Tuesday, July 8, 2014

79 DIY Farmhouse Table/Desk Tutorial

I mentioned yesterday that I was smitten for a new piece of furniture that my husband and I built.  I thought the entire thing would be far more complicated than it truly was, which is always a relief when a new DIY is involved.


The table measures in at 56" wide by 38" deep and was assembled with wood from our local Home Depot as well as legs from an online woodworking store.  Because we had measured and taped out the desk ahead of time, we knew our dimensions heading into the project and asked the kind friends at HD to cut down the top piece of wood for us right at the store.  Always much easier when you can make that happen.


The items that we found to be most useful during this project were:

    As I mentioned, we had the oversized top birch piece cut to our exact dimensions at the home improvement store.  The poplar frame, birch top and pine legs are all similar wood grain and finish to ultimately yield a consistency within the staining process.

    Once we were ready to build the desk, we selected the side that looked prettiest for the top, and put that side face down.  The first step was to mark 2 inches in from each edge to determine placement of the table legs.


    From there, we cut down the 2x2 treated lumber to fit between each leg.  These pieces were cut from inexpensive wood which would not be visible upon completion of the desk due to their placement as a frame/support for the top.

    A second piece of wood was cut for between each leg as well, this time out of 1x3 poplar, which would be visible on the end product. 

    {feel free to ignore my stain testing on the bottom of the desk - still haven't selected a winner}

    Once the pieces were cut to the correct size and mocked up on the table, each portion of the frame was given the Kreg Jig treatment.  Bryan says that the jig has become one of his most favorite tools that he owns.  And of course I am smitten that it nicely conceals assembly hardware {the wood screws in this case}.


    The goal was to create a very sturdy base for the oversized top, so the next step was to attach the inexpensive wood frame to the decorative poplar frame.   We started by gluing the two pieces together with wood glue.  This step is crucial as the wood glue adds so much additional strength to to the project vs. using hardware only.  The pieces were then clamped together to allow for dry time and were ultimately screwed together.



    And here is why we love the Kreg Jig!  See how it allowed us to screw the base pieces to the legs?  Yet it will all be concealed for the end result.  So good!


    Next we flipped the base over and celebrated.  I may have sang, "Everything is awesome!  Everything is cool when we're part of a team!  Everything is awesome...."  OK sorry, back on track Jen.


    When we purchased the top, we knew we would have to find a solution for the unfinished edge.  After digging through different options in the lumber aisle, we settled on the same poplar finish we utilized for the base, but in a 1x2.  A couple miter cuts and a few taps of the brad nailer later and the edge was trimmed out nicely.


    We were in the market for a new can of wood putty, and decided to give the Dap Plastic Wood a try. 

    you are not seeing things... the label was upside down on the can

    Bryan and I each used our finger to fill in all of the nail holes and the seam on the top of the table where the new edge was added.  After the putty was dry, I lightly sanded the entire top with a fine grit sanding block.


    There were a few spots that were not sanding flat, so we whipped out the palm sander {still with fine grit paper}, which really finished it off nicely.



    And a look at the lovely corner...


    We left the table in two parts to move it to the office, and once there, we just used small L brackets like these to attach the top.  However, you could also just carefully screw right up through the 2x2 into the top {just make sure the screws you select are not too long that they would come through the top.  We want to be able to remove the top at any time to get the table up and down our stairs which is why we just selected some L brackets, however, if you are looking affix it as strong as possible, add some wood glue when screwing it in.

    And more shots of our labor of love up close and personal and to gain more perspective of the flow of the space.





    With this desk, I have a great work space for my laptop and for my notes / daily planner, with access to my files right below.  Such a productive setup!


    As I shared yesterday, I am still wavering on finish options.  The assembly was pretty quick and straight forward, but that doesn't mean I want to rush into something that will cause re-work or regret down the line.  I have tried at least 8 different stain colors and combinations and haven't fallen for any yet as they are either too grey, too black, too dark or too orange... I have a few more options to play with within my stash, but again, if anyone has favorite stain selections that yield a result similar to this beautiful desk, I would love to hear about them.

    A few more colorful projects in the works and this case of a space will be closed!


    79 comments:

    1. Such a pretty space! I think this is the first time that I've seen your fireplace. Did you DIY that one too?

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      1. Hi Lynn! We did not DIY the fireplace, it is an electric model we purchased quite a few years ago from Home Depot. xoxo!

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      2. I was surprised by that fireplace and TV too! Like, "Whoa, where did *those* come from?" And it looks like the room bends around the corner? Where does it lead?

