Join us in building a farmhouse table for our historic kitchen!
A few months ago our glorious vintage stove died. Straight up died. I wouldn’t have expected this to completely cripple the way I use the kitchen, but oh BOY it did. I had an increasing feeling that I needed a new work surface to replace my work table. And I couldn’t find anything I liked. So? We made it! Check out the full project here!
Now, as usual, 99.9% of this project was Brandon’s handiwork. I’m not going to pretend to understand or be able to replicate what he did to build this thing. However, I have compiled a list of other resources that you could use to build a similar table with similar results.
Side note: I planned to build this thing myself since he didn’t need yet another project of mine to work up. But he said “oh no no. I will help you.” and away we went. So this list below is how I would have built the table had I done it all by my lonesome. Building a farmhouse table shouldn’t be rocket science.
Most of this table used supplies we already had on hand, which was fortunate. But we did need to purchase a few additional materials. Total materials included:
- Four (4) Table legs. These are the exact ones I purchased in 36″ height.
- Butcher block counter top or salvage wood to make a countertop.
- 1×12 premium pine
- 3/4″ plywood
- Wood glue
- Kreg jig or similar
- Waterlox wood sealer
For tools, we pretty much used our entire arsenal on this one project. But you could make it much simpler if you needed to. We used:
- Surface Planer
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw
- Biscuit Joiner
- Jig Saw
- Orbital Sander
- Drill Press and Mortising Bit (optional. Pocket screws would work completely fine instead).
Phew. Ok. Got everything you need? Let’s get to building a farmhouse table then!
Building the Top
We had a bunch of salvage fir boards lying around that were just perfect for this project. However, if you wanted to make this significantly easier on yourself, you could just use a pre-made butcher block countertop cut to size.
Our table was made with a few simple steps.
- Cut the pieces of wood to 3″ longer than desired length (you’ll trim off the end later).
- Plane down both sides to make them smooth (good reference blog post).
- Pass the edges through a router with a joining bit to make them perfectly square.
- Cut biscuit slots with a biscuit joiner (good reference blog post).
- Add biscuits, glue, and clamp top together.
You can see the full process in the YouTube video, but this is a rough outline of how we joined five pieces of wood to make the beautiful top.
Building the Base
Next we built the base of our table. To start we used these beautiful legs I found from tablelegs.com. I orderd the 36″ legs to match the height of our counter. I also bought them in maple. Since I plan to paint the base of this table, the cheapest option worked well. Maple is also very hard and takes paint extremely well.
Brandon decided to use a mortise and tenon joint for this table as he had been itching to try out his new mortising bit on the drill press. While this resulted in a fantastic connection between the legs and sides, you absolutely do not have to build the table this way.
After deciding how large to make the table top, we subtracted 1″ all the way around for the reveal between the edge of the legs and the edge of the top. Then we subtracted the width of the legs (2-3/4″), the remaining distances on the sides and front were the dimensions we would cut our wood pieces. (We cut ours longer since Brandon had to make a tenon on each end, but if you’re using a Kreg jig and pocket holes with screws, you don’t need to do that.
Our tabletop is 24″x54″. So our side pieces are 16.5″ and our front piece is 46.5″. We used a 1×12 piece of premium pine and ripped it down to 9.5″ to fit the legs I purchased. On the front side we made two thinner pieces on the top and bottom and left a gap between them. That gap is for this next part.
Installing the Shelf
One of my must-have’s in this table is a work shelf on the front side. I wanted a place to store frequently used baking and cooking items that was close at hand. Brandon has a technique of making a bunch of little wooden blocks and use them as mounts for any shelves he installs. That’s complicated. You could again just as easily use a Kreg jig and pocket holes to install this shelf.
We made this shelf out of 1/2″ plywood simply because we had it lying around. But if you plan to use pocket holes and screws, I would suggest using 3/4″ plywood for extra strength.
Brandon cut down the plywood to match the interior dimensions of the table. Then notched out each corner to fit around the legs. This adds so much versatility and storage to this table it’s unbelivable.
Finishing the Table
I finished this table pretty simply. First I primed and painted the entire base with two coats of a custom color I mixed from a lot of satin white and a little of the kitchen wall color. The result was a delightful pale buttery yellow that sets off from the cabinets just enough, but doesn’t fight with the pantry or the double doors.
For the top I sanded the entire surface of both sides with 60 grit, 80 grit, and 120 grit. The key with a random orbital sander is to go very very slow. Let the tool do the work! Then I wiped down the surface with mineral spirits to clean up any sanding dust.
Finally I finished with four coats of Waterlox wood sealer. We used this on all the other wooden countertops in our house, and it worked great!
The Final Table
Words can’t describe how much I adore this table. It is seriously one of my most favorite projects we have ever done. I have already used it multiple times for baking, cooking, meal prep, and so much more. If you’re thinking your kitchen might need a table of your own, go for it! You won’t regret it!