January 21, 2015

Rustic Console Table Build

At a year and a half in, I'd say we're a little over the half way point in our Cabin Up North reno.  The first half is always the worst.  You're working your tail off, but there's so much work to do, that it looks like you've hardly accomplished anything.  It's exhausting and a little deflating.  All chips, no cheese on the nachos.

The second half is all cheese.  That's when I get the wind back in my sails.  Every time I look around I marvel at what we've accomplished so far.  You can start to see the finished product coming together, and items that have been on your list for months are finally starting to get ticked off.

Take my little console table project- which I included in the Big Cabin Plan over a year ago.  The idea has always been to define the Living Room space a little better by building a console table to place behind the love seat.  I saw it so clearly in my mind, but I'm not sure the family saw my vision. 

So the minute the holidays were over, it was time to make that little nugget of an idea a reality.  I was itching to build something again, so I used this table project from Ana White as a guide and adjusted the dimensions for a love seat size. I spent a few days of holiday break out in the garage with the boys building. 

Until we had this:

I love the sturdiness of this table, built with 2x4s and 2x6s. For a contrast to this beefy simplicity, the ends feature this pretty X detail.

I used a little bit of scrap that I already had, and the rest of the wood cost just $25!

With the knotty 2x4s, I wanted a really rustic finish that made this piece look like an antique handed down through the years, so I followed this tutorial on how to oxidze wood.  I had everything I needed already in the house!  I started by pouring some vinegar in a mason jar, placing some #0000 steel wool inside, and letting it sit for a couple of days.  Once it was ready I made a pot of strong black tea, which is supposed to add natural tannins to the wood. 

It went on just like water.

And didn't change the look much either.

I let it soak in for the suggested 6 hours, and then came back to paint the vinegar solution onto the shelf.  I didn't take very many pictures, because to be honest, I was freaking the hell out.  When you paint on the vinegar it goes on really light, and then almost immediately begins changing the color of the wood.  In seconds I went from beautiful fresh wood to this aged and splotchy mess.

It was late and I was freaking out, so I went to bed.  Everything is better in the morning.  And in fact, it was!  In the light of day things looked much better.  I gently sanded the whole piece, which dulled my splotches into a nice gradual variation.  When I was happy with the look I rubbed Paste Finishing wax on the whole piece with a cloth baby diaper, because that's how this Mom The Builder rolls.

I brought the finished product up to the cabin this weekend- tahhh dahhh!

 I love how the wood took on all these gentle variations of color.  A little red, a little gray, a little brown, a whole lot of gorgeous.

 Here's the view coming from the hallway, just look at that sexy X.

If I step back you can see how the table helps define the space.  If I look real hard I can almost see a beautiful fireplace flanked by built ins.  It can't come soon enough.

It's one project at a time though- right?  And at just $25, this one is one of my favorites.


  1. Any chance you might be able to take the time to do a "house tour" for the cabin? There have been so many changes, and it's a bit hard to remember where everything is in the layout. It would be great to have one place to go for the floor plan and each room's current state. Of course, a before/after of each room would be cool, too. It's awesome to see how far you've come! Good work!

    1. Great idea! Just give me a little bit to put it together- we've done a lot of work! :)