Furniture Building & Refinishing

DIY Project: Rustic Farmhouse Table

In this post: How we expanded and refinished our old Idomo pine table to better fit our style and family. 


What do you do when you want a bigger table, and maybe a different finish on the table, than the one you have? Well, you rebuild and refinish it of course! 

rebuilt and refinished rustic farmhouse table

How we did it – including all the mistakes and hacks

This project totally made us want to say “Never Again”.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Let’s just say refinishing a dining room table and chairs IN the dining room is a tricky thing! (We don’t have a basement or a garage at this house).

Our old pine dining room set was purchased eight years ago from IDOMO in Toronto. At the time it barely fit into our apartment – it had to go up against the wall on one side. When we purchased our townhouse, the set fit into the dining room with just barely enough space to walk around it – when the chairs were pushed in.

Fast forward to this house and our dining room is about half of the 300 square foot addition (which also includes our living room), which means it was time to get a bigger set or DIY something with the old one.

And that brings us to this beautiful hunk of handsome that we scored for free

Our plan was to remove the wood boards from the pallet, build a really large tabletop and reuse the legs from our old table as well as reusing the chairs from the old set.

After removing all the boards and trimming them square, Dean drilled holes in each piece, and attached them together with small dowels. He also glued them together in strategic places.

And what is one to do when there are no clamps large enough to hold the pieces together while the glue dries? Use ratchet straps, of course! <—- This turned out to be only the first of many times we used this trick for larger pieces!

Anyway, once the glue dried and the tabletop was nice and solid – and heavy – we took it outside and Dean gave it a major sanding with the belt sander.

Smooth as a baby’s bottom. 😀

To assemble the table we used the legs and brackets from the old table and cut some new skirts (side pieces) from new pine.

After the table was assembled, the plan was to stain the top a nice dark walnut and paint the legs and chairs white. But when we filled most of the cracks and holes with stain-able wood filler, we realized that stain-able wood filler isn’t. Stain-able that is.

 Onto Plan B.

  1. We painted the whole table white – with Behr Swiss Coffee and my favorite Purdy paintbrush. We used two coats of paint for good solid coverage.
  2. Then we distressed the edges and other places the table would naturally wear – with much sandpaper.
  3. And then we stained over top of the paint to age the paint and bring attention to the distressing – using Minwax Dark Walnut and a foam brush to apply the stain and a damp (almost wet) staining cloth to wipe away the excess. THIS STEP ACTUALLY STAINS THE PAINT LAYER. It also takes quite a while to dry because of using an oil-based product OVER an acrylic one.
  4. After all is good and dry, we added three coats of wipe-on poly for protection using a staining pad. If you do this, BE CAREFUL…topcoats have a “burn-in” quality to them. This means you will remove some of the stain if your cloth has too much poly concentrated in one area. Ask me how I know.

 We followed almost the same steps for the chairs, except that we stained the seats. We also only used two coats of poly on the chairs.

How about some more beauty shots?

So, we think it was worth all the hard work. What do you think?

ANNDDDDD Update…

When we sold this house, the new owners actually bought this table with the house because they loved it so much! 

shannon sign off