Dining Room Dining Room DIY Projects DIY Before & Afters DIY Furniture Projects

My Finished DIY Farmhouse Dining Table

Last Updated on April 9, 2016 by Kristi Linauer

My DIY farmhouse dining table is finished, and I know this won’t come as a surprise to most of you, but I changed courses halfway through this project. 🙂 If you read regularly, you should be used to that.

To recap, I started out with a dining table that I bought on Ebay for a steal (eight chairs and a table with three leaves for $51). But the table wasn’t exactly my style.

dining table and chairs purchased on Ebay - 7

I decided to use that table top, and built a new base for it (apron and legs) to turn it into a farmhouse style table.

dining table remake - from trestle table to farmhouse table - 14

You can read about that process here.

So yesterday I set about finishing my table, which included stripping and sanding the top, re-staining, polyurethaning, and then finishing the new apron and legs. I used my favorite Klean Strip stripper to remove the old finish from the top, and then I sanded it with 150-grit sandpaper on my orbital sander. And then I started layering VERY thin coats of stain until I got it to the color I wanted. I used Minwax Dark Walnut, Honey and Rust-Oleum American Walnut, allowing about an hour between each coat. And again, each coat was very thin. I didn’t want this table top ending up too dark, and I didn’t want to hide the pretty wood grain. (I have no idea what kind of wood this is, but I think the grain is very pretty.)

diy farmhouse dining table - stained top - 1

I’ll admit that it turned out a bit more red than I had hoped, but I’m fine with it, especially compared to how it looked originally.

dining table and chairs purchased on Ebay - 6

Here are the two finishes side-by-side.

diy farmhouse dining table - stained top - 2

And the polyurethane seemed to tone down the red a bit, but since oil-based poly has a yellowish tint to it, it turned the red into orange. I’m actually fine with that. I’d much prefer the slight orange over red-toned wood anyday. Here’s the top after one coat of oil-based Minwax polyurethane in a satin finish.

diy farmhouse dining table - stained top - 4

I was only able to do one coat of poly because it was so unbelievably humid here yesterday that the poly wouldn’t dry. I was using Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in a satin finish, which you’re supposed to be able to recoat in 4-6 hours, but mine was still wet four hours later. And I don’t mean that it was tacky four hours later. I mean it was wet in most places. So I still need to sand and do at least two more coats of poly.

With the top done, I wasn’t very confident at all that I could get the pine apron and legs to look anything like the table top with the beautiful dark grain, so I decided to paint. And I decided to put the green on the table instead of the chairs.

diy farmhouse dining table - stained top with dark green apron and legs - 2

I used the same color that I used on my kitchen cabinets (Sherwin Williams Derbyshire) mixed in Behr paint with a satin finish, but I added just a touch of black to it to make it a bit darker.

diy farmhouse dining table - stained top with dark green apron and legs - 1

I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and in the end, I’m glad I didn’t try to stain the base to look like the top. I have a feeling that would have ended in lots of frustration and probably even some tears, and I would have ended up painting it anyway. And after thinking about it, I really do prefer the green on the table instead of the chairs. I was just afraid that having that many green chairs next to my green kitchen would be way too much green. This way, I get my green, but in a lesser amount.

I’m still mulling over the dining chair options, but obviously at this point, the option of painting them green is out. So I’m down to either painting them all black and then upholstering the seats in something colorful, or painting the wood black and leaving the caning stained, and then using a colorful fabric on the seats. Right now, I’m leaning towards the second option. And I’m also still undecided on what to do about the two end chairs for the dining table, but right now I’m actually considering building two chairs from scratch, and using my colorful watercolor fabric on those. And then I’d use the two arm chairs that I already have (that came with the table) flanking the buffet on the entryway wall. I think those would look fantastic painted black and then covered in black and white striped fabric.

So those are my thoughts right now. Of course, as you know, everything is subject to change…even after a project is supposedly “finished.” 🙂

You Might Also Like...


