Build a multi-purpose DIY Farmhouse Table with a reverse drop leaf serving two purposes: Large, console table to Rustic Dining Table with seating for ten!
We recently made over our formal dining room into a multi-purpose room. We wanted to design a space incorporating both a formal room and a playroom for our kids. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to use multi-purpose furniture. We wanted a large, rustic dining table able to accommodate our family on holidays and other special occasions but wanted the table to be out of the way the majority of the time leaving more space for play. In other words, a console table that can flip out into a full-sized dining table. A DIY Farmhouse Table with a reverse Drop Leaf was precisely what we needed and is now one of our favorite furniture DIYS!
Few plans fit our requirements, especially with drop leaves. However, I found inspiration in a table made by Coldren Design and came across Ana White’s 4×4 Truss Beam Table plans which we used for the base. With a bit of adjustment, we built the table of our dreams; A trestle-based, reverse drop-leaf leaf DIY Farmhouse Table with recessed, exposed hinges.
Our modifications included extending the length to 8.5′ and changing out the top for something more multi-purpose. We followed the plan until step 4 then did a hard right turn in our direction! That’s where we’ll be focusing today – Let’s get started!
How to Build a DIY Farmhouse Table with a Reverse Drop Leaf
BUILD THE BASE
First, we built the table base. We extended the length and reduced the width to 8.5′ long and 22″ wide in the center. Finally, we swapped out the apron boards for 4x4s to allow us to notch out areas for the brackets.
I purchased all the wood for the base from Home Depot. After making your cuts, use between 100 and 220 grit sandpaper to give all parts a thorough sanding.
We built the table base as instructed to step 2. Instead of attaching the side apron boards 3 3/4″ in, we connected them right to the base edges, squaring up the corners, providing the folded down sides a stable surface.
We painted the table base in a similar fashion to this console table, followed by a dark glaze to “age” the finish and give dimension. If you’ve never used glaze, it’s a semi-transparent finish you brush on and wipe off, letting the color or finish sink into the grooves. Here it is before I’ve removed the excess. The glaze I used also contained a top coat, saving me a ton of time!
CREATE SUPPORT FOR FOLD-OUT SIDES
On each side, we added 3 10/16″x 1 1/2″ notches along the outer runner starting 8″ in from each end, and then every 17 1/4″. In total, there are five notches on each side.
To support the fold-out sides of the table, we created ten pull-out brackets from 2x4s, 9″ in length. After cutting, we sanded each piece and fit them to the notches, ensuring the brackets would slide smoothly in and out.
For stoppers – we don’t want the brackets falling through – We screwed 2.5″ 2″x1/4″ pieces of poplar to one end of each bracket, leaving the screw loose enough to allow the stopper piece to turn.
ALL ABOUT THE TABLE TOP(s)
Next, we created the table tops. The tops are made up of three sections; The center section measures at 22″x8.5′ and the two side sections measure at 11″x8.5′. We attached the breadboards using pocket holes and screws on the center-piece, but because the undersides will be visible when the table is in console mode, we used a biscuit joiner to attach the breadboards on either end and also used a pocket hole that we later filled for extra support.
To add character we “aged” the tabletop pieces using a plethora of tools and a hammer, leaving impressions in the wood behind. Large nails, screws, a circular saw blade, and a sharp whack of a hammer add distressed character to the table.
Lining up the three sections on a flat surface – we used the floor – we marked and notched out the placement for each hinge – 19″ in from each end and 21″ in there on for a total of 4-hinges on each side.
STAINING THE TOPS
I used a wood pre-conditioner before staining (to avoid blotchiness) following the manufacturer outlined directions. I stained the table to match the top of the built-in china cabinet, using Rustoleum’s Aged Oak Gel Stain. After staining, I used about four coats of Minwax’s Wipe-on poly over-top.
5 ASSEMBLE THE TABLE
I would recommend assembling the table in place – this table is H.E.A.V.Y and took two grown men to move it around the maze of doorways in our home. We lined the tabletop pieces up on the floor joining them together with the hinges.
The entire top went on the base before securing, with the sides closed. Mounting the center top first, we fastened it down with 4″ screws from the bottom of the table.
Finally, I inserted the brackets into the grooves to ensure a proper fit. In most cases I had to do a bit more sanding to the tops and sides of the brackets, allowing them to move in and out smoothly.
And, with that…
This table couldn’t be more perfect for the dining/playroom. It’s exactly the design we hoped for! The right size for large family gatherings where we’re all together, it moves completely out of the way during play time and acts as a large console table, ideal for lego building and other activities. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!
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