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We love eating on our deck most every meal in the spring, summer, and fall, so I wanted a table that allowed more space for people to sit but not take up so much room on our deck like our previous round table. Creating a custom table seemed like the perfect idea ….. at 25 weeks pregnant!
As with all of my home projects, I did this one 100% on my own. I always mention this to encourage all you moms and wives that you don’t need to wait on your husband to build things! Home projects aren’t for everyone, but they are my way of relaxing and doing something I love.
Plus, this is a project that my whole family will enjoy, and I look forward to all of the memories and conversations that will be shared around this table for years to come!
“I look forward to all the memories and conversations that will be shared around this table for years to come!”
I’ve included all the information for building this table below, and you can also refer to my saved highlights over on Instagram called “Patio Table” for more info and videos of most the steps.
This project is a great beginner one; however, if attention to detail isn’t your thing, you may want a second set of hands and eyes. Your cuts need to be perfect as you want your table to be stable and even, and putting in the time and work to really sand it down will make a huge difference in how it looks. I spent about 3 hours total just sanding, and I am so glad I did! The entire thing is perfectly smooth with rounded corners and edges. It’s not the most fun part of the project, but it is worth it!
I would say this is about a two day project if you are doing it solo like I did (it took me a couple extra days because I have kids and a baby in my belly that’s making it increasingly harder to bend over and breathe at the same time haha!)
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How I Built My Outdoor Farmhouse Table
- 4x4s (For table and bench legs)
- 2x10s (For table top)
- 2x8s (For bench legs)
- 2x4s (For braces and table + bench aprons)
- 2.5″ Exterior Kreg Screws (I got two packs of these)
- 2.5″ Exterior Screws
- 3″ Exterior Lag Screws (Need at least 4 of these. More if you use them in your benches)
- Flat Washers for Lag Screws (Need at least 4 of these.More if you use them in your benches)
- Stain and Sealer (I used Behr Premium Semi Transparent Waterproofing Stain and Sealer. You have to have it mixed at Home Depot. I used 2 quarts of the color Taupe and 1 quart of the color Cordovan Brown)
- Foam Brushes (To apply stain)
- Sandpaper for your orbital sander (I started with 120 and finished with 220)
- Tack Cloth
STEP 1: Decide on the dimensions you want your table and benches to be. I made my table 72″ x 37″ as that is what would fit in our space. The table is 30″ tall (standard size), and my benches are 18″ tall. Once you determine the size of your table, you can begin making all of your cuts. Be sure to cut your 4×4 legs 1.5″ shorter than the total table height in order to take into consideration the tabletop! (I believe I say this wrong in my Instagram stories, so I just want to clarify this! Don’t cut your 4x4s to 30″ or your table will be too tall.) Also, keep in mind that a board’s name is not the actual size of the board (example: a 2×4 is not actually 2″ thick!)
STEP 2: Make all of your board cuts and lay them out in order to mark where all of your pocket holes will go. You can see in the image above how I constructed the framework of my table. The tabletop is made of four 2x10s. The apron, cross and corner supports are all 2x4s, and the legs are 4x4s. The corner supports are cut at 45°. I left about 1.5″ overhang of the table. All cut lengths will be dependent upon your desired table size.
STEP 3: Use a pencil to mark everywhere you need to put a pocket hole. Using pocket hole screws will make your table very sturdy and will also hide ALL of your screws. This will provide a very high quality finish as opposed to seeing lots of screws throughout the table. You can see all the pocket holes I used in the photo above. I screwed the entire table top together, so it is one uniform piece. Otherwise, you will have large gaps in your tabletop (more like a traditional picnic table). In the below photo you can see just how much I rounded all of the edges and corners to make it a more comfortable table to sit at (this is important on the benches as well as it will be very uncomfortable to have your legs hang over a sharp edge.)
STEP 4: Then take the boards apart and make all of your pocket holes. Once you have completed that you will want to sand all of your boards. This was the most time-consuming part of this project as I wanted every board to be perfectly smooth with rounded edges. This part is what will separate your table from looking like a DIY beginner project to a high quality piece of furniture! I started with 120 sandpaper and finished with 220 (you will need several sheets of paper. Also, don’t think you can do this by hand, you definitely need to use a power sander.)
STEP 5: Use a tack cloth to wipe down all boards (this removes any sawdust before sanding). Then stain all of your boards including fronts, backs, and sides. (This is not just stain, this is a waterproofer and sealer which will allow your table to hold up to the weather and UV rays outside, so it’s very important you cover every side of every board). You will want to follow the instructions on the can and apply two light coats. I waited 2-3 hours in between as the can says. For the exact color of my table, I applied two coats of Taupe followed by one light coat of Cordovan Brown. Some areas I did two coats and on the knots and edges I added a little more in order to give a more rustic/farmhouse look to the table.
Note: I did not use treated lumber for this project for various reasons, including all the nasty chemicals in them – especially for a table we are eating off of. This is why it’s extra important to ensure you seal your wood very well, so it can hold up to the outdoors!
STEP 6: Once everything has dried, you can assemble your table using pocket hole screws in all your predrilled holes. For the corner supports, I used 2 normal exterior screws and drilled them into the 2×4 apron and then a lag screw that went into the 4×4 as shown above for additional support (Be sure to drill a pilot hole first for these). Be sure you are using exterior screws for every single screw you use on your table and benches! You can see below how I made the benches. There wasn’t enough space for me to do the corner braces, so I did it this way instead, and they are plenty sturdy! You can still use lag screws to drill the support board into the 4×4 for extra support.
And you’re done!
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