Replacing a Table Top with Vintage Wood


Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

The very first piece of furniture my husband and I ever bought as a couple was this cute little butcher block table.  It was the perfect size for our apartment and it fit the two of us perfectly.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Well almost perfectly, it was kind of tight to fit chairs between those two legs you can see above and if you sat on the ends, you had more leg room but you were eating on a rickety table extension.  In spite of that, we continued to use the table, past son #1, and  well into son #2. When he moved out of his high chair, that  was the time we decided to get a larger table.  That was 1991.

Our trusty table was relegated to the storage room, only making a rare appearance on holidays when we needed additional seating.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

During college, aforementioned son #2 borrowed our trusty, sturdy, butcher block table for his apartment.

While we were thinking it was a nice addition to his kitchen and he probably did a lot of studying sitting at our very first piece of furniture, apparently he attached some kind of top and converted our sweet table into a beer pong table.

He is now disowned.  🙂

Back to the storage room he went (the table, not our son) and he is now ready for his makeover.  The table legs were great but I’m making a new top for another family member.   This family member is moving into an apartment and I had him shop my house.  

This is great chance for me to get rid of some of my projects to make way for new projects.

I unscrewed the top so I can just use the legs, but look for the butcher block top in future projects.  

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

I painted the table legs black and added a knob to the drawer where none had existed before.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

A trip to the salvage yard  gave me most of my supplies for my new tabletop.  That is wide plank pine flooring and a couple rough cut 2×4’s.  You can tell the 2×4’s are old because they actually measure 2 inches by 4 inches.   I also used a few deck pickets.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

The 2×4’s were cut like a picture frame to measure 36 inches square.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Cut the deck pickets  to fit inside the 2×4 frame.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Cut the pine flooring to also fit inside the frame as shown.  

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Now is the time to start attaching.  Find a dowel and a drill bit to match the width of the dowel.

In each of the 4 corners of the frame, on both sides, drill holes, about 1/2 inch deep.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

In each of those holes, use 3 inch wood screws to secure your corners.  (I’ll get back to the dowel hole part in a second.)

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Before securing the deck pickets, turn the entire table top upside down on a flat surface, this way you’ll know that all the wood is level.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I added an additional kreg jig screw in each of the corners on the underside.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

While the table is still upside down, screw the pickets into the table top frame.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Turn the tabletop over and everything should be nice and flat. Use finishing nails to secure the pine flooring to the pickets.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Cut dowel pieces to plug up your corner holes, sand to level if necessary.

My vintage wood was really rough so time to hit with a sander getting rid of all the splinters and softening the corners.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Finish your tabletop however you like.  I’m using layered chalk paint to highlight my vintage wood.

I started out with black and gray chalk paint.  I didn’t have to be particularly neat, just no drips. It looks like a mess but I’m trying to hit the edges of the wood where I’m most likely to sand.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

I painted the entire tabletop  with this royal blue chalk paint (no sloppy paint on this layer).  Actual color is Ocean by Waverly.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

If you like that rustic , chippy paint finish, this is the step for you.  Use an Electric Sander  to reveal all those chalky layers and some wood.

If you don’t like the worn paint finish look, you can skip the sloppy gray and black step and just paint a solid color.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

I finished with a coat of vintage wax.  You can see how the wax tones down the vibrant blue.  If you want to preserve the blue color use a clear wax or add just a little of the tinted wax.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Because it is a tabletop, I added a second coat of the clear wax.

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Creating a new tabletop from reclaimed wood

Right now the table is in my kitchen but he’s going to find his permanent home next week.  When he does make his move, I’ll take some final pictures… hopefully I’ll have better lighting.

Until then, stay inspired.

Shared at Salvaged Junk Projects,

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