Sunday, May 27, 2012

{DIY $20 Vintage-Looking Table}

Do y'all get magazines each month?  I get two: Southern Living and Country Living.  My favorite of the two would have to be Country Living.   When the May issue came in the mail last month, I can't tell you how many times I looked at it!  It is probably the best issue ever, in my opinion.  There was one photo from an article called "600 Square Feet of Thrifty Style" that I think I drooled on.

{Photo by Victoria Pearson via Country Living}

Something about this photo just spoke to me.  I love the peacefulness of the room, the colors, the accessories, and THAT VINTAGE TABLE!  After looking at the photo obsessively many times, I decided that I just had to have a table like that.  I had the perfect wall for it in my craft room, and since my dad is pretty good with tools and building stuff, it couldn't be that hard to attempt to make one like it with his help.  So I took my dog-eared magazine to my dad's for us to come up with a plan.  Here's what we came up with, keeping in mind the dimensions of the wall I wanted to put the table on...

You can click on this picture to see a larger version.

I went to the lumber store near my house to buy the wood, but they didn't have 2x2's, so I had to buy fence pickets, which are the same size.  They were treated, which I hated, but it's all they had.  (That's why the legs in the unfinished table photos will look different from the other wood on the table.)  The lumber cost me $20, and all the other supplies either my dad or I had already.
First, we cut all our pieces according to the cut list above.  We cut the two 13 1/2" pieces to look like the inspiration table.  (See photo below.)  Then we made a box using the two 45 1/2" 1x6's and the two 13 1/2" 1x6's.  We attached the pieces to each other with wood glue and nails.

When the box was complete, we used a scrap piece of 1x2 to create a brace in the middle of the box to attach the top boards to.

We actually attached the piece sideways--different than my dad (J-Man) is holding it in the photo.  Then we started attaching the three 50" 1x6's to the top with wood glue and nails.  (I promise I really did help on this even though I'm not in any of the photos...)

Once we had the table top attached, it was time to attach the legs with wood glue and screws.  (I neglected to put screws on the supply list, but you could use nails if you wanted.)

At this point I was a bit scared.  It looks like a spindly legged baby horse.  You know...when the baby horse's legs look like they are WAY too big for his body when he's first born.  But I know from experience that there's, more often than not, a stage in a project where it seems like the project will become a weird looking disaster, so I didn't give up on my little pony yet...  
The next step was painting the table.  I sanded it down really well.  Then I covered the top of the table and sprayed the bottom with white spray paint.  (I primed the legs with Kilz spray first since they were made from treated lumber.)

A vintage table would not be crisp white, though, nor would it be completely smooth.  So I got out nails, pliers, screws, chains, and my hammer and banged up the table pretty well.  Then I glazed the table base with Ralph Lauren glaze mixed with black paint.  (Brush on the glaze and then wipe it off with a cloth.)

The glaze stays in all the dings and dents, and it takes the new off the white.  When the base of the table was finished, I had to figure out how to make the top look like the inspiration table.  There are many tutorials on the web about using steel wool and vinegar, like this one from Our Adventures in Home Improvement.  I decided to try it.

I brushed it on and waited with excitement...and nothing really happened.  I put coat after coat of the mixture on, but it just didn't look like I wanted it to.  (I neglected to take picture during this part because I was getting really frustrated.)  Yeah, it looked a bit darker, but it wasn't the old barn wood look I was going for.  I did a Google search for aging new wood.  People were saying that when doing this technique, you don't have to sand the wood first.  I guess you shouldn't sand it first.  I saw that you can use lime (definitely didn't have that around the house...), tea, and Clorox to age wood too.  So while the table top was still soaked with vinegar, I brushed some tea on it.  Still not what I was looking for.  While the wood was still wet, I put some Clorox in a cup and brushed it on the top, going with the grain.  THAT was more like what I wanted!  (I'm not sure that you would get the same effect if you brushed straight Clorox on dry wood, so be careful!)  I let the table dry for a couple of days to before I put a sealer on it.

I like to use Polycrylic as a sealer.  I put a few coats on the entire piece.  When I finished, I was so flippin' excited!!!  I have my very own table that was featured in Country Living!!!  Okay, not really.  But it looks A LOT like the table from the magazine, and it only cost about $20 to make!

I am so in love with the finish on the top of the table!

The vinegar or either the Clorox caused the nails to rust, which I love.

I like how the glaze makes the imperfections in the table stand out, which adds more vintage-like goodness.

The table is part of makes this area of my craft room my favorite.

If you haven't checked out the entire craft room makeover reveal, you can find it here.  


