tips for building your dining room table featured image

Tips for Building Your Dining Table

Our dining room table is a big farmhouse table that I built about 4 years ago. It was one of the very first things I built after we purchased our home. It gets more worn every day, especially with a toddler, but I love that it’s something I was able to build for my family to enjoy.

tips for building your own dining room table

4 years later and I’m still in love with the design of this table. I used free plans from Shanty 2 Chic. They have several free dining table plans on their website. Mine is the Restoration Hardware Inspired Dining Table.

If you’re looking to build this farmhouse table or any other, I have a few pieces of advice from what I learned during and after building mine.

Save to Pinterest

1. Be picky with your lumber

Be extra picky with the boards you choose for your table. You want this table to last forever and it starts with quality lumber. Check each board to make sure it is straight. If a board is warped, the bend usually occurs near a knot. Sometimes I have great luck finding quality lumber at the home improvement stores near me and other times I need to really dig through the lumber to find boards that are the quality I’m looking for. Take your time to check each board and it will save you some headaches when you get to building.

lumber cart

2. Use a harder wood

I built my table using pine, which is fairly soft. The tabletop shows every bump, bang and dropped fork. It will even show indentations from a pen if you write too hard. I have grocery lists that are engraved into my table. I appreciate the character this gives the piece, but if I were to build it again I would choose a harder wood for the top.

completed build a dining room table

3. Test your stain

I purchased a wood stain for my table that I had never used before. When I tested it on a few pieces of wood in my garage and fell in love! I then proceeded to stain the whole completed table. Once I moved it inside the table looked completely orange! The lighting in my dining area didn’t match the lighting in the garage and the stain had a completely different tone. I had to sand the whole table until my arms turned to jello and try again. Avoid jello arms. Test the stain.

If you plan to coat your table with poly, I highly recommend one of these great polyurethanes for table tops.

sanding diy dining room table to fix wood stain issues

4. Enlist help for moving and assembly

My table is HEAVY! So heavy! My husband had to help me with a few of the building steps, because it was just too big for one person to safely complete. I also had to enlist his help to move it from the garage to the house and assemble it. I recommend putting furniture slider pads on the feet before attaching the top of your table. This will prevent scratches to your floor and make it so much easier to move. I can slide mine across the floor by myself with these guys.

dining room table woodworking project in process

5. You can totally do this!

I was so intimidated by this big project! I had only built 1 or 2 things by myself before and had never built something so big, but with the right tools it was totally doable! There are countless videos on YouTube, tutorials on Pinterest and discussion boards to answer any questions or concerns you might have. With some good plans, research and patience you will be totally equipped to rock your big build!

tips for building a dining room table - completed woodworking dining room table

I want to hear from you!

Have you built your own dining room table? What are some other big builds you’ve completed?