In order for our front patio to become the stylish outdoor space it had the potential to be, it needed a dining table. I wanted something easy to make and move, yet still sleek and modern. The table we designed and built was just that!
My new apartment has this spacious front patio that looks onto the communal dog park and the first thing I thought of was outdoor dining area! All we needed were some chairs and a new dining table. Tables can be pricey and the ones that are more affordable tend not to be the best quality, so I knew this had to be a DIY. I wanted something that looked modern and professionally built, but mostly I needed this project to be simple and easily movable as I am renting and will most likely move again. What was the solution? A dining table comprised of four main pieces: three pieces of plywood for the legs and table top and one large wood beam underneath for structure and support.
 3/4”x 4’x8’ Sheathing Plywood
 4”x4” Wood Post
 1 1/2” Wood Screws
Power Sander and/or Sandpaper
Small bucket of paint (color of your choice)
Spray on Water Seal
When buying the wood pieces, ask your local hardware supply store to cut the plywood and wood beam to the specific dimensions of the table. Usually the first 2 cuts are free and then every cut after that is around 50 cents. The workers that helped us didn’t charge us for the additional cuts, so hopefully you will get lucky too! These are the dimensions you will need for the table:
After all your pieces are cut, it is time to sand the plywood and beam. I used a power sander because it is a major time saver. I wanted to sand all the faces of each piece because they were a yellow color, and I wanted it to be a white wood color. After sanding for a while I was able to achieve the look I wanted. Also, this prevents people from getting splinters when eating at your table! If you don’t have a power sander, you can just use sand paper, you’ll get the same results but it will just take a little longer. The power sander I bought was around $30, so I decided to invest in it because I plan on doing more wood projects in the future. If you plan on doing so as well then I highly recommend investing in a power sander, but if you don’t, sand paper will work just fine.
Next, I painted the inside of the table legs and the bottom side of the table top with my color of choice, which was a deep royal blue. I think this just added a graphic, modern element to the table. You can use any color of your choice to make it your own. I also chose the “least pretty” sides of the wood to paint over so that any unsightly knots or scratches would be hidden. After painting, let dry overnight.
When the paint is nice and dry, assembly can begin! First I used 4 of the wood screws to attach the wood beam to one of the 32”x30” pieces, or table legs. The table leg is going to be 30” tall and 32” wide. At this point it might be useful to have someone to help in the process. You want the wood beam to be centered and flush against the top of the leg. This piece will connect the table top and legs all together. For this portion, my boyfriend and I used our AC unit to hold up the beam as we drilled the table leg to it. You can use a chair, table, or anything else that will make the beam reach the 30” table height.
I drilled 2 screws 1 inch from the top of the plywood and another 2 screws 1 inch from the bottom of the beam. It’s helpful to draw the outline of where the beam is being placed on the face of the plywood so you can measure where to drill, you can erase or sand off the pencil marks afterwards. Make sure to drill the screw in a bit deeper, so the head of screw sits just below the surface of the wood. We will come back to this after the table is all put together. Repeat this step for the other table leg.
Next I attached the table top to the legs and wood beam. You will need 3 screws for each side. With the table legs standing upright, place the last wood piece on top to form the table top. Drill the screws along the edge on the table top into the table legs. Two screws should be near each of the corners of the table top. The center screw should be inset 2 inches from the edge of the table top to ensure it attaches to the beam securely, and to avoid hitting the screws already drilled into the side. Again, make sure to drill the screws so that the heads are just below the surface of the wood.
Now the table is all assembled! Just for the finishing touches. I used the wood putty to cover all of the screw heads to hide the connections. After placing the putty in the holes, sand down and spray the water seal all over the table. Follow the directions on the can for best results and let the seal dry overnight. Now it’s all done!
This table took only a weekend to build and it is exactly what I wanted. It looks great and is light and easy to move. My boyfriend and I love eating outside on our brand new table and the best part is knowing that we built this together from scratch. I hope you’ll love this table as much as I do, and maybe create something of your own! XO