Leigh Ann and I slipped away for a few days to celebrate a “milestone” birthday along the Carolina coastline, which we nearly had to ourselves. While Leigh Ann picked up seashells, I scoured the beach for a unique piece of driftwood to bring back as a souvenir of our vacation. But then, a few days later, I posed the same question you might have asked — “What can I do with it now?” One possibility: make an artistic sculpture out of it. Take a look!The first step is to let your driftwood dry out, preferably outside, just in case any small insects had come along with it. If you do find any bugs, simply place the driftwood into a plastic bag, spray in an insecticide, taking care not to spray it directly on the wood where it might leave a stain. Then seal the fumes inside the bag, and leave it sealed overnight.
Once the wood was dry and free of any insects, I used a stiff bristle brush to clean off any sand, dirt, and loose wood fibers.
For a more dramatic effect, you can scrub it with a wire bristle brush to remove the softer wood fibers between the harder growth rings.
To seal the porous wood, yet not make it look artificial, I prefer to mist it lightly with an aerosol can of Minwax® Clear Lacquer. You can continue to spray additional coats until you achieve the precise look you want, ranging from very natural to a high-gloss finish.
To give your driftwood sculpture that professional gallery look, use a piece of scrap wood to make a base for it. Since our focus is the natural, light grain of the driftwood, I prefer to stain the base black for contrast using a convenient tube of water based Minwax® “Onyx” Express Color Wiping Stain & Finish.
The one-step Express Color™ still allows the grain of the wood to show slightly as I wipe off the excess stain, and also provides a protective finish at the same time.
The last step in our sculpture is to drill a small hole in both the finished base and the underside of the driftwood, using a finish nail as the mounting post.
And when you’re all done, you’ll have more than just some photos on your computer as a reminder of your latest vacation. And what I thought was going to be in my office, Leigh Ann has snagged for herself – but I took that as a compliment!
Until next time,
Thanks for stopping by!