How To Build A Wood Table Top

How To Build A Wood Table Top – Remember a few months ago I found this dining table for $100 on a Facebook buy/sell/trade group?

It really needs a coat of paint and I’m adamant about sanding the surface to reveal a gorgeous wood grain that just needs to be hidden under the yellow paint. Except…

How To Build A Wood Table Top

How To Build A Wood Table Top

…not good wood. This really ugly MDF is easy to hollow and does not clean well. A total womp womp of surprise. But I think I got into this mess; I might as well finish it as best I can and deal with it later when we can figure out Plan B.

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So hello! Welcome to Plan B. (By the way, don’t you love it when Plan B works SOOOO better than you could have imagined Plan A? Because that’s exactly what happened.)

How To Build A Wood Table Top

Robert and I were looking at the plan to build a table on Ana White for a solution to somehow separate and recreate the table when I realized that we could only build a retrofit table top with a lip that the existing table stick directly on. . There is no need to dismantle or damage the old table in any way.

(This really can be done for coffee tables, end tables, nightstands, dresser tops, any surface you can find that needs a nice wood grain finish.)

How To Build A Wood Table Top

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Accessories Used: (Of course you will need to adjust the width and number of wooden planks to work with your existing table size, but these are the ones that fit our table sizes.)

(Note: we originally planned to use a 1″x2″ board for the lip, but later changed our plan to a 1″x1″ board in case you’re wondering why the 1″x2″ board it’s just on top attached to this first photo.. you really could use one depending on how thick your original table top is.)

How To Build A Wood Table Top

2. Place your 1″x8″ board at each end of the 1″x6″ board and mark the edges with a carpenter’s pencil.

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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 and the 1″x8″ board at the ends.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

4. Measure and mark the width of the 1″x6″ ruled board to cut the 1″x8″ board to the desired size with your saw.

5. Once all the boards are cut to the length and width required for your table model, line up the replacement board and start marking with a pencil where you need to drill pocket holes.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

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6. Then start drilling the pocket holes with the Jig Kreg to attach the 1″x8″ boards to each 1″x6″ board. Drill pocket holes in the 1″x6″ boards so they can also be screwed into each other.

7. Use rod clamps to press your 1″x6″ boards together and start driving 1 1/2″ Kreg Jig Wood Screws into the holes to start joining the boards together.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

8. When joining the 1″x6″ boards together, connect one end to the 1″x8″ vertical board using the Kreg Jig screws. Use the hand clamp screw.

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9. Once the 1″x6″ board and the 1″x8″ board are connected and ready, start at the lip by measuring and marking your 1″x1″ board to the width and length of -your table top.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

11. Then attach a 1″x1″ board around the perimeter of the flat table using a nail gun and 1 1/4″ edge nails. Align the 1″x6″ panels with the 1″x8″ panels as closely as possible.

12. To make it nice, flip the table over so the pocket hole is facing down.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

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13. If you have small gaps, use a spatula to press some Minwax Stainable Wood Filler into the gap to close it. let it dry

14. When the wooden spatula is completely dry, start making the wood as smooth as possible by going over it with a hand sander. Start with an 80-grit sanding pad, then 120-grit, 180-grit, and finally 220-grit to make the wood as smooth as butt. Dry sand the wooden spatula to make sure it is really good.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

15. Scrape off any remaining sanding dust from the wood (or remove with a nail cloth) and apply a coat of Minwax Pre-dirty Wood Conditioner to help the wood accept the stain evenly in -next step.

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16. Let the wood conditioner sit for at least 5 minutes but no more than 30 minutes before starting to apply the stain. Before coloring, wipe off excess conditioner with a dry cloth.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

Before building our table Robert and I had to decide what type of wood to use, so we tested 8 colors of Minwax stain on 3 different types of wood to help us choose. This dining table will see a lot of use for years to come and we didn’t want to go through the process of building this top without care.

Of course we used the more expensive red oak because we really like the look of the grain. And because it’s hardwood, we know it will stand the test of time.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

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

Notice how stained the stain is on this pine board? I would definitely use a wood conditioner on any pine that you plan to stain. I didn’t use it in this piece as it was just an example, but you can definitely tell.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

We almost declared Poplar the winner because it seems like a good option that is still not too expensive.

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We just couldn’t get over that beautiful red oak grain and let it go. (If the table itself is only $100, you can do it, right?)

How To Build A Wood Table Top

We decided that Dark Walnut was our winner because I love the contrast of the dark wood table top with the white table base.

17. Apply a coat of Minwax Wood finish penetrating dirt following the instructions on the back of the tin. We only applied one coat but you can do two or three if you want to go darker. (For some lighter stain colors in the past, I applied two to three coats.)

How To Build A Wood Table Top

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18. We let the dirt dry for 24 hours and then apply Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane with a foam brush. I like to use a foam brush because it gets rid of bubbles in the final finish. Apply 2-3 coats to protect the table from wear and tear, especially condensation on drinking glasses and food spills.

Robert and I dragged this baby right into the existing table. Fits like a glove! Maybe we should just put the green on the original table and build a poker table to hide under the fancy food. (Stupid…or am I? Maybe I should learn to play first. Ha!)

How To Build A Wood Table Top

I really love how this dining room feels warmer and cozier with those beautiful wood grain sides and center.

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And the satin finish gives it enough shine to catch the eye as soon as you enter.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

This space now looks more complete and this desk is finished with a gallery wall full of mirrors and fresh paint on the walls.

We still have to replace the chandelier. Two of the glass beads fell out the other day and it was beyond repair, so that was just a sign to me that she was going to die. This is a remnant of the previous owner of this house.

How To Build A Wood Table Top

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Now I’m wondering if there are any other tables in our house that could use the retrofit finish. Maybe we can even build a coffee table top with a chess board on the bottom that we can flip over to play whenever we want. How legit is that?! i need more furniture 😉This post is sponsored by Minwax, and you can find more of my work on Not Just Housewives.

My dining room has had a slightly different look over the years. What remains the same is the dining table. We love the table some friends gave us when we lived in Vegas. It’s a nice leg and fits into our little dining area. About a year and a half ago I built a larger bodice to match the original bodice. It’s really nice to have a bigger top but I don’t like the bottom margin so far and I think the deep margins together with the black feel great in the end. This time, as I was building a new table top, I completely removed the original top and built a new top for the legs. Building your own table is easier than you think!

How To Build A Wood Table Top

I think I finally found the right color and size combination for my new dining room

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