How to make a budget friendly farmhouse table
I had this small itch… okay this BIG itch to make my knock-off of a farmhouse style table. My problem, however, was the lack of funds. Anything with the word “farmhouse” in it seems to automatically up the price. If I add the word “wood” into the farmhouse mix, I might as well throw my hands in the air and walk away.
Farmhouse styled tables are absolutely beautiful. With the dark stained wood top and a breathtaking chalk paint contrast, these tables are definitely high in the market.
And I wanted one!
But I had no money…
What do you do when you don’t have money? You put your thinking cap on and figure out a way that you can create a knock-off look yourself! My only road block in making this table was that I wanted to use a table I currently had as my desk. I also didn’t want to buy extra wood to make this DIY happen; I only wanted to use the materials I had on-hand.
I searched Pinterest for the perfect tutorial but nothing quite matched what I wanted to do. Most farmhouse table tutorials require adding wood boards on the table top for the slated look.
All I had was a hand-me-down table, a small can of Minwax Wood Finish in the color Espresso, sand paper, and chalk paint.
Since I already had the table on hand, here’s what I spent:
- Minwax Wood Finish in Espresso – $12.34 for a 8 oz. on Amazon which not really a great deal but I linked it for you anyways so you can see it. You can get this same 8 oz. can for $4.78 at Home Depot.
- Low grit sand paper (I already had this on hand) – You can usually find a 10 strip package for about $5 at a local hardware store.
- American Decor Chalk Paint (lace color) – $8.48 at Home Depot. It’s cheaper at other places like Michaels with a coupon but I wanted to save on stops with my crabby toddler.
Optional: Wood stain sealer and chalk paint wax sealer. I didn’t use a wood stain sealer because my table will only see light use from myself but if you’re making a dining room table I’d definitely opt for a sealer. I highly recommend buying a clear chalk paint wax. Here’s the reason: to elongate its life. Chalk paint will never fully last, it’s made to chip. Using a wax top coat will minimize the upkeep. I use American Decor’s Creme Wax which you can find HERE or at Michaels/Home Depot/etc.
For me, the total was $13.26 plus a couple of dollars for the sand paper so I’ll round it up to $15.00 for good measure.
Okay enough with the numbers!
How to make a farmhouse table
Here’s my office/craft table before I started.
Plain and simple yellow tinted table.
1. Sand your table top
Sand it really well so that the stain has something to stick to. Sanding the legs is optional since you will be using chalk paint which requires little/no preparation. However, I did sand my table legs slightly just because I am too much of a perfectionist.
— The weird color on the table top was me testing the stain. I forgot to take a picture beforehand!
2. Wipe the table with a clean cloth.
This helps to pick up the leftover wood dust.
Here’s what the sanded tabletop looks like
3. Apply your first layer of stain.
Read the instructions on the can to make sure you apply correctly. For the most part all you need is either a clean cloth or a paint brush (my husband likes to use a sponge brush) to apply the stain. Make sure to go with the grain and add only a thin layer of stain otherwise it has a hard time drying.
This picture was taken after stain layer #2.
4. Chalk paint time
This is when your table begins to really look like a farmhouse table.
While the stain is drying, begin painting the first layer of chalk paint on the table legs. This part doesn’t have to be perfectly applied because you’ll add a second coat and chalk paint is extremely forgiving.
I won’t go over the “how to” of chalk painting because it’s fairly simple. However, if you are having a difficult time with it I suggest signing up for my course 5 Lessons for Discovering a More Creative You. You can also comment/message me!
5. 2nd layer of wood stain.
Once your stain has dried and the required amount of waiting time has passed — according to your stains directions– you can add another layer of stain if the color is too light for you. I only did two coats of stain. I would have liked to do more but I didn’t sand my table well enough to accept the stain.
6a. 2nd layer of chalk paint.
Not necessary but I really wanted a crisp white and not an off white.
6b. Distress chalk paint if you prefer the distressed farmhouse table look.
All you need to distress paint is some sand paper. Distress the edges of the table where it seems like it would rub on another object.
7. Stain sealer and chalk paint wax.
To apply the wax, use a cloth and apply in a circular motion right onto the dried chalk paint. A little bit goes a long way so don’t use too much!
For the stain sealer I can’t tell you anything about it because I didn’t do it (I’m lazy) but here’s a great article if you need help with that.
I upholstered my fold-up computer chair right after I finished my farmhouse table. For the legs I used spray paint specifically for metal. I upholstered the fold-up chair with leftover furniture material from my foot stool project (in the background). However that’s another DIY project for another time.
I waited until the next morning for the table to completely dried. Once dried, I set my office nook back up and strategically used pink office supplies (because I didn’t have blue) to make it look more uniform.
I have to tell you though that if you’re going for the farmhouse look colors such as white, light blue, and grey blue would be better office supplies colors.
The pink mason jar used for my pencil holder is from my Etsy shop the Beauty Within Boutique. I love powder pink!
Overall I am pleased with how the farmhouse table (office desk) turned out. I wish I had the ability to take better pictures because alas my pictures never seem to do my projects justice!
The wooden John 4:19 sign is from my Etsy shop the Beauty Within Boutique. It took me a while to make that sign but I don’t mind because it turned out rather beautifully. However, making and selling the sign can be very pricey which is why you should be on the lookout here on The Beauty Within during the week for a farmhouse sign tutorial much like the one in the picture.
What I learned with making this farmhouse table:
Sanding is important. VERY important. Which I knew it was but I should have double and triple sanded the spots which I thought were good enough because it just didn’t grip the stain as much as I would have liked it to.
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