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kate Sciacca
    March 18, 2016 at 9:21 am

    That table is beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelly Bryant
    March 18, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Love the new table legs and with them painted green will be a compliment to your Kitchen and not a competion to all the hard work you did on the cabients. Love the idea of black painted wood with the cane stained. It will tie in a wood element to your new dining room and again compliment your gorgeous ceiling in your music room and your plans for your hallway. Cant wait to see what you do to make your chairs for the head of the table. Using the chairs that came with the set by your buffet is a great idea and gives you a place to sit in the entry but not at the table and extra seeting if needed. As always a great inspiration!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:26 am

    love the green table with new legs! it’s a keeper!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Table looks great! I would not paint the cane, maybe stain, but never paint……I haven’t had good results with adhesion long term… Good luck with whatever you do! Nancy

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:30 am

    What an amazing and beautiful transformation! I am glad to know that you are still considering using the watercolor fabric as well as a black and white striped fabric. This sounds like an adaptation of your original plan (which I was looking forward to seeing) using the same elements of the plan in a different way. Whatever you decide to do, I am looking forward to seeing the finished space.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:32 am

    You are hilarious! I have been following you since the start of your kitchen project and I chuckle every time you change direction. You keep it real for the rest of us who are indecisive too. Lol! Love the table! I think the green base is beautiful. Not too much green, but just enough to tie it into the kitchen. I love the idea of painting the chairs black and staining the cane. I think that natural color will blend well with the table top. I would love to see a tutorial on upholstering chairs. It was the reason I found your blog in the first place. Love the blog and look forward to seeing an update in my email every day! Thanks Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:34 am

    First, I just want to let you know how much I enjoy your website. I stumbled upon it last week and now I am hooked. I love DIY, too. Your table looks amazing…my question is: When you painted the legs, did you use a brush or spray them? Thanks!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

      I used a brush since the table is so heavy, and I didn’t want to take it outside to spray. The key to getting a beautiful finish with a brush is paint conditioner. I use Floetrol (available at Home Depot), and mix according to the directions. It makes a world of difference, and I always end up with a finish that can rival a sprayed finish.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Stacy O'Neill
    March 18, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Gurrrl…you are fast. It’s looking wonderful. I’m curious…are you doing your handwork in your dining room or do you have a workshop?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

      I built the table base and then stripped, stained, painted in the dining room. That table is just way too heavy for me to move into another space to work on it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:38 am

    GORGEOUS! Looks like a brand new table! Table top.. beautiful color. Legs beautiful color. Just love it. Looks VERY expensive!! Had to tell you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy Nelson
    March 18, 2016 at 9:39 am

    I am wondering if the table top isn’t pecan.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Interesting! Initially I thought maybe it was oak, but I don’t think so. The grain is much smaller and more subtle than oak, and it took stain way better than I’ve ever seen oak take stain. And it’s definitely not walnut or mahogany. I’ve never worked with pecan (that I know of) so I have no idea, but it’s certainly possible!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Kate Sciacca
        March 18, 2016 at 10:43 am

        My MIL had that table, I think she said it was pecan.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          March 18, 2016 at 11:32 am

          I doubt it is pecan wood, although “pecan’ stain was popular in the ’60s and ’70s. Pecan wood is difficult to work with so no commonly found in furniture. It also has a very pronounced and variegated grain, much like hickory. This wood looks more like ash to me.

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            March 19, 2016 at 12:47 pm

            Pecan and Hickory are the same wood (see link)


            And LOTS of furniture is made from Hickory because it is so dense, hard, and heavy. It is especially well-suited for tables.

            I would say the grain looks VERY much like hickory, which, when stained, can take on an oak-like appearance.

