Friday, May 22, 2009

Tree Trunk Table Project

I started a new project that turned out as well as I had envisioned.

In my husbands wood pile were several large pieces of a tree trunk that he intended to cut up for use in the fireplace this past winter. Four of those pieces had some lovely character, so I talked my hubby into saving those pieces for me, at least until I could decide which one I would like to turn into an end table for use on our deck. I have to say hubby was quite resistant to my idea at first, but he did finally relent. He is now helping me with my project. See ladies, being persistent does pay off!

The tree trunk had been sitting in the wood pile for about 18 months. Good for me because the bark naturally peeled off of it making my job so much easier. All that remained to be done was to level the top of it, sand it smooth and then apply several layers of polyurethane to protect and preserve it.

Below are the steps we took to complete this project:

Step 1: Leveling the table top with a chain saw. The table top had too much of a slant to it for me to sand it level with the belt sander. The chain saw was able to get the table closer to level rather quickly.

Step 2: Sanding the table top with a belt sander. This step is necessary to smooth out the surface and to make the table top as level as possible. After we belt sanded the table top, we used a fine grit sand paper and hand sanded the top for a smoother finish. The rest of the trunk was not sanded at all and left as is for a more natural look.

Step 3: Applying the polyurethane. I decided to go with the MinWax Clear Satin Polyurethane since this table will be in a covered area and not exposed to the elements. We first applied several coats of polyurethane to the bottom of the log. After the bottom had dried for 24 hours, we added 1/4" legs to allow for air circulation underneath the table. We turned the table upright and began applying the polyurethane to the rest of the table. All in all 6 coats were applied to the bottom, 5 coats to the sides and 6 coats to the top. After applying each coat of polyurethane to the table top, I used very fine sand paper to sand in between coats for a glassy smooth finish. The side of the log was not sanded between coats as I wanted it to remain as natural as possible. If you decide to take on a similar project and your piece will be exposed to the elements, then I recommend that you use a marine grade polyurethane for lasting beauty and protection from the elements.

As you can see in the above photo, the polyurethane brings out the beauty of the piece nicely.

Hmmmm...I spy another piece in my husbands wood pile that would make a lovely table as well... looks like I've found myself another project!


  1. Interesting concept, I never would have thought to make a table out of a tree trunk. Can't wait to see how it looks when it's done. Depending on how yours turns out, I may try this myself. I can almost picture something like this alongside my rustic outdoor furniture. Thanks for blogging about this.

  2. Nice table! Wish I was that ambitious ;)

  3. Thanks for the information. We just had a tree cut with a table in mind and was wondering how this was done. Great tips.

  4. yeah just got an offcut was wondering how you went about it great help

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this post with us. It's really an amazing post. Keep posting the good work in future too.

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