Everything you need to know on how to make and stain 2″ x 6″ lumber into a DIY large round wood table top using a circular saw. No fancy cuts or other saws needed. Also, learn how to mix stains and paint to get just the right color and aged finish that you want to achieve on the wood.
You may be asking why I wanted a new dining table for my kitchen after I recently made over the top with paint to look like it was made of zinc.
I liked how the zinc finish came out, but really wanted a larger table for when we have more than 4 people at the table.
The table is 46″ round and once you set it with plates, there isn’t a lot of space left for a centerpiece or for serving plates of food.
In my previous home’s dining room, I had a plywood table top extender that went right over the table when we needed to seat more than 6 people. It was a great option to have.
The dining section of my kitchen is 8′ x 10′ so I knew a slightly larger top could work.
My kitchen table has a long history. I bought it for $150 at JC Penneys when we first moved to our Pennsylvania house 27 years ago.
- The table got its first makeover about 10 years later when I stripped the dark finish to make it look raw and whitewashed.
- Then a few years after that I painted the black metal base, white.
- After this I added the bulletin board paper to make the table top look like it was made of wood boards. I really liked this and what I thought would be a temporary covering, ended up lasting almost a year. It also showed me that I like a more rustic top for the table.
- Its last makeover was when I used a faux zinc painting finish on the top.
Why I Like a Round Dining Table
My kitchen dining area is square so a round table works better. I could use a square, but that would add more straight lines and be awkward to walk around. A circular shape is easy to walk around and adds a little shape contrast to all the straight lines in the cabinets and walls.
A round table also makes for better conversation and a great shape when playing board and card games with a group.
I prefer a pedestal base on a round table or a base like mine that is centered, no legs near the edge of the table to get in the way of the chairs or to have to straddle your legs around.
I decided after looking at many new round tables, that I really liked the table base on my table, just not the size of the top anymore. I like that the base doesn’t take up a lot of visual space and you can see through the base, which makes the space appear larger.
Time for me to do a fairly easy DIY woodworking project.
How to Make a Round Wood Table Top Using 2″ x 6″ Pine Boards
The directions to make a round wood table using 2″ x 6″ boards can be made to any diameter. For my directions, I am listing the amount of wood and pocket screws that I needed to make a 60″ diameter round wood table top. Adjust the amount of wood and screws needed for the size table top you want.
If you don’t have an existing table base as I did, one can be easily DIY’ed. See the links below to the round table making videos that I watched to pick up tips on how to make a round wood table top.
After watching the round table making videos below, I decided to follow Knock-Off-Wood’s video using a circular saw and simple DIY jig, but I used 2″ x 6″ boards instead. I didn’t need to add the extra thickness around the outside edge of the table as they did.
DIY Wood Round Table Top Videos to Watch:
- Round Farmhouse Table and Base
- Two Ways to Make a Round Table
- Cutting Out a Round Table Using a Circular Saw
How to Use a Kreg R3 Jig
A Kreg R3 jig greatly simplifies the initial steps in making the table. If you have never heard of this ingenious little tool – here is a video: How to Use a Kreg R3 Jig System
The last time I used my Kreg R3 Jig, I made my framed mirror top coffee table.
For Wood Table Top
- 12 – 2″ x 6″ x 6′ white pine boards – look for boards with fewer knots and that are straight
- Circular saw with wood cutting blade
- Scrap wood to make a simple wood cutting jig – I used a piece of bead board and plywood
- Kreg R3 Pocket Hole Jig
- 100 – 8 x 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws
- Drill and Kreg jig drill bit that comes with the jig
- Wood glue and 1″ wide paint brush
- Marking pen
- Sander and sandpaper with different grits – 80, 100, and 220
- Measuring tape
- Tack cloth
- Safety goggles
For Distressing Wood
- 7-In-One Tool
- Small sections of metal chain, paper clips, saw blades, awl or any item that can leave a dent in the wood
For Stain and Sealer
I used all water-based products since they do not bring out the yellow orange tones in pine.
- Wood stain in the color of your choice – I mixed the colors: Minwax Semi Transparent Color Stain (Enchanted Forest) with Varathane Classic Water-Based Wood Stain (Dark Walnut) in equal measurements to get the color I wanted
- Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
- Glazing liquid
- Acrylic craft paints: Decor Arts Americana (Cobblestone) and Folk Art (Mushroom)
- 2 – 3″ wide paint brushes
- Blue Shop Towels of lint free rags
- Polycrylic in a Matte finish
How to Distress and Age Pine Boards So They Will Look Old
- Lay wood boards on the floor. Placing the better side of each board face up. Even if the better side has the brand marking on it, this will be sanded off later.
2. Put on a pair of safety googles and distress the better side of each board using a variety of items. A hammer, 7-In-One Tool (not pictured), metal chain, wood screw, awl, or any sharp or rough edge item you can find.
3. Lay the chain on a board and whack it with a hammer a few times. Place the wood screw on a section of the board and use your foot to press hard and roll it over the wood in spots. Pick at the wood with an awl to make faux worm holes. Repeat the process in a random way on all the boards.
3. Once each board has been distressed, use a sander with 100 grit sandpaper along the edges of each board to round the edge. Repeat for each board.
How to Assemble a Round Wood Table Top
How to Make Pocket Holes To Attach the Boards
- Flip the boards so the good side that you distressed and sanded is face down.
