How do I Choose the Best Pine Table?

Sheri Cyprus

A solid pine table is a sturdy and economical choice for the home. There are many different styles and types of pine tables available for every room. Pine tables can look naturally elegant or very rustic. Some people enjoy building a pine table for their home using purchased or recycled wood. The main choices available when considering pine tables are finished or unfinished, knotty or knotless and light or medium-colored.

Most pine tables available for purchase are stained a light or medium color.
Most pine tables available for purchase are stained a light or medium color.

Unfinished pine may be stained a dark color, but most finished pine tables available for sale are stained in light or medium wood colors. A pine table may just have a clear protective finish that lets its natural pale color show through. Pine isn't a formal looking wood and lighter and medium shades show off its natural graining and knots. Knotted pine includes the dark round knots in the wood and this type makes tables with a rustic beauty. Unknotted, unfinished pine may be painted white or another color and this look may be preferred for dining, end or night tables in rooms without any wood tones.

Considering the other colors and wood tones in a room is important for a cohesive look when choosing a pine table. Too many wood tones and furniture colors may make a room look randomly furnished rather than designed. Another consideration when choosing pine tables is lifestyle. Although pine tables are sturdy and inexpensive in comparison to other types of wood, they do tend to mark and dent easily since pine is a softwood and not a hardwood.

Space is a consideration when choosing a pine table for dining. Drop leaf pine tables are good for apartments or small kitchens as they allow one side of the table to hang down so the table can be pushed against the wall in its half diameter state to save space. Large farmhouse style pine dining tables look great in big country style kitchens. Medium-stained pine can look more elegant than light natural pine and these darker stains may co-ordinate better with more formal or traditional style kitchen or dining cabinets.

Building a pine table for a dining room or kitchen is considered a fairly easy woodworking project, as pine is easier to work with by hand than woods such as maple or oak. A tabletop and four tapered legs can create a basic pine dining table. Two pine strips the width of the table and two strips of the table's length are nailed on to connect the top and legs. To build a pine table with trestle style legs, a tabletop, two bottom posts and a wood board to act as a brace are needed. Trestles are posts or pedestals shaped like an upside down capital letter "T" and the wood brace or stretcher connects the two trestle posts.

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Discussion Comments


@Terrificli -- Don't hold back, now. Tell us how you really feel.

Honestly, I think pine is OK for furniture as long as you are careful with it. Is it as durable as oak or mahogany? No, it is not. But Pine looks pretty good and is certainly more affordable.

I'll put it this way. If I had the choice between pine and something made out of particle board, I would choose pine any day of the week. For people who can't spend a ton of cash on hardwood, pine is a fine alternative.


My parents got a pine table right after they got married 48 years ago. They have had to have it refinished twice because of all the marks put on the table over the years. Pine is too soft of a wood and even putting something too hot on it can result in some minor damage to the wood.

The chairs that came with the table are a disaster, too. There are pants prints in the finish where people have sat in the past. Those had to get refinished, too.

There is a reason pine tables are cheaper than hardwood ones. They are terrible by comparison.

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