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            March 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm

            Ah, that makes sense. I do recall the table was VERY heavy, felt like the base was made of cement! 😀. Sold it (with six of those same chairs) to a second hand store for about $100… It was in excellent condition 😊

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      March 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Looks like red or white oak to me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Love the table. It’s perfect for your space. And painting the chairs but staining the cane will tie everything together. I’m following this process with great interest. I love that you change direction at the last minute, and usually improve the outcome! Nice surprises almost every day!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:42 am

    The table looks wonderful! That grain on the top is very pretty.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs Mike
    March 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

    The table is lovely! I love the idea of the pop of color on the chair seats as well. I can’t wait to see the finished project!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Love it…was so hoping you would paint it green! I know you love the black, and stripping chairs is one tedious job (unless you get them dipped) but I really think you’ll be much happier with them if you keep them stained. Regardless its all looking beautiful as always!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Second option!!!
    Stain, paint, fun fabric. Will pull it all together.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I LOVE the table…and I love the 2nd idea..leaving the caning stained…and painting the rest of the chairs black….beautiful and unique idea….so glad to see more green…I can never get enough of that green kitchen….take it anywhere and it works..imo..cant wait to see the result..as always!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Table turned out beautiful! Looks exactly like mine, except the apron and legs of mine are blue. With that said, just to let you know the chair wood is blue and it looks fine. Not too much at all. I think you could get away with the chair wood being green if you left the cane wood. Or I still love the black chair, wood cane look. I wouldn’t use stripe fabric on the chairs tho, too much linear. The print you originally bought for your chairs would look fantastic. I must still be stuck on that.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Love it. I like the green paint. It’s more subtle with the black in it. Can’t wait to see what you do with the dining room chairs. I like the all black finishing that you had on your site the other day. But whatever you do I’m sure it will be perfect.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:33 am


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I really love the table – everything about it. You made great choices. I just want to say that I think you should leave the caning the natural color. If for some reason you decide that you would prefer it painted you can always do that later. I say this from experience as I painted the caning on my own chairs and now I regret it. I am going to attempt to remove it if I can without damaging the cane. If that’s not possible I will have to live with the cane painted. I am looking forward to the water color fabric cause I think it would be so gorgeous but whatever you do I know it will look great.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Looks great. I’m curious why you aren’t using the table going lengthwise from the kitchen?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 10:50 am

      I had it that way in the beginning, but several people suggested that I turn it to run parallel with the front windows. I tried it, and actually like it much better this way. It seems to be a much more natural fit in the space going this way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:39 am

    You have done it again!! What a beautiful table!! I just can’t get over how well you do each and every project. Really. I think I’m doing well when I make paper roses out of coffee filters. I’m very proud of you……….and I don’t even know you. I keep wondering where you learned to do all that stuff. I guess where there is a WILL, there is a way. And WILL is what it comes down to. Amazing.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 10:52 am

      I’m pretty much self-taught. I grew up around talented and creative people, so I kind of picked up some things along the way. The only thing I remember getting hand-on teaching with was sewing. My mom taught me to sew when I was pretty young (junior high age), but everything else has been pretty much self-taught along the way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

    If you are painting the chairs, is there any way to remove the arms? I was just thinking they have to be screwed in somewhere. That way you have 8 total chairs and can have the 2 upholstered chairs like you want and nothing gets wasted.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 10:53 am

      I had considered that, but now that I’m going to use them flanking the buffet in the entryway, I kind of like the idea of them having arms.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        March 18, 2016 at 11:06 am

        That makes total sense and I figured you had thought of that (you seem to think of everything). Table looks great and I can’t wait to see the rest.

        Love your blog! Elizabeth

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Rebecca B
        March 21, 2016 at 6:38 pm

        Buffet is coral right?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Beautiful, Takes My Breath Away!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Beautiful. Instead of stripping, we”ve used Formby’s refinisher. It renews the finish without changing the color too much.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeanne in Austin
    March 18, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Good-looking table! IMHO, I think you made good choices in the legs, aprons, slides, and color.

