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DIY Dining Table for a Small Apartment

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DIY Dining Table for a Small Apartment

Annie Butler

DIY Kitchen Table

Small apartment life! As you may know I recently moved to San Francisco and my studio apartment is pretty little. How small? 300some square feet (in SF it's apparently illegal for rental companies to reveal the actual size, so I don't know the real measurements. Weird). 

In this small space I have some uniquely sized walls to work with. I knew I wanted a real dining table, but I couldn't find what I wanted on craigslist. Especially one that fit my one free wall. Luckily, my sister Claire recently built her own kitchen table and inspired me to do the same :D

I bought two pine wood common boards at the Discount Builder's Supply Store. On a side note, the hardware stores here have everything you could ever need: hand soap, frying pans, water bottles, coffee grinders, baking dishes, toilet cleaner, humidifiers and fans. I don't know why, but I find this so unique. Anyway, they cut the boards to exactly the size I needed. I used wood glue to sandwich these together so I could have a nice thick table top. I chose the prettiest side (top) and faced it down on the ground. On the "uglier" side (bottom), I screwed 30 wood screws in four rows down the length for extra wood glue support. With 4 C-clamps I clamped the two glued boards together for 48 hours. 

After two days I removed the clamps and sanded the whole thing down using 3 grains of sand paper working from coarsest (100 grit) to finest (220). I bought four really cheap adjustable desk legs from Ikea and screwed those to the bottom of my table top, stood it up and added 1 coat of Ebony stain. It sat for about 7 minutes before I wiped the excess off with a clean towel and let it dry overnight. Next, I added three coats of matte polyurethane over the course of two days, sanding lightly in between. Finally, I applied a wood conditioner and let it dry for 20 minutes and my table was complete!

I moved into my apartment three months ago and, til this point, have been eating all my meals in bed or picnic style on the floor -- the former was becoming a not so great habit, and the ladder tends to hurt my bum. I might be biased but I LOVE MY TABLE. All in all, it took five days to complete and I was able to do the whole thing (even the polyurethane) in my tiny apartment (with the windows open).

2 one inch pine boards: $80
Wood Glue: had
4 C-clamps: had
30 1.25 inch wood screws: $8(ish)
4 Ikea legs: $16
1 multi pack sandpaper: $3
1 goat hair brush: $7
1 can Ebony Stain: $8
1 can Matte Polyurethane: $11
Wood Conditioner: borrowed from my sister :D
Total cost: $133

DIY Kitchen Table
DIY Kitchen Table

Wanna see what it looked like before the stain? Just peek underneath the table ;D Someday when I don't need a dining option for multiple days I might take the legs off and stain it. Maybe. p.s. don't mind my messy apartment! Usually I try to push my disorganization out of the picture frame, but, whatevz. Welcome to my real life :)

DIY Kitchen Table

Photos: Nikond3200 / Edits: VSCO filters for lightroom