I grew up in a “wood-cutting family,” which means my childhood was spent gathering, carrying and stacking the fallen and felled lumber my dad and brother would cut and split. We observed an appreciation of the forest and always logged the dead and damaged trees first. Little did I know that someday this renewable heat source would become a fashionable piece of furniture for the home. When a good friend asked me to make her one for her daughter’s nursery, I was eager to give it a try. After all- I had plenty of these to pick from!
This is the story of how a common stump became a side table in a woodland nursery for a very special little girl…
First things first- if you are choosing a log or stump for a indoor piece of furniture you will want to choose one that is already dried out. Our pile of lumber was all ready to pick from!
Of course I selected one that was already the right size and would make a good level side table. I began by sanding some of the weather off it. This is the only disadvantage to selecting a well dried piece of lumber. Unless you have the foresight to cut it fresh and dry it indoors for 6 months or so, it will probably have taken on the shades of the elements.
I used a combination of rough grit sand paper, a hand sander and the efforts of my husband Nick, who took over from time to time since he is more of a sanding perfectionist than I am.
Once a majority of the grey had been removed we used more of a fine grit paper (and when I say we- I mean Nick). He was careful not to over sand the worm holes and groves to keep the character of the wood.
Next we were ready for a coat of a stain. Depending on your stump table look you might skip this step and just go straight to poly. I chose a Minwax natural stain in a satin finish (low shine) and did a single coat to bring out some of the golden wood shades.
I also added a personal detail that was requested by the recipient of this woodland project. I wrote their names inside of a heart like a romantic carving in a tree.
I had originally planned for a subtle gold-ish brown color, but once I applied the stain, the writing became too hard to read. I touched it up with a black sharpie.
We applied (this “we” would also be Nick again) three coats of clear coat satin poly to the stump, lightly sanding in between until the table seemed as colorful and smooth as it was going to get, and this is how it all turned out:
I delivered this stump table to the nursery of the newly born princess Evelyn.
It went perfectly with the woodland theme. I especially liked how it coordinated with the knobs on the armoire.
And that’s the story of how a lowly piece of lumber in a pile of wood-
Transformed into a custom stump table for a woodland theme nursery!
You might also like-