Tools for Do it Yourselfers

How to Build a 4×4 Farmhouse Table

tablenew Building and creating with my hands has always been a passion of mine and something I love sharing with others. When I stumbled upon plans for the table I was thrilled and wanted to create the most in-depth video online sharing how to build a farmhouse table.

I’ve built a number of tables over the last few years, but this seems to be one of my favorites because of its bold looks. It’s built out of 4×4, 2×4, and 2×10 lumber. The large beams give this table a bold look and make the table as solid as a tank. This farmhouse table build will score you a number of brownie points with your lady.

The original plans for the project are from Ana White’s website, who has hundreds of free plans available. I modified the table by making the table wider and longer. The larger size provides more space to spread out and for food or a centerpiece in the middle. This table has been a conversation piece and has worked great for our dinner parties and meals. This farmhouse table will last for years and will be able to be passed on to family members for generations. Whitney from Shanty-2-Chic also has a post about creating this table and she collaborated with Ana-White on her project.

farmhouse-table-instructions In-Depth Farmhouse Table Video Tutorial

Plans

The complete plans can be found on Ana’s site and there is a downloadable PDF. Ana White and Whitney from Shanty-2-Chic partnered on creating the plans. The project is fairly simple and will take about a day to assemble + finishing time.

Modifications: The only modifications I made to Ana’s plans were to the overall size. I used an additional 2×10 to increase the width of the table. I cut the table top boards a little longer and enlarged the width of the table base. I show the table top modifications in drawings below. Feel free to modify your table from the plans to best suit your needs.

Tools Needed

Power Drill
12″ Miter Saw
Kreg Jig
Orbital Sander
Clamps
Tape Measure
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection

Supplies
2 1/2 inch Kreg Screws - Need 1 Box
6 inch Torq Screws (for attaching 4×4’s to each other) – Need about 40 or so
4.5 inch Torq Screws (for attaching 4×4 top braces to table top) Need about 20
2.5 inch Torq Screws (for attaching 2×4 top braces to table top) Need about 20
Sandpaper
Stain ( or White Vinegar / Steel Wool )

* The 6 inch and 4.5 inch screws can sometimes be difficult to find. I’d recommend going to a contractor supply or local building / lumber store. Only select Home Depot and Lowes stores carry them.

MaterialsSee Plans here (look at my modification diagrams to see how my table differs from Ana’s plans.)

DIY-Pete Wood for the Project

You’ll need to buy 4×4, 2×10, and 2×4 boards for this project. These boards can be found at your local lumber yard. Take your time to find quality boards that are straight and have little warp.

Farm table supplies The Build

First, I built the table top out of 2x10s. I used 5 2×10’s for the main part of the table and a 2×10 for each breadboard end.  Ana’s plans call for four main boards, but I wanted a little larger area to spread out. I used a 12″ miter saw to make all of the cuts. I cut the 5 boards to 69 inches long.

farmhouse-table-plans Here is a look at the table top. A 2×10 board is actually 9 1/4 inches wide. The total dimensions of the top are  46 1/4 inches by 87 1/2 inches.

Farmhouse-Table-Plans-CloseUp

Click Photo to Enlarge

Line all of the boards up and mark where you’d like to drill pocket holes. I typically space the pocket holes about 8  to 10 inches apart.
DIY PETE Set the Kreg Jig at the 1 1/2 inch setting for the stock thickness. (My video says 2 1/2 inch setting but I meant to say 1 1/2 inch.)

How-to-drill-pocket-holes You’ll attach each board using the 2.5 inch long Kreg Jig screws. It helps to clamp the boards to each other and use a little body weight to get the boards even with each other.

how-to-make-a-farmhouse-table-with-a-kreg-jig Drill two pocket holes on the ends of each board as well. They will be used to connect the main boards to the breadboard.

how-to-attach-farm-table-breadboard Here is a photo of the completed table top from the top side. The overall dimensions of my table are approximately 46 1/4 inches wide by 87 1/2 inches long.

breadboard-style-table-pete-sveen The Farmhouse Table Base

I had to modify the width of the base a bit so that it fit the wider table top. Here is a diagram of the modifications I made to Ana’s plans.

