Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables and Video Segment

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So, let's talk tree stumps. Why would you want a big log sitting in your house? What's the big allure? They are so unique! You can't go buy them at a big box store, or even most furniture stores for that matter. And it's not every day that you go and walk into some one's house that has a tree stump sitting in their living room :) You have no idea how many compliments I get on my tree stump coffee table. It's a great conversation piece. And they are cheap! The cheapest piece of furniture I own. Not to mention that they look like a piece from West Elm that goes for $250 :)

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:
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

...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!

Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!
I then just painted the top with turquoise from Rustoleum.

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:

Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!
So, just put them up on some casters. The casters that will work best are the ones that screw in themselves, like these:
Screw some in all the way and some out a little more until you get a level surface. The next best thing about casters? It makes these 200+ pound behemoths easy to move for us weak folk :)

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 :)
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!
And there you go! This is a long post, but it doesn't really take too many steps to get your stumps turned into a side table. And they are relatively easy steps, especially if you don't have to deal with bark or mold.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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.
Spray Painted Tree Stumps Turned Side Tables -post shows how to pick your wood and where!

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

12 comments:

  1. Where did you get your white ruffly bedding?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe it was Joss and Main a few months back. I think I saw it online somewhere else too but I can't remember where!

      Delete
  2. You were great!! And you looked fabulous!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it! And now I will be stalking the rest of your blog

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  4. Love the gold stump! So cool..
    Leslie
    House on the Way

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is SO cool! I love this idea. I have a few stumps sitting in my garage, now my wheels are turning! Pinning. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome post! I have approximately 10 stumps in my yard right now, and I've been itching to fix them up. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Yes! I have been wanting to do this but couldn't figure out how to get it level. Going stump hunting in the backyard immediately. Thank you so much.

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  8. wao such a great idea for our tree removal company. Would definitely take a look on that and it really help us in our business expansion ... A new thing to business and even for customers.

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  9. These spray-painted tree stumps are actually super classy looking. This helps me know how to best use the stumps when I have them removed from my yard. The tree came down last week. Now I just have to figure out how to pull the stump out of the ground.
    http://www.arborforce.com.au/tree-services/tree-removal/

    ReplyDelete
  10. These spray-painted tree stumps are actually super classy looking. This helps me know how to best use the stumps when I have them removed from my yard. The tree came down last week. Now I just have to figure out how to pull the stump out of the ground.
    http://www.arborforce.com.au/tree-services/tree-removal/

    ReplyDelete

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