    If you do decide to make chairs, I suggest that you get really good plans. Chairs are one of the most difficult types of furniture to make: There are hardly any straight lines, angles must be exact for comfort, they’re hard to clamp, etc. I certainly would never try to dissuade you from making them; just plan well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Beautiful work as usual and love the casual feel of the chairs. Your paint colors always add so much drama.
    I think the wood top looks like Cherry wood. Just guessing though. Look up wood grains and finishes to get more info.S

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Beautiful table. I knew you would figure it out without anyone’s help. You know what you like and it ends up to be very stylish.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Super job you did there! I can’t wait to see the chairs, I also think I like the black wood with stained cane and colorful fabric seats! LOOKING forward to the next posts.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Maybe it’s because I’m in the UK but the green and the style for the table legs is very much like the cheap, common and very dated tables that were everywhere in the 80s and 90s, perhaps that didn’t reach the US then but I think the table in black would have been much more sophisticated (it’s the gold that takes the kitchen to a whole new level).
    Now, as the tables painted, would you consider leaving the chairs wood to tie in with that table, black stain the rattan and reupholster the chairs?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Those tables were (and still are) ubiquitous here as well. So ubiquitous, in fact, that I have one. 🙂 Matt uses it in his game room. When I decided to paint my table green, I was hesitant because I thought it might look like one of those cheap tables, but I decided to go for it. Since I have both now, I can assure you that they look nothing alike, other than the fact that they both have wood tops, and both have some shade of green on them.

      The cheap table has a hunter green base (I love green, but can’t stand hunter green) with ugly turned legs, and the top is one of those butcherblock-style (with the strips of wood glued together) in a honey shade stain with a bullnose edge. The whole thing just looks cheap and dated. It doesn’t look anything like my curvy-legged table with emerald green paint and a beautiful, warm pecan wood top. 🙂 I’m tempted to drag that cheap table in there by the dining table and take a picture for comparison.

      I also think that context is key. Since my dining table won’t be surrounded by 1980s decor, it won’t look like a 1980s table in my finished room.

      There’s no “leaving the chairs wood” in this case. The chairs have the same hideous finish that the table top had. In order to have stained wood chairs, I’d have to strip every one of them and restain them. I don’t like stained wood enough to go to all of that trouble. Painted wood is much more my style…with stained wood used in moderation.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        March 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm

        Haha ours weren’t even classy enough for the ‘wood strips’, most had awful flat green tiles all over the top (you could also the set in terracotta 😳) – I’m sure there’s no comparison in reality as opposed to a 2d picture on my screen that made the legs look far too familiar, maybe that’s also why your chairs looked a similar finish to your newly finished table top in one of your pics.

        It would be a very small world is we all had the same tastes and nobody considered anyone else’s ideas, who would have thought a yellow piano could look so stylish 😊

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Sorry but I was thinking the same thing about the green color on the table legs. That’s is exactly what it reminded me of. Those inexpensive, common farmhouse tables of the 80s and 90s that everyone had. I thought they were charming back then. Now they just look dated. I don’t think it fits with the style of your dining room. The green makes them look to “country”. They would look better in black. With chairs also painted black and stained cane. You would get your green in the chair covers and the upholstered end chairs. But that’s just my opinion.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I have to admit i was nervous about a farm table in your very elegant dining room, but I was proven wrong! the green really makes it beautiful! great job

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I love the table! It amazes me all the talent you have.i wish I had your energy. I look forward to your post to see what you have done next.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Colleen F
    March 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Yes, yes, yes to the idea of two chairs in th watercolor fabric and the captains chairs flanking the buffet. I really like the idea of leaving the can stained also. Love the table!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I made a comment way back when you finished your kitchen and put in the decorative posts ( like the table legs) that a touch of gold on them would tie them in to the cabinets. Maybe a touch of the gold would fancy up the legs and tie in with your pretty light? Can’t wait to see what direction you go with on the chairs!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ashley Johnson
    March 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    That looks great!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    OK, enough! I’m convinced you’re a magician or not human! Who finds something like that on Craigs List for $51 and then turns it into something as beautiful as what you did!!!! I wish I had just a smidge (sp?) of your talent, you cease to amaze me!!!

