How to Make Your Own Wooden Farmhouse Riser in One Afternoon

9 Materials
3 Hours

Wooden farmhouse risers...footed tables,

whatever they're called I decided it was time to make one... or eight, and I'm here to tell you it's super easy, super inexpensive and they are super cute!

Dee, the muscle and brains behind Something Painted White, and I thought it would be fun to try our hand at having a booth at our local Farmer's Market EVERY SUNDAY (not sure we really thought that through) but we signed on the dotted line and now the crafting begins.

I decided on wooden farmhouse risers...also known as footed trays (I may be the only one that knows them as that but in my defense, they are a tray and they have feet. ANYHOO...


So let's get started with the supplies you'll need if you decide to make one...or eight!

2 X 12 cut into whatever length you want your wooden farmhouse riser to be

4 Craft finials (or other feet of your choice, there are several styles to choose from)

Hand Sander- this one is very similar to mine

Sand Paper 60 grit, 150 grit, 220 grit

Stain - I used MMS Milk Paint in Curio for this project

Chalk Paint

Topcoat of Choice - Hemp Oil or Rustoleum

Paint Brush

Rags and/or Blue Shop Towels

Tack Cloth

Drill or Drill Press if you happen to have one (pssst! they're awesome)

For the top, we purchased a 2 x 12 x 8

and Dee cut it into 8 pieces each 12 inches long, the math actually works out on that, I checked. I love these cute feet that I see on the majority of the risers on Etsy and Pinterest and discovered they're not feet at all, they're craft finials. I got them at Lowe's for $2.98 (for 2!) That's cheap like dirt!!!

Now that I have eight 12 inch squares of wood I got out my hand sander and started sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding (it's not nearly as much sanding if you only make one, I, however, am crazy). Side note...when sanding in the garage don't leave the door to the house open no matter how much the dogs whine because somehow that sand finds its way in and covers EVERYTHING, trust me on this one.

I also lightly sanded the feet/finials, don't worry too much about them, they don't get a lot of handling so I didn't think it really mattered.

Now that everything is all smooth and splinter-free

it's time to stain. I like to distress pretty much everything I make or refinish and since I'm starting with raw wood it needs to be stained because that's the color that will show through once it's distressed. You can use traditional stain such as Min-Wax or Varathane in any color you like, but I prefer Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Curio. This paint comes in a powder form and when mixed 1:1 with water it makes paint, but when you mix it 1:3 or 4 or 5, whatever you like, it makes a stain, and it's FABULOUS! For these wooden farmhouse risers, I mixed it 1:3-ish. You can apply it with a brush or rag, both work just fine. Once it's dry you can decide if it's dark enough, if not then simply put another coat on. I used this stain mixture on the wood that we used for open shelving in the kitchen if you missed that post you can find it here.

The next step is to paint! Woohoo, this is the fun part!

I typically prefer white but since I was making 8 of them to sell at a Farmers Market I decided to have a bit more variety.

The first choice was to leave two of them with just the stain color...Easy Peasy!

Three risers got a coat of white paint, one of those was a very light coat, one was a bit heavier and one got two coats (variety). I love Rustoleum Chalked paint in Linen White. This paint goes on beautifully and is the most affordable chalk paint I've found.

While I was painting those three risers white I decided to dry brush some white onto another one. Just a light coat of dry brushing....hmmm, I kind of like that! If you're new here I should let you know that the way I paint is not a science, it's more of an art. I mostly make it up as I go along and I don't stop until I like it. This post on my IKEA hack is a great example of Science vs. Art.

With two risers left to paint the color choices were easy, one black, and one gray.

Distressing is the other fun part,

now that everything is painted let's get distressed. There are a couple of ways you can do this, with sandpaper, or with a wet rag. Ok, there's actually a third way, with wet sandpaper.

I typically use 150 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding sponge to do my distressing. Chalk paint distresses very easily and makes a lot of dust in the process so it's best done outside or in the garage unless you just don't care and plan to vacuum later.

I have found that if I use a spray bottle of water and spritz some water onto the surface that I'm distressing not only does it remove the paint in the areas that I want it too but it really smooths the paint and removes any brush strokes you may have. I, however, love brush strokes so I don't mind leaving them, but I do love to make the paint look, and feel, very smooth with this process.

Remember when I said that the way I paint is not a science but an art? Well, this is where you will find that to be the case. The distressing process is personal, really, so you just distress your riser and feet, as much or as little as you like and when you love it, stop! How easy is that?!?

