This tutorial is for a small DIY Modern Farmhouse Dining Table for beginners. The planked top makes the project adjustable to any table length, and do-able with inexpensive lumber. The gorgeous (and sturdy!) hairpin legs add a modern touch. Scroll down for a detailed tutorial for the table AND the bench!
This table has been in the works for a long time. I’ve been wanting to branch out of my scrap-wood comfort zone, and this little table got me excited to dive in. So, if you’re in need of small modern farmhouse table with a dining bench, that is perfect for beginners, you will love this piece! The table dimensions are 3′ x 5′, so it will fit in a small space and the bench allows for extra seating and nests underneath the table when not in use.
After I built it, this set went to my daughter’s house. And yes, those 2 little cuties are my grandkids! ( is there anything better than having grandkids?). As you can see, there’s plenty of room for one or maybe 2 more kids on the bench, making this dining space very functional!
The hairpin legs are so sturdy and beautiful! I was worried that the table would wobble, but it doesn’t, which is an added bonus considering these kids will probably be climbing on it!
Are you ready to start building?
DIY Modern Farmhouse Dining Table for Beginners
If you want to go to the tutorial for the BENCH, click here!
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|(4) 2″x10″x 6′ – Cut each one to 42″ long. I also ripped each board to 9″ wide to get tighter seams and to make the width of the table 36″.
(1) 2″x10″x 8′- Cut (2) 36″ pieces for the ends. These are best cut after the middle of the table is assembled.
(1) 2″ x 3″ x 8′- Cut in half for extra support underneath the table top
Sander (or sand paper in different grits)
Pocket Hole Jig & 2- 1/2″ pocket screws
2- 1/2″ or 3″ wood screws
Miter Saw(of have your wood cut to length at the store)
Table Saw (optional if you decide to rip the ends of the boards)
Fabulous Hairpin Legs
Disclaimer: I failed to take process photos since I will eventually be drawing plans for this build, so I am using the same table top image with illustrations. I hope this is clear enough! If you have questions, you can leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to clarify!
Step 1: Make your cuts
Use the cut list above to make the cuts leaving the breadboards for the end. I used my miter saw to cut the length and my table saw to rip the end of the 4 long boards to exactly 9″, making the table 36″ wide.
Step 2: Drill Pocket Holes and Join the 4 middle boards
Step 3: Cut and add the end breadboard pieces
The end pieces are best cut after you join the planks. That way you can get a more precise measurement. Join the pieces in the same way as step 2, with pocket screws and wood glue.
Step 4: Install Support on the Bottom
Now that the table top is built, it’s time to add the 2×3’s. I honestly don’t know if this was necessary given the small size of the table, but it felt right. I wanted the table to be sturdy (for climbing kids) and felt better about adding the support. I attached the 2 pieces using my drill and 2-1/2″ wood screws (I love these screws because they don’t need pilot holes).
Step 5: Finish
At this point comes the most tedious part. Sand using 120 grit paper and work your way t0 320 until everything is smooth. I love my sander for this purpose. Hand sanding is best when adding the top coat though!
Here’s a quick rundown of what I did for the finish:
- I sanded (and sanded some more)
- After sanding and cleaning the dust off, I applied once coat of this stain with a rag, waited 5 min, then wiped off the excess with a clean rag. I then let it sit for 24 hours.
- The next day I applied a coat of this topcoat using a large foam brush. I let it dry for 2 hours minimum, then lightly sanded (by hand) with 320 grit sand paper. I repeated this process twice more, for a total of 3 coats of topcoat and ended up with a nice smooth finish.
Step 6: Attach the Hairpin legs
Now it’s time to get those legs on! They’re very easy to attach with a drill and screws (they come with the legs!). The legs also come with floor protectors, which is super nice! You can find the exact legs I used HERE! And if you like the dining chairs, you can find them HERE!
Tips and lessons learned:
The wood that I bought was the least expensive (whitewood) and even though it was a money saver, it made the process more challenging. It’s hard to find completely straight boards in the cheap aisle. Ripping the boards to 9″ helped a LOT! However, I was still left with some raised boards and slightly open seams, so I had to sand a lot. I was afraid of liquid running through to the floor (it’s a table after all!) between the seams that were less than tight, so I mixed some sawdust and wood glue (home made wood filler) to fill the gaps, before I applied the finish. This helped fill the gaps, but the stain took a little differently in those areas.
In fact, if you look at the close up picture under step 6, you can see some spots around the seams where the stain is lighter. My daughter loved the table, though. And so did I! :), but I sometimes dwell too much on the imperfections. I was glad I chose a wood with lots of pattern, since it’s more forgiving when it comes to the finish. In the end, this table top turned very “farmhousey” with a lot of character with a modern side provided by the legs.
I hope you like this project and give it a go! Isn’t it nice to know that your don’t have to be rich to have nice things?
If you like this project and want to join my DIY sisterhood, get on my email list! As a thank you, you will receive access to my free resource library. Win win, right? And I’m definitely NOT a spammy emailer.
I can’t wait to have you onboard!
Until next time, be sure you pin this project so you don’t forget it!
Novice woodworker and serial Popcorn eater, Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials that motivate others to “dare to try”. Originally from Puerto Rico, Janice is fluent in Spanish and dreams of owning a beach house on the island someday! Janice currently lives in Utah with her husband and children, where she works as a university professor.