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March 19, 2012

Did you notice the night stands in our updated guest bedroom in this post?

Right now they are like stubby cankles in need of a good pair of heels, as in a nice pair of lamps. But these babies are more than just a pair of cankle stumps – they are night stands with a story behind them…a big loud story that you can read about here!

About the same time we were unexpectedly left with 6-tons of firewood at the beginning of the summer, I had been eyeing up these end tables from West Elm…coincidence??

Needless to say, I did not pull the trigger on the two pieces at $199 a table (whaaat?!) , instead we paid our deductible and walked away with 2 free end tables…still trying to decide who got the better end of that deal.

We picked 2 stumps and let them sit out in the sun all summer. I wanted to really dry them out and make sure there were no critters left in there. (Which is worse, dolls or bugs?) I peeled the bark away, which came off pretty easily after sitting out for a while, any tough pieces I used a small wood chisel and popped them off. In the fall we moved them into the basement to dry out more.

Sand. Sand more. Sand again. Repeat. Get those stumps as smooth as a baby’s bum. And then sand more. You could use an electric sander, but because of all the cracks, waves and uneven surface, I found it easier to do it all by hand using a variety of grits, starting with the roughest (lowest number) and ending with the finest grit (highest number).

I liked the look of the stump without legs, but I wanted to get it off the ground for two reasons. One, if there was any moisture left in the table, I didn’t want it resting directly on our wood floor, probably ruining it, and two, I wanted them to be taller so they would be functioning night stands to set a glass of water on and not have our guests falling out of bed reaching for their night braces in the dark. (remember those?? ha!)

I wanted metal legs because of my love for mixing up different textures in a room, but just couldn’t find the right ones that were in my budget, so i found some wooden furniture legs for a few dollars and were the perfect height at home depot and spray painted them with oil rubbed bronze paint with a hammered metal finish.

The last step was to coat the tables, using polyurethane. I wanted these babies slick and shiny, so I did 5 coats of clear gloss poly, using a superfine grit sandpaper and a damp cloth in-between each dry time. This process took a few days to give the right amount of time to dry, but I love the smooth lacquered finish of each table!

I probably still would have preferred to have the 2 new end tables from West Elm along with our garage, our rose bushes and backyard, our car and zero insurance claim…but these two night stands are a close second 😉





6 Comments leave one →
  1. Holly w permalink
    March 20, 2012 7:39 pm

    That table is so beautiful, Katie!

    • March 20, 2012 7:45 pm

      Thanks Holly! I like how it turned out, but love that it has a personal story behind it! A true “conversation piece” 🙂

  2. March 27, 2012 8:33 am

    These are so cool! What a lot of work, but really something fun and pretty made out of a really bad experience!

    • April 4, 2012 7:57 pm

      Thanks Heather! Yes they were pretty easy to make! I can’t believe West Elm charges $200 for those! But I guess not everyone has giant end table sized logs laying around..

  3. March 27, 2012 4:13 pm

    These are awesome, and I totally noticed them in that earlier post!! I had to tell you your post came at the PERFECT timing. Hubs and I doing a project and were debating to do more coats of poly or not… After reading this, we did 3 more coats and it’s so much nicer. Happy! Thanks Katie, love your blog! 🙂

    • April 4, 2012 7:56 pm

      Awesome! What did you guys make? When in doubt, add more poly! Who doesn’t love shiny, glossy things!?

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