The next step is the topcoat.

Topcoats are important, especially when using chalk paint. This paint is very porous and it's important to seal it to protect it from dirt and grime and scuffs as well as just to help it last much longer. There are several ways to topcoat your riser so you can choose which one works best for you. I'll tell you about the three different types of sealers that I used (THREE Cindy??? sheesh, can I make this any more difficult on myself?)

First and foremost with chalk paint is WAX! A lot of people shy away from waxing their painted pieces but I really love it, especially now that I've found Jolie wax. I love Jolie Paints and their wax is fabulous! It has Absolutely no smell so using it indoors is not a problem, it goes on like Buttah (butter, in case you didn't....never mind) it makes a beautiful shine, and you can rest easy knowing your piece is sealed and protected. I used Jolie clear wax on two of the risers.

What about the other six you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked! Hemp Oil is a really great sealer/protectant and it's SOOOO easy to apply, it's also a great skin conditioner so you can skip the gloves if you want. I used Hemp Oil on the open shelving that we put in our kitchen and love them. The two stained risers were sealed with Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil, I just pour it on and rub it around so that the entire surface is covered. I like to let it sit and soak in for about 15 minutes or so and then I give it a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. This actually gives it a tiny bit more distressing but really works the oil into the wood and enhances the color.

Once it's all sanded in I wipe off all the excess with a shop towel and then I let it sit for a few hours or overnight so that any remaining residue will be soaked in and not transferred to anything else. Hemp Oil can be used over chalk paint instead of wax and makes a fabulous sealer, but it's not going to be as shiny as the wax so make note of that when you're deciding which topcoat to use!

With two risers left to seal (and 8 feet) I decided to use Rustoleum Chalked Clear Matte Top Coat. I love this product and it is so easy to apply (are you seeing a pattern here? I like easy). You can use a nylon paintbrush or a foam brush to apply it, just wipe it on and leave it. Don't worry about the little bubbles, they disappear as it dries. I normally do two coats and as the label says, it dries to a matte finish.

Last but not least

it's time to attach the feet to the bottom. Once I decide which side of the wood will be the bottom I use this handy dandy little template for making sure all the holes are in the same spot on each corner and then using my handy drill press I quickly drilled 4 holes. Gotta love power tools!

Finally, we attached little felt pads to the bottom of the feet to prevent any scratches.

That's it...

you now have an adorable wooden farmhouse riser to use, however, and wherever, you prefer. They're great on the dining room table to add a level to your table-scape, they can be used on an entry table, a kitchen island, and they make a great addition to the coffee bar area for sitting cups or tins on and putting smaller things under-neath. If you have little ones around the house you may also find that they make adorable little mini coffee tables. LOL!!!

I hope you make at least one riser and if you do I'd love to see it. If you're following me on Instagram @somethingpaintedwhite and you decide to post a photo of yours... please tag me!

If you'd like to see more of my DIY's come visit me on my blog at, I'd love to have you!

PS: We took all 8 Farmhouse risers to our Farmers Market booth on Sunday and sold...ONE! That's ok, it was our first time there and people need to get to know us...we're going back next weekend...wish us luck!!!!

Happy Painting my friends, ~Cindy~

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3 of 4 questions
  • Dee Hobbs Dee Hobbs on Jul 09, 2020

    Where did you get the template for the correct position of holes. Have looked everywhere. Thank you so much for your time. Love this project and only need the template.

  • Lisa Sullivan Eiswirth Lisa Sullivan Eiswirth on Sep 17, 2020

    Do you happen to know the length and width of the finials? the link is to amazon and those have no screws and are quite narrow in width.

  • Linda Linda on Oct 29, 2020

    Where did u get the template @?

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3 of 52 comments
  • Maude  LaFountain Maude LaFountain on Aug 17, 2021

    I love these ...they really are useful for a number of things.....I wonder if you can use an old wood Cutting board for these I have a couple that are about as thick as your boards you used....The boards are not being used anymore ...And as for the legs I love those FINIALS that you used they look fantastic on there ...Thanks for sharing this DIY with us ....Great Job

  • Harry Haggen Harry Haggen on Jun 22, 2023

    Love your concept and your woodwork! Personally not a fan of "distressed" look. May I kindly suggest that if all of your delightful offerings don't fly out the door as is, try painting and decoupaging one and see if that doesn't help it to find a loving home!