Sharing my tips & tricks for how to refinish a table, a fixer upper farmhouse table & create a gorgeous DIY farmhouse table completely for free using the dining room or kitchen table you already have with step by step instructions & pictures!
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How to Refinish a Table – DIY Farmhouse Table
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I love the look of a Restoration Hardware or an original fixer upper farmhouse table but unfortunately, they were way too expensive & hard to find for our budget.
I can not believe how much our dining table looks like a vintage or Restoration Hardware farmhouse table now!
Our Formal Dining Room Table Before
Below is a picture of our dining room table soon after we moved in our farmhouse.
Jason & I bought our former Broyhill Attic Heirlooms dining table soon after we moved into The Town Traditional.
I had always wanted a large farm/ harvest table that would fit a lot of people & still look great.
I found this oak Broyhill Attic Heirlooms dining table & fell in love with it.
It fit perfectly in our old dining room & was delivered in 3 days or less 🙂 just time for our big family Christmas dinner of 20 people.
Then we moved to the Suburban Split & our new Broyhill Attic Heirlooms dining table was way too big for our new dining room.
The dining room was not big enough to keep the leaves in it anymore…. but we knew we wouldn’t be there forever and we loved our table so we kept it.
Then we moved to Lehman Lane & our dining room is long and narrow…only 9′ wide not counting the bump outs for the columns.
The Broyhill Attic Heirlooms dining table fit great lengthwise but was way too wide for our new dining room.
Jason convinced me he could make our dining table look as good as something from Restoration hardware while staying on a budget so we decided to learn how to refinish a table & give it a farmhouse table look!
Supplies & Tools Needed to Refinish a Table & Turn it into a Fixer Upper Farmhouse Table
- A solid wood dining table
- A Table Saw
- An Orbital Sander
- Polyurethane – We used Rust-Oleum Satin Finish
Instructions for How to Refinish a Table – a DIY Farmhouse Table
Step ONE – Cutting the Dining/ Farmhouse Table to Size
Jason first took our farmhouse table apart & took off about 3 1/2 inches on each side for a total of 7 inches off the width of the table.
I know it doesn’t seem like much but it makes a big difference.
That’s 3 1/2 inches of Thanksgiving dinner girth that can now squeeze behind someone seated at the table. 🙂
We decided to narrow it just enough that Jason wouldn’t have to move a lot of the supporting wood on the bottom of the table (legs, side boards, etc) around…essentially we were just cutting off the overhang of the table on the width side from 4 1/2 inches to 1 inch.
He similarly cut the dining table leaves down as well with our table saw.
Step TWO – Sanding Down the Dining Table to Refinish
The farmhouse table had that darker oak finish that had started to wear off over the years.
I’ve come to love the lighter, more natural, time worn look of tables that Restoration Hardware sells & looks like it was meant to belong in a fixer upper farmhouse.
So Jason sanded everything down to the bare wood, getting rid of that dark finish, but still keeping the imperfections that came with the original Broyhill Attic heirlooms dining table…. & that our kids made along the way.
We succeeded in our task of trying to refinish a table & our new DIY farmhouse table came out perfectly.
Step THREE – Sealing the DIY Farmhouse Table
Lastly, I sealed the farmhouse table with Rust – Oleum’s Satin polyurethane finish.
Although we loved the look of our farmhouse table without any finish, with four kids & lots of wine, juice & water not to mention food spills, art projects & mishaps over the years we knew we needed to protect Jason’s hard work.
So we went with a clear finish that didn’t have much shine to it & kept that natural light wood look for our DIY farmhouse table.
Our new DIY Farmhouse Table decorated for Thanksgiving
Farmhouse Table with Chairs & Bench
Another thing that was way too big for our new dining room were our Windsor chairs.
You can only fit so many of those large chairs around the table & we needed to fit as many as possible for large dinner parties.
So we sold the oak Windsor chairs to buy dining chairs with a smaller profile and would fit under the farmhouse table well.
I also wanted to go with a lighter chair color to continue to brighten up the room along with our new farmhouse table.
I picked up 4 smaller white chairs from IKEA.
So with the extra savings I was able to talk Jason into letting me get a long mirror for the room I had been eyeing for months.
I am so glad we decided to refinish our former dining room table because we love the look of our new DIY farmhouse table.
It makes the dining room feel bigger and the natural oak color lightens up the room too.
It really looks like a farmhouse table from Restoration Hardware.
An old farm or harvest table!!!
We added a bench Jason made to go with the white chairs and adds more seating to our new DIY farm table.
I love our new DIY farmhouse table & it was free with just a little elbow grease!!!
And the best part is that it cost us nothing to refinish the table we already owned!!!
Don’t forget to save & pin our DIY Farmhouse Table to your favorite DIY Projects Board on Pinterest!
I hope this inspires you & answers your questions about how to refinish a table to create your own harvest or fixer upper farmhouse table!