Most of us may or may not be familiar with live edge wood slab. But what if I told you this rustic-looking piece of wood is all in trend now? Interior designers are bringing live edge wood furniture into the circles and guess what! People are catching on to it. Eyes are immediately drawn there. Do you want your kitchen island or coffee counter to be more appealing? If you want to I would suggest you create your own! Don’t worry, we will ensure you finish live edge wood that will last years.
What is Live Edge Wood: Things to Know
You might have a shape of imagination in your mind with furniture like tables and bars. Which eventually has sharp ends. Well, live edges are uniquely designed which does not necessarily take away the real appearance of the slab. It is mostly handcrafted designs. Though it seems like no hard job. But to finish live edge wood slab it includes staining, coating, curing, sanding, etc.
This mid-century decor’s specialty is its nature. How far we knot the surface to be even but the authentic look remains. Live edges are now extremely diverse. Some creative people evolve it as an art.
Some people not only use live edges as furniture but also hang them on the walls as a piece of art. They also made it through doors, chairs, tables, benches, and whatnot. However, I believe you also have a preference for live edge wood because we all appraise natural beauty.
How to Finish Live Edge Wood Slab
Logs from spring and summer give up their barks easier. Also if you are interested in more layers of uniqueness let you log in to place down to the ground for a year or maybe two.
1. Make Sure You Have Brought the Right Wood Slab
It is very important to start with the basics. The right wood slab will make your work easier. You can buy finished or unfinished wooden slabs. However, go for the unfinished one. It will cause you less expense. Before buying the wooden slab make sure it has the right dimensions you need.
Seek the local lumberyard for the best guidance and varieties you can check online stores. Compare the woods and their structural features with your home decor and then finalize. However, a precaution before you buy any wood slab. To finish live edge slabs you need to be handy enough.
2. Size the Slab to the Right Length if Needed
The right length may or may not be pre-decided when you buy the slab home. If so you have to resize your wooden slab. Before resizing your wooden slab, let it air dry. The moisture of your home can make it difficult to adjust.
Once settled, let it kiln-dry for one to two weeks. You may proceed to resize the slab. It’s a crucial step to finish live edge wood. Before cutting the slab, secure the slab on a workbench maybe with some screws.
Now start to resize the wooden slab with a saw. Else you can take the help of a sawmill. Cut the slab to the length you want. Start with a sharp blade and keep extracts handy because bark comprises grits which may dull blades quickly.
3. Remove the Barks for your DIY Project
You may want to keep barks on your wooden slab as it appears more natural. But trust me it is important to shape those barks to attempt to finish live edge wood. Else the barks will fall apart later. Use a cutting tool like a chisel to peel off the bark section. You don’t want a worm track showing on top, right? Don’t gouge the surface with a chisel. Next sand your surface. Use portable sandpaper (120 grit).
If you want more layers and character to your slab, leave it there. Scraping the layer may end up with a smooth slippery edge. So leave the cambium and do no sanding to maintain the texture.
4. Inspect Defects and Fix Them with Key joints
Now you inspect the slab. Inspect for gaps, splits, or other defects. It’s important because splits can open up later when you finish live edge wood. Deal with them in the first place using butterfly keys or bowtie joints or Dutchman joints. It’s a type of joint or inlay that holds two or more pieces of wood together. A negative of the hole will be cut out and will be placed and fitted to join them together. It is constrained wood, mostly walnut.
Use a chisel and router to create pockets that fit butterfly keys. They don’t need to align together. Rout mortises and tenons then glue them with epoxy. Glue torn or lost barks in the back of its place. Clean out the rest.
5. Finish Live Edge and Seal to Secure
It’s important to connect the slab to its base. Fasteners will do that job. Figure 8 fasteners will be a great fit; they will allow the wood to shrink and expand. Now move to the next crucial part and let’s finish live edge wood. Make sure to ease sharp edges with filer, rasp, and sandpaper before assembling. Make sure the epoxy is completely dried. Also, vacuum your entire workplace. Avoid any dust from beforehand in your final coat. on the top of the slab hand-plane or smooth with sandpaper.
If you choose to sand it, start with a 180 grid and continue to 220 and 320 if needed. Rub sandpaper until you are satisfied or maybe file with t more intensity. Then wipe the wooden slab. Try using mineral spirit. For finishing touch up with whatever you like. If you want a glossy or oil finish to follow polyurethane or shellac. Lastly, sand it with 400 grit sandpaper. Finish the live edge with a shiny coating of crystal-clear lacquer.
This way you do not need to buy a fancy rustic-looking piece of live edge wood. And this is how within minimum expense you can finish live edge wood for yourself. The most important tips here are patience and hard work. Don’t worry here ‘flaws’ are what will make it stunning to the eyes.
Also read: Creative Ideas for Making Own Diy Headboard