If you’re anything like me, you’re obsessed with Fixer Upper. Who doesn’t love Jo and Chip!? Well, prior to my love of that adorable show came my personal hobby of re-doing furniture. I’ve always had a love for updating pieces that had seen better days or recreating styles that I liked, but #hellobudget. Today I’m going to briefly explain how I created some super stylin log end tables. Guys, it’s too easy. Don’t spend a fortune! Just do it yourself.
- Two logs, cut to the same height (mine are about 2.5 ft high and cut with a chainsaw, making the tops extra rough). I found my logs for free while on a trip in Montana. Try looking on Craigslist, OfferUp, or just drive around your neighborhood in search of someone selling firewood that has not been cut.
- A hammer and some form of chisel (you could use a large flat head screwdriver). My logs were nearly bark free when I picked them up. However, you may need to knock off the bark from yours.
- Sand paper (small and large grain), belted sand paper, and a small electric sander.
- Polyurethane spray for sealing the wood (I chose a clear, matte finish for $3.99 from my local craft store). You may also want to grab a drop cloth to spray on top of.
What To Do
First things first, make sure your logs are dried out. You don’t want a rotting stump next to your bed, now do ya? Also note my favorite words to use on my blog: I am not an expert. I didn’t cure my logs and I have no background in carpentry. I probably could have dried my logs longer or gone through an actual curing process. If your logs are nice and dry, start by chiseling away the bark. As noted above, my logs were already free of bark, so I skipped this step. Moving on, use large and small grain squares of sandpaper to smooth the sides of your logs by hand. I wouldn’t recommend using an automatic sander on the sides, as it’s extremely powerful and may take off chunks rather than skimming the surface! I alternated between the small and large grain sandpaper until I found the degree of smoothness I was after (oh hey, muscles!)
Once the sides of your logs are ready, use the belted sandpaper and automatic sander to smooth the tops of your logs. Be careful! If you let go of this bad boy, it will fly across the room (or so I’ve been told). I used a gentle pressure and tried different directions until I achieved the look I wanted. The top of your logs may not be perfectly smooth, but don’t fret! Just ensure the major bumps and splintered areas are softened down. Though my logs had several cracks, I felt it gave the pieces more character.
Finally, put down a drop cloth, shake up your polyurethane, and spray 2-3 coats of light coverage all over the logs. I let them dry for about 10 minutes between each coating. You can definitely select a sealant with more of a gloss or sheen, but I prefer the matte look.
And there you have it! Quick and easy! I have seen countless log end tables listed for $200+ online, while I literally spent $3.99 on this entire project. If you see a style you love, don’t fret about not being able to afford it. Roll up your sleeves, get your creative juices flowing, and create a similar style for what your budget affords you!