DIY Pottery Barn Inspired Dining Table

diy dining tableDid you see the vintage chair I made over yesterday? Well we bought it to accent this amazing table that my husband built last weekend.

diy pottery barn inspired dining table

You see, we build our house last year and actually moved in last April.  Shortly after moving in we decided to put in a pool which totally tore up our yard.  Between the pool and then the requisite fence, our backyard was a construction zone through the end of September.  We’ve been so excited to actually “live” in it this year so we’ve spent the winter dreaming up plans for the outdoors.

I posted about all the work grading and laying sod we did a few weeks ago, and we recently decided to turn the patio area into a dining area and move our patio lounge furniture to the pool area. The point of all that was that we started looking at outdoor dining tables and we quickly realized buying one was not going to happen.  Even the most affordable options were going to be over $500 by time we got the minimum of six chairs we’d need. So we decided to build one.  And by “we” I mean my husband Randy.

I directed Randy to the Ana White site that we used to build our headboard but he wasn’t finding his “vision” in the plans there.  He was really inspired by this Pottery Barn table (which is an indoor table) so he made his own plans up using the Simple Farmhouse Table Plans from Ana White, this farmhouse table tutorial featured on Remodelaholic, and his own design.  I have to admit I was a little nervous with him making his own design so I kindof signed out of the process.  He went to Lowes last week and spent $60 on the wood he needed. Then Friday I went grocery shopping and by time I got home he had framed it out already!

dining table diy pottery barn

So I was a ~teensy~ bit impressed at this point.  He works a lot and doesn’t get a lot of DIY time in recent years so I guess I had forgotten that he has some pretty great DIY skills! (A case of blog-induced DIY megalomania I guess!) He finished up the table and then handed the process over to me for finishing it up.

The first thing I did was fill all the screw holes with stainable wood putty. Then I used Minwax Wood Conditioner on the entire piece.  Once that was dry I lightly sanded it and did one coat of Minwax Polyshades in Mission Oak-my favorite stain color!

dining table turnbuckle

Now the table just needed the finishing touch-the turnbuckle underneath like Randy’s Pottery Barn inspiration.  This proved to be a bit of a debaucle because he had wanted one large turnbuckle underneath but to do that we’d need a left hand threaded rod and apparently these are very hard to come by without special ordering it.  We did not have the patience for that so we ended up using two smaller turnbuckles with hooks on the left hand threaded side and used a regular right hand threaded rod to attach it on either side of the table frame.  See those rectangular washers on the outside of the frame? He actually cut those out of an old license plate!  Smart man! (I gush a bit over my hubby, I kinda like him!)

diy dining table bottom

All of the hardware was sprayed with Hammered Brown Rustoleum Spray Paint.  If you’re going to try this make sure you get the zinc-coated hardware, the galvanzied is very difficult to spraypaint.

turnbuckle close up dining table

So there is the table.  Fantastic and under $100!  While all of this table building and vintage chair reupholstering was going on we had 5 other chairs getting their own little makeovers and I’ll show those to you soon! I’m so excited about our patio makeover!!

Have you started revamping your outdoor spaces this year? What do you think of our DIY table?

Update! Superstar Ana White has drawn up easy plans for this DIY dining table so you can build your own!

pottery barn table diy

previous post: Vintage Chair Modern Makeover
next post: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites


    • Melissa says

      Thanks Cindy! I’m totally forwarding your comment to my hubby-he was interested to see what my readers thought of “his” table!! Have a great day!

    • Melissa says

      Thanks so much Virginia! My husband tried to build it extra sturdy because with three little boys it’s going to get it’s share of wear and tear! Have a great day-thanks for stopping by!

    • Melissa says

      Thanks so much Ashley, he’s going to love reading through these comments this evening! (Maybe it will motivate him to build me a couple more things on my list!!)

    • Melissa says

      Thanks Karen! I think the turnbuckle just makes the whole thing…and I readily admit I did not know what a turnbuckle was before last week so I’ve learned something new too! :)

    • Melissa says

      If you build one please share it with me! It was so much faster/easier than I thought it would be-go for it! :)

      • Michelle says

        So if I wanted to make this but not 72″ would I just need to cut down on length or will it make a difference on other stuff?

  1. says

    *JAW DROPPED* …. HOLY MOLY. This is GORGEOUS!! I want this table in my dining room, in my bedroom, in the bathroom, on the porch, in the yard, on the roof!!! It’s ABSOLUTELY amazing! I can’t believe your hubby BUILT IT… and for under $100! What an amazing team project. I’m showing this to my hubs first thing in the morning. You’ve inspired me. We’re MAKING out own table. 😀

  2. says

    Very nicely done. :) When you know you can do it yourself, it’s really hard to convince yourself to spend the unnecessary price they want to charge for the stuff.

    • Melissa says

      Yes, my husband says he just got the standard 2×6 white cheap wood, he just picked through it to get “nice” pieces!

  3. says

    I love how it turned out! I am getting ready to build my own table since we can’t drop 2 grand on the ones I want : ) Pinning this!

