DIY Wood Table Riser From A Salvaged Desktop

A DIY wood table riser from a salvaged desktop with a cozy modern farmhouse style. Nothing gets thrown out around here if I can help it and it drives Mr. Frugalista crazy. My motto is that pretty much anything can be repurposed into something with a little creativity. 

Such was the case with the top of an old boarding house table that was split in half. It was headed for the burn pile when I uttered the words he dreads hearing most...
 "Wait, I can make something with that!"

Display Pedestal Riser

Wooden Display Pedestal From A Salvaged Desktop 

...and with a little elbow grease, that's exactly what happened. The smaller piece was the perfect size for a wood riser on our dining room table. Now I need to come up with an idea for the other half.

Wooden Farmhouse Riser

Here's where we started with the broken top on an old boarding house table. It was removed during the Modern Farmhouse Desk Makeover repurposed as a worktable for my new office. 

Salvaged Tabletop Riser

This is the smaller piece I used to make the table riser? 
Reclaimed Wood Table Riser

But first, the edge on the broken half needed some work so the profile matched with the other three sides.

Wood Pedestal Tray

Of course, to qualify as a wood riser the board also needed some feet.

Repurposed Table Top Wood Riser

But it's that sweet stenciled grain sack stripe that gives the riser the modern or country farmhouse charm.

Wood Decorative Tray With Feet

It's going to get a lot of use on our dining room table between now and the holidays. But it'll also be used as a seasonal centerpiece year-round. 

DIY Wood Table Riser

With Canadian Thanksgiving around the corner, I'll incorporate some real mini pumpkin tealights like I made last year. I'll also go through my fall decor bin and add a few ticking stripe pumpkins and sweater pumpkins in the mix too.

For the holidays I'll set the Retro Christmas In A Jar on top with other vintage decorations.

So let's get into the nitty-gritty of how it was made, shall we?

Here's How We Made It

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Step 1 - A Routered Edge

The first thing the salvaged board needed was a nice profile along the edge. To do that we used a 3/8-inch with 1-inch shank 2-flute flush router bit (now that's a mouthful) on the router. First, ran it along the edges on one side of the board and flipped it over to finish the profile on the other side.

DIY Wood Tray

Step 2 - The Old Paint Layers Are Outta Here

Next up, the layers of paint needed to go starting with a 60-grit sanding sheet on a quarter-sheet sander. To get the remaining paint the sanding sheet was switched to 120-grit. Last but not least, to get the maple as smooth as a baby's bottom the sanding sheet was switched to 220-grit.

But even with all that sanding, there were some white spots on the wood, assuming old paint in the deeper gouges. Because I plan on staining the maple board, they had to go.

How To Remove Old Paint From The Deep Gouges Of Sanded Wood

After a little research, I learned you can get rid of these white spots with hydrogen peroxide. So I tried it by saturating cotton swabs and soaking the spots for several minutes. Next, I sanded the spots lightly with a sheet of 220-grit sandpaper while they were still a little wet and it worked! You can't tell those white spots were there now.

DIY Wood Table Riser

Step 3 - Staining The Wood Table Riser

The hardest part of this wood table riser project was deciding what finish to give it. The original plan was to keep the natural maple and protect it with food-grade hemp oil. But like what often happens, I changed my mind.

We don't have any light wood in our dining room and our table is dark walnut so I opted for a contrast with a whitewash instead. But still wanting to see the wood grain I thinned White Magic VooDoo Gel stain with water to a milk-like consistency. Applied with a slightly damp car detailing sponge, my favorite application for stains and topcoats to eliminate brush strokes.

Modern Farmhouse Riser

Step 4 - Grain Sack Stripes For Farmhouse Style

To add the Modern farmhouse touch, the top needed some grain sack stripes down the center. You can make the stripes with painter's tape or do it the easy way and save yourself a lot of time with these awesome grain sack stencils from Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils. 

Grain Sack Stripe Table Riser

Instead of opaque painted stripes, I made them look more transparent by pouncing the graphite paint color on with a stencil brush. After it dried I went over the grain sack stripes with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the paint and give them a distressed finish.

DIY Farmhouse Table Decor

Step 5 - Adding Feet To The Table Riser

Now we're ready to give the wood pedestal tray some feet. I had small wooden legs in my stash but they didn't have any dowel screws to attach them to the board. I could have used a strong glue but I knew the riser would get a lot of use and felt better knowing they were attached with screws.

