When my family first moved to Clearfield, Utah, in 2003, I was lonely and needing a friend. Thankfully, I found one in a neighbor and fellow church member (Stacy) who lived just down the street, and we have enjoyed a steady friendship ever since, despite the fact that they moved away from Utah years before we did. Our move to Washington, however, brought us within 3 1/2 hours of each other, and we have found many excuses to burn up the road between Portland and Seattle since then!
Back in 2011, I refinished a table for Stacy’s family, seen here. Shortly thereafter, though, they added a fifth child to the family—and there was no room for him to have a seat at the table! In addition, a small antique table didn’t really provide enough room for both plates AND food, so it was time for a change.
Enter the “wide” farmhouse table. The space for a table was limited in length, but there was actually a fair amount of width to work with so Stacy had the brilliant idea of making a table that could accommodate two chairs on each end.
The table is 50” wide by 72” long. The top is made out of various board widths, and I used my table saw to rip 1/2” off each side to get rid of the rounded edges that stock lumber has. It makes for a nice smooth table top—but I lost the look of the random width boards because it turned out so smooth!
I distressed the table with chain, hammer, needle-nose pliers, screwdriver, and a Dremel tool. It was stained and sanded down about five times (no kidding) because I had a hard time finding a color I liked—that I thought she would also like! In the end, it’s basically Rustoleum American Walnut, sanded back, followed by Rustoluem Wheat (we’ll ignore the layers of black, willow, weathered gray, and paint). It’s finished with Minwax Hand-Rubbed Polyurethane and Dark Paste Wax.
I bought a set of four pressed-back chairs off of Craigslist. I liked them because they were in a dark stain to begin with, rather than a medium oak. I painted them with SW Creamy. As I was painting the chairs one afternoon, I kept thinking to myself, “I HATE painting chairs! This is why I don’t paint chairs!!”
But the next day, when I was distressing them and glazing them, I thought, “These are so pretty! I should refinish more chairs!!”
It’s confusing to be me!
I built the benches based on the plans in Ana White’s Handbuilt Home book (adjusted for size). The picture on the left shows what they looked like when Stacy came to see the table…and the picture on the right is what they looked like when she left with them!
I had first stained the benches with Rustoleum American Walnut, and then I used MMS Milk Paint in Tricyle over top. I really, really didn’t like the way the color turned out. Even with dark wax on top, it was a bright tomato-y red, and not a deep dark red like I love.
Stacy wanted them to have more wood showing anyway, so between the two of us we sanded them some more (I may have sanded them a LOT more than Stacy was anticipating, but she graciously went with it), and then we rubbed more of the American Walnut stain over all. It colored the wood where it had gone to bare wood, and it deepened the color significantly. It looked MUCH better, and blended better with the overall look of the set.
At least, I think so!
The table, chairs, and benches made it safely to Portland this past weekend. We managed to fit all of them…plus a copper boiler, four big shopping bags full of dishes, and Stacy’s LUGGAGE (which is always significant) in a Honda Odyssey! And knowing that the table is 50” wide—and a Honda Odyssey is only 49.5” wide…you should be VERY IMPRESSED by that fact!
Stacy has hosted guests for dinner twice since she’s been home, and a batch of homeschoolers besides. One night she had room for nine people, three pizzas, salad, a pitcher of lemonade, and I don’t know what all else!
I feed eight people all the time. Maybe I need a wide farmhouse table too!
Disclaimer: Stacy may or may not be my friend’s real name. And if it isn’t, she may or may not have preferred to be called Princess Leia and/or Hot Rod. And she may or may not be a hobbit.
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