Hello there! Sarah from The Created Home here, and I am excited to share this diy stump side table with you! Do you like DIYs that save you a ton of money and allow you to have that really cool piece of furniture for a fraction of the cost of the in-store version? Of course, if you want to get something for almost nothing you are going to have to put in some sweat equity, right?
Get ready to sweat. And by that I mean sand. Because I’m going to show you how to make your own stump side table that will bring an awesome element of natural beauty into your home.
DIY Stump Table
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Here’s what you will need to make a stump table:
- A dry stump
- sandpaper in various grits
- *wire brush drill attachment
- orbital sander
- belt sander
- dust mask
*For stumps with crevices only
Ideally, you’ll want a stump that has had some dry time. The rule of thumb for working with fresh cut lumber is to give it 1 year per inch of thickness. So a stump takes a while. While you may not give it 14 years, the dryer it is, the better.
I spotted this stump a year ago in my father’s workshop. He’s an arborist by trade, so this was from a tree he had cut down. He saved it only because my brother thought it looked so interesting that he should do something with it. I’m not sure how long it had been sitting by that point. I love the curvy uniqueness of this stump, and that the segmentation means more air can get into the stump so drying time decreases. In case you are wondering, the wood is hawthorn, and it’s hard as a rock when it dries. It’s also devilishly hard to sand, which is something to take into account if you decide to do something like sand it.
Start removing material. Get the bark off. Actually, Step 2 is where you will live for most of this project. I started by using a wire brush drill attachment to get into the grooves of the wood. This photo is after the initial wire brushing. Obviously if your piece doesn’t have deep grooves you are in the clear on this one. Lucky you.
Then sand. And sand. And sand. Different varieties of wood will respond differently to sanding. It could be that your stump cleans up nicely and you’ll be done in no time. Or you might have one that requires a lot more work. My preference is to take off as much of the bark as possible, since bark loosens as it dries.
While the bark came off easy, the cambium layer underneath was another story entirely. Since parts of it came off I made the (unwise?) decision to try to remove most of it.
Again, if you have deep grooves in your piece you’ll need to work on those a bit more. I found it very useful to chisel out the inside of those grooves to remove the bark.
Level the stump. Hopefully your stump was cut relatively level. To finish it off you may need to use a belt sander. We leveled ours with a chainsaw, and follow up with the belt sander, then the orbital sander.
Finish. I used Enduro by General Finishes to seal the stump after sanding it up to 220 grit. I can’t say there was a whole lot of reasoning behind the varnish decision except that I had it on hand and I really like General Finishes products. I like how it turned out!
Bring a little piece of the outdoors in and enjoy!
I love how the curve of the base makes it look like it is growing out of the floor.
And it’s a great spot to sit and read a book now!
If you have an questions please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading!