Wire Spool Coffee Table for Outdoors

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July 21, 2015 by bridgitgillis

I literally picked this spool up at the dump!  It is now a nice coffee table with wheels on my deck.

I literally picked this spool up at the dump! It is now a nice coffee table with wheels on my deck.

If you spend any time checking out ideas from making treasure out of trash, you’ve probably seen some of the cool things people do with old wooden wire spools.  Since everyone now sees the value in their potential, they are often hard to find for cheap.  I happened upon this spool while I was at the local dump, and was super excited with my free find!  Since I had no outdoor furniture, I decided to turn it into a coffee table with wheels, which also doubles as seating when needed.

This project was simple, yet the results are a great piece of outdoor furniture.

How I did it:

1. I let my spool dry out in the garage for a few days.  It had been out in the weather and was water logged.  The worst thing I could have done was try to stain or paint a wet piece of wood!

If your spool has been in wet weather, let it dry out for a few days before painting or staining.

If your spool has been in wet weather, let it dry out for a few days before painting or staining.

2. Sand with an orbital sander.  My spool was warped and rusty from being in the weather.  I sanded it the best I could with an orbital sander.

3. Stain or paint with products designed for the weather.  Since I used a dark stain, I decided to stain over the rusty bolts on the spool as well.  So far the stain has stayed on them and it looks way better!

Be sure to stain all the nooks and crannies, especially if it will be totally exposed to the elements.  I couldn't actually stain inside the spool, but I did all that I could on the surface.

Be sure to stain all the nooks and crannies, especially if it will be totally exposed to the elements. I couldn’t actually stain inside the spool, but I did all that I could on the surface.

4. Optional- coat with a polyurethane.  If you do this, your spool will likely hold up to the elements better, but the water will likely lay in the low spots and need toweled off.  Just a stain without a coat of poly should really be sufficient and last a couple of years before it needs reapplied.

5. Add wheels to the bottom.  I chose to add wheels for three reasons.  First, it gave the spool a little more height, which it needed even for a coffee table.  Second, it is way easier to move.  Third, my deck is painted and I didn’t want the paint to get scratched up from someone moving it around.  I actually found these in my garage from a project my husband never got around to.  I like them because the wheels are a softer rubber, which is less likely to scratch  my painted deck.  I chose four because it gives it more stability than three wheels- especially if someone will be sitting on it!  I scored double, because these wheels have little brakes on them, which might come in handy if you will be doubling your spool as a seat.  I must admit that it has a slight wobble, the bottom of the spool is warped so it isn’t totally level.  If your spool does this, you could try putting the wheels in a different place, or sanding down the high side with your sander so that it sits flat.  Honestly, the wobble doesn’t bother me, it holds my coffee cup just fine. 😉

Wheels make it more mobile and way easier to move around.

Wheels make it more mobile and way easier to move around.

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