- Option: Use extra boards along the ends of the boards on the floor on two sides to keep the boards aligned.
2. Make marks with arrows pointing in the direction the pocket holes will be made along each side of each board. Place these about 6″ – 10″ inches apart. There should be an equal amount of pocket holes going in each direction on each board. These will be where you will make the pocket holes where the screws will go in at an angle to attach the boards to each other.
Note: Make sure that you are not going to place a screw where the table will be cut into a circle and that the the boards on the outer edge of the table are the same width on each side for symmetry. If you want to be sure, line up the boards so they are together. Find the center point and mark it.
- Tie a piece of string, half the length of your future table top’s diameter and attach it to a pencil. On the opposite end of the string, use a push pin to attach the string to the center point.
- Move the pencil as far as the string will go and draw a circle around the wood. This will show you approximately where the cut line will be. Stay away from adding pocket holes close to this circular line.
Drilling all the pocket holes is easy, but the process will go faster with two people: one to set up the jig at each arrow mark and the second to drill the holes into the wood.
The photo above is from the Kreg website. You can see the pocket holes the jig makes on the right.
Repeat the pocket hole making process on every board.
How to Attach Pine Boards to Make the Round Wood Table Top
- Starting at one end, brush the edge of the first board with wood glue evenly over the entire edge on one board.
2. Line the first board up with the second board so they are even at the ends and drive a pocket screw into each hole. This will bring the two boards together very snugly with each other. Make sure when putting the screws in that the boards are level with each other on the floor.
3. Repeat this process for every board, making sure that the pocket holes and screws go in both directions on each board.
4. Check after every attached board that the top side is even. This will get harder to check as the top gets larger.
5. Once all boards are attached, move the table to a work bench or table.
How to Cut Attached Pine Boards Into a Circle
- Make a jig for your circular saw using scrap wood. See details in the third video listed earlier in the post. I used a piece of scrap bead board and trim molding to make my jig.
2. Find the center point on the table top and mark it. Make your jig so that one end can be screwed into the center of the table and the opposite side to attach and hold the circular saw in the diameter for your table.
3. Move the saw around the table top a little bit at a time. With every pass, wood will come off. The shape will not be circular yet, but it will eventually become a circle. It is cool to see how this set up works.
4. Once you have completed rough cuts all the way around the table, repeat the process until the table is round. It took me three times around.
How to Stain a Round Wood Table Top Using Water-Based Products
- Flip the table on the work bench so the top side is now face up.
2. Sand the surface with 100 grit sandpaper to smooth the top and raw edges of the wood.
3. If you want to see more distressing, use the edge of a painter’s 7-In-One Tool to gouge the edge around the table top. Note that some of what you added early may have been cut off when the top was cut into a circle.
4. When using water-based products on wood, after sanding, clean the grit and spray the surface with water. Let sit a few minutes and then wipe excess off with a clean lint-free cloth. Wait until table is fully dry and then sand once again using 220 grit sandpaper. Clean off sanding grit.
5. Apply one coat of water-based Pre-Conditioner. Let it soak into the wood for about 5 minutes and then wipe away the excess.
I made my color stain into a glaze so the stain would be more transparent and also give me more time to wipe away the excess and apply more if needed.
To Make the Staining Glaze: I used equal parts of both colors of stain, glaze, and water. I mixed it well in a plastic container and used a 3″ wide brush to apply it to the table.
6. Mix stain well and apply with a wide brush. Wipe the excess off right away with a clean lint-free rag. Do two boards at a time and quickly wipe the excess that gets overlapped on boards to keep the color even.
How I Chose The Stain Color For the Table
My kitchen and living room are open concept, but the space is not large. I found when I add too many colors to the space, it looks cluttered.
I found the trick is to work within a limited color palette so that the space doesn’t become too busy or look too cluttered. I decided to go with a darker shade of wood than the floor, so there would be just a little contrast.
I wanted to remove as much of the yellow and orange color from the wood as possible. I did this by first mixing the stains to get a more brown-grey color, but not too dark.
After staining, I placed a table setting on the table to see if I liked the way it looked. I also placed a reclaimed board on the top as it was closest to the final color I wanted.
I used acrylic craft paint over the stain while it was still damp to add more grey to the stain color. That made it look more like the reclaimed board that has little to no yellow or orange tones in it.
I used a damp rag to apply a little bit of the paint in random areas and wiped it away with long pressured strokes to drive the color into the wood. I used a little of both of these colors where I thought the stain looked too orange.
If I got too much of a color wash in one area, I used a very damp cloth to wipe some of it away. Then I let it dry overnight.
How to Attach the Round Wood Table Top to an Existing Table Base
I attached my existing metal table base to the new round top. See the underside of the wood table? I used it as my stain color testing area. :-)
- I sanded the stained table very lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and then cleaned off the grit.
2. I brushed on one light coat of Polycrylic in a Matte finish and let it dry for 4 hours. I lightly sanded over the poly with 220 grit sandpaper again. You can use a higher number if you have it. Then, I cleaned off the grit and added a second coat. I repeated this process again for the third and final coat of Polycrylic.
I love how it turned out. See how the dark stain gets into all the distressing I did? :-)
How To Care for the Finish On a Round Wood Table Top
Once the finish is cured – which can take a few days to a week depending on the weather, you can place plates and glasses of water on the table without the use of a cloth or placemats. Spills can easily be wiped up.
I used a matte finish on the table. It does have a slight sheen when the light hits it.