Guest Bedroom Home Gym Kristi's Studio

Laminate Table Top Success (Mostly) & A Change Of Heart

Last Updated on June 5, 2021 by Kristi Linauer

I know this project seems to be dragging on, and if you follow me on Instagram and saw my stories, you know that I kind of had a rough go of it at the beginning. But I finally got the laminate table top finished on the first studio work table. (By the way, I’m gong to make a concerted effort to start sharing more progress on Instagram stories throughout each day on the projects I’m working on, so if you’re interested in seeing that, be sure to follow me!)

Anyway, after having trouble with the laminate edges and not having enough laminate for a second attempt, I decided to use the laminate on the table tops, and then trim out the edges with wood. I was disappointed at first, but when it was finished, I was pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

Y’all, that is a five-foot-square table top. That’s a glorious 25 square feet of work space right there on one large, durable table top. I’m pretty darn excited about it! 😀 And I still have another table to build, that will double the table top space.

I did a video of the table top process, so hopefully I’ll have that ready to share soon so that you can see the details.

I was working on this table top the day after I wrote my last post about the bedroom and bathroom remodel that we’ll be starting soon, and the portions of that project that I could do myself in order to cut costs. If you missed that post, you can see it here…

Anyway, the closer I got to finishing this table, the more excited I got about the fun projects I’ll be doing in here. And then I read all of your comments in response to my last post. While some of you were supportive of the idea of me doing much of the demolition and a few other projects to save money, so many of you really made me think. Yes, I’d be saving $5500, but at what cost? At the cost of working by myself on such a huge project and risking injury, exhaustion, etc.

So I’ve decided to go a head and let them do that work. We might have to delay the start of the project for just a bit longer because we don’t actually have $18,500 lying around that we can spend out-of-pocket just yet, but that’s okay. We’ve waited this long, and we can wait a couple of months longer.

But the fact of the matter is that I’ve already done all of that stuff myself, and I’ve paid my dues. I’ve done the demolition…

The back of the breakfast room that became the pantry, which I demolished pretty much by myself. That had the same shiplap walls that are in the front corner bedroom, and they were a headache to remove!

…the knocking down of walls…

The wall between the kitchen and breakfast room that my brother and I took down. There’s now a beautiful cased opening there.

…the ripping out of flooring and subfloors…

The hallway bathroom after demolition. It’s hard to believe that I did this myself, and somehow, didn’t panic or doubt the process.

…and the installation of new windows…

The front wall of the breakfast room that my brother and I completely rebuilt, adding three new windows.

And, of course, there’s so much more! Building cabinets, pouring concrete countertops, putting doorways in load-bearing walls, building a new front porch and steps, and on, and on.

While I know I have the ability to do more of all of that, if absolutely necessary, it’s just not where my heart is right now. And frankly, I’m pretty sure that if I gave y’all the choice between watching me do demolition in two bedrooms or watching videos of me doing fun smaller projects, y’all would choose the second option, right? I mean, if you have a hankering for watching some demolition, you can just turn on any episode of Fixer Upper and get your fix.

But now that I have one studio work table almost finished and can now build the second one much faster (now that I’ve figured out the process), I’m chomping at the bit to start focusing on some fun projects — art projects, small building projects, sewing projects, etc. — and showing y’all those fun projects via videos. Doesn’t that sound so much more fun that knocking down walls and ripping out flooring? Been there, done that. I’m ready to move on.

So that’s going to be my focus. I’ll let the pros tackle the tough stuff, and I’ll work on the fun stuff. And in the meantime, I’d love for y’all to send me ideas of things you’d like to see me make on video! I have a whole file filled with ideas, from various types of art projects, to small building projects, to sewing projects, and stuff like that. So I’m not short on ideas. But if there is something that you’ve thought, “Hmmm…I’d love to make that, but I don’t know how,” then send it to me, and I’ll see if I can figure it out!

And obviously, I’ll keep y’all posted on when the bedroom/bathroom stuff gets started, and even though I won’t be doing the hard work myself, I’ll certainly be sharing the progress!

