DIY - Do It Yourself!

DIY The Perfect Table

IMG_3184_small It’s been so nice the last few days; I’ve been enjoying spending my mornings and evenings eating outside.  And it would be even nicer, if I had a table to enjoy my meals on.  After failed attempts at searching stores and online shops for the perfect long and skinny table, I finally gave in and set forth on a DIY project (mission).

First, I decided on how large I wanted the table.  Our backyard deck is somewhat narrow, so I wanted something that can seat at least 6+, but will also give enough room on deck for people to easily walk by.  I’ve always loved the look of long formal banquet tables and the rustic appearance of classic country farmhouse tables, but at the same time wanted something modern.


Here are my two inspiration tables from Apartment Therapy and Mathias Hahn

diy inspirtation After economical reasoning I settled on these affordable $10 Ikea legs. I initially intended to follow Nina’s tutorial here. But made changes along the way.

IMG_3123_small Fortunately, I got lost in Ikea’s warehouse area and came across these cool colorful legs.  They’re a minimalist take on the classic farmhouse style and even though they’re three times the amount I planned to spend I couldn’t resist.

Here are the supplies I ended up using:

  • (2) 1”x 12 “x 6’ whitewood pine “common board” from Home Depot
  • (3)  1”x 4” X6’
  • handsaw
  • 1 box of 1 ¼” wood screws (50 pc)
  • Power drill
  • ½ pt polyurethane clear satin finish (I used Minwax brand)
  • Quality synthetic paintbrush (and turpentine to clean it)
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • mouse sander
  • 220 or lower grit sandpaper

IMG_3143_small When picking out your tabletop, make sure the boards are straight and the same length (to save you some cutting and a trip back to Home Depot).  This was our first mistake.  And although wavy uneven boards were better than the thought of return to Home Depot, we went back to do it the right way.

•    Lay the table top side facing down
•    Using two of the 1x4s lay each one on the long side of your tabletop. This will be the supporting frame underneath the table.
•    Now measure and cut the third 1×4, so you will have 3 pieces that will fit in between the frame – one on each end and one in the middle. See photo above.
IMG_3136_small •    When screwing in screws be careful not to accidentely puncture through the tabletop.  Apply pressure at a medium pace while not losing speed.  (This almost was mistake #2, but we were lucky)
IMG_3147_small •    Attach legs about 2-3” away from the edge of the table.  (This was mistake #3. We attached the legs flushed with the edge, which is okay, but then you are able to see how the legs are attached.  See photo below.
IMG_3164 IMG_3158_small •    Flip table right side up and round up any sharp edges using 120 grit sand paper and electric sander.  Also smooth the tabletop by sanding in with the grain of the wood in long light even strokes. Remove all dust with clean cloth.

IMG_3152_small •    Apply a thin coat of polyurethane to protect wood from water damage, dirt, stains etc.  Let it dry over night, then lightly sand it with 220 grit sandpaper. Finish up with a light second coat.  I only used ½ qt for the 2 coats, the legs and underneath the table.  I would still suggest using coasters to help protect it from cold and hot drinks.

IMG_3184_small Right before building this table I was a little unsure and hesitant about the outcome.  I decided not to go with any stain and love the bare wood against the pop of color.  I am more than happy with my new long skinny table and cant’ wait to enjoy it over dinner parties and backyard BBQs! This is the perfect table, because you can adjust it accordingly to any size to accommodate your space.
I ended up spending $100 not including the tools and sand paper I already had. And it only took one whole day (including 3 trips to Home Depot). I know this tutorial is not for everyone.  My boyfriend helped a lot! But after learning from our mistakes our second table will be much easier!

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