How To Build A Table Top

How To Build A Table Top – Remember a few months ago when I found this desk for $100 in a Facebook buy/sell group?

It was in need of a paint job and I furiously peeled the top to reveal the beautiful wood grain that just had to be hidden under the yellow paint. Except…

How To Build A Table Top

How To Build A Table Top

… is not a good tree. It was really crappy MDF that chipped easily and didn't clean up well. A total “woomp womp” surprise. But I think I got myself into this mess; I might as well deal with it as I can and deal with it later when we deal with plan B.

Customizable Table — Allwine Designs

So hello! Welcome to Plan B (By the way, don't you love it when Plan B works out so much better than you could have imagined for Plan A? Because it did.)

How To Build A Table Top

Robert and I were looking at Anna White's table plans to somehow take the table apart and put it back together when it occurred to me that we could just make a tabletop that was assembled with tabs on the existing table. . There is no need to dismantle the old table or damage it in any way.

(This would be quite possible for a coffee table, an end table, a nightstand, a dresser, any surface you can find that requires a nice, true wood grain.)

How To Build A Table Top

Diy Outdoor Table Top Ideas (perfect For Your Patio Or Deck)

Supplies used: (Obviously you'll need to adjust the width and number of wooden planks to fit the size of your existing table, but here's what made our table size.)

(Note: We started out using 1″x2″ boards for the lip, but later changed our plan to 1″x1″ boards, if you're wondering why the 1″x2″ boards are hanging in this first photo. one of them, depending on how thick your original table is.)

How To Build A Table Top

2. Insert your 1″x8″ boards into each end of the 1″x6″ board and mark the edges with a carpenter's pencil.

How To Build A Diy Outdoor Table

3. Cut the 1″x6″ board along the line you just marked with your saw to make sure it is the exact length you need to end up with the 1″x8″ board.

How To Build A Table Top

4. Measure and mark the width of the exposed 1″x6″ boards to cut the 1″x8″ boards to the size you need with your saw.

5. Once all the boards are cut to the length and width needed for your table top template, line up the boards and start marking with a pencil where you need to build the pocket holes.

How To Build A Table Top

Tips For Building Tabletops

6. Then start drilling the pocket holes with the Kreg Jig so that they attach the 1″x8″ board to each 1″x6″ board. Drill pocket holes in the 1″ x 6″ boards so they can be screwed in as well.

7. Use bar clamps to hold your 1″x6″ boards and start drilling 1 1/2″ Kreg Jig wood screws into the holes to connect the boards.

How To Build A Table Top

8. When attaching the 1″x6″ boards together, attach one end to the 1″x8″ boards with more Kreg jig screws. Use the handle when tightening.

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9. Once the 1″x6″ board and 1″x8″ surface are completely connected and finished, start measuring the lip and mark your 1″x1″ board to the width and length of your table .

How To Build A Table Top

11. Next, mount the 1″ x 1″ boards to the flat tabletop using a nail gun with 1 1/4″ finish nails. Line them with 1″x6″ boards and 1″x8″ boards as best you can.

12. To make it fun, flip the table top over so the pocket holes are facing down.

How To Build A Table Top

How To Build A Sawhorse Table

13. If you have small cracks, use a knife to cut Minwax Stained Wood Filler into the cracks to seal them. let dry.

14. When the wood filler is completely dry, start making the wood as smooth as possible by covering it with a palm mat. Start with an 80-grit sandpaper pad, then 120-grit, 180-grit, and finally 220-grit to get the wood as smooth as the butt. Sand the dry wood filler to make it very smooth.

How To Build A Table Top

15. Wipe (or use a fluffy cloth) any excess sanding dust from the wood and apply a coat of Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to allow the wood to absorb the stain evenly in the following steps.

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16. Let the wood conditioner sit for at least 5 minutes, but no more than 30 minutes, before applying the stain. Before coloring, remove excess conditioner with a dry cloth.

How To Build A Table Top

Before we made the tabletop, Robert and I had to decide what type of wood to use, so we tested 8 Minwax stain colors on 3 different types of wood to help us choose. This dining table has been used for many years and we will not go through the process of building this surface without doing it thoroughly.

Of course we chose the more expensive red oak because we really like the look of the grain. And because it's tough, we know it will stand the test of time for many years.

How To Build A Table Top

How To Build A Dining Table (& Decorating With Kids!) — Decor And The Dog

But if you need help deciding on a stain color for one of your woodworking projects, here are the results of our little test.

Notice how dirty the spots are on these pine boards? I would definitely use a wood conditioner for any pine you plan to stain. I didn't use it in this section because it's just a sample, but you can definitely figure it out.

How To Build A Table Top

We are close to declaring Poplar the winner because it seems like a great option that is still not too expensive.

How To Build A Table: Tricks For Getting It Really, Really Right

We couldn't pass up these cute red bulbs and broke the bank. (Even if the table itself is only $100, you can do it, right?)

How To Build A Table Top

We decided that dark walnut was our winner because I really liked the contrast of the dark wood table with the white table base.

17. Apply a coat of Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain to the back of the can as directed. We only applied one layer, but you can do two or three if you want it darker. (For lighter stain colors in the past, I applied two to three coats.)

How To Build A Table Top

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18. Let the stain dry for 24 hours and then apply Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane with a foam brush. I prefer to use a foam brush because it removes any bubbles in the finish. Add 2-3 layers to protect the table surface from wear, especially from condensation on drinking glasses and food spills.

Robert and I took this baby and put it on our existing desk. Fits like a glove! Maybe we could put some green flannel over the actual tables and make it a poker table to hide under our fancy dining room tables. (Just kidding… or me? Maybe I should learn to play first. Ha!)

How To Build A Table Top

I absolutely love how this dining room feels so much warmer and cozier with this beautiful wood grain front and center.

Farmhouse Table Remix {how To Build A Farmhouse Table}

And the satin finish provides just enough sheen to make it catch the eye as soon as you walk in.

How To Build A Table Top

The room now feels more complete with this finished table and full mirrored gallery wall and fresh paint on the walls.

We still need to replace the candlesticks. Two glass beads fell off the other day and couldn't be fixed, so that's just a sign to me that it's biting the dust. These are the remains of the previous owner of this house.

How To Build A Table Top

Diy Pottery Barn Breakfast Table

Now I wonder if there are any other tables in our house that could use a refinished top. Maybe even build a coffee table with a chess/chess board painted on the floor that we can turn to play whenever we want. How legit is that?! I need to find more furniture. 😉 You can make a great table with a drill, a saw and a crag jig. Here are my top 10 tips for building your own desk with a DIYers toolkit.

If you have additional tips to add, please do so. in the comments – we'd love to hear your tips and tricks too!

How To Build A Table Top

If you can, put your desk on a table with it. Because widths can vary, sometimes your tabletop is a little smaller (or larger) than you want. If you haven't made a mat yet, you can resize the mat to fit the table you are building.

Tips To Choosing The Right Wood For Your Table

Of course, you can always cut down a tabletop that is too big, or add more planks to make a small tabletop bigger.

How To Build A Table Top

If you are building a table without a plan, consider designing your table size so that board waste is minimal. For example, you can get three 31-3/4″ pieces of an 8-foot board. Or two 47-3/4″ pieces of an 8-foot board.

That said, when I have to choose between less scrap boards and a table size

How To Build A Table Top

Mitered Corner Farmhouse Table

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