How to Make Your Dining Table Bigger
Make Your Family Dining Table Grow with Your Family for Under $100!
I remember we bought our six-foot pine table when our first child was born. It seemed enormous to us! Two young people and a tiny baby, why did we buy so big?
Well, roll on another sixteen years and not only are there more kids, but they are huge and their friends are huge, and quite frankly, that enormous six-foot table became way too small!
I looked into new tables. But with three active boys, I didn't want something so fine that I'd always be fretting about glass marks, spills and scratches. I also didn't particularly want to drop grand or two on a piece of furniture.
So keep reading. Because here is a solution for a beautiful new table that is so easy and inexpensive, it's just ridiculous!
It's Easy to Make Your Existing Table Bigger with a 4'x8' Board
Simply overlay your existing table with a larger board that has an attractive veneer on one face (this is birch). Stain and gloss the top to match the existing legs (or stain and gloss the legs too like we did). The entire project including stain and gloss came in under $100, plus a few hours of my time. Five years down the road, it's still serving us well. And we have not outgrown it!
- 1 4'x8' plywood board (with veneer on one side)
- 4 lengths of wood, each 1"x1"x 2' long
- 2 short pieces of wood, 4"x1"x1"
- 2 2" nails
- wood edging tape (see link below)
- wood glue
- wood stain and wood gloss of your choice
Here Are the How-To Nuts and Bolts:
- Choose how large you want your table to be (keep in mind that it must work proportionally with your existing table's legs). The boards are sold 4'x8', but you can ask to have it cut down if you want smaller. IMPORTANT: You must get a board that has a veneer (such as birch) on one side.
- Now take your 4 2' lengths of wood and glue them to the underside (non-veneer side) of your board in an open rectangle so that when the board is laid on top of the table, the table will fit reasonably snugly (doesn't have to be a tight fit, a little space OK) to prevent slippage. Measure carefully because you want it set on straight. (see diagram at right)
- Take the two 2" nails and nail the two 4" struts to the center of each of the two long struts running along the two longer edges of the board (see diagram at right). This will allow you to pivot each small strut and "lock" the board onto the table so that it cannot be tipped up accidentally. You will need to look carefully at your own table and think this through, making any adjustments necessary as every table is different.
- Place the board on the table, veneer side up and measure the total edge of your board. Apply the wood edging tape, following the manufacturer's directions. (This is usually a process that involves ironing on the tape in order to dissolve the pre-applied adhesive.)
- Transform your board and its new wood trim with a beautiful wood stain of your choosing. Again keep in mind the look and color of the existing table's legs. Can you stain those to match? We did! When you are happy with the color, finish it with two coats of polyurethane, gloss or semi-gloss, again your choice of finish. (You can also buy stain and gloss all in one to save time.)
This table topper helped our family meals go from cramped and crowded to spacious and relaxed (ha, just kidding, what family mealtime was ever relaxed?!). Plus, because it was so inexpensive, I didn't care whether hot dishes or wet glasses were put on it. Even now after five years, it shows few signs of wear.