Whiskey Barrel Side Table

11:51 PM

 For our patio, I wanted some kind of side table.  Last fall I bought these two plastic turquoise chairs on clearance for $9.00 each.  We needed something to go between them.

I found this idea of using a whiskey/ wine barrel as a table outdoors.  
This worked out perfectly for me because the previous owners of our home left us a few.  This one had weeds growing in it.  But I decided these barrels really don't have much table top area once upside down, and it would also be great for storage if I left it right side up.  Thus I needed to make some kind of table top for it.
But first I needed to make the actual barrel a little more easy on the eyes.  I used Minwax brand wood stain in ebony and stained the wood.  Stain got all over the metal rings, but it cleaned off with mineral spirits.  I didn't seal the wood or anything, just one coat of the stain and it was ready to go. 

Next I had to make myself a table top to go on the barrel.  Because I'm cheap, I used these weathered junk 1x3s from the junk pile the prior homeowners left.  They were gross and covered in nasty spider sacks, dirt, etc.
I measured the diameter of the barrel top and added 2" to make a square top for it.  I cut the 1x3s into varying lengths and with a Kreg jig, screwed them together in a flat table top.  Because they had been rotting outside for who knows how long, they were very uneven.  I did try to sand it as smooth as I could, but the warped, aged wood was left pretty rugged in the end. 
To better reinforce the table top, I nailed 1x2 strips along the outside edges.  It also makes the table top look a little thicker.  After sanding, I used the same Ebony wood stain on the table top.  But this did get a coat of outdoor polyurethane.  

To keep the lid from sliding off the barrel, I nailed scrap 2x3 hunks underneath to secure it, like big pegs that  fit 1.5" lower into the barrel so it can't slide off to one side.
Some areas of the wood grain ended up pretty light despite the super dark ebony wood stain.  I just did one coat and called it good.

You can see the table top has big enough gaps to support some dandelions, but it works, and the whole project was used with things I already had around so it didn't cost me anything.
We use the barrel to store all our firewood (for the firepit), so it has dual purposes!

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  1. Very cute idea! I am wondering where you found those chairs? I know you said you got them last fall, maybe they will have a similar deal this fall? If you could let me know that would be awesome! Thanks!

  2. Natalie:
    We got the chairs from Home Depot. They had lime, yellow, blue, maybe more. I hope you can find some!


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