Replace it or Plank it!
A couple of years ago, I was visiting my favorite old Barn where my friend Annette has beautiful treasures including the occasional load of reclaimed wood. This particular day I saw these gorgeous barn wood planks leaning against the side of her barn. I asked if they were for sale and she said yes! They had just arrived from a local man that was dismantling an old barn. I fancied these especially because they were almost 12 inches wide and around nine feet long. I envisioned these to be perfect for planking our current trestle style table. Our current table we purchased from American Signature Furniture when we first moved in our house in 2005. Its funny because this was apart of their "Farmhouse line." I always loved the size and style of this table but I desired a more rustic look to the top. (I once painted it white, and we decided pretty quickly it wasn't the look we were going for, especially with boys.)
First, I took the haul of barn wood home and began pulling out nails, then came the cleaning, sanding, and laying out the design. I realized I would have to piece a few of the boards together to create a complete top. I also cut two small boards to serve as bread boards for each end.
There are several ways to do this, and I know that some woodworking professionals might cringe at my way, but it worked for me with minimal tools. I didn't own several that would have been useful at the time. (a planer, and a table saw would've been helpful) Instead, I used my circular saw, orbital sander, wood glue, and Airstrike brad nailer.
I like the rustic, imperfect look so these imperfections don't bother me, but keep these things in mind if it might be an issue for you.
After laying out the boards on the table, I used wood glue and the nail gun to attach the boards directly to the table top. I made sure I would have the same hangover length on each side as I went. When everything was attached, I used slivers of the wood and wedged them in the larger cracks of the table. I applied Varathane Floor sealer to the top to protect the wood. We are going on two years and I think the table top has held up very well. One of the benefits for us, with kids, I'm not concerned about any spills, marks and such. It all adds to the character of the table.
(Speaking of kids, you can see my son photo bombing in this one...) ;)
I hope you enjoyed hearing a little bit more about how our farm table came to be, and that it might inspire you to give your table a new or old look. ;)
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