        Maybe a video tour of your house would be helpful, Jen? (Like Young House Love does occasionally.) Or taking photos from angles that aren't from your usual spots, like you did today.

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      3. Yes, I like seeing that view, too. You've mentioned it before, but I couldn't "see" it. Great job on the table. You guys rock!

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      4. Agree April! I will try and photograph the room from all angles as it evolves. And I also think the space appears much small in photos than in person, so switching up my usual standing spots for photographing it may help with that a bit as well. And yes, new house tour is at the top of the list! :)

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    2. I love it! I think it looks amazing! kjaggers.com

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    3. I have been following your blog for years and have never seen the opposite side of the room. It makes the positioning of the desk make much more sense to me. I love it! I love the rug too, great choice.

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    4. What about having the top the same stain color you used on your media cabinet in your living room? It looked great there, and would continue the flow of colors used throughout your house. I think the legs would look great in a white w/brown glaze added for an antiqued look.

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      1. Definitely an option I am considering, I really love how the stain turned out on that project. Just so nervous that this room won't be able to handle anything too dark or rich. I might have to lay a test board over the desk before committing to anything :)

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    5. Awesome job! I'm loving this table! Can't wait to see what stain you choose.

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    6. Now I understand the layout! I didn't realize that your studio was part of the family room. I'm on the same page now :)

      I'm wondering if you could just put a clear coat of varnish on your new desk or try making your own stain with the soaking steel wool in vinegar overnight trick. The color from doing it that way isn't as saturated as regular stain tends to be.

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      1. Thanks Rosy! I think I will give it a whirl on a scrap piece of wood and see how it turns out. :)

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    7. Looks so good Jen! Can't wait to see it stained! You are amazing. Truly!

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    8. Nice Lego movie reference! That song was stuck in my head for ages! :)

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      1. I know right?! It is like it is on repeat in my brain! But such a happy song so I guess it could be worse. :)

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    9. Sorry, I laughed at the Lego Movie song reference. I have only heard that one about a billion times from my boys, especially the 4 year old who memorizes every song within 3 times of hearing it.

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    10. Jen, I think that the desk on the picture is not stained, it has a patina in white. The diference between that desk and your new table is the wood color, so, if you do a white patina in yours it's going to be too white. Maybe if you stained first in the base color of the desk on the picture (a little yellow-green?) and then apply the white patina... but I'm not sure. Can't wait to see it finished!!

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    11. The desk is beautiful! I think you're going to love it and the new layout. And so nice to be able to face your family room and be part of the action!

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    12. Ok, so I was so excited to see the view looking toward the fireplace...lol! It reminded me of when you see a not very commonly shown part of the TV set of a favorite sitcom or something! Lol! I didn't realize that space opened up to a living area. The table is gorgeous, great job!
      Kristin
      Www.thehedgehoglife.blogspot.com

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    13. Great choice, Jen! The wood really warms up the space and adds character. Love the farmhouse touch.

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    14. Amazing piece of work. The color is also match with your living room. Great choice! Apart from that, your new table looks really sturdy.

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    15. My husband and I swear by this stain choice, Lifetime Wood Treatment. Completely non-toxic, one package mixes ton of stain, kinda pricey but worth the dollars. Www.Valhalla.com, our local paint store carries it here in the mountains but big box stores may not. Once stained, leave out in sun and the color gradually turns this beautiful grayish silver color. Love!!

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    16. How did you attach the top to the base?

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      1. Hi Teresa! I completely missed adding that to the post, thank you for the reminder, I have updated it! We just used some simple L brackets but I added a few alternative options to the post. xoxo!

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    17. How did you attach the top of the desk to the frame/legs?

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      1. Hello,
        I completely missed adding that to the post, thank you for the reminder, I have updated it! We just used some simple L brackets but I added a few alternative options to the post. xoxo!

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    18. Paint it raspberry pink! Just kidding. Sort of....

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    19. Hi Jen,
      I really have no idea, if those things exist or act the same they do in Germany as they do in the USA but I think, I would use either wood glaze, because the desk on your inspiration picture has this slight shimmer or use a colored wood oil. And I love walnut. It's a warm brown, without being too orange.
      You are such an inspiration for me!

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    20. Love that you built this. I am thisclose to trying my hand at something like this for our family room and you make it seem so doable! xo

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    21. Hi, Jen--

      Great post! Did I miss the part about attaching the legs/frame to the table-top? Can't seem to tell how you did that, and am interested b/c may build a similar table at some point. Love what you are doing with this room!

      Thank you,
      Anne

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      Replies
      1. Hi Anne! I completely missed adding that to the post, thank you for the reminder, I have updated it! We just used some simple L brackets but I added a few alternative options to the post. xoxo!

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    22. Love the desk and the way the studio space is shaping up. I do have one question about the use of treated wood in making this. I was always told not to use pressure treated wood for indoor projects. Are you concerned at all about the fumes they can give off over time?

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      Replies
      1. I have not heard that but it makes sense. You can snag 2x2's in any type of wood and should be good! :)

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    23. I see your dilemma with a stain choice (you and your hubby did a very nice job with the table by the way). You don't want to go too light, nor too dark.... I think going two toned might be a good choice. You don't want the table to get lost, it needs to make a statement and if it is one color it may not. I think a medium brown stain on top (just the table top) - not too dark of a brown but something with a little depth to it and maybe a similar color for the base and legs only a bit lighter with a golden hue to it to warm it up a bit. It is a hard decision but I am excited to see what you come up with.

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    24. It looks great in the space!

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    25. This looks fantastic Jen! And it is very timely for me too, since I'm looking for a small, slim desk for our new guest room. I'll either IKEA it or DIY, though I'll need to make the legs too for cost/time calculations or just buy the whole shebang.
      Good luck with the stain choices, I know how tough that can be. Do you have a local woodworking store or smaller, craftier hardware store that you could bring the inspiration shot? You might find a stain expert a little easier that way.

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    26. This desk is gorgeous! You could use a very light stain to get that look or just use a furniture polish or wax? I've used Miss Mustard Seed's furniture wax on a few pieces in my house including a dresser makeover I did. I stained the top and use the furniture wax to protect the surface and so far it looks beautiful and added a nice sheen without being shiny. Can't wait to see what you pick!
      http://www.birdsofberwick.com/2013/11/25/dressing-it-up/

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    27. Hi Jen! My favorite finish is mixing steel wool w vinegar (I put in large mason jar ) let it soak a day or two and it will turn your piece a beautiful (natural) grey...

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    28. I love this table, I think it looks so much better than the other desk you were using! I think it may be the color, or the style, but it adds warmth and color! I love this space…I wish I had this space:)

      xo, Taylor

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      1. I agree Taylor - the natural wood adds such a warmth and I really love it!

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    29. Looks fantastic! (And you know the label is on the Plastic Wood upside down because you're meant to store it lid down, right? ��)

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      1. Good to know Lori! I haven't seen other fillers designed that way so never would have even thought it! Thanks for the tip! :) So funny!

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    30. Hi Jen!

      Could you give a little report on how the wood filler does once you've stained it? I've never used that brand and would like to see what you think. I have mixed feelings on the kind we use. Also, we <3 kreg jig! Love seeing projects that use it!
      Thanks
      Erica

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    31. Lovely Jen! By the way. Where did you buy the rug? It is beautiful!

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      1. Ditto. Love the table, but I'm eying that rug big time too!

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      2. Hi gals!

        I purchased the rug from Joss & Main. It is not on their site currently, but you can find all of the details on the rug here: http://bit.ly/1zqgXW6

        xo!

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    32. The finish on the inspiration pic looks kind of like "pickling" technique. It is similar to white washing but you get the white into the grain and then wipe it. I think little green notebook linked to a tutorial sometime recently. It is really a stunning look. Good luck!

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    33. The desk is beautiful. Would you mind sharing how much the project cost?

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      1. Hi Janine - Absolutely! For the lumber and legs it was about $200 and the size is about 5 ft x 3 ft. Different wood types and materials will also cause that to vary.

        You can find source links for each item we used within the post. I am guessing wood prices vary by region, but should be close. And for the legs, I ordered from Woodcraft and they typically have online promotions which helped us with the cost and free shipping as well.

        xo!

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    34. Love the table! Great job.
      I wonder if the inspiration item is "cerused?" It reminds me of the finish that the lady at Addicted2decorating did to her dining table.
      http://www.addicted2decorating.com/cerused-oak-dining-table-table-makeover-part-1.html
      Good luck!
      Laura

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      1. Wow! Thank you for the link Laura! I agree that is very much the effect I am after, I just LOVE it! So excited, you just made my day!

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      2. Yes!! That's the "patina" I was talking about!!

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      3. Oh good! I love your blog. Glad I could help out. You have inspired me so many times. :-)
        Laura

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    35. Jen! FANTASTIC JOB!!! This room looks great. If you don't mind me asking where did you get your fabulous rug from???!!

