We had this huge tree in the backyard that we had to cut down this past summer. So when the guys came to cut the tree, I knew I couldn’t let the whole thing go to waste. I had to somehow reuse it. I remembered seeing huge tree stumps used as patio seating somewhere. So till we could figure out what to do with them, they stood outside in the backyard in the form of about a feet and a half tall stumps.
I knew we couldn’t do anything till the bark completely dried. So after that was done, we turned to our trusted friend, Google, to look if people had already tackled something like this. I came across this really detailed post by Molly@The Nesting Game
So this is what we started with.
We went ahead and started chipping away the dried bark. We made sure that we didn’t damage the surface much.
After removing the bark, we realized that the log wasn’t really stable since the base wasn’t completely flat. Since we didn’t want to buy a new saw for this once-in-a-blue-moon project, we borrowed a chainsaw from our neighbor. I don’t have a picture on my laptop right now, but the chainsaw scared me a bit. Horrific images and the movie title ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ kept popping in my head. But everything went smooth (who knew :D).
For the next step, we weren’t really sure about what the right tools for the job were. A quick run to the local Home Depot helped us. The guy was super helpful and we ended up buying a grinder with wood grinding wheel (80 grit) and an orbital sander alongwith 120 & 220 grit sandpaper.
This is how it looked post grinding
Z was super careful about sanding the knots area. He didn’t want to over sand it, which turned out to be the great post staining. Here’s a picture of the top view:
Thanks to my lack of patience, I was all ready to use coat this thing & start using it. But, thankfully, Z is a stickler for doing things right. So he went ahead and sanded this.. THRICE!!
Since we wanted the glossy look, we decided to go with the Minwax satin polyurethane + stain route. We chose the pecan shade. (If you prefer the matte finish, Molly’s blog post has the solution for that).
And after the first coat, voila….
After letting it dry for a night, we went ahead and lightly sanded it by hand using a fine grit (220) sandpaper. And then we applied the second coat which gave it a deeper pecan stain. I love how the knots turned out. This is how the final look is
The glossy flooring (
and the fact that this picture is courtesy Instagram w/ Hefe filter) makes the side table look glossier, but it’s supposed to go in our family room which has a beige tile, so it’ll look perfect over there.
Since we could only work on it over the weekends, it took us almost 3-4 weeks to finish this project. But at the end quite happy with how it turned out. 1 down, 3 more to go! Not too shabby for our first project involving power tools (other than the drill needed to assemble Ikea furniture :))
Update: Changed the final picture