***If you wish to skip the drawn out story, then feel free to scroll to the bottom to read an abbreviated step by step guide on how to achieve a solid stump coffee table!
Once upon a time, I saw a gorgeous solid stump coffee table in AD magazine. After scouring the internet, I realized it was a faraway dream since the one I wanted was around $3,000. Fast forward a few months later, my husband found a glorious raw stump for sale on Craigslist. The sellers sold firewood to smokehouses but this piece was just too huge for them send over.
And huge it was. That baby was heavy. So heavy in fact, we had to move it with metal chains attached to a huge 4×4 truck onto a trailer. The sellers said it weighed about 700 pounds as it was a solid white oak stump that has been soaked through by the recent rains.
We brought it home and had it dry out in our garage for a good 5 months. Unfortunately after 5 months, it was still insanely heavy.
And this is where we made a mistake. Seeing how heavy it was, we decided to try hollowing out the inside. At first, my husband took an ax but then traded it for a chainsaw. The hollowing definitely made it lighter BUT it hadn’t dried out completely, causing it to crack a few months later. Personally, I don’t mind the large cracks but if you like it whole then try to hollow out just a bit instead of the whole center. But keep in mind, real wood cracks whether you hollow it out or not.
After hollowing out the inside, we were finally able to flip it over and attach some heavy-duty wheels and start sanding!
We used one of those professional, heavy-duty hardwood floor sanding machines and sanded down that stump until it was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. For the sides, I used a smaller sander to get into all the nooks and crannies. Sanding took a few days but once we were done, I stained it with two coats of Minwax Wood Finish. After letting it dry, we then rolled it through the double doors and let it steal the attention in the room.
It’s that simple! If you ever find a huge stump, don’t be afraid to take it home and make it beautiful!
Now if you’re a list person, here is a brief overview of the process:
Step 1: Find a stump. This may seem obvious but make sure you choose the correct type of wood. White or red oak is a great option and will last you forever.
Step 2: Let it dry and cure! If you have one of those dryers, then by all means use it. If not, leave it in a dry room for as long as it takes to dry out.
*Step 3: Hollow it out using an ax or chainsaw. This step is optional. If it is abnormally heavy you may want to hollow it out a bit. But remember, don’t go crazy like we did!
Step 4: Sanding! Borrow or rent a good professional floor sander. It would cut the time of sanding in half and leave you with a flawless top! And don’t forget the sides!
Step 5: Attach the wheels or legs your table would be sitting on. We recommend using wheels because it would be easier to move around.
Step 6: Treat and fill wood with your preference of wood filler. We skipped this part to give it a more natural look but we would highly recommend to not do what we did and actually treat it. Epoxy would be a great option.
Step 7: Stain! Make sure the wood fill is all dry and begin staining with a good quality stain. Give it adequate time to dry all the way through.
Step 8: Roll into your room and enjoy!!
Thank you for following along and I can’t wait to see your stump coffee tables!