DIY farmhouse dining table

After finally getting the courage to sand down our orange-y maple tabletop in the summer, I realized it wasn’t quite right.

The pale wood showed every streak of marker (thanks, kids) and it started feeling a little . . . undone. 

When I really thought about it, I knew I wanted a planked barn-board table. So what was the easiest, least expensive way to get the look of barn boards? Faking it.

 It was time to implement Plan B: reversing the two-tone look by painting the base of the table (and chairs) white, and darkening the tabletop. Not just darkening it with stain, though — burning it.

I gave the tabletop another light sand to get rid of the few months of marker scribbles, pencil marks and water rings. 
Then I got out my big metal ruler and a pencil and started peering very closely at the wood. I could just barely make out the lines where the boards were smoothed, fit together to make the tabletop. Sometimes there was only a hint of it, where a grain pattern would stop suddenly. I drew straight pencil lines down each of these lines until I’d found the original planks of the table. 
Then I got out my pyrography tool and slowly burned thick, dark lines — deep enough that you could feel the groove between each board.

It took a couple of hours to burn all of the lines and then I started burning random marks to distress the wood — little dents, tiny holes, scrapes and scars. I darkened the burn between some of the planks to make the cracks wider and ‘dirtier,’ and traced some of the grain patterns to highlight them. Then I grabbed a fork and a hammer and started banging it up in different ways.


Next it was time to stain …

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home … 

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