Tree Trunk Dining Room Tables

Amanda C, Hometalk Team
by Amanda C, Hometalk Team
10 Materials
7 Days
A couple of years ago my husband and I were in the market for a dining room table. We were super being super picky and wanted something fun when we stumbled across some tree slabs in the park. They had cut down tons of trees and were everywhere so we decided to scour through and find several that we liked to make a table with. With some simple sanding and sealing, we were able to make these moveable table pieces.
I know one of the legs doesn't match, but we found the table base and decided to use it and just buy 2 from a restaurant supplier. We will probably replace it so they are matching at some point, but then again it has been like 2 years since we made them soooo... Either way we have loved using this table and love the versatility of having 3 separate ones for parties or to make a long table or whatever we need! Plus it makes it much more manageable for any future moves.

Price will vary depending on how many you need... Table legs were about $20, but the sealer was $20, but I only used half a can on all three tables, so the cost will vary depending on what you are doing.

-Wood Slab / Slabs

-Table Legs

-Sand Paper (Varying weights)

-Sander (not pictured)

-Epoxy / Polyurethane coating / Sealer / Wood Juice

-Plastic Wood

-Paintbrush / Foam Paintbrush

-Socket Wrench

-Bolts (2-3")

*Please note that this project has already been completed so the slabs are already sealed in all of the following pictures. The picture above, however, shows a raw slab on the left and a completed piece on the right.

***Make sure to let the slabs of wood dry for unfortunately several months or even a year or so until they are completely dry. You do not want to seal in the moisture as it leads to greater cracks so be sure they are dry! I think we let ours sit for 6-8 months before starting in on them.
STEP 1: Sand your slabs

Once your slabs have dried out sand them down using a sander (we borrowed one from a friend when we did this project so I don't have it pictured) until they are nice and flat and smooth. One side (the side you intend for the top) needs to be sanded down more than the side that will be used on the bottom.

*You will need several grades of sanding grit paper, not just the 60 that is pictured. As I mentioned I did this project several years ago and have since gone through the sanding sheets I used. I probably sanded this thing like a million times, but it was totally worth it once it was all nice and smooth.
STEP 2: Fill cracks with "plastic wood"

If you have any large cracks in your slabs you can fill them with "plastic wood". Just be sure to get the color that matches your wood type. You don't have to fill in the cracks, but this stuff can be stained and sealed so it is certainly a great thing to use if you are looking to fill them in.
STEP 3: Add sealer

Clean off your wood so tat all the dust from sanding is cleaned from the slabs. Seal the wood with a wood sealer. You can use wood juice and then an epoxy coating or a poly coating. We just picked up something at our local hardware store that they suggested and it has worked great!

For the top of the tables, I would suggest using a sponge brush so that you can't see any streaks or strokes of the brush. For the bark part, you will want to ooze in as much of this as possible in all the cracks and crevices. Bark is not a sure thing. Sometimes it falls off no matter how much you treat it. Certain wood's bark remains intact better than others. This bark has remained pretty well (you can see a section did fall off, but that honestly happened before we even treated the wood) You can buy spray sealer which would get in the crevices more easily, but we just used this and brushed it a bunch.

Do several coats of this. I think we did 3-4.
STEP 4: Mark holes for your legs

Once your sealer has dried it is time to attach the legs to the bottom. First, you will want to center the table leg on the bottom and mark where the holes are.

Drill pilot holes over each mark you made.
STEP 5: Attach the legs

Using a sacket wrench or an adapter for your drill screw in your bolt to secure the leg in place.

We used bolts because they are much more durable than screws and these wood slabs are pretty hefty!
Here is a shot of the one that I just reassembled. You can certainly make this as a singular thing if you want just a small table. You could also use shorter legs and use it as a side table or whatever you need!
Somehow we lucked out and all the tables fit together like a puzzle! It is certainly interesting gathering around the table because it is not the most conventional, but we love it!
Look at all those lovely grains and rings!
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Frequently asked questions
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  • Debra McMenamin Debra McMenamin on Jul 18, 2018

    Wow! I’m amazed at the endless possibilities that a tree trunk can offer. We just happen to have a few pieces from our maple that was recently removed. Our plan is to make them into outside seating for around a future burn pit. You did a beautiful job! One question... were these dried out and if not, how long did it take for them to do so?

  • Alice Mukami Alice Mukami on Jul 07, 2020

    How do we dry the tree trunk pieces I have just saved? In the sun or indoors??

  • Rol82720570 Rol82720570 on Jul 28, 2023

    What was the diameter of these slabs? Knowing that will allow you to purchase the appropriate legs

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