    Thanks for sharing, it is beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Phyllis E.
    March 18, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Beautiful! The wood top turned out drop-dead gorgeous–much prettier than the original factory finish, which almost made it look like a fake wood finish! Way to go–you also helped the “planet” and the budgets of many of us people by inspiring us to reuse and recycle old furniture!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    March 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Wow, your ‘new’ dining table looks awesome. What an amazing transformation. You have done yet again another fantastic job. I think the chairs would look gorgeous painted black, with the cane stained and with the seats upholstered in a colorful fabric. I also like your idea of using the 2 chairs with arms to flank the buffet in your entryway. Oh my gosh, I anxiously wait each day to see your reveals……it’s getting very exciting to see all the pretty stuff come together! As always, you’re such an inspiration Kristi.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Anne Looby
    March 18, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Based on the pattern of the grain in the wood, I would say that it is cherry. Although I am having a hard time imagining anyone making a table that looked like original out of cherry. That said, you live in TX and I am sure that type and style of furniture is different, just like house styles are different, depending on where you are. If the table were made in TX maybe there was a lot of cherry around. It could also be ash, but since I have so much hand built cherry furniture, I really think it is cherry. I noticed it right away, even before you said anything. I don’t think your boards are the same wood. There does not seem to be any grain at all in the one that is in the table in the picture. I like the green toned down with the black and the top does look good. I don’t know how I would feel about black chairs and a green table, but I don’t think everything green would look good. Please do not paint the cane, especially if it is the real thing. I think the black and brown together (like you showed in the barrel chair) will look good, although I always picture that look as more islandish. Like the Hemmingway lookfrom years ago. It is a stunning combination with the right brown stain. I am sure you will figure it out as you go.Blessings

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    March 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I like the colors you chose, especially darkening the green. I do like the comment someone made about tying in the gold tone, but wonder if that would make it too “cutesy” instead of sophisticated.
    Also like the idea of the chairs black, stain the cane. Can’t wait to see the finish!
    Suppose your weather has improved, so you will get back outside while it’s still cooler!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Betsy M.
    March 18, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    What I don’t understand is how your cat’s hair doesn’t get in everything. I have 2 cats who shed like crazy and I find bits of their fur embedded in anything that I paint indoors. If my customers only knew…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    You are a whirling dervish…You get things done so fast, and you do them so professionally. You also have tools and know what their names are! You are my hero, and I love the green and look forward to seeing the room all dolled up.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    edith lawson
    March 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    I was going to skip the comments and simply tell you how fabulous the table looks. It took my breath away; I think the green is out of this world. My first reaction was very sophisticated . So it took me aback when I read other comments that were the polar opposite. Just goes to show you, ” there’s a lid for every pot”…. And each of us is different.
    You are one talented gal

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maggie Obst
    March 18, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Kristi I love the table,along with your second option for the chairs. The cane backs stained to match the table would be a wonderful choice. This room will be stunning! Great work and dedication is your trademark. Look forward to your post every day. Lol😍

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 18, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    It’s so pretty! I love the green legs. Stunning with the midtone top!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barb B.
    March 19, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Kristi what are you going to do with the leather nail head chairs you found a while ago that you were going to use with your table? Have you considered those instead of the cane backs?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 19, 2016 at 8:10 am

      I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them, but I decided that they’re just too bulky and heavy to use for dining chairs that are going to be pulled up and pushed back from the dining table.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 19, 2016 at 8:58 am

    My wife would love that color green! I could sooo see getting into making (and selling) these tables.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 19, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Kristi, i am always blown away with your projects and how fast you get things done!! I love the table top. I wouldnt have chosen the green legs for your table (i think black would look gorgeous), but that is my taste, not yours & it’s your home! I will probably be eating my words when i see the finished room with your chairs. Keep posting, you do incredible work and you are so inspiring!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    March 19, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Love the table! You did this in the blink of an eye. I have completely lost track of what your plans for fabrics are, but I’m sure what you choose will be beautiful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 19, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! And I love the idea of staining the cane & painting the rest….and gorgeous fabric for the chairs. One thing I love about your home renovation journey….you are not afraid of colour! I detest neutral, boring beige rooms…your use of colour and attention to detail is second to none!! Stunning…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 19, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    The table looks beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 21, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I always enjoy your blog and hesitate to leave not so positive feedback, but I too get the 90’s hunter green farm table vibe. Good luck!