How to Build a DIY Kitchen Table
Using reclaimed wood for your diy kitchen table is good for the environment and can be easier on your wallet. As this dining table from KT Studio demonstrates, it also adds a rustic, lived-in look to any room.
Be sure to use proper fasteners for attaching the top surface of the table. The wood will likely expand and contract over time, so lag screws with slots are important.
A kitchen table needs to be the right size for your room. You want it to seat six people comfortably and be at a height that’s comfortable for dining. If you have kids, a larger table might be the best choice to accommodate all of your family at once.
To build this diy wood kitchen table, start by picking out the boards for your top and base. When selecting boards, take the time to really look at them — they should be straight and free of dents and scratches.
For the base, cut a 2×6 board to 48 inches long. Add pocket holes if you’re using them, then wood glue and clamp the board. Next, add the apron pieces — we cut ours out of 1×3 pine and then attached them to each leg with wood glue and pocket screws. Let this sit for 24 hours. This sat on top of the base and added a nice decorative element.
For this diy kitchen table, you’ll need a few basic woodworking tools, including a miter saw and a power drill. You’ll also need a pocket hole jig to make the process easier. For the lumber, select construction-grade boards with as little warp as possible. The dimensions for this particular table are 69” x 46”, but you can adjust the measurements to fit your space.
Cut two 2x4s to serve as the apron for your diy table, running them parallel to the 4×4 brace that connects the end pieces. Use the Kreg jig to drill pocket holes along these boards. Attach the apron to the ends of the table using wood glue and 2.5″ torque screws.
Sand down the boards with an orbital sander to smooth any high spots between the leaf and end pieces of your dining table. This helps your diy table look even more professional. Adding natural elements, like flowers and greenery, also softens the look.
Staining can be a bit tricky to get right on the pine. You may want to test your stain on another piece of wood or in a different light to see how the color will look. The worst thing that can happen is to build a gorgeous table only to ruin it with the wrong stain!
Sand the surface of the table gently, starting with 150 grit and working your way up to 220. You may also need to apply a wood conditioner.
I used a gel stain, applying it with a 4” chip brush in straight back and forth strokes over the whole table surface. The first coat was done in solid gray, but I wanted a more rustic, weathered look so I applied a second coat using a soft brush for a faux wood grain application. After the second coat dried, I applied a matte wipe-on poly. I recommend at least three coats of poly to provide a durable finish.
When the table is dry, add six sets of pocket holes spaced evenly across the top and use wood glue and 3/4″ pocket screws to attach them together. This will create a sturdy table top. If your boards aren’t perfectly straight, sand them to remove rough spots. Next, you’ll add the apron to your table. This is made of two 4x4s cut to the length of your desired table apron, plus 6 1/8″ pieces for the sides. Cut these to length, sand them and attach them using wood glue and 1″ pocket screws.
The final step is to seal the table with a polyurethane. Apply two or three coats, letting each dry 12+ hours between each. Be sure to follow the safety instructions on the product, including working in a well-ventilated area and wearing a respiratory mask. I like to use Odie’s Oil, which gives a gorgeous matte finish and protects the wood from spills.