As obsessed with Joanna Gaines as I am (who isn’t), I have never really gotten into the whole “rustic farmhouse” trend that has taken over houses across America.
Quotes scribbled across the wall, vintage eatery signs, shiplap everything – it’s not my thing. My style is definitely more of the up-cycled, eccentric, weird type.
When I first was looking to buy my house, I saw that it had an open floor plan. The living room transitioned into the kitchen, therefore getting rid of the space where a formal dining room would be.
Instead, there was a kitchen bar – but nowhere to fit my beautiful, glass dining room table that I had in my apartment (heartbreakingly). When I ended up purchasing the house, I had to store my glass top table in the basement.
Honestly, I was only sad about it because it is really nice and an expensive hand-me-down. However, the bar is more than enough room for David and me. Plus, we never really used the glass table anyway because we have a terrible (or awesome?) habit of eating in bed.
The downside of the bar area, though, is that it wasn’t going to cut it if we had more people over. I’d still like the possibility of having a group of friends over for dinner or parties, especially because we like to host Friendsgiving.
We needed something that was compact-able to maximize the space of our new, tiny house. Thus began the search for an extendable table.
Extendable tables can sometimes go for over hundreds of $$ on sites like Target, Amazon, or Walmart, so I was elated when I found an IKEA BJURSTA table for resale on Craigslist – with two free chairs! It had a bit of water damage, but I knew I’d be refinishing and did not mind one bit.
Originally, I’d planned on creating a patterned Mod Podge top to disguise the damage. I googled retro patterns and had a particular bright orange in mind. While moving in, I dreamed about how this table would be a great focal point.
However, as the unpacking began, I started to shift views. I’d spent so much energy and time (and not to mention money) into turning this house into my very own. I’d stayed up for nights contemplating what floor to put in, scrubbed every bit of nicotine off of the cabinets and walls, replaced every broken light fixture, and decorated the walls with pieces of art that meant the world to me.
Did I really want everyone’s attention to be focused on a gaudy table?
I decided rather than being a “focal point”, it instead would be screaming for attention. So I began thinking again about table styles, and wondering what would still be trendy but would also be more subtle.
It was during an episode of Fixer Upper that I realized – duh! – a farmhouse table fits all of that criteria.
Sorry, farmhouse gods, for ever doubting you.
Turn an Ikea Table into a Farmhouse Table
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- An IKEA BJURSTA table (you can use other tables, but this is the one I used for this project!)
- 5 8ft 1×4’s
- An electric sander – I use HyperTough
- A miter saw
- Minwax Wood Finish Stain – I used Dark Walnut (and am obsessed!)
- Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish – I used Satin
- Valspar Antiquing Glaze
- Liquid Nails
- Stain cheesecloth
- 2 paintbrushes
- Note: You can use sandpaper, muscle, and a handsaw if you want to save money/don’t have the tools. However – it’ll take you way longer!
- Another note: Always use the proper precautions when using power tools – put on your goggles!
Before doing anything, I suggest painting your table first. It’ll make it a lot easier than having to go around your planks of wood! If you want to go for a more traditional farmhouse feel, I’d suggest using Valspar Antiquing Glaze in white or black. I used black on top of the already black paint. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be noticeable. But after using, it gives the cheap IKEA paint a more chalky/antique feel. To use this paint, all you need is a traditional paintbrush.
Okay, onwards to the boards.
If you are using the IKEA BJURSTA table, you will need to cut 10 36 inch 1×4’s. I suggest buying 5 8ft 1×4’s because you can get 2 boards from them, as well as have some leftover scrap wood.
You can buy shorter sizes at the hardware store, but you will spend about twice as much. If you have the room in your car, you should get the bigger sizes and cut them down.
Measure out 36 inches and then mark with a pen. Using your miter saw, safely clamp and then cut along where you marked.
After you have all of your pieces (you should end up with 10), it’s time to sand. Use a higher grit sandpaper to speed this up. When sanding for this project, it is important to bevel the edges. Think about it – we all run into our dining room table from time to time. You don’t want someone to get hurt if the edge is sharp! Beveling will also make it smoother, so plates and other objects don’t get caught on the edges. Ensure to sand the ends smooth as well.
Once sanded, it is time to stain.
Now – I have seen different ways to do this on other blogs. Some people suggest gluing your pieces to the table first and then sanding again before staining. Others suggested staining first, and for a few reasons. One was because you could potentially have an uneven stain when trying to stain the ridges, and another was to allow you the flexibility to move the boards if there was any reason to (bad stain, you realize it’s warped, you like the pattern arranged different, etc.).
I chose to stain first before gluing, and I am glad I did. At one point, I did get liquid nails on a board, which I then had to wipe off, which then took some of the stain off, which then meant I had to sand and re-stain. This would have been a huge pain in the butt had the board been already stuck to the table.
I also am glad I stained first because it allowed me to stain the tops, sides, and ends without anything getting in the way. Had they all been stuck together, I would have had to really dig into the crevices to apply.
When staining, use a cheesecloth to evenly distribute the color. If you are overwhelmed by the number of stain choices, I highly recommend Miniwax’s Dark Walnut color. It is really beautiful (as you can see). Hashtag not sponsored (I wish).
Once the stained pieces have dried, it’s time to attach them to your table! Using liquid nails, spread a zig-zag pattern along your board and then place onto the table. 10 36in 1×4’s should completely cover your BJURSTA table. Use your clamps to tighten to the table. Allow drying one full day before removing clamps.
BE SURE TO NOT GET LIQUID NAILS ANYWHERE ELSE. If you get it onto any other portion of the table aside from the top, you risk your extendable table not extending anymore cuz you glued it shut. Be careful!
If you are not using an extendable table for this project, I would suggest using screws and wood filler to reinforce the boards to the table.
Last but not least, apply the Miniwax Polycrylic Protective Finish using a paintbrush or rag. I used two coats, but you may need more or less.
Allow to dry, and you’re done!
Last but not least, get yourself a handsome boyfriend who makes the most delicious ramen in the world.