How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive – In this post, I'll show you how to make a modern DIY dining table using a “floating top”.

When we first moved into our small garage apartment a few years ago, I created this modern dining table design. We've been using it for 3 years and we love it.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

BUTTTTT…I recently sold my house and the buyer asked for the table and chairs to be removed. (I mean…don't blame them. What a set! Ha!)

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So before we packed up and left, we built a new table to take to our new location.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

I liked the old one so much that I made a new one with the same basic design this time. However, this time I assembled it a little differently and used thicker wood.

Below the plan we show you how to make two versions of a modern DIY dining table so you can make one yourself. We also share video tutorials. You can find more details here.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

White Dining Tables For A Bright Dining Room Refresh

As you can see from the list of materials above, you can build this table with either 1x material (typically ¾″ thick) or 2x material (typically 1 ½″ thick). I made it both ways and it looks great.

I don't recommend using 1x material if you're making a long table, as it tends to weaken with length.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

You can use any type of wood for this. It depends on your budget, availability and preference. I used 1x poplar for the older tables and 2x maple for the newer tables.

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The standard length of a dining table is 30″ long, which is not much different as it is used for standard sized chairs.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Widths vary widely, typically 36-42″…there is no specific “standard”. Heights vary widely, typically between 6-8 feet.

I built a mine about 40 inches wide by 80 inches high and has enough room for 6 chairs.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

How To Build A Dining Table From An Old Door And Posts

To make things easier, we've listed a x10 tabletop board in our equipment list. In fact, a x10 board is about 9 ¼″ wide. Four of these together make a top that's about 37 inches wide.

However, if you want something bigger, you can use the x12 or whatever combination of boards you want to combine to make a top any size you want. A few x6's, a few x10's… no need to be specific as long as it's enough to make the top the size you want.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

I used different width boards for my table and ended up combining a total of 6 boards to make a 40 wide top.

A Sunroom Table Diy

In the hardware list, you'll notice it's listed with either x6s or x8s. Either way works fine, but the x8s will make for wider, thicker legs.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

First, I decided on the overall size of the table I wanted. Depending on your space limitations, style and seating capacity, you may want something different.

Once you know the size table you want, you need to know the amount and size of wood you will need to make it.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Diy: Farmhouse Kitchen Table

I chose enough pieces to cut and glue to make a top about 40 inches wide and 80 inches long.

I also bought a few short pieces to use for the legs and a long piece to cut out the apron. We'll see later.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Now, if you're on a tight budget, don't have access to a local sawmill, or just want to use readily available lumber, you can definitely build using basic lumber from a big box store or local building supplier. See details above.

Ways To Make Your Dining Room Look Expensive

I like to make the table by making the top first, so I'll focus on that for now. I ran this board on my table to get clean, square edges on each edge to join.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

A table saw will definitely help with this and if you have a jointer that will work too.

But if you don't have one, a good straight blade or hand saw used with a good blade inside a circular saw will work just as well. Make sure your circular saw blade is nice and square so it doesn't chip off the edge.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Easy And {cheap} Ways To Update Your Dining Room

Once the edges were ready, I placed them on the bench to determine where I wanted each board to fit together and the colors to work well.

Some of these boards have “letter” edges that can be trimmed. However, I decided to leave it as is and use it as a design element for the finished project.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

It's a time-consuming process, but it's easiest to do one glue joint at a time. So I started by gluing two pieces of wood together.

Ikea Hack: Farmhouse Table

Once dry I went back and added another board. Then different. Then another until the top is all closed with panels.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

You can use cookies, dominoes or dowels in these containers if you like. But I only use glue.

After applying the last plate, I let the glue dry completely and moved my legs while I waited.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Diy Farmhouse Panel Dining Table

Cut the leg pieces into 8 pieces 27 ½ long (or 28 ¼″ long if using a 1x thick table top).

Since I was working with 2x (1½ inch thick material) I ripped the pieces into 6 inch wide pieces and 4 ½″ pieces for each leg. This will make each side 6 inches wide when joined together.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

If you're working with 1x material, you'll end up with 6″ and 5 ¼” because the materials are different thicknesses. Of course, you can customize the size here if you want.

How To Make A Small Dining Room Look Larger

Now the original table skipped this next part, but the newer design has tried. So this is optional… I do it both ways and it's fine.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

I later added a rabbet to the inside corner of the table leg to hold the apron in place.

Now, there are many ways to cut it. And of course you don't really need one unless you have a tool to cut. I just thought it would be fun so I sharpened the corners and added some details to the design.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Dining Room Table Centerpiece Ideas

I took two leg pieces for each leg and marked where to cut the apron.

I made the apron 3 inches long and wanted 1 inch of space between the top of the legs and the bottom of the table top. That's why you need an apron to sit on 2-inch legs.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

If the apron is of a different length, adjust as needed so that it is about an inch away from the leg.

Our Earthy And Natural Dining Room: Get The Look

I cut this material about ⅜” deep with a ½” bit straight on the router.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Now, I'd recommend doing a test cut on a piece of scrap first to make sure it fits, and make adjustments if needed.

When cutting, you can use a chisel and set it aside. I did this for all 4 legs and tried to keep these measurements and cuts as consistent as possible.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

My New Farm Style Table W/mismatched Chairs!

As with the table top, wood glue is fine, but I just added some solder.

I measured and marked the remaining nails along the length of the leg and drilled the holes with a ⅜″ forstner bit.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Next, I used ⅜″ dowels and taped each leg tight to smooth it out and make sure the inside corners stayed nice and square.

Small Dining Room Ideas And Decorating Tricks

The worst part about making the table is flattening and sanding it once the glue dries.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

I tried a new hand plane to alleviate the imbalance. Really fun and less sand time. If you haven't done it before, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Once it's pretty flat, use a circular saw and Kreg AccuCut to cut the top end to final size. If you don't have a hand saw, holding a simple straight blade will work just fine.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

Affordable Southern Farmhouse Inspired Thanksgiving Table

I then used a belt sander to smooth the surface and then used an angle grinder on the roughness I left on the edge.

Note: If you want to cheat the live edge on the table, of course you can.

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

I'm not a huge fan of straight lines… I think this little detail is enough to keep me from going overboard. But if you want the perfect blade, here's a guide on how to forge your own straight blade.

Glass Dining Tables That Create An Upscale Atmosphere For Every Meal

I then did a final sanding of everything with an orbital sander. Sanding is tedious but very important!

How To Make A Cheap Dining Table Look Expensive

I repeated this process on the bottom to make it at least the same.

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