Anytime I do this style of planked table, I get loads of questions! The main one being, how did you do that table top? Is it hard to do?
Honestly, there is no quick answer to that question. I would have to ask you in return, what’s your skill level? What kind of tools do you have stashed away in your garage? The concept itself is pretty simple, however it’s still work… labor work. So with the right tools, a little muscle and sweat.. it’s pretty easy!
This table already had somewhat of a rustic look to it, but it was more of a traditional style rather than the farmhouse look my client was really hoping for. Not to mention, sometimes we just need a change! What better way to go about it than to change up the furniture you already own?
This set includes a bench which we will be planking along with the table top. To figure out how many boards you will need to complete your project you will need to measure the width and length of the table and bench top. This table is 7ft long. Boards comes in 6, 8, 10 & 12 foot lengths. They come even longer, but I have never had to go passed 12ft for any of my projects. In this case, we will be purchasing the 8ft length. This will give us the least amount of waste, which is always the goal.
When figuring what size boards to purchase to fill the width of the table top. I try to be as exact as possible, even if I have to use multiple widths. This is because I prefer not to have to make cuts length wise… it just gets a little trickier and adds more work. We were able to get the exact width or pretty darn close to it. As long as you aren’t short. A little over is easy to sand back. Here’s a shot of my measurements along with the boards I plan to purchase.
Here’s a little well know fact to keep in mind if you aren’t familiar with buying lumber. The labeled measurements are not the actual measurements. For example, a 1×6 is actually 5.5” wide and not 6” wide, a 1×8 is actually 7.25” wide and not 8” and so on. There is usually a .5” or .75” difference between what it is labeled and the actual width.
To measure your cuts, I simply line the boards up on the table top flush on one end and trace a line on the under side along the edge. Once I have my line, it’s time to cut!
After cutting my boards, I like to sand all my edges. This eliminates any sharp points and just gives a more professional look with a slight rounded edge.
I worked very close with my client on the exact look she was going for. She decided on a layered and distressed finish. The colors we will be using are Wise Owl Paint in Antique Villa and Peppercorn. I ordered two quarts of each to complete this project. Although we will ultimately be painting the the boards, I always stain them first if they are going to be distressed. Yes, there is a reason for this and you don’t want to skip it! I used Minwax in Dark Walnut, I keep this color on hand at all times.
Once you have allowed you stain adequate dry time, you want to seal it with poly or varnish.
I repeated this process of sealing with poly after each layer of paint. The reason for doing this is to keep each layer separate and prevent them from becoming one. This allows each layer to come through when distressing.
My preferred method of painting is almost always by hand, the exception is chairs! In this case you can bet I will busting out the sprayer. I use a Husky brand sprayer. Before spraying I cleaned my table and chair with TSP.
This is a pneumatic gun and dies require a compress to operate, but man does it make painting chairs a breeze!
There are a few other options that could eliminate the top coat/poly between coats. You could also use white primer or you could use a paint with a built in top coat, like Wise Owl One Hour Enamel. But there are always pros and cons to every product choice. These options comes with more prep, such as sanding.
Now that we have our last coat of paint on and fully dried, it’s time to crank up the ‘ol sander and go to town! Okay… not literally, but this part is all up to you. You can do as much or as little distressing as your heart desires. We chose to go heavier on the planks and concentrated more on the edges of chairs and base.
After distressing all my boards, I attached them using an 18 Gauge Brad Nailer at each and evenly between.
Your last step is to top coat using a varnish or poly. I typically do 2 to 3 coats on the base and 3 to 4 on the tops.
I hope you enjoyed this makeover as much as I did, I can’t wait to see it in my clients kitchen!
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