Wednesday, August 18, 2010

table for five...or ten.

I have been curiously absent from my blog for over a month.

There are several reasons for that, which I won't go into. Mostly, life has just been crazy busy.

Not that it's any better now...I just have something to post about.

It recently occurred to me that, very soon, we will have five people eating at our table (Noah is still in the high chair at the moment...but not for long), and we have a table that only seats four.

I have also found that I don't invite people over much because there's nowhere for them to sit down and eat.

All these things led me to scour the internet in search of farmhouse tables...and discover very quickly that we could not afford one.

But in my searching, I found this blog and these plans for a farmhouse table loosely based on a Restoration Hardware farmhouse table that I have loved from the moment I first saw it.

I casually mentioned to Mr. Gardner that I really wanted a new farmhouse table and I had found some "really easy" plans online...the next day he said he was going to make it for me.

"Now?" I asked, incredulously.

"Would you like me to wait a few years?" He replied.

"Um, no. Now is great!"

I really wanted to use reclaimed wood, but it turns out that reclaimed wood is REALLY expensive and hard to we went with plain old pine. Mr. Gardner and his good friend built the table in just under two days.
And then it sat there for about a week. Truth be told, I was afraid to stain it.
I didn't really want it to look TOO polished because, after all, it is a farmhouse table. I wanted it to look like it had some history. So we did some distressing with random tools. My favorite distressing marks actually came from a bent-up dog comb.

Several of the blogs and websites that had instructions for creating a distressed finish on furniture recommended starting off with a layer of whitewash stain. So we used a stain called Pickled Oak as our base stain.
We followed this with a sanding sealer (which the man at the paint store highly recommended...maybe because it was $16 a quart). Then we sanded the table lightly with a fine grit sandpaper

Then it was the moment of truth. We decided on a walnut stain and tentatively began applying it to the table with rags...and it looked good!
I loved the results after the first coat, but wanted it a little darker, so we did one more coat of stain before finishing the process with Varnish.

And this is how it turned out.

The table looks absolutely amazing. I still can't believe that we made it. And I just love having a big family table to gather at for meals, visiting, studying and fellowship...although it barely fits in our dining room! We figured it could easily seat ten, and up to fourteen in a pinch with a few benches.
So now, I just need some benches...

I'm trying to decide between these three styles, all from the same website as the table plans:
I'm leaning toward the storage is always good.