Sunday, September 23, 2012

Homemade Harvest Table

In our new place, we have a large room at the back of the house that has two banks of picture windows. It's a bright room and perfect for a large table - but I wasn't willing to pay $1,000+ for an 8 foot harvest table! One day...

Until then, I found a blog post (which I also pinned to my "I'd Make This" board on Pinterest) where Loraine had made her own table out of pine boards and recycled table legs.   I thought it was fantastic and sounded straightforward - which is key since I'm not a total whiz with power tools (yet!). 

 I was pushed for time because we had guests coming for lunch, so I botched the staining-sealing-finishing step and will need to re-epoxy the top of the table, but otherwise I'm pleased with the results. Eventually I will replace the light, 1" boards with sturdier 2" boards, but for now it will serve it's purpose: an attractive, affordable, space-conscious, and functional table for our 'blue room!'

It took me a while to find the table legs I was searching for.  I finally found a table with the 'right' kind of attachments - braces rather than a full skirt - along with 4 chairs for $50.  I scooped it up and set about the new project.

Forget sanding - so messy and time-consuming! - I have been using homemade chalk paint on all my furniture since I first used it on the dresser below.

I fell in love with the recipe, it's just so cheap, so easy and virtually foolproof that I can't stop using it!

I don't bother with expensive high adhesion paints for glossy surfaces (like Zinsser BIN paint, which is great, too, but at $30-$40 a gallon, it's not a bargain).

There are many blogs online that do a fantastic job of writing tutorials for making your own chalk paint. I use the following:

1 part Plaster of Paris
3 parts latex paint (I have found that the 'Painter's Touch' high gloss paints do not work well)

I mix the water and Plaster of Paris together to form a paste about the consistency of thick cream. Stir well and until smooth. I mix in the latex paint and then add more water until it is paint-like consistency - it will be a bit thicker than usual. This paint dries ubber fast which is a plus, and you can do two coats in few hours. Sometimes I like to sand after 2 coats and then add a final coat of straight latex paint overtop before I wax it.

I use fine grit wet/dry sanding sponges and lightly sand with some water (often I spritz with a spray bottle full of water as I go). You will find the chalk paint sands easily so it's great for distressing or antiquing if that's the look you're going for. If not, throw a coat of pure latex overtop and then wax without sanding. The texture of the finished coat is a bit rougher, but I'm partial to it - test it out yourself, it may not be for everyone!

  After priming the chairs and table legs, I painted them with high gloss black (because that's what I had on hand).  If I hadn't had black paint in the 'shop I would have bought a satin or matte finish and waxed overtop. 

I purchased 1"x10"x8' 'bookshelf' boards at Home Depot but would recommend you go with the 2" boards instead for added stability (the 1" boards were just easier to fit in my car without any extra help and in a time crunch!).  As I said, I will replace them when I get a chance. They'll do for now!

 I had brace boards cut to size at Home Depot as well, and simply screwed these into the main boards to keep everything together.  I stained the table with a MinWax stain in a colour similar to the chairs and then I sealed it with some 2-part epoxy - I use EasyCast (not it's intended purpose, it's supposed to be used for making resin jewellery or art...but whatever!).  Unfortunately, because I was rushing I didn't let the stain dry for long enough and the epoxy resisted against it - so I had to scrape it down and I'll have to re-epoxy at a later date (aka. when I buy more!).  Lesson learned!

All-in-all I'm pleased with the effect and it will give us a way to 'entertain' without taking up an entire room. 

I'm sharing this blog post at The Shabby Nest - check it out and all the other inspiring ideas and DIY projects! 


  1. Thanks! I think it's a good I need to get to the pile of stuff in the workshop!

  2. I really like this post.

    Hope to see more posting related to Harvest tables

  3. I love your painting technic! That's so cool! I love to paint but I hate to sand!! You so right it takes to much time and is a mess!! SO this is just for ME! Can't wait to paint NOW!! LOL
    And Thanks! Janet

  4. Oh Yes Beautiful Table!! I would love to make one just like it if I had a place for it! Your room that Yours is in, is just Lovely!! What A Beautiful Picture!!
    The chairs turned out Very Pretty! That for Sure would be at least $2,0000 table and chairs!! If not more! Again Very Very Nice!! Thanks for Your Post and the Help it has been!!
    Thanks ~Janet~ Cont. from last post!! :-)

    1. Thanks, Janet! I had a great time making this table - it was a learning experience. Unfortunately, when my husband and I moved, we weren't able to take it with us (or new place is just too small!). However, it's still in this lovely room and happy with its new owners. :) Thank you for your kind words; good luck with your painting! You CAN do it - and it gets easier each time. Keep stopping by...I'll be posting more soon.