off the top and bottom edges.
  4. Flip the tabletop over so that all of the pocket holes are facing upward. Then, attach the base through the pre-drilled pocket holes on the tabletop. For extra support, you’ll need to evenly space and fasten each of the support struts under the tabletop to both the 2×4 boards and each of the side aprons using 2 ½” pocket-hole screws.
    DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150
  5. Use a router with a rounding bit to round off the long edge on the outside edge of both the side- and end-apron (1×2) trim. Still with me? Next, fasten the 1×2 boards to the undersides of the 2×4 frame using finishing nails. Flip the table over. At this point, the “building” part of this project is complete.
  6. Next, fill all of the holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler, as needed. Once dry, sand those areas down in the direction of the wood grain using 120-grit sandpaper. Use a vacuum to remove any dust residue. Then, thoroughly wipe down the entire farm table with a damp cloth rag.
    DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150
  7. Now that all this is finished, it’s time for the fun part! Using a cloth rag or paint brush, apply an even coat of stain to the tabletop in the direction of the wood grain. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Don’t try to apply several coats at once, or too quickly. Let the stain dry completely, and then apply 1-2 additional coats, depending on how dark you want the tabletop to be. I applied two coats total, and it’s a nice, rich color without being too dark. Let dry overnight.
  8. While the stain is drying, mix up your milk paint according to package directions, and then paint both the legs and apron. Let dry, and then apply a few more coats. Next, use 120-grit sandpaper to distress the milk paint. Once that is done, thoroughly wipe down the legs and apron with a damp cloth rag.
  9. Apply 1-2 coats of polycrylic to both the legs and apron using a paint brush. Once dry, apply antiquing wax to any areas where you distressed the milk paint. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Then, buff out the antiquing wax with a cloth rag, removing any extra wax that remains.
  10. Once the stain has dried overnight, wipe down the tabletop with a dry cloth rag to ensure a clean surface. Next, apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane and let dry. I applied two coats total, and so far it’s held up great. But if you have children (or a messy husband!), you may want to apply a third coat just to be safe. The polyurethane will take several days to cure, by which point it should no longer be “oily” to the touch. I actually let mine sit for a week before using it.

And that’s pretty much it! Phew!

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150 DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

I actually already had four antique chairs on hand that had been given to me for free, so the entire table set only cost me $150. Not too shabby, huh?

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150 DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

If you’ve never built a piece of furniture before (like me with this farm table), don’t be discouraged from trying this project out! It’s actually a great starting point. It can seem a little intimidating (believe me, I get it), but once you get going, this farm table is a pretty straightforward build.

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

I was actually going for more of a rustic wood plank look for the tabletop, but I accidentally left my dad alone with the sander. He’s a perfectionist, like me, so we ended up with a pretty flat surface after he sanded away to his heart’s content. But that’s okay! At least I’ll never get any splinters!!!

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150 DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

This farm table is one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our home. I actually find myself just sitting on the bench for no particular reason, other than because I love it that much. It is at the center of almost everything we do – not just gathering around the table for a home-cooked meal, but also for food prep, folding laundry, chatting with friends over coffee and even blogging.

DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150 DIY Farm Table Tutorial for $150

So many of our memories revolve around this farm table. And how special is that when you really think about it?

Source List:

  • farm table + bench – handmade
  • four wooden chairs – family member (FREE)
  • crocheted linen table runner – vintage shop
  • assorted brass candlesticks – flea market
  • folding trays – thrift store + handmade (see tutorial for farmhouse tray makeover here)
  • vintage dry sink – thrift store
  • distressed shutters – family member (FREE) + handmade
  • antique woven basket – vintage shop
  • large white pitcher – Target
  • antique hand-crank laundry wringer – family member (FREE)
  • vintage laundry soap box + assorted soaps – family member (FREE)
  • woven floor basket – Marshalls
  • dark green throw blanket – thrift store
  • decorative linen pillow – HomeGoods
  • antiqued vintage door – salvage shop + handmade (tutorial coming soon!)
  • hanging wire basket – HomeGoods
  • glass pendant lighting – Pottery Barn (on sale, of course!)
  • antique grain sifter – family friend (FREE)
  • chippy photo frames – Marshalls
  • cast-iron door knocker – Marshalls
  • skeleton keys – HomeGoods
  • distressed white door knob – Marshalls
  • antique crock – flea market
  • faux flowers – Pat Catan’s
  • antique washboard – flea market
katie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *