Rustic Picnic Style Dining Table

Well….my husband built another dining room table. It’s been over two years since he built the last one and I think he was starting to get a twitch. A table building twitch (or a lack of table building twitch, more like it).

If you remember, our first dining table was a simple farmhouse table made out of pine.

DIY Farmhouse Table and Bench

We sold that table to friends in order to build the second table, a beautiful pecan table with X legs.

Pecan farmhouse dining table

Recently we sold that table to different friends, since they needed a big rustic table and the dimensions weren’t right for our new house anyway.

Enter table number three.

picnic style dining table made from rustic poplar

This one is a rustic picnic style table, and will be going in the breezeway of the new house. (So yes, there will be a table number four. You know there will be.)

Future table location

Shortly before Thanksgiving last year, another friend asked Adam to help him build a table. Adam said of course (he can’t help himself when he comes to tables), and if they were going to build one table they might as will build two. And so they did.

DIY table base

Adam only built the base planning to finish it later, and it sat in our garage for about a year. So when we sold table number two, he was already halfway done with table number three.

Since it’s going outside we decided to make it very rustic and farmhouse-y, because we love the look… but mostly because it’s easy to make. Since Adam has been busy collecting barnwood for the new house he already had something on hand.

100 year old poplar

These four boards are really old poplar. They are beautiful….they are also very rough and not exactly flat. We sanded down a small section to see what it would look like, but once you sand down old barn wood it pretty much just looks like new wood….which, of course, is terrible.

to sand or not to sand

So we left it rough. It’s a little furry and a little warped, but whatever… farmhouse, baby.

Assembling a rustic table

picnic style dining table

My  absolute favorite part is the antique square nails used on the top.

The most awesome rustic square nails ever

Are they not completely amazing? I’m not really one of those bloggers that claims that every new thing is my favorite thing ever, or that I just LUUUURVE every project….but antique square nails in a rustic table? Those have potential to turn me into a woo girl.

woo girl

woo girl 2

The metal pipe on the base has woo girl potential as well. It’s just so awesome. It was also the most expensive part of this project by far, so it’s a good thing it makes me woo.

industrial metal pipe table support

As much as I loved the raw wood look on the tabletop, it just wasn’t practical and needed to be sealed. Wax would have been my first choice (because it practically disappears), but it’s not a rugged enough finish to hold up to the destruction offered up daily by my three young sons. So I chose the next best thing, a water based matte poly.

Varathane - water based polyurethane

I applied four thick coats so that it would be smooth enough to wipe down with a paper towel. Halfway through Levi comes wandering in, climbs on a chair and watches me for a while. Then he looks at me with a scrunched up face and says “You’re doing a bad job mommy.” “Why do you say that?” I ask. “Because it looks the same after you put the paint on.”

Mission accomplished. 

rustic wood dining table

picnic style dining table made from rustic poplar

I love how it turned out, it will be perfect for the breezeway. Admittedly it doesn’t make a great indoor table though…the cracks between the boards are pretty large (just like a picnic table) and all the crumbs fall  directly onto the floor. I hardly ever have to clean the tabletop…but I sweep constantly.

rustic barn wood dining table

rustic poplar table

farmhouse dining room

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  1. Jan Elizabeth says:

    I love that table! I think it’s the double layer of wood at the end that does it for me. The nails are amazing and it’s going to be awesome in your breezeway. Will the breezeway be completely closed in? Or is it partially outside? (I don’t really know what a breezeway is, obviously.)

    • Ha, maybe breezeways aren’t popular in Canada…too cold? It’s just the 20 foot space between the house and garage, it will have a roof and support beams but other than that it will be open. The breeze on our property comes from the south mostly, (right up from the creek) and since the breezeway is open to the north/south it should basically be cool and comfortable all the time, even when it’s hot as stink outside.
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  2. Charlotte says:

    When I went to the Bob Vila site, I wanted to look at some of the other projects. It starts to load the page then an ad comes up and won’t go away. I thought you might want to let Bob know, so people can get to your site.

  3. Where did you get the chairs at the table? I like the higher backs.

  4. This table looks awesome :) I really like the rustic look and love the nails. Were they reclaimed or can you still buy them somewhere?

    • They’re reclaimed, my husband pulled them out of an old barn. I wish we could buy them somewhere because I would get a lot more!

      • I wish I could find nails like that somewhere…. I’d have been a perfect addition for a pallet coffee table I’m making now. Not many old barns where I live, though :( Maybe should make a trip to the country site one day :)

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