Monthly Archives: May 2018

Using a Wood Burning Tool and Gel Stain to Make a Serving Tray

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Gel Stain
  • Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane
  • Wood burning tool
  • Stencil
  • Decorative handles

Decorative wood burning is a centuries-old technique, but I hadn’t tried it for years, so when I wanted to personalize a serving tray for a friend of mine, I reached for my wood burning tool. (But you can also use a soldering iron.)

Stencil your design and begin wood burning.

Using a Wood Burning Tool to Decorate a Serving Tray

I used a stencil to outline her initials, then began burning this inexpensive, unfinished wood plank I got at my local craft store.

Apply layer of Minwax Gel Stain.

Apply Layer of Minwax Gel Stain

I then stained the tray with Minwax Gel Stain. You can apply your stain right over the burnt initials, as the scorched wood won’t absorb any stain.

Add a protective layer of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.

Apply Layer of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane for Protection

Since the tray will often have water spilled on it, I opted for Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane as my finish, for it has superior resistance to moisture.

Attach decorative handles.

Attach Chrome Handle to Decorative TrayI then attached two chrome handles, which I first mounted to scraps of rosewood I had in my workshop.DIY Decorative Wood Burning Serving Tray

As you can see, when you personalize a gift, you make something very special — and very practical — for a friend or family member.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Building a Wooden Outdoor Planter Box

Wrought Iron Planter Needs Wood Liner

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil
  • 5 Pressure-treated boards
  • Drill
  • Nails
  • Glue
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper

Last summer I built a garden shed behind our house for Leigh Ann. Scored me some major points, but also gave me more space in our garage for my woodworking workshop. Beneath these two stained glass windows that we had found in a salvage warehouse, she hung a wrought iron planter, and asked if I could build a wood liner for it.

1. Measure and cut pressure-treated board.

Cut Pressure-Treated Boards for Wooden Planter

I picked up an inexpensive pressure-treated board, took my measurements from inside the planter, then cut and laid out my boards.

2. Nail, glue and clamp five boards together.

Clamping Planter Boards After Nailing and Gluing Together

Knowing her window box planter will be subjected to both moisture and extreme temperature swings, I nailed, glued, and clamped the five boards together.

3. Drill drainage holes.

Drill Drainage Holes in Bottom of Flower Box

Naturally, the flower box needed drainage holes, so I drilled three half-inch holes in the bottom board.

4. Sand and apply two coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil.

Apply Two Coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil

While the pressure-treated lumber does resist water, I wanted to make sure it had some additional protection. After a light sanding, I applied two coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil, designed for exterior projects. As you can see, the Teak Oil also made the wood look more attractive.

5. Place the planter and add your plants.

Wooden Planter Box with Durable Outdoor Finish

All that is left is for Leigh Ann is to add the plants, safe in knowing that the wood liner will hold moisture longer and better than moss — and without soon rotting or falling apart.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Repurposing Barnwood to Make a Coat Rack

Pile of Reclaimed Barnwood

When I spotted this crate brimming with short pieces of barnboards, I knew I could come up with a project for them. After also finding some hooks at the same salvage warehouse, I decided to make a coatrack for our downstairs “mudroom.”

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer
  • Reclaimed wood boards (about 14″ x 3″)
  • Palm sander
  • Coat hooks
  • Brass screws
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Glue
  • Clamps

1. Cut barnboards to the desired size.

Pile of Reclaimed Barnboard

I started by cutting nine boards each about three inches wide and fourteen inches long (you can make yours whatever size you like), then began playing around with the layout on my workbench.

2. Layout boards and glue them together.

Glue Barnboards Together & Sand Edges

I settled on a staggered layout, then glued the boards together, clamped them overnight before taking my palm sander and rounding the straight edges and corners to give them a worn look.

3. Protect barnwood with Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer

Spray a Coat of Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer for Protection

As much as I like barnboards, I am the first to recognize that the dried wood needs some additional protection — and a little gloss to bring them to life and to highlight the grain of the wood. And the easiest way to do both was with a can of Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer in a satin sheen.

4. Position hooks on barnwood and attach.

Position Hooks on Barnboard and Attach with Screws

The lacquer dried quickly, so within minutes I was able to position my hooks on the barnboards and attach them with brass screws.

5. Hang your coatrack.

Coat Rack Made from Reclaimed Wood

And in what seemed like no time at all, my coatrack was complete and ready to hang inside the door to our mudroom. If you like it, give it a try!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!