This is one of those home projects that is entirely about embracing the reality of my life. It isn’t Pinterest or magazine worthy. It simply accommodates my life, in all of it’s glory (note the sarcasm). I am person that lives with two large dogs. This means dog bowls in the laundry room, dog hair in the corners, dog toys littered on the floor, and dog crates that need to be part of my living space. Big unsightly dog crates are not my favorite part of dog ownership but they are a very real and necessary part of my life.
At my old house, I found an ikea cabinet door in the clearance section that served as a crate table to hold my house plants. It was never perfect but we got by with it.
In this house, I have two crates that are part of my every day living and I’ve found the best way to incorporate them into my living space is to hide them so I don’t feel like I live in a kennel. So the crates are behind the couch in the living room and I put plants on top of them. It works out rather nicely because the doors open and close and there’s space on either side of the couch for the dogs to get in their beds. And best of all they are nearly invisible.
Last fall I bought the 2x10s I needed to create a dog crate table for this space and had them just laying across the crates waiting to be connected and finished. Note: Next time, go ahead and make the table when you buy the lumber. Otherwise you may get really frustrated that they did not warp evenly and make finishing the table much more complicated.
This past Saturday was gorgeous out – mid sixties and sunny. I needed a project that I could work on outside (while the puppy ran around the yard like nuts and the old dog hid under my project for protection). I dragged the boards out to the deck, got out all my tools and finally did the project.
- Measure boards – Since the dog crates would supply the base for this table, I wanted it to overhang on the sides by at least a half inch. I cut the 2×10 boards 1.5 inches short of the overall length so I could put a 1×2 at the end for a more finished edge.
- Connect long boards boards with kreg jig pocket holes on the back side (I put pocket holes and screws every 8 inches). This was my first project using my kreg jig and I love it! Admittedly, I made a couple rookie mistakes but wow, I love it!
- Nail 1×2 end boards with ryobi nailer to hide rough edge
- Sand the whole table top down
- Apply wood putty in the cracks (If I was going to paint this, I would have used caulk to close the seams and hide the imperfections. As it was, I would be staining it and wanted the wood putty to blend in. So I put wood putty in the seams and then sanded again once it was dry).
- Wipe down table with tack cloth to remove all dust
- Apply wood conditioner
- Apply first coat of stain + poly (letting them dry completely between coats)
- Move inside to avoid the rain
- Sand lightly, dust with tack cloth
- Apply second coat of stain + poly and let dry completely (I gave it 24 hours before putting anything on top of the table)
- Hide the dog crates
- Add plants
- Check that one off the list!
As I mentioned earlier, the boards did warp unevenly over the last six months and the table top is far from perfect but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. (And yes I realize I have a houseplant problem).