  1. That is an awesome table, and making it with your Dad makes it that much more special. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well, I love your craft room, and I seem to always click on your tab because your projects are awesome. I love this table, great tutorial too. Thank you for sharing!!!

    Hugs, Tanya :)

  3. What a vision you had. Your table turned out so beautiful! Next time, you and your dad should make 2 or 3 at the same time. You both could open your own shop! I love Country Living Magazine, but I also love Coastal Living magazine. It is always so inspiring!

  4. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this! Adore how the wood came out on the top. Filing the clorox thing away for future use. Also adore how you styled that whole area. So cute!

  5. I ADORE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ok, so I'm not the only one who gets her Dad to cut her wood!! PLUS I swear that work area looks EXACTLY like my Dad's garage!!! He has the same wood shelf with his toolboxes on it.. same yellow tool box... floor looks the same. I have to show him he'll think I took pictures of his garage haha

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!

  6. Came over from DIY to see your table. It looks just like that one in CL (I also drooled over it!) Actually I love your whole vignette with the pops of turquoise. By the way the vinegar rusted the nails. Try vinegar with a steel wool - sometimes that will darken a piece of new wood.

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  7. This is sooo gorgeous! You did an amazing job! I love the top of the table, it looks so rustic. I am very impressed!

  8. Love this!! Love the table and the finish. I would love it if you would share at my linky party Tout It Tuesday

  9. This turned out SO cute! Love it. Perfect for an entryway. We can't wait to try it!

  10. Wow!!! It is sooo cute, and the whole display is too!!!

  11. Ready to pin it and share it on my FB page!

  12. It's all awesome! Saw it on FB and love the whole space!

  13. Great table! It's hard to believe you made it for only $20!

  14. Beautifully done Bethany and doesn't it look great in your craft room!!
    I'd love it if you'd consider sharing this over at Shabbilicious Friday ~

  15. Wow! You are so talented! The table looks amazing and I love how you styled the finished product! Visiting from TT&J

  16. could have fooled me...I thought it was an old table. Great job.

  17. Love this! You and your dad make a great team. I am impressed that you not only pulled it off so beautifully, but for $20, you are an inspiration!

  18. So awesome! Love the table, and where did you get you get yhe pink poka dot picture frame? Love it too!!

  19. I cannot believe you made that table! It is fabulous and I'm cracking up at your spindly legged baby horse description. I think it's more like a thoroughbred. Thanks for sharing at this week's BFF Open House.

  20. That is really cute - I love how it turned out!

  21. Like you I'm big on magazines. I've had to curtail all magazine purchases --to justify, INTERNET time, now though. But there is something about dog-eared pages,huh?
    Anyway-- I'd love that table too!
    So great that your dad helped you with it and you got the look you wanted! Loving all the details--

    via: CaCC party...

  22. Hi, Bethany

    This look amazing! I really love how the color came out.


  23. That table came out beautifully. I love it. You and dad have a great memory and you have a beautiful table. Amazing!

  24. Bethany, your table is so sweet. I love the two toned look of it. It would make me smile too.

    thanks for sharing @ catch as catch can!

  25. This table looks great, and I love the finish!

  26. That's just down right amazing!! How about making one for me to use as a sofa table? ;)
    Featuring this in tomorrow's party, of course!

  27. Great job on the table. Looks great.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  28. It looks amazing Bethany. Thanks for linking up at Shabbilicous Friday. I'll be featuring this project tomorrow.
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  29. I absolutely LOVE this! Great project! I'd love for you to link this and any others up to my first ever linky party, Ta-Da Tuesday :) check it out HERE ! <3 from your newest follower, I'd be delighted if you'd follow back!

    413 Sparrow Lane

  30. Your table is awesome! I love that you tell about everything that you used to stain the wood. I really want to try this technique. You're right about the rusty nails too. It makes the piece look very vintage. Love how you decorated too! Visiting from the My Repurposed Life link party. ~ Jamie
    P.S. I have a glass cloche almost exactly like yours. :)

  31. I love this! It looks great! I'll be featuring this on my blog tonight! Thanks for linking up to Classy Clutter.

    Mallory @ Classy Clutter

  32. Very cool table! Now I want one!

  33. Awesome table but it was the lamp that caught my eye, that's so cool!

  34. What a lovely blog you have and a great job you did of that table, I especially like the finish on the top of it. Visiting from Lines across link party.

    Lee ☺

  35. I love EVERYTHING about this room. I think I just pinned like 10 of your pictures! The fabric-backed hutch, the chiken wire lamp, the COLORS, the staging, the paper-backed shelves...

    Glad I stumbled on your blog!

    Newest follower,


Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to leave an awesome comment! :)