Frugal, yet lusciously decadent, these tree stump end tables look like they have been dipped in molten gold and copper and will be a glowing conversation piece for any living room. Country chic, modern with a flare of the natural world, warm and cozy – this end table design will integrate well with many styles and can be completed in one afternoon.
- Tree stump slices – 3 stumps in various sizes. We had a windstorm here in my little Oregon town, and the next day Craigslist was full of “free tree stump” ads for all the trees that had toppled! I find that if you search Craigslist for a few weeks, you can find some free stumps that will work nicely. Make sure you find ones that have flat, smooth cuts so that they will sit flush with the floor and provide a good tabletop area to set lamps and decor.
- Sandpaper (rough and fine)
- Sponge and bucket of hot, soapy water
- Metallic spray paint – 2 cans of copper and 1 can of metallic gold
- Gloss top coat (spray can)
Other Items from Around the Craft Room:
- Dropcloth/plastic bags
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Hammer/rubber mallet
Strip your tree stumps of their bark. You’ll have a heck of a time if you try to just use your fingers, so I’d recommend using a big flat-head screwdriver and a hammer/rubber mallet to separate the bark from the wood. It falls right off in big chunks when you do that!
Use hot soapy water and a scrubby to work off all of the dirt and sap from your tree stump. Then use your sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the wood. Now repeat the washing step to get all of that dust and grit off!
Be sure to let your clean, smooth tree stump dry completely before moving on to this step (you don’t want to trap moisture underneath the paint!)
Start with a liberal spray paint coating of copper. I did the first layer nice and even, and then I applied the second layer heavily (especially around the knots) to get that molten copper look.
Once you have your copper layer in place, let’s apply the gold! We don’t want to cover everything in gold, but it makes a stunning accent color. With the gold spray can held back slightly further than normal, and moving in a soft, random motion, apply the gold to various parts of the piece. I focused on the knots, the top of the stump, and various swaths around the trunk. It really makes the copper shine!
After your paint is completely dry, take your glossy varnish/top coat and apply a liberal (but not drippy) coating. That will not only bring out a bit of shine, but also protect your little end table. If you want a more burnished, soft look, I would recommend using a matte or satin finish instead of glossy for the top coat.
Once everything is completely dry, you’re done! Arrange your pieces in an interesting formation, put a lamp, some plants, or anything else you’d like on them, and you’re done! You’ll notice the little plant sticking out of the front tree stump in my finished project photo. There was a natural hole in the center of the stump, so I slipped an artificial sprig of greenery into the center – just go crazy and have fun!
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Hi! I really like this idea to add a little bit of outdoor nature indoors. I was wondering, since I really love the natural beauty of wood, could I skip the paint & just seal the stump or is it necessary to paint then seal? Thank you for your great & easy to understand instructions 🙂
Marie you can paint stain or anything else you want it just has to be done before the varnish. if you change your mind later you have to strip the varnish off, stain paint then re apply your varnish. all the varnish does is seals everything up and gives a shine to the finished product.