And thanks to those of you who talked some sense into me and encouraged me to move on to other projects and let the contractor take care of the other stuff. I can be stubborn and get hyper-focused on ways to save money sometimes, but the relief I’ve felt since letting go of that previous plan has told me that this is definitely the right decision.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Eileen from Texas
    August 29, 2019 at 10:00 am

    DIY UPHOLSTERY PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      August 29, 2019 at 10:03 am

      Anything in particular? Benches? Headboards? Upholstered chairs? I do have four chairs that I need to reupholster, so I’ll be sure to video that process.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Val from UK
        August 29, 2019 at 10:17 am

        Chairs, please! 🙂 I have 2 to reupholster.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Marianne in Mo.
          August 29, 2019 at 1:01 pm

          Good for you on deciding to let them do the work. It would save if you did some, but doesn’t seem worth the savings to go through that yourself. May as well let them deal with it, and probably get done sooner since it will be more than one person. As for projects I’d like to see, I have a chair where the back slants towards the seat, instead of being a straight back. I had a friend make a slipcover for it because I couldn’t figure that back out. (On the outside, like when standing behind it.) I wanted a zipper down the side, but she couldn’t figure it out either, so did the zipper down the back and put covered buttons over the flap. It also has rolled arms. The slipcovers have been tossed since then and I would like to know how to make a new one myself, since she charged me $200 – labor only!!! I provided the fabrics and other materials! Do you ever do slipcovers?

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          August 29, 2019 at 3:54 pm

          Yes!! Chairs!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Mrs Mike
        August 29, 2019 at 11:43 am

        I have an antique victorian armchair that I’m itching to reupholster but I just don’t think I’ve watched enough youtube videos to tackle the project quite yet. Any tips or tricks you can provide would be helpful!

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          August 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm

          I have a sofa that has an arched back and rolled arms — I need help with how to do the back. It has some severe curves and curve ease can’t make that sharp of a turn.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        August 29, 2019 at 1:34 pm


      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Eileen from Texas
        August 29, 2019 at 3:57 pm

        I recently had two chairs professionally reupholstered. They did a fantastic job. But if I could have figured out how to make double welt cord with a regular sewing machine, then I would have at least tried to do it myself first. BTW, agree with all previous comments about the wisdom of your choice…shoulder surgery and rehab is expensive too.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Karen H
        August 29, 2019 at 5:17 pm

        Yes, Kristi, headboards, please! Preferably a tallish one that you can see above all the pillows. It would be awesome if you could do a tutorial making one from scratch! Thank you!

        And I’m happy for you that you made a decision that lifts a weight off your shoulders! I’m looking forward to all the beautiful projects you will be doing!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      August 29, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      YAY!! Some things are worth the money!! Good decision!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marcia Greene
    August 29, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Great-hiring it out

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Kristi, have you thought of adding one of those “ cutting trenches” to your work table? I’ve always thought it’s a great idea for cutting fabric. But in your case you probably will use your tables for so much more and need a flat surface…

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Heather Gillett
      August 29, 2019 at 10:50 am

      I think Adding a flush imbedded or permanent ruler guide is a great idea and would love to see what you come up with if you choose to do this. ;-D

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Jessie Lee
        August 29, 2019 at 7:15 pm

        I own a professional drapery workroom. While the idea of a permanent cutting line sounds appealing, it really limits you long-term. There are ways to make a temporary cutting guide using clamps and drywall rulers. Or there are cutting rules sold on the market for this specific purpose. They are made by Drawmatic and are custom made to fit your specific table. That said, I have one and don’t often use it. What is way more helpful is to have a big gridded mat or canvas to help you measure. Just my two cents!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michelle Pack
    August 29, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Good! Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you HAVE TO! Your time is valuable, spend it doing what you love as much as you possibly can!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    August 29, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Wise decision by a wise woman.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I knew you’d find a way around those burnt edges 🙂 While it may not work so well for a countertop, it’s the perfect solution to the work table!

    This is super random, but the red casters on your table remind me of the signature Louboutin shoes that have red soles. A little pop of pizzazz 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 10:36 am

    I’m always amazed by your ability to build furniture and never really understand the process of those pocket hole screw thingies – so if you could explain how that works in a video I would be very grateful!!
    I’m happy you changed your mind about the demolition as I’m sure you will find meaningful and wonderful projects to do in the time that you freed from doing that drudgery – and I’m definitely looking forward to reading those 🙂 I’m still curious about progress on the house, though, so looking forward to you reporting on that, too!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      August 29, 2019 at 7:29 pm

      Yes-pocket hole jig, and how to determine where to put them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carla from Kansas
    August 29, 2019 at 10:40 am

    I think you will be so happy to hire that out and get the studio up and running. And yes you have more than paid your dues.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      August 29, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      I’m so glad that was your decision and can’t wait to see what incredible creations are made on that table.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy J.
    August 29, 2019 at 10:46 am

    I purchased 6 turned legs to try and duplicate the world market everett sofa table.