DIY Wood Riser Feet

To do this the feet needed dowel screws. If you've never done this before, I've included instructions below that I hope you find helpful.
  1. Mark the center of each foot and drill a small pilot hole. 
  2. To ensure the screw is the same depth on all four feet plus to prevent it from poking through the top, place a piece of tape on the drill bit to the depth you need in the foot.
  3. Thread the dowel screw into the pilot hole with vice grips because those threads are sharp. 
  4. Check the depth of the screw against the side of the riser to make sure it sits just below the top.
  5. On the bottom side of the top measure equal distance in both directions to find the center point for your feet and mark it with a pencil.
  6. On the bottom side of the riser top, place a piece of tape on the pilot hole drill bit to gauge the depth so you don't poke through the top.
  7. Attach the feet and voila!

The feet were looking a little worse for wear so I gave them a fresh coat of white paint that I had on hand.

DIY Farmhouse Style Wood Riser

I'm so glad I caught the broken desktop before it ended up in the burn pile because it made such a sweet farmhouse table riser.

If you have any questions about this wood table riser build, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this modern farmhouse display pedestal, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Farmhouse Decor or DIY Table Centerpiece Ideas board on Pinterest.

Farmhouse Table Riser

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.


  1. I love it Marie! You and I are cut from the same cloth, I don't let anything go to waste either! I've definitely got to make one of these! I think it would be so handy to set on the counter for a buffet style dinner. It would allow you to put more on the counter so people can dish up everything they need! Brilliant! Pinned!


    1. Psssst, it gives me great joy to be able to say to him,"I told you so"! Yes, the riser is definitely going to come in handy for buffet gatherings too (whenever the hell we have those again). Have fun making one for your home, Tania!

  2. Oh, I love this Marie!! It's just perfect...

    1. Thanks Kim! I pulled my fall decor bin out this morning and plan to decorate it (and the house) later today.

  3. YAY, for SATIN paint...I shake my head when I see all the ridiculous steps people use to make the perfect chalk-paint finish---which is so EASY when it is actually tedious and hardly a great finish, when two coats of a good quality Satin paint is almost indestructible. Great project, and unique idea! Sandi

    1. Thanks Sandi, glad you like the farmhouse riser! I used the satin finish for the stencil because it's what I had on hand. When it comes to paint finishes (unless for crafting or painting walls) I'm a chalky finish girl all the way!

  4. Fantastic idea!! Plus your tips for DIY are awesome. 🙌🏻

    1. Thank you, Larissa, means a lot coming from you, the Queen of DIY, that you think the tips are awesome!

  5. That's a great save Marie and little table riser not only looks lovely with it's grain sack stripes but she's functional too. Oh and thanks for the tip on using a slightly damp car detailing sponge. I'm definitely going to be trying that

    1. Glad you like that top coat tip, Michelle, it's a game changer!

  6. Beautiful re love. That is what I like about you Marie. You can take something someone else would trash and make it beautiful again. Amazing. Happy New Week. xoxo Kris

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kris! I'm strange that way, love looking at the broken and discarded and seeing it's potential. LOL Wishing you a terrific week as well! xo

  7. Oh my goodness...I would have stopped him from throwing that table top out too. That's some solid hardwood. And the phrase "I can make something out of that" comes out of my mouth all the time and my husband dreads it as well. I love this project and will have to remember it the next time I have spare wood. I have a piece of the same type of rubberwood in my garage right now that is about 9" x 7" and I refuse to let my husband throw it out because, although it's small, once he routes the edges and I sand it and apply food grade oil, it becomes the new cutting board I need. :)

    1. Love it Lena, nice to see someone else who sees potential in what is deemed junk! Well now, you just gave me an idea for the other half of the desktop. I need a large cutting board. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Hello Marie, this is another great project and inspiration. You are so creative and I love stopping by and seeing your creations. They are indeed a source of inspiration to me.

    1. Jasmine, you made my Sunday morning! I'm so glad you find inspiration here. It's feedback like this that motivate me to keep on keep'n on, so thank you for that! xo

  9. Genius idea! I never think of table risers but I hope I will after seeing yours. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Awesome Tracy! They are so handy not only for a table centerpiece but especially when hosting gatherings to use on the buffet table so you can fit more foot on the table.


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