My Labor FULL Weekend – Part 2

Alright, let’s finish up this table project!

So when I was dreaming up this table for those 2 long years I kept envisioning it being finished in a gloss white. I guess I really wanted to give a rustic table a modern and sleek look. However, once we finished building Ryan finally asked what color I was going to paint it and he threw out black legs as an option. Oh no. Now I’m doubting myself. So naturally I went to my trusty Pinterest to get some inspiration.

I knew that I wanted to keep wood chairs at the table, and possibly collect other styles to create a mixed matched look, so I tried to look for the vibe and color scheme that I thought would best fit my table project and my home.



As expected, I found myself attracted to a monochromatic, beige and white dining room. (and I apologize for the tiny pictures, but you get the point). Although, I did notice that in some of these images I did like the wood top and since I have more of a parsons leg than a spindle, maybe finishing the bottom really sleek and simple and doing the top differently might be the perfect combination to make this project a little more transitional and a little less french country. So I said my ‘thank yous’ to Pinterest and continued onto painting the base of the table white.



I started by taping off the door part so no primer or paint got on it while I painted the fresh new wood white. I started with some Kilz Latex Water-Based Primer and then had my table looking like this..



I put two coats of primer on the legs and “apron” of the table. I felt no need to paint the underside of the table since it wasn’t going to be seen. (Although, Allie, my little sister, pointed out that Cedar might be under the table and look up and it won’t be pretty for him….Ah, such a cute kid…) After the primer was all dry I moved onto off the shelf (no color added) Semi-Gloss white paint and added another two coats of this paint to the table.



You’ll notice that I painted the underside of the extra top plank white as well. At the time I still thought I was going to paint the whole piece white and in retrospect I maybe should have waited until I definitely figured out what I was going to do, but the underside just needed to be finished, and really, having a gloss white finish underneath makes fingerprints and whatnot a little easier to clean. (I don’t know why I picture my future kids sticking gum underneath the table and being happy I finished it in this way cause gum would be easier to remove on a gloss finish…..gum? at dinner? …I know it doesn’t make sense…I dunno what to tell ya, I’m weird sometimes)

So before I had Ryan help me flip this puppy over to start working on the top, I had to seal and finish off the bottom of the table. Enter Water-Based Polycrylic.



Now, if you’re refinishing a piece of furniture, make sure you use WATER-BASED poly, as regular poly will yellow on white painted furniture. I opted to get the clear semi-gloss finish instead of the high gloss. Why? No idea. It just seemed right. The finish would still be kinda glossy so I knew it’d still be easy to clean and wouldn’t be insanely glossy and take away from the transitional feel.

Two more thin and even coats of poly on the base, and it was finally done!



And now onto figuring out what to do with the top piece. Since I initially thought of painting it white, I thought I had to at least see what that option would look like. And after taking a look at the colors around my home and some of the colors in the door, I thought maybe staining the wood piece grey might blend nicely with the door. So onto my good ole trusty Photoshop…


And after some flipping back and forth between the two photoshopped pictures, and talking it over with Ryan, we decided that the grey option definitely was the better choice. Even though the white would feel nice and modern, it made the door stand out in a  ‘what the heck is this door doing here’ kind of way.  So it was on to Home Depot to get some stain!


I grabbed a pamphlet of Behr stains at Home Depot and opened it up to see a lot of grey stain colors. I stood in the store, wanting to leave with a stain and not spend the time traveling back home to hold up these tiny little swatches next to the door to figure out which grey worked best just to then travel all the way back to HD to purchase it. But the massive amount of grey options was a little overwhelming. Luckily I took a picture of the table on my iPhone and referenced the picture when selecting a stain. I knew I wanted a mid grey tone that wasn’t too cool or wasn’t too warm. THEN I had the internal debate between getting the solid vs the semi transparent color. Gah! I hate making decisions sometimes! Thank god I had my mom expecting me at her house in 10 minutes so I had to make a decision fast. I selected Pewter in semi-transparent and picked up a tiny little sample can (costing less that $3! Score!), got my color mixed and left HD confident in my decision.


