If I can build a DIY farmhouse style side table using scrap wood, then trust me, so can you.
It was a cloudy and chilly Friday morning. I had my coffee in hand and cash in my pocket as I meandered around a garage sale in the historic district of a town near me.
The usual suspects were there, crystal, milk glass, and then I saw them.
It was as if they were waiting there just for me.
I knew these wonderful hand turned spindles would be perfect for a table of some sort.
I inspected each one and did my best to pick 4 of similar length. If you look closely, you will see that each one is slightly different which is what I love about anything handmade. The slight imperfections are perfect.
DIY Farmhouse Style Side Table Using Scrap Wood
There hasn’t been any woodworking going on around here lately because of all the painting, and sewing, and booth fluffing, so I was pretty excited when my friends decided to throw down a build something from wood scraps challenge.
The rules are simply that the project has to fit the challenge theme, which will be something different to inspire you each month!
Get inspired and creative with your hosts:
Lisa @ The Purple Hydrangea | Kim @ Farmhouse Made | Kimm @ Reinvented
Denise @ My Thrifty House | Sam @ Raggedy Bits | Susanne @ Life On Pearl Street
Vineta @ The Handyman’s Daughter | Janice @ Sawdust Sisters | Anika @ Anika’s DIY Life
Sarah @ Sugar Bananas | Emily @ My Mom Made That
What To Build?
After about a week of pondering what I might build, I poked around the workshop looking for inspiration, and that’s when I saw my spindle legs, and the light bulb came on, and the project angels began to sing!
I could immediately see a dreamy vision of a small side table, all I had to do was build it.
I Know What You’re Thinking
If the idea of using power tools and tape measures frightens you, don’t let it. It’s easier than you might think. I am not ashamed to tell you the table saw makes the hair on my arms stand up! I leave that job to my silent partner. He is fearless.
If you’re still with me, let’ get started.
(the remainder of this post contains a sprinkling of affiliate links for your shopping convenience if you should order any products using the links I have provided I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you)
I was closely supervised by my silent partner throughout the building process. All safety rules were followed, including wearing safety glasses and gloves. Safety first when you work with power tools of any kind.
Let’s Build A Table
Since my spindles were not all uniform in length, they needed to be trimmed down. They just happened to be the perfect height for either a couch or chair side table. I confirmed this by checking the height of my couch.
After all, the measuring and selecting of scrap pieces were complete; I used the Mini Kreg Jig Kit to drill pocket holes to join my table top boards.
Here’s what a pocket hole looks like. 🙂 In case you’ve never seen one in the wild.
Sorry for the graininess of this photo. It’s the only one I took before painting. I got a little excited about the next steps.
Marrying The Old and New Wood
Honestly, the build part went pretty smoothly. It’s always a challenge when you try to marry new and old wood. Do you paint it all, stain it all? See the issue?
So I took to Facebook Live on Monday to get a little help from my friends.
The overall consensus was to do a similar color on the table top to match the legs, then add a vintagey green milk paint over the existing finish.
Guess what happened?
I mixed up a batch of Curio brown by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, using a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part milk paint. It’s a lovely rich brown that looks very similar to Dark Walnut by Minwax when it’s thinned down to a stain consistency.
I love using milk paint as a stain because there’s no odor and it dries in about an hour.
This is just one coat applied with a lint free cloth because I wanted to work the paint into the wood.
After the second coat, I then distressed it using a 150 grit sanding sponge and gave the legs a gentle scuffing just to open up the pores a bit.
This sweet friend is where I diverged from my original plan of adding a layer of green paint.
I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. My intention from the beginning was to create an authentic finish that would enhance the beauty of the spindles.
I stepped back to take a look at the finish and realized that it didn’t matter I had already mixed up a batch of green paint, it just didn’t need it.
I decided to seal the entire piece, legs and all with a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Hemp Oil. The milk paint darkened just enough to blend with the color of the legs, without being too matchy-matchy.
This is how I envision farmhouse folks created furniture back in the day. They used what they had on hand and made it work.
If you’re wondering who painted these beautiful landscape pictures, it wasn’t me. They are the works of my mom. She is downsizing around her place and asked if I would like to have them.
As soon as I saw them again, it brought back fond memories of her painting supplies spread out over our small kitchen table and the smell of turpentine. Do they even make that anymore?
I wonder if my children will have fond memories of my DIY shenanigans? I sure hope so.
So Tell Me What You Think
Did I make the right decision just to leave well enough alone?
Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not an advocate of painting furniture just for the sake of painting. My philosophy is if it enhances the look or it’s damaged to the point that paint would save it, then I’m all in.
Feel free to share your feely feelings on this subject in the comments below.
If you have any questions about the actual build of this table, I am happy to answer those as well.
I’ll see you next time.
Your woodworking sister in paint,
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