My “New” Farmhouse Table

I feel like my house became a real farmhouse today. We live on a farm, so that seems like a pretty silly thing to say! We raise sheep for meat, have chickens for eggs and meat, and grow a garden capable of producing all the produce that we need. We even have a tractor! Doesn’t the fact that my house is on our farm make it a farmhouse? But my home is new and I feel like it lacks a lot of farmhouse charm. When I look around inside, I have plenty of things that would make my home feel like a farmhouse: cast iron on display, a wood stove, my Grandma’s antique dresser, and quilts on the beds. But today, my home actually feels like a farmhouse to me. My farmhouse table and benches are complete and sitting in my dining room! They were custom made for me by my dad.

chicken-house-barn2It was definitely a labor of love. He enjoys building and working with wood, but I think even he would admit that the project was labor intensive and time consuming. He used all reclaimed lumber from an old chicken house on our property. The building is beyond repair with caved in walls and holes in the roof. We use part of it for storage, but we often take advantage of the rest for extra building materials. Its walls yielded some very old and weathered oak and pine boards. They certainly didn’t look like much when they were pulled off the walls. They were full of rusting hardware. If I had not seen them in that state, I would not have believed that my beautiful table was once rough, weathered, and warped boards.

reclaimed-lumberMy dad diligently pried out numerous nails, hooks, and even some chains. Some were deeply embedded in the wood. He cut the boards to size and decided which ones could work together. This was pretty difficult because many of the boards were broken and the edges had to be trimmed off. He fitted and glued them together, trying to make them as straight as possible. He drilled out the nail holes and inserted small homemade dowels to fill them. Then there was the endless sanding. Wow! There was a lot of sanding!

farmhouse-table3When the table and bench surfaces were finally flat and even, I got to choose my own custom finish. My dad decided to use a homemade stain that he made himself from steel wool soaked in vinegar. I think it gives the oak a slightly purplish undertone. The different woods took the stain differently and the result is a somewhat multicolored surface with shades of caramel, charcoal, warm gray, and dark purple. A clear polyurethane finish was applied after the stain, giving it a shiny high-gloss finish. The polyurethane smoothed over some of the imperfections in the wood, but I really like the fact that it is not perfectly smooth. It has a few slight dips and small nicks and grooves created by its previous life. They give it so much character.

A farmhouse table is such a classic piece of furniture. I am confident that I will never grow tired of it. I can see my grandchildren sitting around it in years to come. Building with new wood could have certainly been easier, but it would not have the charm of my table. Its imperfections and varying colors are so beautiful. Its knots and dowel filled nail holes give it so much character. And it makes my little house finally feel like a farmhouse to me. Thank you dad!


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About JaimieB

Jaimie lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead known online as An American Homestead. They live with their two sons and her parents Tim and Joann on 50 acres located deep in the American Ozark Mountains.

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  1. Beautiful table and well written article. Enjoyed seeing this masterpiece. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful, Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  3. Jaime,
    What a lovely table your dad made. You will treasure it for years to come. I have a small wall shelf my daddy made for me over 25 years ago from reclaimed wood. I love that little shelf with all its imperfections and nail holes. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

    Enjoy your real farmhouse!

  4. Very nice table. It is great to make things from recycled lumber. Fine job of building and it looks beautiful.

  5. Oh that is so pretty. You are greatly blessed.

  6. The table is PERFECT!! Love the grain, the colors, the character. What a treasure and God Bless Dad for the love, care and sweat he gave to make this gift for your whole family. Generations to come will share prayer, meals and memories together around your beautiful table. A stunning masterpiece! Thank for allowing me into your home.

  7. I love this. I can’t wait to see it in person sometime. 🙂 Miss you!

  8. This table was obviously made with MUCH love and is absolutely gorgeous! What a great place to gather at during shabbat meals!

  9. That table is just absolutely beautiful! Your dad did such an amazing job! Who wouldn’t love to have a table like that in their kitchen? You are very blessed to have a father who would put all that work into a table for you!

  10. You have wonderful men in your life. Your daddy is a treasure with his many labors of love. My father and husband have both built or given me pieces of furniture and other homesteading items that have been a joy though the years. My husband built my pie safe when I was expecting our first child 29 years ago. The time has flown, but my appreciation still remains.

  11. My family is still using a table my dad made in 1943. No doubt your family will be using this table in 2086!

    Just imagine the living that is done around a table like this over the course of 71 years.

    Kudos to your dad for all his loving work!


  12. I have been married 47 years to a carpenter. My husband has built our homes, most all our furniture, then furnishings and gifts for our children, parents, grandchildren and extended family and friends. We treasure every single piece. There is nothing more beautiful in my home than our farmtable. Worn around the edges where so many of us sat for meals, holidays and daily use. Homework, cookie baking, pie making, quilting and learning to sew, discussions and family councils, meetings, school and home projects, wedding showers, baby showers and early morning scripture study with local high school students before school started. All have been done around our farm table. Some of those people are passed and grandchildren have replaced great grandparents. Friends have come and gone but all their hands have laid on this table with love and tender regard for each other. It is a treasured gift from my husband. May your table see such happy memories.

  13. A table is certainly the first piece of furniture any couple should have. It represents hospitality, a giving and sharing way of life.
    It represents family. A kitchen is the heart of the home. Wow, Jamie! What a treasure of a dad. What a loving work of art.
    Enjoy your cozy winter meals together in your lovely farm house kitchen.
    I can just see Grandmas desserts on that table on Sundays.

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