Look intimidating? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s SO not. There are some DIY projects out there that seem totally daunting at first, but in reality aren’t that difficult at all! This DIY wood slice table project is a perfect example of that. With just a few supplies and a little bit of time, you can make yourself your very own coffee table, end table, or plant stand.
This project is perfect for anyone who likes incorporating natural accents into their home. I’ve also found these tables to make the absolute perfect wedding gift if you’re not a registry kind of person, like myself.
Let’s get started!
I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
- Wood Slice. Finding the right piece of wood is potentially the most difficult part of the project depending on what you’re looking to do. I was lucky enough to steal a piece of spalted maple from my in-laws for my end table. This is a more difficult wood to come by, but if you have any connections I’d highly suggest reaching out to them. I’ve also heard of others finding great deals on wood slices on Craigslist or reaching out to a local lumber store. Other options are thelumbershack.com or for a smaller table check out Save-On-Crafts.
- Hairpin Legs. I got mine from diyhairpinlegs.com and was so pleased with the quality and how fast they shipped. For my end table, I went with 19″ 2-Rod Design 3/8″ diameter legs with a Jet Black Satin finish. They come in packs of four so for this project you will have one left over. After I finished this project I found these hairpin legs on Amazon that I think are a great (and affordable) option!
- Screws. If you ordered your hairpin legs from diyhairpinlegs.com then the screws are included.
- Water Based Polyurethane. Note you can also use Oil Based Polyurethane but the final look of the wood will be darker.
- Paint Brush
- Wood Shims
- Sander. I used and would recommend a belt sander, but you can also use a palm sander.
- Sandpaper (50, 80, & 120 grit)
- Air Compressor
Step 1: Prepare the Wood Slice
I hope you’re ready to sand! Honestly, it’s not too bad if you have a good podcast to listen to.
If your wood slice has bigger imperfections, start with 50 grit to knock down some of the large ridges. Since mine came right from the tree, you can see the large marks made from the chainsaw that I had to knock down.
I found it helpful to set up my wood slice on a small table so I could stand and move around while sanding. If you have sawhorses, those also work very well.
After I was done with the 50 grit sand paper, I moved onto the 80 grit until the surface was smooth. After that, I moved onto 120 grit. You will want to spend the most time on the 120 grit sandpaper.
As you sand, you’ll find that the surface of the wood slice will start to be covered in saw dust – go figure! Use the air compressor to quickly blow off all the saw dust so you’re able to see what the heck you’re doing.
Keep sanding until the surface is completely smooth and use the air compressor to blow off any dust and dirt from the top and sides.
This is what my wood slice looked like when I was done sanding.
Step 2: Apply the Finish
After your wood slice is completely smooth and dust free, you are ready for the fun part.
Grab your polyurethane and paint brush and start painting the top of the wood slice only. Make sure to stir the polyurethane before use. Generally, I do about 7 coats making sure it’s dry between layers, but you can do more or less depending on what you like.
For the first few layers, it won’t look like too much is happening, but don’t worry, just keep slapping on the layers! In addition, depending on your wood slice, you might need to lightly sand with the 120 grit sandpaper between the first few layers of polyurethane if you feel any roughness on the surface.
After the top of the wood slice has approximately 7 layers, move onto adding a few layers to the sides – I usually do 3-4 layers here.
Note: If you don’t wait to do the sides of the wood slice until after the top is finished, dirt from the bark will end up on the top and will harden in the polyurethane.
Step 3: Attach the Legs
Now that your wood slice is complete, you just have to attach the legs! I enlisted my finance’s help with this step.
Flip your wood slice upside down and roughly position the legs when you’d like them to be – no exact science to this. Mark the holes where the screws will go with a pencil (I slacked on the picture taking for this step – oops).
We then drilled in a few of screws to secure the legs so that we could stand it up to make sure it was level.
We were pretty picky on making sure it was completely level, but if you are happy with how yours looks – drill in all the screws at this step!
Note: If your wood slice has a large crack, try placing once of the legs over the crack to prevent it from further splitting.
We flipped the wood table onto its legs and using a level, found that we needed to use two shims on one side to make the table totally level.
Being careful not to split the wood of the shim, drill through the shim and then drill through completely to connect it to the wood slice.
Now that the table is level, we flipped the wood slice back upside down and screwed in all the screws to completely secure the legs.
Now you have your very own DIY Wood Slice Table!
I would love to know if you tried to DIY your own wood slice table and how it went. Feel free to leave a comment below!