Makeover - A Dining Table Made From Scaffold Boards

June 07, 2017

If you're a long term reader of this blog you'll know that my husband and I have a bit of a thing for upcycling things for our house project, especially scaffold boards. Our dining table in our last house was made out of scaffold boards and singer sewing machine stands {post here} which I loved but it wasn't quite right for this new kitchen. When it came to choosing a new table for in here, it seemed crazy to spend £££ when Ben could make one. We wanted as bigger table as we could fit for big Christmas family gatherings but also as a place to work, a place to eat, a place to gather around. Again, we've used scaffold boards but with a slightly different look. A bit less rough around the edges this time, more French vintage in feel than industrial. I've had some lovely messages from some of you on Instagram asking for a DIY tutorial so I've asked Ben to give some tips below;

For our last table we used reclaimed scaffold boards from a timber yard, but this time we decided to go for new scaffold boards purchased from a local builders merchant. We didn't want them too distressed this time. We purchased them in 13ft lengths and they were about £13 a board.

First up we decided how big to make the table. We're lucky in that the new extension is fairly spacious so we set out the singer stands {which we were originally planning to use as the table base} and tried to work out the space. We decided on 5 boards wide and 8ft long which would seat around 10 comfortably {12 at a push for Christmas}.

Next was sanding the boards using a belt sander to smooth them off.

You can see the colour difference as they get lighter from more sanding. 

We had one more quick size check with the chairs we'd bought in situ. We decided on these Eames replica Eiffel style chairs which were a bargain at £80 for 4 online here which I highly recommend. They're easy to clean, great value and there are loads of colours available in them if you want something other than white online here and they look good mixed and matched. They come part assembled so you just have screw the legs on.

With all the boards decided on size wise, Ben cut them to length {we decided not to go for the metal bands on the end of them although you could leave these on if you prefer a more industrial look}.

Ben cut the end of the boards at a 45 degree angle with a mitre to allow him to put another piece of timber on the end to minimise the end grain on show. It makes it look a bit more refined and French.

You can see this more clearly in the photo above. The above shows the prep for mounting onto the Singer stands with the cross pieces and also used for fixing the boards together. The boards got screwed together by screwing down through this support piece.

Another sanding to get them a bit smoother and take out any variation in levels. Again a belt sander was used.

To start with the boards were tightly fitted together without any gaps but when brought inside the boards have shrunk and separated slightly so there are gaps down the joins which we actually prefer the look of to make it look older. However if you want smaller gaps then it would be advisable to store the boards inside in the room they're going in to allow the moisture content to settle for a couple of weeks.

Next, the colour. The boards are pine and when sanded back they look very light and plain. Some people might like this look but I think it looks a bit too light/basic. Getting the colour right is such trial and error. On our last table we used a stain and some yacht varnish to darken them down. Getting them dark is quite easy with a number of wood stains you can use {walnut etc} but for this project I wanted more of a limed oak kind of look. 

To get an aged look Ben rubbed soil into the boards {yes just regular garden soil!} which brings out the grain a bit. Again, it is all trial and error and if you don't like something it can always be sanded back again.

In the end, we got our final colour {which is almost a bit smoky grey} by using this liming wax which I picked up from B&Q but have since found a lot cheaper online here. Ben mixed in a bit of soil and some of this wax using a cloth and rubbed it into the boards until we got the colour we wanted. There are so many different stains/waxes/varnishes/oils on the market that claim to be a whitewash/lime wash so again it really is trial and error but we were happy with this method.

When the top was lifted in though with the singer stands it just didn't seem to work in the kitchen. I realised that it looked a bit too industrial and just didn't feel right having such an open bit on the end. Also we realised that whilst we love the Singer stands, people would hit their legs on them when sitting and it made the table less flexible for chairs. 

It was dark and late but we suddenly remembered we had a set of vintage table legs in our shed from a previous project which when we held them up to the table top looked so much more the style we were after. 

So we decided to use the singer stands for a future greenhouse table and use the vintage looking legs instead. It felt more traditional and suited the kitchen more.

But fundamentally the size and colour was right so I fell in love with it!

It actually looked quite cool, I thought, with both legs and the singer stands ha! I was so happy to have a table again in this space we've been dreaming about for months. Especially with the doors open and the sun streaming in.

So onto making the legs as a base. Ben used the old table legs we had in our shed, they came with the corner metal brackets in the photo above so we had to work out the overhang we wanted. And then cut two end pieces and two side pieces to the right length. Our particular brackets then needed a channel cutting for the metal to go into. We then screwed the brackets to the end and side pieces and then put little wooden blocks to fix the legs to the table.

Ben also put some metal brackets as an extra strengthener.

The legs were all chippy paint and cream which I loved, the brace surrounding pieces were new bits of pine wood so we used this Annie Sloan chalk paint in Ochre, similar to this to match them in with the legs. 

Third time lucky, she was in! To protect the colour of the table and make it easy to wipe down etc without it coming off we finished it off with this wax.

When I see these photos of it, and looking at the top as I type this it's crazy to think it was just the plainest barest board of wood that in the end looks more like French limed wood.

I mean, it's not perfect but it's just what I had pictured and cost probably less than £100 total which for a table this size is unthinkable in a shop.

I really love it. I think we may think about repainting the legs/base to a dark colour in the future to ground it a bit. I'm going to wait until we've got all of our artwork on the walls and some extra bits like wooden chairs at the end of the table {I'm going to look at some antique shops/markets} plus a rug or something first and then see if we need to change the legs at all. In time I may replace the chairs with a mix of antique finds but for now these are great. 

I do wonder if the table top gets lost a bit with the floor so I may add a runner but I just really didn't want to add dark wood in here as I wanted to keep it all as light as possible.

Pom-Pom napkin of dreams from House of Brissi here.

I took these photos in the bad rainy light yesterday when the whole kitchen got turned into a building site again because the guys couldn't use the tools outside! But you get the idea. More photos of the whole kitchen to come once it's a bit more finished.

I'm so happy to have a table to work at again and fill with flowers!

We'll hang this pendant light above the table once we've decided on the final position of it all this weekend.

And I really need to decide on some artwork to put up. It's all looking a little plain apart from the pretty blooms!

You can find scaffold boards at a local builders merchants or look on Ebay here.
The liming wax we used is here. The finishing wax we used is online here.
Our chairs are online here.

Hope this has helped! A lot of you have told me that you're going to show this to your other halves, I think as long as you have some kind of DIY basis you should be fine! Let me know how you get on.

P.S. More scaffold board upcycling inspiration with a post on necklace holder here and kitchen shelves here.

R <3 xx

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  1. I think your new table is wonderful. I would love a table like that and to think it's handmade and probably cost a fraction of a store bought version. Brilliant! I can imagine you will have many years of enjoyment from it.

  2. An innovative way to upgrade your bathroom with beautiful angel bathtubs.

  3. I found it interesting how your notes only focus on website..
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  4. Just wondering how you attached the legs to the table itself before adding the frame?

  5. Hey! Just wondering if you used heat treated scaffold boards, or whether they were 'green'? Gonna make one for myself in a few weeks' time!



  6. Thank you for a great tutorial on making the table from scaffold boards - just what I was looking for - now to get the other half to make one after we get an extension done first!


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