Chez Newb: Harvest Table Gets An Industrial Makeover

Three years ago when my husband’s grandmother moved, she handed down her handmade harvest table to us. We love that it was made by Nick’s grandfather and it was so nice to have something with history in our house.

dining room wide

BEFORE: The dining room table as it was originally given to us.

It’s a great size for our small dining room. The only problem is that the way the table legs were positioned, it could only seat four people (you can see that the chairs aren’t actually pushed in for this photo…we had to hover outside the tabletop if we wanted to seat more than four people). It would be fine if we never had company, but not terribly practical otherwise. Sadly the table’s stain had seen better days too. I blame our son who’s not old enough to read and rat me out yet…shhh. ;-) So we wanted to re-build the legs to seat more people and needed to re-finish the whole table.

Well, fast-forward to September when Lowes Canada published plans on their web site for building a pipe-frame harvest table completely from scratch.


I knew it would be easy to convince Nick to tackle this project. Nick loves furniture made from industrial materials (he made a media stand out of the same pipes a few years ago) and we both loved the idea that we could refinish the table without worrying about re-building the legs to make them look original. So Nick went out that day and bought the materials.

It really was a quick project that took us awhile to finish. What slowed us down was the arrival of our sweet little newborn Nate. Not a bad thing to wait for if you ask me! I mention the timeline because I encourage you to give it a try if this is a table style you like. Making the pipe base took Nick an hour, maybe? The biggest portion of our time was spent sanding down our existing table top, then re-finishing it with stain and varnish. If you were to build the bench and the wood tops it would certainly add time, but it wouldn’t be difficult at all.

Here’s a quick photo re-cap of how it all went down.

Since we already had the tabletop, we just needed the lengths of pipe, elbows and other attachments.

newberry sykes harvest pipe frame dining table 6


Obviously a pair of goggles were required.

newberry sykes harvest pipe frame dining table 7

Nick put the pieces together & lined it up to match our existing table top. Buying the pre-cut lengths of pipe was an amazing time saver. For previous projects Nick had to have the store cut the lengths of pipe and that can take forever….okay, maybe that time is exaggerated, but when you are on a weekend timeline, a few hours spent waiting in a store is a huge time glut. So yah, we were so pumped when we learned that Lowes precuts their lengths of pipe. {Dancing in the aisles.}dining room table pipe frame legs

Once the base was built, I spray painted the legs in an amazing shiny cobalt from Rustoleum.

dining room table pipe frame legs spray painted copy

We both took turns sanding the tabletop down to the raw wood you can see below. Then we got to staining and protecting. We’re still on the fence as to whether the finish will hold up against our family. We may need to add a few more coats of varnish, or potentially a coat of epoxy, like what they use on the wood counters in bars. dining room table finishing supplies copyAnd ready for the final reveal? Here it is:

newberry sykes harvest pipe frame dining table 3

We chose Golden Oak for the stain colour. Of course I had immediately thought we needed a driftwood grey coloured stain (because I’m grey crazy). But when we looked at the room we knew that a warm wood would be the perfect finish for the table. It looks rustic and natural, but also highly polished and industrial at the same time. newberry sykes harvest pipe frame dining table 2

The colour is a bit off in this picture since I’m taking the picture at the window and in a room that has very little natural light. But you can also see that I broke out the paint roller again and got myself an insanely gorgeous charcoal accent wall. I’ll try to get a better picture of the wall once a few last kitchen projects are completed.newberry sykes harvest pipe frame dining table 4 newberry sykes harvest pipe frame dining table 5 newberry sykes harvest pipe frame dining table 1We are so happy with the change. Not only is it so much more functional, it looks so much more loved. The wood glows (nope, that has nothing to do with the love ;-)) and is so incredibly smooth. We really worried about changing the table at first. We wondered if our family would be upset that we changed a cherished memory of Nick’s grand-father. But now looking at it, we know we made the right decision. It’s 100% our style and we know that’s what a family heirloom should be.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has tackled plans like this before. Have you built your own furniture? Refinished a dining set? How about ruined an heirloom and are now living in family disgrace? ;-) I hope not!






17 Comments on Chez Newb: Harvest Table Gets An Industrial Makeover

  1. alison
    October 15, 2014 at 12:51 pm (3 years ago)

    stunning make over!!.. love it

    • Meredith
      October 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Alison! :)

  2. Susan Sykes
    October 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm (3 years ago)

    Perfect choice for the stain colour, and I love that you’ve jumped on the accent wall bandwagon! It all looks amazing!!!

    • Meredith
      October 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Sue! I am totally on the accent wall wagon now…so much so that I’m struggling whether to do one in the living room now. Is too much of a good thing, well, too much? Or maybe it’s all about balance? Time will soon tell whether I’m ready to roll (paint wise) again :)

  3. Sonia
    October 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm (3 years ago)

    WOW…first of all, *love* the updated table. Second of all, you are a top SUPERMOM in my books for tackling this kind of thing with a newborn baby on your hands! Amazing! Keep it up, my designer friend! xoxo

    • Meredith
      October 15, 2014 at 2:53 pm (3 years ago)

      Well Sonia, I love your books! But I’m definitely not Supermom. Superdad is the super hero for this one. I merely took a baby break to throw some paint down every now and then…and that was kind of nice ;) Nick tackled this one with a bit of cheering from me and the boys on the side lines. Thanks for the sweet comment :) xo

  4. Lisa Goulet
    October 16, 2014 at 2:36 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow I love it. What a fabulous transformation! I also am lusting over that dark charcoal wall. The tabletop stain colour is perfect against it.
    I have done tons of furniture transformation as I’m sure you are aware. I haven’t completely blotched anything….Yet!

  5. Michelle @ Eamonn & Jack
    October 16, 2014 at 3:48 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow! The table looks amazing! I’m also loving the dark accent wall – can’t wait to see more!

  6. Lara
    October 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm (3 years ago)

    It looks beautiful! I absolutely love the shiny cobalt paint for the legs. I would never have thought of painting those silver pipe fittings! Three thumbs up! (Wait, I don’t have three thumbs…where did that other thumb come from?)

  7. Anne
    October 17, 2014 at 7:27 am (3 years ago)

    Awwwww… this is gorgeous Mere! Doe would love it too! No worries about family approval. You have it in spades!!!To think it meant so much to you and Nick to design and update a family treasure is heart warming. Thank you for sharing this special project. oxox

  8. Katie
    October 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm (3 years ago)

    This looks so cool! The history makes it even better.

  9. Merry120
    October 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm (3 years ago)

    Gorgeous! Love the new look while keeping the table that your grandfather-in-law built.

  10. Meagan
    October 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Love that harvest table. If only I didn’t love the table I already have….

  11. Jo-Anna
    October 21, 2014 at 7:50 pm (3 years ago)

    What a beautiful makeover! I absolutely love the look of the pipe!

  12. Erin
    October 22, 2014 at 12:48 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow! Love it. What a great idea and a great tutorial too! The look of this table in your dining room is perfect :)


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