Farm Table Plans

Farm Table Modifications – Click to Enlarge

Modified Width – Click to enlarge

I built the two ends out of 4×4’s. I used 6″ long torq screws (also known as star pattern screws or leg screws) to connect them (about 3  for each joint). The two vertical boards are cut at 10 degree angles (parallel to each other). The lower horizontal board is cut at a 10 degree angles as well (not parallel).

examples-of-farm-tables Connect the two ends together with the 4×4 horizontal beams on top and bottom. I didn’t have an extra set up hands to help me, so I used Jack Clamps to help hold everything up while I tied the boards together with 6″ torq screws. I attached the two horizontal 2×4’s using 2.5 inch Kreg Jig screws.

how-to-make-a-4x4-farmhouse-table

how-to-build-a-farm-table-and-instructions Attach the base to the top using 4.5″ torq screws through the 4×4 beams. Use 2 inch torq screws to connect the 2×4 to the table top. (I counter sunk mine a bit)

DIY-PETE-Art-of-Manliness Cut the two braces at 45 degree angles. Attach using 2 to 3 screws on top and bottom that are 6 inches long. Drill the screws in at an angle.

diy-pete-farm-table-plans Here is a look at the completed table prior to staining and sealing the piece. I also created matching benches to fit this table. The plans can be found by clicking here. I modified the width so they are a total of 69″ wide. Instead of using a 2×10 for the breadboards I use 2×8’s. Everything else was kept the same as Ana’s plans. The inside span of my table where the benches fit in is 73″ so that left 2 inches of wiggle room on each side of the bench so it can easily slide in and out.

Benches for a farmhouse table Finish

The next step is to make the table unique to you. I decided to distress the farm table by using tools around the shop to make the table look worn. I used nails to create wormhole marks and a circular saw blade and hammer to put some character into the table.

how-to-distress-a-farm-table I then heated up an old bolt with a blow torch and created a neat bolt mark in one corner of the table top.

how-to-distress-a-farm-table-with-a-bolt Use 120 and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the table and to soften the table’s corners.

pete-sveen-sanding-farm-table Finish

I used a #00 Steel Wool and White Vinegar solution to patina the wood and give it an aged look. Put a good handful of steel wool in a jar and add white vinegar. Let the vinegar dilute the steel wool for at least 3 to 4 days. The mixture will get darker the longer you let it sit. I let mine sit for a full week. Once diluted, simply brush the mixture on your piece. Oxidation will occur as the mixture reacts with the tannins in the wood to give it variations in color. It changed the Fir wood to dark blues, greys, browns, and black. Do not use white Pine because it will not darken much at all. If you’d rather use a stain, Minwax has some great choices to choose from. A couple of my favorites are Special Walnut, Dark Walnut, Provincial, Weathered Grey, and Golden Oak.
how-to-finish-a-table-with-steel-wool-and-vinegar * You can always dilute your mixture if it is too strong. Simply pour a little of the strong mixture in a new cup and add white vinegar. Wipe the solution onto the table with a clean rag. Use a brush to get hard to reach areas.

how-to-stain-a-farm-table-diy-pete Let the solution soak in and dry for about 6 hours. The table will darken up quite a bit depending on how strong your solution is. The boards will all take the stain a bit differently and you never know exactly how it’s going to turn out. That’s the fun part!

vinegar-and-steel-wool-stain Here is what my table looked like the next morning when it was completely dry. It looks somewhat dull until a polyurethane is applied.

steel-wool-and-vinegar-stain I finished the benches using the same technique. I loved the variation and stripes that were created with the steel wool and vinegar finish. I love rustic finishes. However, I know not everyone does, and so a stain with a wood conditioner might be a better option if you are looking for more of an even and consistent finish. Minwax makes a wood conditioner and it helps stain take more evenly.

