So, yesterday I had a great opportunity to participate in our local lifestyle TV show's Spray-off Series where they challenged me to spray paint some stumps....featuring these beauties:
Now, I was concerned about how spray painting tree stumps would really work out. Really concerned. I painted the heck out of the coffee table that I made out of 3 tree stumps back in the day.
...like slathered layers and layers of paint on them, and they still look great! But, I was really worried about how spray paint would take. As you all know, wood absorbs and absorbs everything. Especially paint. So, I seriously went out and bought like 5 cans of spray paint for one stump :) Luckily, I didn't need that much. It turned out better than I had thought. Score for spray paint and tree stump lovers!
Next up. Where do you get your tree stumps if you don't have a pile sitting in your backyard? Check the classifieds! It's that easy. So many people are trying to get rid of old wood from a dead tree or selling firewood. If they are selling firewood, more than likely they got that firewood from a stump ;) So, ask if they have some stumps still lying around. Or if you are up to it, travel around where there are some farms and large lots of land. More than likely you'll see piles of stumps. Knock on the door and see if they would sell some to you...or give you some :) Or you can call some tree movers. I found my stumps on the lot of a local tree removal service.
When you find your stumps, you want to make sure they are seasoned. That means they should be pretty white and dried out. If they have bark on them, it should come off really easily. More than likely when you peel the bark off, it'll be wet underneath, so you'll have to sit it back out in the sun for a few more days to dry out. You can see here the difference between the seasoned and dried out stump compared to the one that's bark was just removed...super wet.
To remove the bark, just get peel it off, or get the end of a hammer and pry it off. It should be relatively easy. If it's not, your stump isn't ready.
So, now something we don't like talking about, but if you find a stump with bark on it, it may also have mold on it under the bark. Super gross, especially if you are bringing it into your house. The longer stump had a ton of bark on it, so I removed the bark and then had it sit out in the sun for another few days to dry out. I then removed most of the mold by sanding it down. Make sure to wear all proper safety equipment when you do this -mask, glasses, body suite if you must lol. Just remember it's organic material and natural in nature :) If you still are concerned, go to this site here to learn how to remove it more vigorously. To possibly eliminate this problem all together just pick a piece of wood that isn't on the bottom of a pile or covered up or that looks nasty :)
Once you have all the bark removed or if you are lucky and found a stump with no bark, start standing. I used 60 grit sandpaper...the super rough kind...to get rid of a lot of the random pointy areas and the saw marks. This will make it super smooth.
Now time to prime! If you are painting the stump a light color, such as white, you'll want to use the Kilz primer and yes, they make it in spray paint form :) This will help block the inevitable yellow stains from showing through your top finish. If you aren't concerned, then go for the cheap primer cuz you're going to have to use about two cans or so.
Now finish it off with a top coat! For the gold one, I just chose Gold from Krylon.
For the white and turquoise one, I first sprayed the top coat of white around the whole base and then taped off around the top edge.
You'll learn quickly that when people cut trees, they don't have side tables or coffee tables in mind and they will be lopsided. If you find some that you really like that are lopsided, like this one:
If you got a good piece that doesn't need leveling, but still want casters, save yourself some time and just buy the ones that you can put screws into instead :)
The best things about stumps? They are so customizable...even though they really are just a big hunk of wood. You can find them in varying widths; make them any height you want and any color you want. And if you are completely against painting wood, you can easily stop at the sanding, and just put a clear top coat over it instead.
Here's the video segment for you all to enjoy :) It went a lot worse in my head so I'm glad it turned out somewhat decent lol