    The part I cant figure out is how to make the drawers. They have no face frame so some bracing for the slides would have to be done under the table top. I haven’t a clue how to do this properly. Any suggestions on the best way to do this would be greatly appreciated. I have seen plans for a similar table but with plain aprons between the legs.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      August 29, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Did you watch the video for the table? I saw that when the drawer is opened, there are routed out slots on the side of the drawer box that must run on a piece at the side of the opening the drawer fits into. You probably could just use drawer glides instead, and add a wood piece onto the inside framework to mount the track onto. For those, you could glue and nail them from the top, and use wood filler to cover the nails. Make sense?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Nancy J.
        August 30, 2019 at 12:21 pm

        Thanks for your suggestion, Marianne in MO. I never saw the video (insert head slap here). And yes, what you are saying makes total sense. I am visual learner so I’ll just have to sketch out how I am going to attack it. Thanks again.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Vicky Henson
    August 29, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I am so proud of your decision!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 10:54 am

    You should be so proud of yourself!! The studio is really coming along. Do you know what your 1st project will be on the new tables? Living room drapes?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 10:58 am

    I’m so happy to her this. Your table looks awesome and getting the second one done will make working on those creative projects much easier to spread out. I’m also happy to see you letting someone else take on the heavier jobs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 11:07 am

    I don’t remember if I commented about you thinking of trying to do some of the remodel work to cut down on costs. I try not to comment when what I am thinking is “Are you crazy?” So glad that you are letting someone else do that work. You can concentrate on the pretty stuff while the demo work gets done.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Kristi, the older you get, the more you will turn to hiring things out. It’s always Time vs Money. When you’re young, you have time but not the money. When you are older, you realize you don’t have the time but can get the money. BTW, you also don’t have the strength or stamina when you’re older.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine S
    August 29, 2019 at 11:36 am

    I also would love to see some DIY upholstery–chairs, benches, ottomans, headboards, etc. Anything you’d care to share I would like to learn!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    janice J dinse
    August 29, 2019 at 11:42 am

    I feel so relieved that you will be hiring out the new phase, addition and letting the men do that work. You don’t need to be spending months and months doing that bull work by yourself, sure you can do it, we all know that, but I am so glad you have decided to hire that out and you can continue to finish your other projects in the studio. Great decision.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    I’m so thankful you’ll be letting the contractors do that job as much as I know you CAN do it. However, when you hurt your shoulders and neck before, with the pain and recuperation time you went thru, it didn’t seem to make sense to me to put yourself thru that again. Just because we can, doesn’t always mean we should 😋 For those of us who’ve followed you forever, we know you’re very capable!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Victoria Whitney
    August 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    You made me laugh. I spent the last two days demoing lath and plaster walls in a 1938 house my husband and I are renovating. He’s 66 and I’m 59. With every swing, I was thinking “why am I doing this? I can afford to hire someone else to do this?” We already redid the master bath and two bedrooms (rewiring, moving walls, replumbing, etc.). The only thing we hired out was texturing the walls (hubby wanted to do it but less than he wanted to hear me complain about it if he messed it up) and laying new hardwood floors in the two bedrooms that were added in the 50s. I’ve got him convinced to hire someone to do the taping this time (the pro had to redo some of hubby’s taping before he textured), but apparently WE are doing the rough framing, including knocking out a bearing wall to open up the existing kitchen to the original bedroom/soon to be dining room. I’m envious.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      August 29, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Victoria, I’m 65 and can’t IMAGINE doing what you are doing! Hats off to you girl!!! We did a remodel of our first house in our 40’s and that was hard enough!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I think contracting that stuff out is a good decision. As you say – you know how to do all that stuff and have already done it. There’s nothing to prove and you have no shortage of things you would prefer to be doing elsewhere.

    Trying to fit in demolition and electrical work between other contractors isn’t the greatest use of your time at this point, especially when you are itching to do some creative work and some finishing projects. You still have to finish out your studio space and you can spend your time doing that while the grunt work is being done elsewhere in the house.

    By the time all that is done you will probably be at the point where you can devote yourself to the fun of kitting out your new master bath.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    You Go Girl!
    Whatever/however you choose to spend your time, I love following you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Great decision to hire out the work!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl S-B
    August 29, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    I think you are making a wise decision.
    Did you think about contacting The Gains to remove your ship lap. I would love to know how to do it without ruining it, as I have a house I need to fix.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I’d love to see a lounge reupholstered , even the sagging spring part ! a bed head . A shoe cupboard. A lamp shade covered. A barbecue area. A garden sculpture . A beautiful house number plaque or interesting way to mark your house / mail box etc. Garden fairy house , garden tool shed. hope that helps

