How to Build a Farmhouse Table

How to Build a Farmhouse Table – A Step by Step DIY Guide

A farmhouse table is a term for a large, sturdy, and versatile table usually made from recycled wood. Farmhouse tables are used as working tables as these can hold heavy and thick building materials for cutting and finishing. Meanwhile, DIYers learn how to build a farmhouse table to use as a dining table, office table, or study table. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you make your first farmhouse table project.

Things you’ll need for this tutorial:

This is a tutorial on how to build a rectangular farmhouse table from scratch. We will be making a simple huge table with sturdy large 4 x 4 lumber legs. You may opt to add bracing or stretchers to prevent the legs from moving and bowing.

  • A large piece of wood or several wooden planks – we recommend maple wood as it’s strong and resistant to scratches and marks. But you can also use other types of wood in case maple is not available. Visit your local lumber yard or recycle wood scraps instead.
  • 4 x 4 wood – we need very strong, solid 4 x 4 wood to support the entire farmhouse table top.
  • Table saw – a good table saw will make fast and repeated cuts more efficiently so you can save time.
  • Nail gun – it’s better if you have a nail gun to help you assemble your farmhouse table faster and more efficiently.
  • Surface sander – a portable power sander to sand the surface until you get a smooth feel.
  • Wood stain – you can use chemical stains or natural stains like tea or coffee.
  • Sandpaper – you need larger sandpaper grits to make rough surfaces and edges smoother.
  • Warm water and dishwashing soap – you need these to clean wood before you cut and use them.
  • Varnish or whitewashing solution – use any of these to finish your farmhouse table. You may also use paint.
  • Measuring tape – you need this to correctly measure different pieces of wood
  • Protective equipment and gear – always wear work gloves, goggles, masks, earplugs, and apron whenever you’re working with wood.


Gather the pieces of wood you will use for your farmhouse table project.

Collect all the pieces of wood you will use. Make sure that all the tools you will use, especially power tools are in good working condition.

Clean the pieces of wood first before use.

Whether you’re using new wood or recycling old ones, inspect every piece for pests, insects, pitting, warping, and holes. Make sure you’re using durable wood for this project so if there are signs of rotting or decay, discard the wood.

Cleaning wood is simple. Use warm water and some dishwashing solution. Wash every piece using a soft foam scrubber or use a soft toothbrush for really dirty surfaces. When you’re done washing, rinse with clean water and let every piece dry completely before use. It can take a day to dry wood under the sun.

Measure according to the farmhouse table design you want to make

Now that the pieces are dry, measure these accordingly.  Use this guide:

Number of PeopleSeat People ComfortablyRectangular Table Sizes
44 feet rectangular 
66 feet rectangular5 feet rectangular
88 feet rectangular7 feet rectangular
1010 feet rectangular9 feet rectangular

Use a measuring tape to correctly measure the pieces. For the height, allow at least 28 to 30 inches. Measure your 4 x 4 pieces correctly.

Cut the pieces and set them aside

Use a table saw to make precise cuts. Follow the instructions on how to use the saw especially safety precautions. Set aside all the pieces.

Connect the pieces using a nail gun.

Nail the tabletop using a nail gun. Install the legs with extreme care. You may use hanger bolts or surface plates to make the legs more durable.

Sand the top surface and edges of the table.

Now that the tabletop and legs are finished, it’s time to concentrate on the top and edges. Use a portable handheld sander to sand these surfaces well. You want a level, balanced and clean tabletop so sand the entire surface until you achieve your goal.

The edges should be smooth as well. Use sandpaper to make small finishes. Attach sandpaper to a sanding block to make it easier to use. Wipe the surface and all the table parts with a soft, dry cloth. Make sure all the dust has been removed.  

Apply varnish or wood stain on top and along the table legs.

When the surfaces are smooth and clean, apply varnish using a small paintbrush. Varnish or stain will highlight all the imperfections of the wood.

You may use chemical wood stains or natural wood stains like those made from coffee or tea. For a striking coffee stain, brew strong coffee and let it cool down. Apply the liquid on the wood and let this dry completely. Apply the stain all over the farmhouse table from the tabletop surface to the table legs.

Let the stain dry and apply another layer

To work a lovely warm glow, let the stain dry well for at least a day and apply another layer. Remember to let the piece dry well; be patient, before applying the next coat. The number of layers depends on you.

Whitewash your farmhouse table

Instead of varnish, you may paint your table or use a whitewashing solution. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply the whitewash formula. You may need to apply several coats to achieve that warm whitewash pattern on your wood.

There you have it; how to build a farmhouse table in nine easy steps. Remember, create a farmhouse table design plan before you proceed. Plan the materials and the tools you need. Always practice safety when using tools and when applying varnish, paint, or coloring solutions.

What do you think about this tutorial? Comment down below. If you like this article, share it with a friend who wants to learn how to build a farmhouse table.





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