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DIY Small Dining Table

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diy dining table

When we were living in a small townhome in Alexandria, VA we could not find a table that fit our space and fit our family!  Everything we found was just too small or too big.  So of course, I decided I would just have to make one! 

This was really a quick, easy project once I had my designed laid out and even after moving to our single family home this is still our regular dinner table!  We love it! 

Step 1: Measure the space & Layout dining table plan

Our table was going to be set in the large opening at the edge of our kitchen leading into our living room. I wanted the table to be able to set two different ways.  First, sitting short end against a wall to allow 4 people to comfortably sit at the table while having plenty of space to wall around it.  Then, I also wanted to be able to turn the table and push against the wall.  

diy dining room

So, the two measurements I was most concerned with was the length of the wall and the space between the end of the table and the opening.  Based on these measurement I ended up settling on making the table slightly shorter than the length of the wall to allow for more walkway space when the table sat perpendicular to the wall.  For the total length I decided on 

The other measurement that took me some time to settle on was the width; most tables are between 36″ and 42″ wide.  We did not have this much space for an average width, but still I wanted the table to have space for two plates across from each other as well as space in the middle for slat, pepper, napkins, etc.  With some play I settled on an overall width (to include table top overhang) of 32 3/4″ wide. 

With my dimensions decided I was able to back into the lengths and amount of 2x4s I would need.  You can view my design and actual measurements in the picture above. 

Step 2: Buy materials

Buying materials turned into a bit more of a step for me, so that is why it is set as an actual step here.  Mainly just because I am picky.. well particular in the type of legs I wanted for my table.

With the measurements of your table you can determine how many 2×4’s you will need to make the frame of your table.  Then you will want to pick up a stock butcher block counter top.  I found that this was the most cost efficient option for the size of the table top I needed. 

I thought I would buy table legs from our local hardware store but I could not find anything I liked!  That’s when I stumbled on an online shop called Osborne Wood Products.  They had so many options and the legs I received were perfect! 

Step 3: Cut 2x4 to Length

Using my miter saw, I cut my 2x4s to the needed lengths.  I cut two at 47″ to make the long sides, two at 23″ to make the short sides, and one at 27″ for the center brace.  

Tip: Wait to cut your table top.  Build your base first; this way you can an actual measurement and accurately plan for the over hang you want. 

Step 4: Drill Pocket Holes

kreg jig

You will want to be sure to have a Kreg pocket hole jig on hand for this project, there are quite a few pocket holes you will need to drill to build your table base. 

First, start by drilling pocket hole sets at each end of the cut 2x4s.  Then drill two pocket hole sets upwards on both of the longer2x4 boards.  The upward holes will be to attached the table top to the frame. 

Step 5: Build Table Base

It is easiest to build the base upside down, by placing the table leg with the top on the surface of your work table. 

I started by first attaching the long 2×4’s with pocket hole screws to two of the legs at either end.  Then I attached one of the short 2×4’s to two of the table legs and then repeated that with the last short 2×4.  Lastly, I attached the center brace 2×4 through the drilled pocket holes. With that my frame was complete and I simply couldn’t wait to try it in pur space!

modern dining table
diy furniture
diy dining table
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Step 6: Paint the Table Base

To paint the base of the table, I used a paint and primer in one white spray paint .  I wanted the paint the base white to really give it that farmhouse dining table look with the butcher block top.  I applied the spray paint in long sweeping motions, applying a thin coat at a time.  This is the best method to ensure a smooth, even finish. 

Step 7: Cut Butcher Block Top to Size

butcher block

Now that you have your frame built, confirm the measurements and settle on the amount of over hang you will have around the edge of the table.  Then mark your butcher block for your cuts.  I used my circular saw to cut the butcher block to size.  I decided to make the long cut first so that I have a long narrow piece that would fit over top my washer and dryer.  Then I cut the shorter side.  

I did used my palm sander with 180-grit sand paper to smooth the cut sides and edges. 

Step 8: Apply a Finish to the Butcher Block

diy dining table

Prior to applying the finish I used a fine (220 grit) sanding block to go over the whole top and then wiped down with denatured alcohol to ensure the surface was clean.  I used Watco Butcherblock oil and finish.  I applied the finishing using a foam paint brush to ensure the finish went on smooth. 

dining table

Step 9: Attach the Table Top to the base

Set your table top on top of the table base.  Make sure to center by measuring the overhang on either side and ensuring it is the same measurement.  For my table the overhang on the short ends is 1 3/8″ and the over hang on the long ends is 1 1/2″.

Using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws through your predrilled pocket holes, drill into the table top to hold it securely to the frame.  

diy dining table

Check out our other Home DIYs here!

Links for DIY Dining Table

wood glue
Osborne Wood - Traditional Country Dining Table Leg
wood glue
Home Depot - Unfinished Birch 4 ft. L x 30 in. D x 1.5 in. T Butcher Block Countertop
how to build a countertop
Home Depot - 2 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. Prime Whitewood Stud
DIY Dining Table

DIY Dining Table

Prep Time 1 hr
Build Time 6 hrs
Dry Time 8 hrs

Equipment

  • Miter Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
  • Palm Sander

materials
  

  • 2x4s
  • Stock Butcher Block Slab
  • Table Legs
  • Spray Paint
  • Foam Paint Brush
  • Pocket Hole Screws

Instructions
 

  • Measure the Space & Layout Dining Table Plan
  • Buy Materials
  • Cut 2x4 to Length
  • Drill Pocket Holes
  • Build Table Base
  • Paint the Table Base
  • Cut Butcher Block Top to Size
  • Apply a Finish to the Butcher Block
  • Attach the Table Top to the Base
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