    • Melissa says

      Thanks Ashley! I was do surprised how quickly my husband built this-so worth the saved money verses buying!

  4. says

    This table is stunning! You did a fantastic job! I found your site from the Fun In Functional party. Now looking around!

    Cynthia at http:/

  5. says

    my husband and I sometimes try to do something like this, bur neither one of us know why it needs a turnbuckle. I would think a 2 by4 or something like that, as you can see we are kinda dumb when it comes to a turnbuckle.

  6. says

    Melissa your take on this farmhouse table is absolutely beautiful!!! I love how you put your own twist on it! I’m begging – can we draw plans for it? I’d be so honored! Ana

    • Melissa says

      Ana, I would be unbelievably honored for you to draw plans up for it!! Your site is an amazing inspiration, just let me know what you need from me! ~Melissa melissa at thehappierhomemaker dot com

  7. Wendy says

    What a gorgeous table! Love it. I have few questions. 1. Where did you get the turnbuckle? Is it something I can pick up a Lowes or will it need to be ordered online? 2. How weatherproof is the finish? I’d like to put this outside (I don’t have a covered area). Is there something I should use besides Poly? Or do you think that will be enough? Thanks for helping! Again love, love, love it.

    • Melissa Riker says

      We got the two turnbuckles at Lowes-the rods are int he hardware aisle and the turnbuckles are over near the hooks, etc (one aisle over in our store). We had to improvise and use two hooked together because to have a single turnbuckle you need left hand threaded rod and those are special order (and we’re not that patient!). We bought two normal threaded rods, and two turnbuckles and linked the two turnbuckles in the middle.

    • Melissa Riker says

      Oops Wendy, I forgot to answer about the weatherproofing. First, I’m no expert but we decided to use outdoor treated wood, then I used outdoor graded stain and polyurethane to finish it. There is a neat tool here you can use it may help:

  8. babysteps says

    I looked at all your photos before clicking the link to the Pottery Barn inspiration table. Your table makes PB’s table look ugly! You do beautiful work!

    • Melissa Riker says

      Awww! You just made my evening, my husband is going to be so excited to read that, it was really his labor of love! Thanks so much!

    • Melissa Riker says

      Hey Tim, I totally missed that part of her question! I will say that I’m no expert, learning as I go, but we used treated lumber and I used outdoor stain and polyurethane to finish it. Ours is under a covered porch as well so it really is not directly exposed to the weather.

  9. venessa says

    Can you give me the dimensions (length and size) of the threaded rods and turnbuckles? Thanks. I am so excited to build this.

    • Melissa Riker says

      Vanessa I believe they were 3/16″ by 36″. My husband cut them down to the length we needed. You can work with whatever your hardware store has as far as width, just make sure you get the corresponding nuts and washers.

    • Melissa Riker says

      Sorry forgot about the turnbuckles. They are six inch. It was the only size our store had two in stock for.

  10. says

    Your table looks great! I’m building one as well and right as I start finalizing plans, Ana puts yours on her site. I love the look of the turnbuckles underneath, but am trying to figure out how to determine the length and how they’re attached.

    • Melissa Riker says

      Hi Brandi,
      The turnbuckles come in various lengths, we chose two about 6″ long each. The threaded rods came 36″ long. To install the hardware my husband drilled a hole through the center of the leg brace on each side just a bit larger than the diameter of the threaded rods. He then inserted one end of each threaded rod into a turnbuckle and fed the unhooked end through the hole in the wood. He hooked the turnbuckels together in the center then used a hacksaw to cut off the excess length of threaded rod. A washer (we made out of a scrap license plate) and a bolt hold it in place on the outside of the wood.

      I hope that helps, if you have anymore questions please let me know!


  11. pearl says

    Very beautiful table, I would like to build one too but I highly doubt I could get my hubby to help, he is always working too. :-(

  12. Warren says

    Love the idea. I’m going to try and make it into a kitchen island. Maybe add a shelf halfway between the turnbuckle and top of table.

  13. Wei says

    This is a fabulous project! You guys are awesome! Do you mind to tell my where to buy the hardware and how to install them? I really want to make this!

  14. Wei says

    This is a fabulous project! You guys are awesome! Do you mind to tell my where to buy the hardware and how to install them? I really want to make this! Thank you!

  15. Beth says

    I agree with so many others here, your table looks much nicer than PB. We bought supplies tonight and will be starting this first thing in the morning! Thanks to you and Ana fort the inspirations

  16. phillip says

    i just finished building my farmhouse table in red cedar. now i am looking for the turnbuckle system. could you tell me where you bought yours please?

  17. says

    Great project. I would love to make this as an outdoor table but I would need to store it for winter. Would it be possible to put hinges on the legs so they would fold in? I think it would be cool if say one side/set of legs laid just on top of the the other. I don’t know if they could lay flat. More than likely to achieve that the legs would need to be shortened and that would not be good. Thank you for all the great ideas.


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