Hello hello! Hope you had a lovely weekend! I’m back today with a DIY project that I’ve been SO excited to show you! It was a LONG time coming – it took me a few weeks to finish and a couple years to even make happen.
So here’s the thing. I love our kitchen but the table area has been a thorn in my side for years:
It looks innocent, I know. :) But it was so cramped. I mean, our kitchen isn’t huge by any stretch, and the spot for the table always felt too small for me. And we added the bay window when we built, which made it even bigger.
The problem was, even with the chairs pushed in (which they hardly ever were, all at the same time), we kind of had to schooch through next to the island, over by the pantry and when we went outside we had to make sure the chair was pushed in to open the door.
I was always, constantly, numerous times a day PUSHING IN CHAIRS.
I was so tired of it, really, I mean, total first world problem here, but it was driving me crazy.
So I came up with a solution in my head. One I never even mentioned to the hubby because it involved knocking out a wall and expanding the kitchen. I had it perfectly planned out. You see why I didn’t mention it to the husband though. ;)
Obviously that wasn’t going to happen, so about a year ago I came up with a new plan – ditch the round table.
I love that table (it’s an antique but not a family antique) but once I did some measuring I realized the round shape was ALL wrong for that spot. But the size for the new table I was looking for needed to be less than 60 inches long and do you KNOW how hard it is to find a kitchen table that size?
I guess I should mention I had a “look” in mind that I wanted. And Dad and I did consider making something, maybe even using the base of the table I already had, but when I showed him tutorials online we determined we didn’t have the tools needed.
So for months and months and did I mention months? I looked on Craigslist. Then I tried places like World Market, even Walmart – just looking for something I could change up if needed. No one had a smaller table with the look I wanted.
And then, one night it came to me.
IKEA. Duh. Duh duh duh!
I found exactly what I wanted:
Well the shape and size and mostly the look I wanted. It is the Norden kitchen table and it’s something like 35 by 59 inches. Perfect.
So I planned a trip to IKEA (it’s a two hour trip one way so I picked up some other stuff). I met up with these cuties:
That would be Beckie and Traci doncha know. ;) We got to spend the day shopping and chatting and goofing off in IKEA, it was SO nice. When we found the table the girls solidified my ideas and thought it would work.
It wasn’t till a week later that I finally put the table together. I was crossing my fingers the size would work – sweating a little bit actually. ;) But it fit GREAT. I was SO stinking excited.
So originally I had planned on building a new top for the table, to make it more farmhouse looking. But once I got it together I was kind of hoping for an easy fix, so I tried sanding the top to see if it would take a stain. (It comes with a leaf to expand it so I experimented on that.)
The top is supposed to be real wood and I still think it is, but man, they put some supersonic protective stuff on there. It would NOT sand off. So I got a wild hair and just tried staining over it to see what would happen.
I was really, really pleased with it actually – the stain actually took and turned it a lovely grayish brown color:
I was so excited that maybe this would work with less work on my part than anticipated. I still didn’t know why that finish took the stain like it did – it was so odd. (Do you sense the foreboding here?)
It wasn’t the look I had originally planned on, but I liked it OK. I did the rest of the table and it still wasn’t my ideal, but it was pretty!
I went ahead with the rest of my plan to paint the base white – originally it was that blond wood color:
I got busy with some white chalk paint:
I used that simply because I didn’t want to have to sand down all the legs and everything. I was able to just put it right on which saved me a ton of time.
So everything was almost done, and like I said, I liked the top just fine. But then, later on the same day, after I had put a coat of poly on (that had dried) I put something on the table and heard a sound I know all to well – the sound of a finish being scratched off. You just KNOW it after a while. ;)
Yep. I knew it was weird that that stain seemed to take so well. It didn’t. :) It scratched right off. I mean, it took some effort, but I could do it with my finger nail and some force.
Sooooooo…my plan A that became plan B became plan A again. It was time to build a new tabletop.
I’ll let you pause here to grab a snack, I know this is a long post.
Get some Doritos for me.
OK, it was time to make a new top. I gathered some wood and had plywood base cut down to the size of the original table top, then started figuring out my cuts:
I went with the same design as the small end table I did for the basement.
I used wood glue, my nail gun and a clamp – starting at one end and gluing, clamping and nailing as I went across:
Some of the boards were slightly warped so I used hand weights to put some pressure on them. And even though I clamped as I went (a good, patient carpenter would have clamped them together with numerous clamps and let each row set before moving on. I am not a patient carpenter.) there were still some small gaps between the boards.
Because I didn’t want to worry about food or liquid falling down in there, I used a stainable filler and filled in ALL the cracks and holes:
And then I sanded and sanded and sanded. I’m sure my neighbors were like, WOMAN! It’s smooth! I sanded so much. And then some more.
But I wanted to make sure I got the putty residue off (turns out I could have sanded even more) and the sanding was knocking down any of the warping issues too – when I was done it was SO stinking smooth.
I’ll show you more about my new sander soon:
It made this part SO easy! I love this thing!
Just before dark we brought it in and set it on top of the table:
I stained it two times with the same dark stain (Rustoleum Kona) I used here. Then I gave it two coats of a gloss poly:
And in the end it turned out JUST as I had imagined for all those months:
I am SO proud of this piece, I just can’t even tell you. I think it turned out so beautifully:
To hide the plywood base of the table top and to finish it off a little more, I added another “apron” around it – it’s glued and nailed into the plywood base. (I went with a thicker plywood knowing I would do this.)
I needed something thin (I made the tabletop just slightly bigger than the IKEA top so we didn’t lose any space in here) to trim that out, so I ended up using door framing trim. I love how it looks!:
I have zero patience so didn’t wait as long as I should have to stain after doing the putty (I’m five years old, I swear). You can see a couple spots where I didn’t sand well enough and the stain didn’t take as well at the end:
But I don’t mind it – I didn’t want it to look perfectly perfect. The wood is just pine – I went with the slightly more expensive kind that doesn’t have knots – and it stained up just beautifully!
The table is way bigger than our old one, but the shape works SO much better. SO. MUCH. With the table and chairs and the rug before it was taking up a space about 70 inches around. This way works because the ends where we saw the most traffic don’t have chairs:
And I know, there’s no chairs in the pics – those are for another post. This one will continue. The light is a surprise too. ;)
I think it is one of the smartest changes I’ve made in our house. I seriously don’t know what took me so long. We LOVE it. Loveity love lurve:
I’ll show you the seating soon (I’m still tweaking).
I gotta say, I’m a little excited to have a pretty table to decorate for holidays again too. When we got rid of the table in the dining room I figured I would miss that part and I did. It’s not the reason for the new table obviously, but it’s a nice little bonus. ;)
The great thing is, I made this so the top can be lifted off. So the one or two times a year we need a large table we can pull that off, put the leaf in the table and then seat eight easily (six at the table and two on the ends).
I am SO thrilled with it! All together it cost about $350 -- $270 for the table and about $70 for the wood. Worth it for a custom piece that fits our kitchen just right!
So there you go, phase one of three, where plan A was B than A again…but it’s done. I’ll show you the rest soon!