DIY Rustic Barn Wood Coffee Table W/ Pioneer Wood Patina
Hello, my name is Paul Clair and I am the founder of Pioneer Wood Patina. Our product is a safe, water based powder concentrate which, when applied, turns new wood into old wood or "barn wood". We wanted to do a DIY project to show how easy our product is to use. It can be used to make your own barn wood for a fraction of the cost of real barn wood. Or, like this project, used to touch up existing barn wood.
We have had the same coffee table in the middle of our living room for over twelve years. Time for a change, right? I have been a builder of rustic timber frame and log homes as well as furniture for years and happened to have some barn wood left over to work with. One of the problems you encounter when working with barn wood is that often times the rich patina gets sanded off of the wood in order to get the texture smooth enough to use as furniture. Pioneer Wood Patina provides a great solution to this problem. We simply sand the wood, cut and build the furniture, then apply the patina for a uniform finish.
This is a fun and moderate skill level project so let’s get started.
Here is what you will need:
Lumber- 1@ 36 inch 4x4, 2@ 17 inch 4x4’s, 4 at 16 inch 4x4’s and 7 @ 48 inch 2x4’s
Tools- minimum: Hand saw, miter box, sander, drill, bucket, paint brush and rags.
3 inch screws
Step 1- Grab some Pioneer Wood Patina and Pioneer Wood Patina-Natural Beeswax Paste to use a sealer for the coffee table once you are finished. Check with your local paint and hardware store to see if they carry it. If they do not carry it, let them know that they should. Then, go to PIONEER-WOOD.COM and check the store finder to see who stocks it closest to you. You can also order on our website or through companies such as Rockler Woodworking and Supplies. It is available in 1 quart, 1 gallon and 5 gallon concentrates.
Step 2- Pick your lumber. For this coffee table we happened to have real barn wood. However, you can use any lumber as Pioneer Wood Patina will turn any wood into barn wood. So, you could use any old lumber behind the garage or just run down to the lumber yard and purchase new wood. The patina will work on any wood species but keep in mind that pine will need to go outside and get some UV light in order to have decent results.
We used Douglas fir 4x4’s for the base and 2x4’s for the top.
Step 3- Sand the lumber. Our 4x4’s were pretty rough so I started with 100 grit sandpaper, then went to 150 grit and finished up with 240 grit. 240 grit is pretty fine for barn wood, however, it gives a really nice finish when done. Personally, I really like that smooth finish so I don’t mind spending the extra time sanding to achieve it. I typically use a standard 5 inch orbital sander. They are inexpensive ($80.00) and do a great job.
This picture is not the exact top that I used for this project. The top for this project I added two pieces of new Douglas fir between the first and second boards on each side to add some contrast.
Step 4- Cut and glue the top. I use a miter saw and because I own one. You could also use a miter box with a handsaw if needed. Cut the table top pieces to length but leave them a couple inches long so that you can cut the top to length all at once as soon as the top is dry. I cut these to around 50 inches but you can modify the length to your own needs.
Next you will want to join the pieces somehow. Joining the pieces will get the boards close together as they lay next to each other. A hand plane, table saw or jointer are the tools for this. Use what you have!
Now it’s time to glue them together. You could also biscuit join between the boards for additional stability, but that is an extra cost if you do not own the tool. I do biscuit join now but have had great results for a lot of years prior to those tools being developed.
The key to having great results during the glue up is making sure you are ready and have everything you need before you start gluing. Time is everything because the glue sets up pretty fast. So, if you are prepared it goes smooth as butter. If you are unprepared, you will be running around like your head is on fire. Be prepared!
Here is how:
Pre- fit all your pieces and lay them out exactly as they will be when finished. Make sure that you have enough glue to get the project done. I use Titebond brand but I am sure any wood glue will work just fine. I also use the “dark” glue as it dries dark in color and this barn wood will be pretty dark when finished. Grab a bucket of water and a couple of old rags to mop up the excess glue dripping out of the seams while you are clamping the top together. This is the key. If you keep the wood clean from glue drying on it, you will save a lot of sanding after it dries.
While clamping, I like to pad between the clamp and the wood to prevent the clamp from denting the wood and leaving unwanted marks. I also like to alternate the clamps with some on the top and some on the bottom of the table top. This helps to keep the tension from the clamps from being on one side and bowing the top. Once the top is dry, unclamp it, cut it to length and lightly sand as needed.
This picture was taken around 12 hours after the patina was applied.
Step 5- Cut and assemble the base and attach the top. Cut the 4@ 4x4 legs to 10 degrees on each end and 16 inches measuring from the long point on one end to the short point on the other end.
Cut 2@ 4x4 cross pieces also at 10 degrees to 17 inches from long point to long point.
Cut one 4x4 with square cuts on each end to 36 inches long. This will go between the cross pieces.
Lay the top face down and layout the legs 3 inches in from the ends and 3 inches in from the sides. Pre drill, glue and screw them to the top.
Now pre drill and screw the cross pieces and center support. Be sure to keep the glue wiped off as you go. Now you can putty the screw holes and you are ready for Pioneer Wood Patina and finish.
Step 6- Mix the Pioneer Wood Patina with water and apply with a brush or sprayer. We like to use those garden pump up sprayers quite a bit as they and inexpensive ($25.00) and easy to clean. For this table I let the patina mature for around 12 hours to get a nice even look across the whole coffee table. I then lightly sanded it to let a bit of the natural character of the wood come though.
Step 7- Now it’s time to put the Pioneer Wood Patina- Natural Beeswax Paste on. This product is very forgiving and easy to use. Also, all of the ingredients in it are food grade making it a great choice for most woodworking projects such as cutting boards and butchers blocks as well as wood turnings, furniture and cabinets. Simply make sure the wood is dust free and rub the paste on the wood with a clean rag in the direction of the grain. Wait around 20 minutes and wipe off the excess. Apply another coat as needed. This table took three coats to get a nice rich finish. Once dry, around 12 hours, buff with a clean cloth to the desired gloss you are after.
All done!!! Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.