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Kristie. I for one, am sooo glad you are willing to let a contractor do the demo work! Bring 5feet tall myself, I can see how hard it is to get to corners and also get the strength needed to try to rip off ship lap. Very proud of your decision. Your finish work is lovely!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Eileen from Texas
    August 29, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    I recently had two chairs professionally reupholstered. They did a fantastic job. But if I could have figured out how to make double welt cord with a regular sewing machine, then I would have at least tried to do it myself first. BTW, agree with all previous comments about the wisdom of your choice…shoulder surgery and rehab is expensive too.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Kristie, just want to say you are pretty amazing. I so enjoy your posts. You helped me make bedroom drapes with Greek key design. You’re a girl after my own heart in saying “I can do that!” Keep up the excellent work, and, yes, I’m glad you decided to let the contractor do his part in making your home perfect for you and hubby.

    Oh, and would love to see you do an upholstery piece when you’re ready.


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 29, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Your decision to have the contractors do all of the work you contemplated doing is what I was hoping for. It’s time for some fun projects. My request is very specific but it might interest you and others. I would love to see wooden slipcovers for the headboard and footboard of a hospital bed. There is a company (Tendercare) that makes them, but in only one style which is not something I would choose if there were other options. It would be a bonus to have some storage incorporated somehow. Thank you for asking for input and I so hope you will consider this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    August 29, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I didn’t want to squelch your willing spirit, Kristi, but I was relieved to read you will be hiring out the big stuff. Had you taken that on I could only think of exhaustion and possible pain.

    Oh, the goodies you are bound to create! It will be fun to see.

    Those music room chairs probably are on your list to redo. And, maybe the second living room drape? Unless you have something different in mind. Whatever you do will be great. I am excited to see the finished studio most of all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MissElaineous (Elaine Walton)
    August 29, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    That feeling of relief after making such a big decision is a sure sign you made the right decision. Good for you! As for project suggestions, I recently bought an air compressor so I could build canvas stretchers, picture frames and other projects–but the instructions that came with it don’t tell me how to MAINTAIN it, much less swap out or use accessories with it! If you could do a few “Care and Maintenance of Power Tools” videos, I would REALLY appreciate it!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      August 31, 2019 at 8:48 am

      I also bought an air compressor and am stuck because I can’t figure out how to attach everything. A quick video of all your connections (naming the parts so I’ll know what to shop for if I don’t already have it) would be very helpful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda D
    August 29, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Thank Goodness!! I really was afraid that you would get as burnt out as you were a while ago…and this time it would have been sooner and longer. I agree that reupholstering would be good…I have a small chair called a slipper chair. I’d like to be able to redo it, with your help. Thank you. God bless.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 30, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Video on making a slipcover, please!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 30, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I’m so happy that you are going to pace yourself and have someone else do the stuff you could do but don’t need to. First thing I thought of was your pinched nerve. YIKES! Not worth it. It’s good to know you can, but nice to not have to.

    As for projects, I would LOVE to see a pet gate/barrier. I don’t mean swinging on a hinge attached to the wall gate. I mean freestanding, sturdy but lightweight enough to lift out of the way with one hand kind of gate… With… a cat pass hole. My intention is the bottom of the stairs. I have an elderly dog that despite knee surgery still runs up the stairs like a maniac. I don’t want the hinged gate, because sometimes I need to block him from another area. So modular versatility is best. I have purchased step over gates, and baby gates, etc. but none with a cat pass. None without the hassle of releasing the pressure knobs and ruining walls. Now the cat is older too and I can’t have her jumping over things like that anymore. Because she will and then she harasses the dog through the spindles. lol There are a lot of the swinging gate kind, but they don’t lend themselves to cat holes let alone adapting to freestanding (well I just don’t know how). I have plenty of ideas. I just don’t know how to execute them. I don’t know if it would be worth your time or energy. But figured I’d ask. 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 31, 2019 at 8:43 am

    I would love to see how to alter cabinets with Martha Stewart-esque shelves… the zig-zag type that allows you to adjust your shelving height easily. I know shelf pins accomplish the same thing, but I much prefer the sturdiness of wood.

    It’s too late now, but I’d also love a video on how precisely you made your right-hand guides to accommodate the recessed corner cabinet. I will re-read and try to understand the location of the various drawers and the process, but a video would be extremely helpful.

    In upholstery, can springs can be added to ANY chair? I bought some dining room chairs that I thought were quality chairs, but their foam cushioning has begun deflating, and are no longer comfortable for long periods of time. I think springs might be the fix, but I don’t know how to add what wasn’t already there.

    I just found your website and I’m “Addicted 2 You” and all you are doing. Thanks for sharing; I’m officially obsessed.