A few weeks ago she emailed me about my farmhouse table posts (here, here and here) and we ended up conversing at length about the table construction. In Jen's own words:
"This whole table building thing started with the fact that we bought a nice table from Crate and Barrel, and it looked terrible after a year. It had scratches from things like a box of kleenex, and we had to keep it covered with a padded table protector and then a tablecloth on top. I hated it, and we spent $700 on it. I came across Ana White's blog and my husband and I thought we could do it! He's very handy, and had all the tools we'd need, but he'd never done furniture before. Initially, we were thinking we'd maybe do an oak top b/c the pine was soft, but the oak TOP was going to be around $300! This was why I emailed you, and you were right...the pine hardened right up with the polyurethane and it's more rustic looking anyway, so it's not going to be an issue. Also, it was so so affordable that it seemed silly not to try it.
For the building of the table, I think notching was difficult (according to my husband, who did it)...he had to make a leg twice. Keeping everything level and finding nice pieces of pine was also a challenge, since most had some warping or damage we didn't want.
Once the building was complete (which we did on a Saturday), the finishing was up to me. I did lots of sanding, staining, and polyurethaning by myself...something I'd never done before. For the stain, we used Minwax Sunbleached, and I LOVE the color we got. It's a greyish color, and lighter than our old table, so it doesn't show every single crumb or speck of dust...and no tablecloths! I also did 2 coats of satin polyurethane (Cabot)...the top may one day get a third, but I couldn't stand the smell in my house any longer (in the dead of winter, opening windows was cold!).
I never thought I'd be building my kitchen table, but I'm so glad I did and I just love the results! Now I'm thinking about what we can do next!"
Thanks so much for the contribution Jen! I was delighted to see your results and the table looks spectacular. Well done!