Farm Style Benches

Benches finished with steel wool and vinegar

Seal

Wipe or brush on 2 to 3 thin coats of  Minwax polyurethane. The finish will make the colors pop and warm up the look of the wood to give it a honey like glow.

how-to-seal-rustic-furniture Let each coat dry completely and sand between coats with 220 or higher grit sandpaper.

how-to-sand-a-farm-table Allow the final coat to dry and then carry grab some buddies to help carry the table into you home. This table is heavy, so entice your friends with a little pizza and beer.

how-to-stain-a-farm-table

Farm Style Benches with Polyurethane

Finish on Benches

The finished table looks great and works awesome for dinner parties and gatherings!
farm-table-tutorial

diy-pete-farm-table Like this project? Please share with your friends and family by liking below or pinning the photos to Pinterest! Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about all the latest free project ideas and tutorials!

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  • Peter Dallman

    Hi Pete, I wanted to increase the length of the table to 96 inches. I can do this by increasing the 2×10’s to 78 inches from your 67″, then the breadboard ends would make it a full 96″. Would I need to alter anything about the base other than increasing the support bpards on the underside of the tabletop? I guess I’m talking about the angle cuts of the legs etc.
    Thanks,
    Peter

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Peter, I kept all the angles the same and did not make other changes besides what you mentioned. Let me know how it goes and good luck!

      • Peter Dallman

        Thanks Pete! Last question….I hope. Looks like the 4×4’s “kiln dried” are way more expensive than the standard 4×4 posts than my local lumber yard. Is it important for the base 4×4’s to be kiln dried?

        • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

          Hey Peter! With the big price difference I’d go with the non kiln dried 4x4s. They may shrink a tiny bit but I wouldn’t be worried about it for the posts. After cutting each post to length you could always paint the ends to help prevent them from checking. To sum it up, I’d say you’ll be just fine with the non-kiln dried posts. Send me a photo when you are done! Can’t wait to see your table. Cheers – DIY PETE

          • Peter Dallman

            Table number 1 made..It was a lot of fun. I altered the table a little because I was worried about someone (like me) pushing myself up on one of the breadboard ends and pulling those srews out. I used a 2×10 for the breadboards. So, I added a 2×4 skirt around the table with a 2″ reveal, it only really covered up the butt end of the cross support 4×4 which I wasn’t crazy about seeing either. I also deleted the top 4×4 post that wasn’t seen. Now I’m stressing about the vinegar/steel wool stain….
            On to assembling the second table!!

          • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

            Nice job Peter! It is looking great and I love the ideas you came up with for the modifications. The apron/skirt was a great ay to do it! Good luck with the staining. The vinegar/steel wool reacts with all wood differently so do some tests first on scrap pieces to see how you like it and how strong you want to mix it. Have fun assembling the second table as well. Cheers and thanks so much for sharing your project! – Pete

  • Anders

    I would like to use this table in the garden, but then shouldn’t there be some space for the wood to expand?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Anders, sounds like you have a fun project in store for the garden. I’d recommend using cedar if going outdoors — otherwise to use 2-3 coats of spar varnish on the table and to re-seal it once each spring. I haven’t had a problem with the wood expanding on the tables I’ve built using the kiln dried pine. Thanks for the great question!

  • Tim B.

    Hey Pete…my wife and I really like the look of this table. Thank you for providing such detailed instructions and pictures. My question is this…our space is too small for a full-sized version of this table. If we wanted to make this a square table, would the supports need adjustment?

    Thanks for your help!

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hey Tim! The one thing I’d think about is how many people you want to be able to sit at the table. There is a lot of room on the side, but you might want to adjust the ends so the people would have a little more leg room while sitting at the ends. If you keep the same width (5 boards) — you’ll be able to keep everything the same on the supports, but shorten up the 2 side rails. Making adjustments (no matter what you decide to do) is pretty simple for this table. You might want to check out Ana’s plans (which I have a link to in the post) — as her table is a bit smaller. Good luck!

