I love craft and office supplies stores. Kinda weird, I know. Lucky for me, I pass a Michael's every day on the mile walk between my office and Caltrain station and often find a reason to stop inside. One day I found these wooden slabs, and though I didn't know what I was going to do with it, I bought one. My first plan was to make a hanging side table. Then, wait, serving tray. Wait, wait, maybe a cheese plate?
Finally, I landed on small side table and got to it.
The tree slice came pre-sanded with natural bark along the outside. Spoiler: dry tree bark is pretty flakey. I used a coarse grit sand paper (100) to take off the top coat of bark along the sides and a fine grit sand paper (220) to sand down the top as an extra precaution. Admittedly, I didn't do great research, so I didn't know basswood soaks up stain supahhhhh fast. In retrospect, I should have probably conditioned it ahead of time, but instead, I went straight to the ebony stain and it turned the wooden tree slice PITCH BLACK.
I immediately tried to wipe it off, but couldn't get much. So, I let it dry overnight and used several pieces of sandpaper to lighten the coat in the morning. I didn't love it, but couldn't turn back. So, I added three coats of matte polyurethane to the top and bark (two hours apart with light 220 grit sanding in between) and let it set for 48 hours.
Two days later, it was looking much better :D The matte polyurethane really lightened it up. I lightly sanded the whole thing one last time, wiped it down with a wood conditioner and attached the 21" tripod stand I bought online with four 3/4 inch wood screws.
BOOM. A one weekend wooden tree slice side table.
Round Wooden Tree Plaque (Michaels): $11
Multi Pack Sand Paper (Discount Builder Supplies): Had
Tripod Stand (hairpinlegs.com): $36.50
Ebony stain (Home Depot): Had
Matte Polyurethane (Home Depot): Had
Goat Hair Brush (Home Depot): Had
Wood Screws (Nob Hill Hardware): Had
Wood Conditioner: Borrowed
Photos: Nikon D3200 Kit Lens / Edits: Adobe Lightroom