Note that the color with the pen park is the one I chose, however the paint mixer expert at HD pointed out to me that the color wasn’t Dark Gray (as I asked for) but that the names were on the bottom and that the color I was pointing to was in fact Pewter. Whatever, so the spacing makes the color label look closer to the one below it than the one above it. Way to be confusing Behr. Regardless, I left with the color I wanted and got two thin and even coats of stain on the last piece of unfinished wood.




After the stain was all dry, all the table top needed was some Poly finish. I put two coats of the same Water-Based Poly on both the stained wood as well as the old door and was finally done with the painting/staining/poly-ing portion of this project!

Ryan then helped me place the table (once it was all dry) in the dining room and here you can see the (almost) final product!



All this table needs now is a nice glass top to finish it off. (I’m currently waiting on a few more quotes to get the best price!)  And now to the project breakdown:

Old Door: $0 (already owned)

Wood purchased for rest of table construction + wood filler and screws: Roughly $70 (somehow this receipt went missing)

Primer: $0 (already owned – but roughly $20)

Behr Semi-Gloss White Paint: $0 (already owned – but roughly $10)

Water-Based Polycrylic: $18

Pewter Behr Semi-Transparent Stain: $3

Glass Top: TBD


So far this dining table has cost me roughly $91 dollars. Definitely beats spending hundreds of dollars for even an Ikea dining table. Plus, every day that we eat at this table we’ll be able to bask in the glow of our success – I still can’t believe it turned out so good! I couldn’t be more pleased, and it turned out exactly as I imagined it would two years ago when I trucked the door home with me. Ha! Take that crazy looks from mom and Ryan!  And I’ll also mention that I even have enough left over wood to make a bench! Woop! Woop! More projects. Although I can’t quite decide if I’d want the bench at the table or if it could be put to better use upstairs in the hallway…. hmm….

Now my dining room is certainly screaming for a new chandelier, this I know. I can’t seem to decide if I should go with a more traditional chandelier, a rustic and farmhouse look chandelier or a more modern pendant chandelier. This may call for more photoshopping. Not to mention my $50 buffet desperately needs to be refinished as well. Oh and I need some curtains…man the list just gets longer and longer (Ryan I hope you stopped reading already!).  But for now I’m very very happy with my new dining table, and I’ll be sure to update with new pictures (and prices) once I get a glass top on it to really finish it off!





My Labor FULL Weekend – Part 1

According to my husband, I woke up this past Saturday and just decided that I was we were going to make a table. But truth be told, I’ve been planning on building a dining room table for the past two years. Yes, I said 2 years. Holy bananas! How on earth have I let this project go that long!? The answer? Nerves.

Two years ago at one of my past jobs, my boss was gutting and redoing a carriage house and had two beautiful old doors out waiting for trash. I of course saw a gleaming pile of projects! So that day I drove home with one of the doors strapped to the top of my Jeep. (Insert as many “Lauren what the heck are you doing” faces as possible from both Ryan and my mother).

My goal? To make that puppy my dream dining room table. And so yes, this weekend I decided it was about time to get cracking on the building and stop stressing about how it was going to turn out. (labor day weekend shmayborday weekend). So after a bunch more of those weird looks from Ryan, I finally convinced him to help me and off to Home Depot we went.

Now, I didn’t just go diving into a new project with out a plan (though Ryan seemed to think otherwise when we left the house and I had forgotten to plug in the drill to charge – man will he do anything to try to get out of helping me and my crazy ideas!). I had taken all the measurements and thanks to Ana-White had a good idea of how to construct the support for the table. As an interior designer, I of course had to try to build this thing in my head and on paper first, so I ended up with a (to scale) drawing of the underside construction of the table. I then made a list of the wood sizes and cuts needed so we new exactly how much to purchase.



Since the door measured only 28″ wide, I decided to add an asymmetrical plant to one side to add some width to our table. I just couldn’t imagine having at least 6 people around the table and trying to fit food on it as well. I know I could have done a narrower plank on each side for some symmetry, but as this table is a little “out of the box”, and I love me some asymmetry anyway, I went for the artistic angle.
Adding a  2″x12″  (which is actually 11 1/4″) gave us 39 1/4″ total with for the table – perfect for family entertaining.

