Friday, July 23

My Soon-to-Be New Garden Table

Don't tell my mother--Mom tends to be a little embarrassed by these kinds of things--but I had a great trashpicking night this week!.  As a result, I am the proud owner of this cool new garden table:

My new table formerly served as a spool for some sort of wire--my neighbor 5 doors down must work with wire regularly, because he often puts spools of varying sizes out on his tree lawn during trash day. This is by far the largest one I've seen, and it's the first one I managed to snatch before someone else grabbed it up.

I really like the industrial feel, the hefty screws, and the handle cut out of the top.  (Side  note: I did NOT use the handle to get it home--there is only one, and trying to figure out where to put my other hand seemed unnecessary when I could simply roll it down the sidewalk instead.)  But I don't like the visual "chunk of new wood" effect that the table gives now, and I want to protect it a bit from the elements.  So I thought about staining it the same burgundy as the post you see in the right side of this photo:

Or maybe I should paint just the base a bright cobalt, to match the watermelon pot above?  That would give me three large, round, cobalt blue things, and I like having things in odd numbered clusters.  Of course, deep brown would make a good backdrop for anything, as illustrated by the fence color in the background here:

But maybe I should try a deep, mysterious purple, like the 'Vista Purple' salvia in that cobalt pot.  After all, I love how Gail's fence turned out.  And, like Gail with her fence, I have the feeling that a deep, deep brown--while much loved on my own fence--is not what I want here.

So how about introducing a new color across that large surface?  Maybe the violet-red of the coleus in that pot, or a deep orange similar to the color of these butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) blooms:

A fresh chartreuse, like the underside of that eggplant leaf in the photo above, might also be nice.  Especially if I use that on the base, and just seal the top to keep the fresh wood color.  And then, of course, there's the possibility of using some kind of brick or tile to cover the base--should I even think about those options?  There almost too many choices... so I guess that I'll just be living with this table for a while until the solution comes to me!

One thing I DO know:  If I stain or paint the top of this new table, I'm going to use some sort of semi-opaque or translucent stain.  Because in addition to the fasteners, knots, and other natural markings, this spool has been branded with a serial number, and someone had handwritten a note and some more letters on the top in thick marker, too.  That's the kind of wabi sabi detail that I really appreciate, so I want to keep it somewhat visible.  After all, I think it's fun to have an old wire spool as a garden table... even if I do want to hide just how I acquired it from my Mom!


Carol Michel said...

However you paint it or stain it, I'm sure it will turn out great. And we all promise not to tell your Mom how you got it!

Meagan said...

Giant spools are awesome. As much as I dislike the idea, I think one of those antique finishes would look really nice- to make it look like old weathered wood. Probably a darker tone? I actually like the raw wood look most of the time, but you're right, it does stick out in your garden. As a second choice I vote pale green, though I'm having trouble visualizing that as a transparent coat.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am cracking up at how you are "hiding" how you acquired this spool from Mom. Ha... I think you should stain it and then put a glossy finish on the top. I saw this on someones top in a photo the other day. It was gorgeous. Then you can protect the project and get a great look. Of course I like lots of color too. What ever you do have fun and no, I won't tell Mom.

chuck b. said...

I agree: definitely wait until inspiration strikes.

Karen said...

Purple and chartreuse! (A bit much?) Okay, whatever you pick will work.

But I vote for purple.

Or chartreuse.

Or both.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Carol! Mum's the... word. :)

Meagan, I know! You want me to keep an eye out for another one set out for trashpicking? *grin* As far as the green stain goes, check out the raised bed stain at the bottom of this blog post. Only I wouldn't use that shade of green in mine, more of a chartreuse. Or maybe orange. The more I think about it, I think that I'm going to leave both the top and the bottom natural, and just put the color on the spool itself and the layer of wood underneath that very top and bottom of the "table" and "foot" parts. That way I can flip it over, too.

Greenbow Lisa, one of the first times my parents came to stay at my first house in Cleveland, I was a little late in meeting them because I had trashpicked a grandfather clock. My now-ex-husband stood there shaking his head and rolling his eyes as my Mom asked for the sixth or seventh time, "So... really, you TOOK that? From someone's TRASH pile?!" lol.

Btw, if you remember where you saw that other project, please let me know. I'd love to go take a look at it myself!

And when it does, chuck b., I'll definitely post about it. :)

Karen, EXACTLY! Way too many fun options for this project! :-D

Garden Lily said...

Oh my, I love it too! I like your idea about the translucent or semi-opaque stain, to let the character show through. Be sure to post again when you stain it, but don't rush... You may want to place it at its target destination for a while, to see where your inspiration leads.

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

I have to say that the purple in that deep rich tone is absolutely a stunning garden accent color. There is never enough purple (although if you ask my husband, he will say there is a lot of purple and green in my garden)…

I remember trying to play on huge wooden wire spools like that back in the mid 80's when the area I lived in was undergoing major suburban sprawl… They must have been from the power companies because at @ 10 years old there wasn't one of us that could reach up to get to the top of the spool (in rolling position). Cause you know a bunch of 10-13 year olds wanted to make that thing roll and try to stay on top of it…

Enjoy your new table! Maybe you can grab a couple more in different sizes - that grouping of three thing...

Gail said...

Kim, As I was reading your post I was so imaging you rolling it home and you did! It will be splendid~and you can't lose with purple, brown or blue...but, I really like purple! Thanks for the link~gail

Heather's Garden said...

We had one of these as a table in the garden when I was a kid. Ours was gray, which I kind of like the idea of in your garden. But that might be too sedate for your wild garden!

Gail said...

Here to see what you've decided about color...I am not pushing purple, btw ;) The color choice process greatly intrigues me; I am in the throes of that dilemma regarding a slipcover for my couch! gail

Annie in Austin said...

Oh lordy - you are giving me flashbacks to wire spool tables at friends' houses, Kim! Guess that was in late 1970's...we looked for one to trash-pick but missed out...think it was easier in newer subdivisions.

I have a vague memory of someone painting glue on the 'stem' part, then patiently using jute or heavy yarn, winding around and around to cover the surface- might have been for a rec room- not outside.

Have fun!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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