The Story Behind Our Farmhouse Table

Luke and I (mostly I) have been dying for a farmhouse table for a while, as our kitchen table is one of the few furniture pieces in our rental house that we do not own, so we had been planning for a while to invest in a table of our own soon. Well, of course, I was drooling over Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn tables, racking my brain as to how I could get the look I want for 1/16 of the price, ha!

Luke built our TV stand with his brother right after we got married, so I knew he was more than capable of building us a wonderful table, but that I would have to be very patient, as a big project like that with our work/school schedules would have to be put on the back burner.

BUT THEN … our friends at small group shared the wonderful news of their farmhouse table deal that had all of us swooning…they had just bought a custom made 10 FOOT table for their new home for only $350 and I knew we had found our table miracle! It sounded too good to be true, but their table was just gorgeous and so well made, so I was all set!

My thought process: Yay! It is my birthday week, so I’ll ask for the table for my birthday from my parents. This is going to be so great. We only needed a 7 foot table and so it will probably be like $300 or less, which is only a little more than we had planned for Luke to build it and it will be no labor on our part. Hallelujah!

Well, it indeed was too good to be true (for us) hahaha. When I chatted with the people about how I only wanted a 7 foot table, she quoted me $875. I was confused and asked her how her price had gone up so much in one week’s time, and she explained they had left over materials for our friend’s project and were able to offer a once only amazing deal. We are soo happy they got this awesome deal…but turns out it wasn’t going to work out for us. LOL. Then came the water works, because I’m Caroline. I think it was one of those moments where I got myself so pumped up about the table AND the deal, that when it fell short, I overreacted. LOL, surprise!!

*Note: I believe farmhouse tables are well worth the hefty price point, especially after seeing all of the labor that goes into it firsthand (we spent about 40 hours from start to finish with ours), so I do not think the quoted price was ridiculous at all, I simply knew we could do it ourselves!*

As I mentioned, this was two days before my birthday and it had been such a lousy week in other respects, so this news was just not what I wanted. Of course, to quiet my tears, Luke promised he would indeed, make us a table and that we could move it further up on our project list. Bless him for marrying this diva, but I sure do love him.

We set a date for the first week in May, as we knew Luke would be off of school and that his brother could help! So…three months later (which isn’t too shabby if you ask me), we have OUR BEAUTIFUL TABLE!!



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This is the table it was modeled after -> The Stafford Dining Table from PB costing $2,199 and bench costing $799


We spent $250 to build the table AND bench (including stain, every supply, and lumber). We also have the pride of knowing we (Luke+his brother, Seth) made it ourselves and that it will be in our family for years to come (because ya’ll, I’m pretty sure it weighs like 500 pounds and I may have shed tears when lifting it with Luke because I thought I was gonna die).

But really…I can’t wait to tell our babies one day that their daddy built this table! (and that I contributed it by staining it, giving moral support, and providing meals for the laborers!) 🙂 Luke and Seth ripped the edges of EVERY. SINGLE. BOARD. so that they would fit together perfectly, with basically no seams in the table top and it looks so professional/there no way any crumbs will ever make their way into the cracks, because there are none (can you tell I’m OCD)?

Here are some progress pictures:


Moral of the story: When things don’t turn out as you want, find the positive and keep moving forward. Also, marry someone precious and kind and handy, like Luke.




We used Shanty2Chic plans for the table and the bench with just a few minor modifications.


I slaved over the stain process, because I wanted to make sure it was exactly what we wanted, since I want to use this table forever.

-Pine (which is what almost every DIY wood project uses) has a lot of orange and yellow undertones and it is really hard to stain. I wanted to make sure that is didn’t have any hints of yellow and orange peeking through.

-I did a lot of research and ended up using a home made vinegar stain as the first layer instead of my usual Minwax Pre-conditioner and it really did eliminate much of the yellow and orange and prepped it perfectly for the next layer of stain!

-I brewed some tea and stained the entire table and bench with tea and then brushed on my vinegar stain. The tea reacts with the vinegar stain, to really bring out its staining properties! I practiced several times with just the vinegar stain, and no tea and I could tell a significant difference (for the better), when I used the tea beforehand.

-After all of the above dried, I stained everything with Minwax Dark Walnut. It took me a while, and some mistakes, to decide on Dark Walnut, because initially I thought I wanted something lighter. But, I’m really glad how the dark stain turned out and think it will be classic for years to come.

-Then I used this Varathane Polyurethane  for the first time and it is amazing – only needs one coat and dries super fast!


David Platt for lending us his KregJig and Electric Sander

Derrick Harrison for lending us his table saw

Seth Hamilton for giving up an entire weekend to make this possible

Grandaddy for lending us his sawhorses and other random tools

My precious Luke Hamilton for making my dreams come true – one project at a time 🙂






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