How to Give Your Dining Table a Farmhouse Table Makeover

February 21, 2019

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Farmhouse tables are all the rage! Right? But they can also be very expensive! (Unless, of course, you build your own table, as we talked about last week in this post) But maybe there’s nothing wrong with your existing kitchen or dining table….other than being a little dated….so, you can’t really justify getting rid of it. Today, I might just have the answer to your dilemma. Give your existing dining table a farmhouse table makeover. This is such an easy project that can be done with most tables.

farmhouse table with fall decor

Unfortunately, back when I did this farmhouse table makeover, I was not blogging. Therefore, before and after pictures were not a top priority for me. So, please bare with me on this one, as I’m pulling from some pretty deep archives. Case in point: this is the only picture I was able to find of our original table. Sorry for the blurriness too. :(  ….

The original table top consisted of tile encased in wood all around it.

The first thing I did was bust out all of that tile to get down to the wood underneath. My reasoning for this was to be able to drill screws in from the underside of the table.

For simplicity sake, if I were to do this farmhouse table makeover today…I would screw in my boards from the top, instead of underneath. I’ve learned a lot since my early building projects and am not quite sure why I did this the hard way. So for your build, we’re going to do it the easy way. :)


Materials Needed:

2 x’s (2 x 6’s or 2 x 8’s or 2 x 10’s—or a combination of 2 x 6’s and 2 x 4’s is an awesome look too) (depends on the look you want)

2-1/2″ screws  (affiliate link)


metal straps

Kreg Jig (optional)  (affiliate link)

Step One: Cut boards for table top

Cut 2 x’s ((2 x 6’s or 2 x 8’s or 2 x 10’s) It’s really personal preference…I used 2 x 6’s for my tabletop) to the length you want your table to be. Mine is a 7-1/2 foot x 3-1/2 foot tabletop. It comfortably seats 8. But when family is over we can easily get 10-12 people around it….


Note: I love the look of breadboards at each end of the table. (Breadboards are the board that runs perpendicular to your long boards) As the picture shows below….

farmhouse table with breadboards

If you would like to add breadboards, be sure to account for the width of them when cutting your long boards. For example, If you’re building an 8 foot table and using 2 x 6’s for your table top, you’ll want to cut your long boards to 85 inches. This allows for space to add your breadboards (2 x 6’s) on each end…which are 5-1/2 inches wide; giving you a total of 96 inches.

Another thing to keep in mind is: if your new table top is longer than your original table top, you will want to add some metal straps; ensuring that your metal straps are between your old tabletop and new table top. This gives your end pieces more support and prevents them from warping over time….

underneath of a table with metal straps exposed

There are two different ways to attach your breadboards to your long boards:

  1. The easy way: Using your metal straps–attach one end of the metal strap to your long board and the other end to your breadboard.
  2. Another easy way IF you have a Kreg Jig (if not, you can get one here–it’s my most used tool :) ), is to drill pocket holes at the end of each of your long boards and use pocket hole screws to attach each long board to your breadboard. (affiliate link)

Step Two: Attach tabletop boards

Now, you are ready to attach your 2 x 6’s (or whichever size you chose) to your tabletop using 2-1/2″ screws.

 Step Three: Sand

Run a 60-grit sanding pad over the table top first and then a 220-grit sanding pad to smooth it out.

Step Four: Add trim

Farmhouse tables are beefy and solid pieces. So, for our next step, you’ll want to add trim all around the table where the new tabletop boards meet the existing table. For my farmhouse table makeover, I used 1 x 2’s to trim out the entire perimeter of the table….

farmhouse table

You can attach these boards, using a nail gun or a hammer and nails.

Step Five: Stain and paint

Give your table character. I wanted a tabletop that was kid-friendly. So, I purposefully added a bunch of gouges into my wood. My kids loved this part. I gave them hammers and told them to go at it. Using the back of the hammer they gouged the wood all over. There’s nothing you can do to mess up my table. The more scratches and marks it accrues over the years, the better. And this mama loves it! Less stress is a win for me. :)

table top with gouges

Stain with your choice of color. I used General Finishes Java Gel.

General Finishes java gel stain can

Paint the legs to match or change them up with a solid or paint technique….

farmhouse table

That’s it! The only downside to this table is: this sucker is heavy!! She’s a solid piece!! Truly a farmhouse table!!

Dining room table with 3 milk canisters and floral arrangements inside them. Board and batten wall in the background

Here she is this past Christmas….

dining room table

And last Christmas…

christmas is here farmhouse style holiday home tour

Until next time,

Happy building, friend!

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