Hi there, thanks for stopping by!
I’m continuing along on my mission of furnishing my house without spending much money. This project was very cheap, but I made plenty of mistakes along the way!
I have my chair angled to see the TV, so that the space between the chair and the couch was tiny and odd.
I thought about building a triangular shaped small table to go there, but just couldn’t picture it. I actually drew some stuff out and thought about it for a while and couldn’t quite figure out how I wanted to fill this odd space. We just needed a little something to set a drink on.
In a completely different train of thought, I kept looking at this beautiful stump sitting in my yard and wondering what I could do with it.
I was way to excited about this stump, ask anyone who knows me. Sooo pretty! However, it took way to long for me too realize that it was the perfect size and shape for an end table. I have a lot going on in this house, haha.
So, we cut it down. And then I ran into a whole bunch of issues. Read on to see what happened, but all in all I still ended up with a unique little piece for about $20.
The first problem I ran into was that the side of the stump that faced the house didn’t get any sun, and therefore was wet. The beautiful bark was flaking off and I knew it would take a long time to dry without a fancy wood drier, which I don’t own.
Also, some mold :(. I’m not a very patient person, but I also realized the area that was wet wasn’t very deep at all, so I decided I would just take that side off. I ran into my first problem here. I decided to wrap it in a tarp for a week or so. In my mind, this would dry it out and kill any bugs in there. Looking back I have no idea why I thought either of those things would happen.
When I took it out, it was way moldier. I felt really, really smart at that point. So, then I spent a lot of time scrapping of mold. Then I pulled, flaked and sawed off the wet areas.
Already the $250 tree stump end table I found HERE seemed a little more reasonably priced than I first thought.
I was still a little concerned about bugs. I had a neighbor tell me this was cedar and bugs don’t live in cedar. I also read that once you start working on a piece, sanding and what not, that they don’t want to be there anymore, but I still wanted to make double sure we didn’t bring any unwanted friends into the house. So I called the bug guy. I told him we needed him to come out a month early, because we had been finding more spiders in the house, which wasn’t a total lie. While he was here, I casually (ahem) asked him about it. He was very nice, looked it over and said there was no evidence of any sort of infestation, but I asked if he would go ahead an spray it anyway. He was very nice, and hit it with his bug juice pretty well.
Now it was time to sand. And saw. And sand and sand and sand. Lots of sanding. And sawing. Lots. Again, $250 looking better.
The stump also had a huge crack in the top that I was a little worried about, so somewhere along the way I used some epoxy to just make sure it didn’t split.
I wanted the trimmed off side to match the other side, so I stained it with a mixture of steel wool, cider vinegar and coffee grounds. I found the recipe HERE. Two coats and she turned out perfect!
Now I was excited, a couple of coats of poly and I should be done. Except this is what happened when I put poly on.
.I have never had Polycrylic turn anything before. Don’t know if it was the stain, the bug juice or just the cedar itself, but this color wouldn’t work in my room. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the stain, because I only used it on one side. I was very sad at this point and wasn’t sure if I was still going to use it or not. The bark is so tender and soft I knew I couldn’t sand off the poly, so I decided to try and salvage it. I painted it the same color I did my walls which turned out way too white.
I added some Ebony stain to try and make it a little more toned down and natural looking (ha!). Then I added the poly again. This time it didn’t turn. So, I didn’t get the beautiful natural look I wanted, but I’m still digging it. Here are some more pics of it all finished.
She does fit perfectly in the space.
Anyway, after all that I am still happy. I spent probably about $20 or less on Poly, stain and sand paper. Not too shabby, but if you aren’t lucky enough to have a stump like this just sitting in your yard like I did, you can actually buy a cedar stump end table on Etsy HERE.
Little update, I forgot to mention I put some furniture feet levelers on the bottom. I used 3, which was less than $5, so around $25 is probably a better estimate.
If anybody has any tips on all the things I did wrong, let me know in the comments! I’d love the feedback.
So, my living room is coming along. Now I really am going to put something on those walls!
Links to other projects in this room