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      1. Thank you Debbie!

        I purchased the rug from Joss & Main. It is not on their site currently, but you can find all of the details on the rug here: http://bit.ly/1zqgXW6

        xo!

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    36. I think the color of the wood currently is awesome! Maybe you could just do a satin varnish? Then as time goes on the wood will age and you'll be able to see it get even prettier.

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    37. The table turned out great! I did a similar finish on the dining table my husband built. You can see it on Flickr's group for Ana White builds. https://www.flickr.com/photos/37559825@N08/8471931465/in/pool-knockoffwood
      I can list steps if anyone is interested.

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      1. Wow! Your table turned out beautiful and is also very similar to the look I am after! I would love more details if you don't mind? Thank you so much and congratulations on creating such a fantastic piece!

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    38. I'm really loving navy and gold right now so maybe a navy stain.

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    39. Here is another option to get your inspiration desk look! Kristi at addicted to decorating cerused her dining table with a liming wax. Here's the link: http://www.addicted2decorating.com/cerused-oak-dining-table-table-makeover-finished.html I think you would just not use the same dark stain that she did, maybe just a clear one, and you could get the same effect of your inspiration desk! Best of luck! Love your blog! :)

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    40. Jen! It looks amazing! You guys did an awesome job. I want a Kreg jig like yesterday.

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    41. I think the room is beautiful but needs some color. How about painting it the same as your dining room hutch??? Just a thought...Love your blog

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      1. I do LOVE that color! :) However, the studio is getting new splashes of playful color in a few more projects I have in the works, so the table will be staying a natural tone.

        Stay tuned!

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    42. I think your tutorial is great! A large desk is so necessary for having material at hand but also workspace! I see other readers have mentioned lime waxing, which was my immediate thought when viewing your link. Rustic yet finished--good contrast with all the white in your space.

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    43. Where is that under desk storage drawer from? That used to be painted pink right?

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      1. Hello!

        The one under my desk is a filing cabinet from CB2 because with business filing my small filing box couldn't keep up: http://www.cb2.com/tps-white-3-drawer-filing-cabinet/s630155

        I also use a cart from IKEA which was pink at one time, to hold all of my Silhouette supplies. That is still below the counter between the lower cabinets.

        xoxo!

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    44. Love it!!! Is that under the desk cart from joss and main by any chance? Also, where did you get the utensil holder hanger in the back of the room?

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      1. The filing cabinet is from CB2: http://www.cb2.com/tps-white-3-drawer-filing-cabinet/s630155

        And the utensil holders were from IKEA. They are the ASKAR cups and I don't see them available online any longer.

        xoxo!

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    45. I am SERIOUSLY crushing on this new and improved color scheme/layout! The rug, the black and white with pops of color, the gorgeous desk *sigh* amazing! Can't wait to see more! xoxo Ruthie

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    46. Loooooooove it!!!!
      Rebecca @ Hello Creative Blog

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    47. A rich, dark wood stain! For sure! It will ground the lighter colors.

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    48. This room is amazing!

      Is that a pen holder on the back wall? Please share!! LOOOVE.

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      1. Thank you Lynsay! The rail is a towel bar from our local hardware store, paired with S hooks and some pots from IKEA {awhile back, I don't believe they are available any longer}. You can see a closer look at the setup in this post here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/02/studio-update-cabinet-craft-storage.html

        xoxo!

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    49. Love the table!! Wish I could have enough courage to try a "build"myself. The piece in your family room caught my eye and that was the very finish I was thinking would work for your table. It looks like from the comments that some others have mentioned the same finish without pointing out that piece. The cerused finish would give you that natural portion you taught me that each room needs. You have the fluffy, girly bench that helps with the hard lines and brings some color in the space, but this would be the natural piece and help the room flow into your family room. Hope that helps! Can you give me a source on that piece in your family room??

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    50. I'm just curious. .. what was your budget for this project?? I love that it is so simple and classic... I've been thinking about diy ' ing a table for our dining room... would this hold up for meals?? (With added finish)??

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      1. Hi Denise- Absolutely! For the lumber and legs it was about $200 and the size is about 5 ft x 3 ft. Different wood types and materials will also cause that to vary.

        You can find source links for each item we used within the post. I am guessing wood prices vary by region, but should be close. And for the legs, I ordered from Woodcraft and they typically have online promotions which helped us with the cost and free shipping as well.

        Absolutely family friendly and finish options are endless! :) Best of luck!

        xo

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