True story. Thirteen years ago, when I first started dating MMM, I mentioned my home was filled with junk and thrift finds. I told him this in a lighthearted joking manner, testing the waters – or maybe subconsciously, I was trying to prepare him for my DIY ways. I’m grateful he ‘gets-me’, and he loves that I see things differently. Where many people may view an item as worthless and disposable, I see a fun and creative DIY challenge.
As I’ve shared with all of you lately, not a whole lot of decorating has been taking place around here in the last few years. But, I guess some things never change. When I spotted this cable spool in front of a local business, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it and exactly where it was going to go. And once again, another ‘junk find’ has found it’s way into my home.
DIY Faux Barn Wood | Cable Spool Table Makeover
With Fixer Upper and other popular decor shows featuring the modern farmhouse look, barn wood is pretty trendy right now. But trendy or not, I can’t resist the unpretentious warmth and texture it brings to a space. If you’re like me, and curious how to create this trend on a dime, this post is for you!
This post contains affiliate links to products used. You can see my full disclosure here.
- Salvaged Cable Spool
- Salvaged Table Base
- Sponge, TSP/Cleaning Supplies
- Wood Dowels
- BIN Shellac Primer
- General Finishes Bone White, Cardamom & Lamp Black Paint
- Paint Brush
- Glaze and Burnt Umber Craft Paint
- Topcoat (Wax or Poly)
- Screws & Screwdriver
- Sharpie/Circular Saw/Router (optional)
HOW TO – DIY FAUX BARN WOOD:
1:: PICK THE RIGHT WOODThere are numerous ways to get a weathered barn wood finish. The best technique will depend on the type of wood you’re using. For this example, I’m using a rough salvaged cable spool I found roadside. To get a textured weathered grain look, ANY inexpensive rough wood will work. Cable spools, pallet boards or old fence boards will all look amazing and authentic with this technique.
2:: CLEAN, PREP AND PRIMEAfter cleaning the cable spool with TSP and warm water, I let it dry 100%. Then MMM filled in the spool holes with wood dowels. I used Bondo to fill in any remaining space around the dowels and then sanded to even it out. I wanted my primary base color to be white, so I primed with White BIN Shellac Primer. Your base color is the one that will show through once the piece is sanded and distressed. It does not have to be primer, and you can pick any color.
3:: LAYER – LAYER – LAYERLayering is the key to creating this barn wood look. I painted over the primer with General Finishes Cardamom Brown. Then laid down a glaze mixed with a darker Burnt Umber craft paint. And finally, I dry brushed on some General Finishes Lamp Black. Tip – Any variation of colors can be used going from lighter to darker. Example: applying a medium grey over light grey, than a dark grey, then black. Because it’s a faux finish, any color can be used to fit your decor! The goal is to cover the spool in paint while layering up the colors.
4:: SAND AND DISTRESSHere’s where the magic happens. Once the paint has dried, I used a sander with 180 grit sandpaper to create this textured barn wood finish. The less you sand, the less weathered it will look. The more you sand, the more weathered it will look.
5:: BARN WOOD SLATS (OPTIONAL)To create a more authentic barn wood look, I used a sharpie and wood board to draw plank lines. I could have stopped there, but decided to create authentic looking faux boards with my circular saw set at an 1/8th of an inch.
This table was top coated in wax but if I were to do this project again, I would opt for a flat poly. Even though I didn’t buff the wax, it still gives a little more of a shine than I would like. A flat poly like General Finishes Flat on Flat would be my first choice for next time.
7:: PAINT AND ASSEMBLE THE BASE
The base of this table was made from a table bottom I curb-shopped a few years back. It’s been sitting in my inventory for a few years and I’m happy I’ve finally found the perfect match for it. It’s painted in General Finishes Bone White Chalk Style Paint and protected with Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax. To secure the spool top to the base, I simply screwed them together from the bottom.
Here’s my finished side table. It fits perfectly in a corner of my living room between my love seat and couch. I love the way this side table adds interest and texture to my living room.