Anyway…on to our Home Depot Trip…
Ryan of course had to pick the shiny new cart (out of a sea of old and rusty ones) I don’t know why, but I got a good laugh out of his selection.



So this is our loot. We were smart enough to have our 2×12 cut at HD to 80″ long since we didn’t have a table saw and the miter saw that we did have access to wouldn’t be able to cut that width accurately.

Along with our wood pile we also picked up some screws and wood filler. And if you’re looking at our list above, note that we did not use 2x4s for the legs, and instead opted to use 2×6 planks instead to look a little more proportionate to the table top.

And on to my parent’s house to use their miter saw…(and no we didn’t cut the wood like that, we made sure it was nice and straight before we made our cuts.


And this is what we were left with after all the cuts were made:


Let me show you the breakdown of all these pieces…



So we packed all the cuts (and extra wood) into the Jeep and brought it back to the Traub Mansion to assemble. But not before my little sister Allie (and Mom) talked Ryan into some chalk fun (Allie’s request was a teddy bear… I’m quite impress with my hub’s artistic skills).



First we screwed together the Leg Aprons – this essentially is the frame for the table,however we used nice 1×4 wood since it would be visible once the table was built. We were sure to use a right angle to make sure the table was square. We then attached the corner braces (cut at 45 degree angles) for extra support (and squareness).



After adding the corners, we added the “Support Frame” (as noted in our wood pile above). These are 5  2x4s (not 2x2s as noted in the supply list – the list I was going off of was from Ana-White, but our table was a bit beefier, thus we decided to go with thicker wood pieces) and we decided to lay them face down since we needed to screw through them an into the table top in order to attach the top to the under framing…



That’s the frame all constructed and ready for it’s top! We went back to our garage and got the door…in all of it’s dirty looking state. (I had previously sanded it down when I first brought the table home with an electric sander). We laid the door and extra plank top side down and proceeded to lay the frame on top and attach the two together with 2.5″ screws. (Note: we predrilled all our screw holes which made it easer to countersink the screws, allowing us to fill them with wood filler and hide the construction away)



Thanks hun for snapping a picture of me at work! (His patience and support for all my crazy blogging and stopping to snap pictures is so wonderful and I can’t thank him enough! Especially during a project he wasn’t quite excited for to begin with). While I’m confessing…I wouldn’t recommend wearing flip flops while making a dining table, but heck! I guess I like to live dangerously 😉

We measured on all sides to make sure the frame was centered on table top and screwed the frame into the door first. Ryan then pushed (with all his muscles) the extra plank as close to the door as possible while I screwed the frame to the plank.

Luckily, I noticed early on that the completely assembled door was not going to fit through our front door. So after we finished attaching the frame to the table top we carried it inside to screw in the legs.




After attaching all the legs I had Ryan help me flip it over, and finally his assistance was no longer needed. He was sure to tell me how awesome he thought it looked, and he was happy that we were able to build something so cool. He won’t take any credit for the table, which is so sweet – but honestly I couldn’t have done it without him.

My next step? Wood filler.



Here you can see a countersunk screw and all I had to do was squeeze some filler in the hole, smooth it out and wait for it to dry. Once the filler was dry I just took a sand blog and sanded all the previous screw spots smooth.



And there you have a view of our new dining room table. I’m going to take a breather and wait to show you how I decided to finish off this baby in my next post, but for now just picture me beaming with pride that 2 years of planning wasn’t put to waste. To get to this point, it took us about 7 hours of work – from shopping to sanding (and also included some family chalk time, a Chipotle dinner stop and some excited dance breaks from me).

Even better, Ryan had snapped the last photo from his iPhone and had briefly posted it on Facebook with the caption “my baby can build a table”, which totally made me blush and gleam with pride. Until I realized people were going to see it on his fb post before they saw the project on my blog. (hence the ‘briefly on fb’ part). Be sure to check back to see the final product!

Anyone else do any building this Labor Day weekend? Or am I the only one more excited about constructing than relaxing on such a weekend?