And by every once in a while I mean once every 365 days. ;]
Anyways, since my house looked like a Halloween bomb went off in it this week, and most of my time has been spent trying to catch up on house duties, I thought I'd share a project we did a few months ago. Cause we sure didn't have any happening this week (that's for sure)...
For my birthday this year, I told my husband that I wanted to make something together. I tend to be one that prefers having memories over things anyways, but doing a project with my husband meant that this year I was lucky enough to get the best of both worlds!
And I see nothing wrong with that ;].
Working side by side on a project is one of our favorite things to do together. So much so, our last few anniversaries were spent painting our kitchen walls, making ourselves a coffee table, and sanding and staining a crib.
Ahh... it was love from the start! And I wanted something (a lot) like it. So, we went to our local Home Depot to look for some 2x6. And to price out our options.
And our options looked something like this:
2. More expensive,
3. Super-dee-duperly uber expensive.
Just in case you've never been in the market for wood before, I'll let you know now: it ain't cheap (gasp!).
Especially if you were looking for what we were looking for. We wanted a hard wood. One that would fit fairly close together when laid side by side. A wood that had as little grain showing as possible ( I hated the idea of having knots visible). Oh. And we wanted to NOT break the bank.
Like... the 'let's-see-if-we-can-do-this-under-$50-bucks' kind of 'not-break-the-bank.'
Once we realized we weren't going to get all of the above for the price we wanted, we decided to compromise a bit. And although we ended up getting slightly softer wood, with a lot more grain than we had hoped (it actually had a lot of knots! Eek, I was nervous!), we wound up leaving the store with 14 slats of wooden fencing, priced at $1.67 each.
I know. You totally think we're crazy! But buying the fencing wasn't the mess-up. The fencing actually worked really well, all things considered. We knew it would be too thin just to do one layer, so we got enough to double the layers, in hopes that would make it sturdy enough.
And sturdy-ness wise, that seemed to do the trick. I mean, I wouldn't stand or sit on the edges of the table, but we don't normally do that in this family anyways. If you are the family to do that, I would probably not suggest using fencing. Double layered or not.
2x6's would have been preferable. And sturdier. And more durable. Obviously. But, for us, the price for the fencing was right. Plus, we knew this was going to be a table that received lots of "love." And, seeing as it cost less than $25 for the wood altogether, we figured we'd freak out less too if the kids did happen to dent it or scratch it with their forks.
Less than if we had spent a few hundred on it, anyways. ;]
No, the mistake we made was in the order we decided to construct the table. But, before we talk about that, let's talk about how we pulled this baby together in the first place.
First, using our jigsaw, we cut the standard rounded edge off each of the slats of fencing. We then chose the best 7 pieces of wood and laid them down flat on the floor first. These 7 would make our table top.
We then laid the remaining fencing on top of the first layer, to get an idea of how short we would need to cut the bottom layer. It would need to be long enough to give the table top the extra support it would need, but short enough so that the bottom layer did not show.
For our table (which is about 5'x4') that meant that the bottom layer of fencing would need to be a little over 3 feet long. Measuring our wood at about 39 inches length-wise, we marked it and then began cutting away with our jigsaw.
Once we were finished cutting all of the bottom layer of fencing, we lined and centered it on top of the first layer (or tabletop).
Once all the boards were where they were supposed to be, we pulled out our drill. Using a fairly small sized bit, we pre-drilled the holes for all of the nails we would be using. Seeing as there were seven boards on top and ten on bottom, and each board needed to be nailed together in two places, it ended up taking about 140 nails total.
It was A LOT of drilling and hammering, yo.
But no, really. It was a lot.
Thank goodness my husband was there to help, or I might have lost my sanity! Anyhoo, once we were finished nailing all of the boards together it looked like the above! And we were ready to move onto phase two.
First, sand the table top... (I actually do not suggest doing this inside. Yikes. But if you're like me, and have no where else to do it, open up all the windows and doors and wear a mask. And safety goggles. It gets crazy dusty.)
Second, remove the drop-leaves.
Third, place the new table top on the base, center it with the legs, and screw it in.. Use puddy to cover the screws.
And last, but not least, stain and lacquer the top of your table.
Once finished, the lacquer we used needed about 72 hours to dry. It seriously took for-eeeev-eeer. And I am so not patient with these kind of things. I wanted to sit down, decorate and eat on it right away! But my husband wouldn't let me. Good man.
All good things take time, right?
Well anyways, the stain we chose was a greyish blue. And it left a lot of the natural wood color visible. Which totally accentuated the grain and the knots. And, surprisingly, I actually kind of love the way it looks (thank goodness!).
I never thought I would say that about knots in wood! Cause I kinda used to loathe them. Entirely. But I love love LOVE how everything turned out on our table! I didn't expect it, and I don't know what you think, but to me it makes the whole piece feel more country-esque.
Which I like!
Aww, and here it is in all its current splendor and glory! Fancy schmancy space saver booster seat and all ;]. We're real glam around these parts, for realz. Lets check out the before and after side by side shall we?
Oh yup. I'm in love. And I'm so so so SO glad we decided to go with the grey finish. I think it's the cutest evah!
Now. About that mess up I told you I'd tell you about. Oh yes, there was a mess up. And one you'll want to avoid! But you see, we didn't even realize that we had messed anything up on our table for the first two months after it was finished!
Of course, we were gone most of those two months visiting family out of state, so if the problem did show up sooner than that, I guess we wouldn't have really known anyways!
But, on to the point! Where we went wrong: we decided to start nailing and assembling the table before we sanded, stained, and lacquered the boards. The consequence of our actions? All of the boards ended up warping and shrinking.
Thankfully the warping wasn't too noticeable except for the fact that it created 1/4 inch gaps in between some of the slats on the table top. 1/4 inch gaps! On the table top itself! Ugh. We were so not happy. In fact, we were pretty downright straight up frustrated, with a large side order fries.
But there really wasn't much we could do about it in the end. Our boards were already nailed together (140 times!!!!) and the table top was already screwed into the base. So for now, we live with it. The gaps are not awesome, but they don't bother me now as much as I thought they would.
I mean those pictures above are from this month, so obviously it doesn't look that bad. It just didn't turn out exactly like we had planned. And, well...that happens.
That being said, take a leaf out of our book... and lacquer and stain your boards first. Give them some time to really cure (I know! It takes forever! But it'd be so worth it!). And as always, use proper safety measures when using your tools. I am not an expert on tool safety, nor would I ever claim to be, so, if it's your first time using power tools, make sure you do the necessary research first. And have someone on hand who has used them before and knows what they are doing.
Really. Safety first!
Well, that's all folks. Our cute little Target table re-do. Not only do we have more seating now, but when the four of us all sit down, we actually have room to you know...eat! Crazy talk, I'm aware ;]. But its true. And we love love lovers it.
As for you lovely humans, I thought I'd pick your brains. Have any brilliant plans on how you are going to get rid of all the Halloween candy? I mean, besides eating it? ;] Brilliance, it seems, officially vacated our home some time between 9 pm last night and 9 am this morning. And so here I sit. Munching away...
I could really use your help ;]
I'm linking this up to Thrifty Decor Chick's before and after party!