October 7, 2010

Outdoor Farm Table

I am so very late in sharing this... It's cold in most parts of the country already and here I am talking about patio furniture.

Eric and I built a farm table with (modified) plans from Knock Off Wood back in May. Remember this post about inspiration for our extra large patio way back when? Well, I am finally getting around to showing you the finished product.
Gorgeous huh? This was our second piece of furniture made from plans on Knock Off Wood and though this is considered a "beginner" piece we modified it a bit after our first attempt was not so pretty.

We changed a few things right off the bat. I wanted to have a full apron all the way around the table and the legs tucked behind the apron in the corners instead of having the legs built into the apron corners. We also changed the legs from cut wood pieces to spindle legs. This was our inspiration photo.
See, we started out making the frame to go underneath first and then planned to lay that on top of the "top" of the table. The frame was basically a large rectangle (the apron) and then small horizontal supports where we would fasten the planked top into. Well... you see, our frame turned out not so "sqaure" as in it was wonky. FAIL. See this next photo - we have it lined up the best that it can be on one end of the top of the table and as you can tell on the other end... it wasn't happening.
ok, grunt and move on to plan B. We either had wonky boards or our cuts and line up was not so straight (the latter is most likely the case). We took apart all the boards and decided that we would screw the apron and support to the top as we went, making any necessary adjustments or cuts.MUCH BETTER. See how there is now equal distance from the apron to the edge of the table all the way down? We also added "corner pieces" to help keep it square and supported. We thought we were smooth sailing... I had picked up some turned table legs at either the orange or blue big box stores - I can't remember which one and we attached them in the corner with some brackets for support.
and then we turned the table over proclaiming it was finally time to sand and finish this baby. Do you see what I see? Reminds me of that dinosaur movie from Disney where the T-Rex says, "I have a big head and little arms" except this goes, "I have a big top and little legs".

Ooops, we hadn't thought about that. Not only did it look silly but setting a cup of coffee on this thing let alone the table dancing I had planned was out of the question.

Off came the legs and I went on the hunt for something more substantial. I searched high and low to no avail when I finally found some porch posts at Shinola in Greenville, SC. I bought 2 that were about 8' long each and then cut 'em down to size. Here they are attached to the table. They came in this grey/blue paint color that was just perfectly "antiqued".
I also grabbed a few finials from Lowes to make it look more finished - they just happened to be the perfect circumference to screw onto the bottom of the freshly cut porch posts - now legs. Finally, we started finishing the piece.
We stained the top planks and I mixed a custom paint color for the legs and apron in a mason jar. Finally we topped the whole thing off with Helmsman® Spar Urethane.
This stuff is marine grade so it should hold up well. We've been pleased with the results so far though we did have a few "blisters" in the finish when it got really hot. We attributed it to moisture in the wood expanding - it should be fixed by next summer as the wood will have dried out and we plan on sanding and resealing before next spring.

Voila! Our rustic farmhouse patio table.
Phew, sorry for the super long post. We LOVE this table, it is so well suited for our decor vibe and also the size of the patio. It comfortably seats 8 and is super sturdy without being ridiculously heavy. The best part is that we built it ourselves for around $175 (including the finishing materials). If I had purchased an outdoor table this big metal or wood I would have spent at least 5 times that.

So we saved on the table and splurged on the chairs but that story did not have a happy ending... I'll share the deets with you soon.


  1. whyyyyy are you so cool?

    this is amazing. i bought a hideous table from goodwill and had big plans to do something like this... but then i gave it back to goodwill a year later instead. :[

  2. Thanks Tater! but, I am so not cool (only if you could saw dust in your hair and paint on all your t-shirts cool)... speaking of cool... You are the famous one! :)

  3. PUBLIC NOTICE: "our cuts/measurements" = liz's cuts/measurements. i'm just the good hubby who does what his wife says =). and where was i for all of the table dancing that went on?


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