Polly from Thriving Home contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if she could feature one of my tree table projects on her blog. I said of course! So she featured my Stained Tree Side Table this past Friday on their blog. Click here to read it!
This is one of my favorite projects. I was going to sell it, but became a little too attached after it was all said and done. Plus it looks super awesome in my living room.
I bought this table for $6.97 at Red Racks Thrift Store. What a deal! The wood grain was beautiful and raw, and I knew it was perfect for a project. I taped it off with Edge lock Painter's tape, just like previous projects, then carved a tree design into the tape.
I created a different design this time, one with a little more detail, more branches, more curves. I used an exacto knife to carve out the detail, which created a small crevice that the stain seeped into that created an amazing outline that made the design "pop". A nice surprise.
I wasn't sure which stain I wanted to use, so I tested a few on the bottom of the table. I chose the one on the far left, Minwax Wood Stain, Red Mahogany (2 coats).
After the staining was complete, I used a satin finish. A little softer than the glossy finish. It looks perfect in our living room, if I do say so myself!
So I never got to share this before the holidays were officially "over", but since I'm still listening to Christmas music (yes, in mid-January) and there's snow on the ground outside, I'm going to post one more Christmas-y thing. This tree is a little less "random" as it's made from all the same type of wood (just slightly different sizes to create a little dimension) and stained all the same color. It would be a perfect addition to a living room that has a more "put-together" feel, and would look great with color-schemed ornaments hung on it. I actually made it with the intention of doing a craft show and hanging handmade ornaments on it to sell. It's about half the size of the one in my living room so it's easy to transport or sit on top of a table or something. The process of this project was very similar to the bigger wood scrap Christmas tree that I made and posted - you can read about it here. Except with this one, I used a Minwax Wood Stain - Jacobean was the color. It was untreated wood, so I only used one coat because it was so porous.
So there you go. Another useful purpose for wood scraps!
Can I say I LOVE WOOD SCRAPS?! You can get pretty creative with a pile of unused wood. I was actually inspired by a picture that I saw on Pinterest, although I made mine very different than the picture I saw. A friend had some wood scraps in his shed that he was going to toss, but gave them to me instead. The back post is about 6.5' tall, then using my jigsaw, I cut the front pieces to the size I wanted, tapering them to form the tree shape.
I didn't use a formula or anything to measure the pieces out - I just marked them to my taste (which ended up being: 53", 48", 36", 29", 23", 18", & 9"). I spaced the pieces out just enough to be able to hang ornaments (which ended up being about 5" apart). I nailed the scraps to the back post, then drilled holes where I wanted to hang the ornaments and screwed some 5/8" brass plated cup hooks in the holes.
It now leans in the corner of our living room, with beautiful presents under it, all ready for Christmas. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Our dining area is next to non-existent in our small little duplex. So we needed a smaller dining table than what we had to fit in that small space. On a Saturday shopping excursion with my extremely patient husband, I found a small rectangular pine dining table at DAV Red Racks Thrift Store for $20. I love transforming old furniture into something new.
I sanded it down using coarse sandpaper. I chose this because I wanted a unfinished textured, slightly “rough” looking product. If you want something more slick and smooth, then you’ll want to either use a stripper to remove any previous finish. Or if you choose to use sandpaper, use a coarse grit to cut the finish or existing paint layers, then a medium grit, then a finer grit, etc…all the way to a super fine grit, so as not to leave marks.
I then used the same Edge-lock painter’s tape to create a design (another tree). Instead of painting it, I wanted to use a wood stain. I applied the Minwax® Jacobean wood stain with a paintbrush (you can also apply with a sponge brush or even an old rag - but you will have to throw the rag out when you’re finished so use one that you’re not attached to!). I wasn’t exactly sure how that would work since the stain is so much thinner than paint. But for the most part, it worked out pretty well. It bled a little bit in a few areas, but I was able to rub those parts out enough so it didn’t show too badly.
After I removed the tape, I got a rag and dipped my finger into my Minwax® Red Mahogany wood stain and gently rubbed it into the tree, to make the tree more subtle, as if it were in a haze. This also helped blend in the few parts that had bled through the tape.
I then applied Minwax® Polyurethane Gloss finish to the top with a paintbrush. Since we were going to be using it for every day use, and we’d have dishes sliding across the top of it as well as normal wear and tear of a dining table, I applied 5 layers of finish with a paintbrush, sanding in between each layer with an ultra fine 320 grit sandpaper.