  • George

    Hi Pete! In the process of applying second coat of poly on my table. Mine is kinda big (5×8). Quick question: Did you use any wood filler in the spaces between the boards of the table top? If so, what kind did you use? P.S. My wife loves the table……going to try the coffee table next….Thanks for the detailed instructions.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi George! Great to hear from you and congrats on building the table! I haven’t used a filler between the boards on my tables. If you did, you’d want to find a filler that was fairly flexible. I don’t have a great recommendation — otherwise I’d name a type and brand. Sorry I’m not much help there –but enjoy your new table and great work on building it. Looking forward to seeing your coffee table as well! – Cheers – Pete

  • George

    Pete, here are a couple of pics.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Nice work George!

  • Kelli Delahousie

    Hi Pete,
    My husband started putting the clear coat on our table and as it dried it started cracking and peeling. It didn’t stick to the table top at all, it just wipes off. We used a steel wool/ vinegar stain. The table was clean and dry. We used Minwax Polyurethane Oil Modified Water Based. Is this our problem?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Kelli! Interesting, I’m a little curious as to what is causing this. I have never used the Minwax poly oil modified water based poly. I’m guessing this could have something to do with it unfortunately. You may need to sand off the current poly as best as possible and try it again with either a pure waterbased or a pure oil based poly. I feel that you’ll have a better outcome with pure oil based as the colors will be more vibrant. Just apply in a well ventilated area and plan to wait a bit longer for the poly to dry between coats. I’m going to get some of the modified poly from Minwax that you used to experiment with and see why it happened. In the mean time, do a little sanding and then the oil based finish. That’d be my recommendation. Perhaps do a small sample area to make sure this remedy will work. Cheers and good luck. You’ll have to send me a photo of the finished table! – Pete

      • Kelli Delahousie

        Thanks for the quick reply. My husband got to looking at the instructions on the can and it says not to sand wood with steel wool prior to application. There must be something about steel wool that causes a reaction with this stuff. Too bad, 1 QT of this stuff was about $20. Lesson learned. We will def. post pictures when the table is done.

        • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

          You bet Kelli! Bummer about the first poly but I’m sure your second round will be a good one. Enjoy your new table and thanks so much for checking out the project video and my site. Cheers from Montana :) – Pete

  • Peter Dallman

    Hey Pete..Building two tables and benches begining of June…Judging from the pictures on your build it looks like you might have extended the base farther out to support the breadboard ends than either of the tables on Ana’s or Shanty’s site. Is this true?
    P.S. Going back to an earlier question. I will be going with green (non kiln dried) 4×4 posts..What would you recomend I paint the cut ends with to help prevent checking or twisting?

  • Justin

    Could I cut the 4x4s with a 10″ miter saw? Also can I use an older Kreg Jig model?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Justin! Yes, a 10″ miter saw will cut a 4×4 in one swipe. Second, I’m not sure which model of Kreg Jig you have, but I’d say it should most likely work for the project. Good luck!

  • Kent

    Pete, by any chance can you share the plans for the benches?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Kent! You betcha. The bench plans came from http://ana-white.com/2013/10/plans/4×4-truss-benches — I modified total width just a bit to fit my longer table. I’d recommend having about 2 inches of wiggle room between the side of each bench and the 4×4 on the table. So if the distance between 4×4’s is 60 inches, make the benches 56. We love the benches and they are very solid. Good luck!

  • Michael Heuer

    Can you provide the shop list and cut list for your modifications from Ana’s site?

  • Tim

    Pete – this looks great and I’m going to give it a try myself. You mentioned that the vinegar/steel wool finish shouldn’t be used with Pine since the wood will not darken much. Would you expect the same result if working with spruce (I’m on a tight budget, haha)? Thanks much.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hey Tim! The vinegar/steel wool reacts differently with each type of wood because of the tannins in the wood. So I know it reacts well with Doug fir as that’s what we have out here. White pine around here doesn’t seem to take as well — but I’d recommend testing out a few scrap pieces of the spruce to see how it goes! If it doesn’t react how you’d like you can always do a stain and it will still look really nice. Let me know what you decide and how it goes!

  • Michael Heuer

    Can I use 5 in screws instead of the 4 1/2?

    • Phil

      I couldn’t find 4.5″ screws anywhere so used 4″ screws – readily available and cheap at HD – and just counter sunk them a half inch

      • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

        Thanks for chiming in Phil! Glad the 4″ screws worked for ya. Cheers – Pete

  • Eric

    will that steel wool and vinegar solution work on most woods? Or does it need to be a particular kind of wood for it to work?

  • RUDY QUINTERO

    good job like the bar table and wester table to show more please

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Feel free to check out the video if you haven’t. If you are talking about the concrete / cedar bar, I have free plans for that available which are in depth. Have a great day!

  • Jonathan

    What kind of lumber was used in your project here?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Douglas fir.

  • Michael Vooris

    Hi Pete: Love the table. Is it possible to do another layer of a different stain after the vinegar/steel wool stain to get the distressed looko and also add a different color?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Michael! You certainly can do a layer of stain over the vinegar/steel wool application. I’ve done it plenty of times. Always test on a scrap piece of wood prior to doing the actual table to get an idea of how it will look. Good luck and please post a photo of the finished table, I’d love to see how it turns out! – DIY Pete

  • Max

    what are the odds we can get a “shopping list” (if you already have one) to get all the material in one swoop instead of my normal routine of going back and forth to the big box or lumber yard. It would be ideal to have a list of lengths of pieces needed.

    e.g. – 4 (4 x 4 x 16) – 2 – 73″ length support base
    2 – 43″ width top support base
    4 – 25 3/8″ for height support base (cut at 10 degree)
    2 – 36 1/4″ for width support base (cut at 10 degree)

    etc, etc… – just to ensure I don’t miss anything…

  • Brian

    I see that you used Fir in your video. The local Lowe’s doesn’t carry Fir but they do have Pine and Whitewood. Not really sure what Whitewood is. I would like to get the same (or a similar) look as you got on yours. I see that you don’t suggest using Pine, what would you suggest I use?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Brian! That’s ok that they do not have fir. You can use Whitewood/ any type of pine. I know the vinegar/steel wool reacts well with the fir. I would buy a board of each type and see how well it the solution reacts with it. All woods will vary in how they react with the solution. If you simply plan on staining and not using the solution then feel free to use any type.

  • Dwayne Coulson

    Pete, really want to build this for my deck. I am not crazy about tbhe benches, though. We have older folks that come over for cook outs. Any plans for similarly matching chairs, avialable?

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hey Dwayne! I unfortunately don’t have any plans at the moment but would recommend “googling” for simple 2×4 patio chairs or looking on Ana White’s website. I am working on a video showing how to make bar stools — coming in Episode 16 — which you could check out as soon as it’s up for ideas. You could simply modify them to fit the table.

  • Jared Danford

    did you poly all of it including the base or just the top? thanks!

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hey Jared! I did 3 thin layers of poly on the top and one real quick coat on the legs/base. It’s not necessary but does give it a more finished look and makes the color pop a lot more. I’d recommend doing it on all the surfaces you can see.

  • Patrick

    Working in my table. It’s for my wife for our anniversary.

  • Patrick

    Not sure why it didn’t post the picture. Here it is.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hey Patrick! Nice work man! Thanks for sharing the project photo and enjoy your new table!

  • Liberty with Vengeance

    Mr. Sveen, Trying to do this build. Is 25 3/8″ the correct Dimension for the legs? I cut them, stood them up with a 4×4 and a 2×4 on top and it seems pretty short. The legs on your table and Ana White’s look longer in the finished pictures.

    Thanks for your help.

Tools for Do it Yourselfers