A Painted Stump Table with Tacks

painted stump

painted stump table

painted stump table with upholstery tacks

stump table

stump table

Sometimes change comes in the form of five minutes, random acrylic paint and tacks.

I used regular gold thumbtacks for this table, they lay more flat and are easy to push into the surface than my usual favorite: upholstery tacks. But there’s no wrong, you could use square upholstery tacks (I love these and also use them to hang printed quotes and such) or any kind of tacks. I like to keep a few different types of upholstery tacks (and thumb tacks) around the house for different projects.


painted stump

vol 25

I use upholstery tacks to hang my vol 25 posters…


to hang tassels…


and even my breadboards, they just look a little fancier than a nail and often I can push them in without even using a hammer (or high heeled shoe).

stump tables

I’ve used stump tables around our house for years. That tall one in the back is the same one I just painted blue on top. I think we found him on the side of the road, let him sit in the garage for six months or so, pulled off the bark and sanded him down. Sometimes we paint them, sometimes we carve our initials in them, sometimes we leave them like they are. Here’s my first stump table that we put on casters.

Our stumps came from different places: a tree that fell in our yard, side of the road, my friend Angela even gave me some. No matter where they come from, I like to let them sit in the garage for a few months so the bugs can work their way out, and then the bark usually comes off easier.

Stuff in my house stays the same, but also slowly changes over time.  I still love the stumps (maybe too much) but I also like to see how I can use them differently and how I can change them up. And you really can’t go wrong with free stumps, they are in abundance and it’s worth it to take a little risk and see how you can use them in your home.



  1. Love the addition of the painted top and nail head trim.

  2. LOVE!

  3. I love the painted top and the nail head trim just finishes it off.

  4. Love the paint and the tacks! And attaching wheels to the bottom of the tree trunk is just plain genius!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of it!!

  5. A stump! I LOVE the details with tacks!! I need things that are indestructible with four kids under 6 and a dog in the house. Simple and pretty.

  6. Your style has changed so much over the years but I have to say, I love it!! The stump tables are wonderful along with everything else in your new farmhouse.

  7. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your antler pictures! Those are awesome! Where did you get them?

  8. LOVE this! (And LOVE that particular blue shade of paint!) You are a decorating GENIUS! (As always. :)

  9. LOVE! {Oh wait, I think every previous commenter said the same thing!} But for real…I really do love it!

  10. Thank you so much! you just inspired me to do something creative with what I have around, and I needed that boost to glam up my small space on a nonexistent budget!!!
    Thanks again Namaste

  11. Great prices at Vol 25! thanks for mentioning it! Will go there soon!

  12. Super cute DIY! This is the best kind of DIY–easy, fast, stylish, useful, and inexpensive! Great work! :-)

  13. What a fab idea. I love your book, and have your quote on my living room wall….held up with Sellotape! For me that is huge….imperfect but beautiful…a lesson I really need to take to heart. Speaking of quotes…I love the one in this post….is it one you printed yourself or can you tell me when I can get a copy. Thanks mx

  14. Love that idea!

    What I really love is that you sourced brass thumbtacks. :-) Someone would ask…

  15. Love this! The blue is an amazing colour paired with the texture of the timber and tacks. Thanks for sharing :)

  16. Nancy Grace says

    Where did you find your metal side table/garden stool? I love the industrial feel of it!

  17. Vicki Young says

    Hi Nester, At my work today, a huge tree was being cut down. Inspired by your post, I asked the tree cutters for three stumps and hauled them home in my trunk. So excited to use them in my home. I love your style.

  18. A neighbor has an ingenious use for stumps. I have been meaning to snap a photo one morning while I’m walking so you can see what I mean.

  19. you literally are a little bit of a genius when it comes to decorating your home.
    i sure hope we get to meet one day.

  20. I ADORE THIS!!!! We inherited this god awful tree stump table thing and even though I hate it, I’ve kept it for 8 years hidden away in odd places. I now know exactly what I’ll be doing with it! Thank you for FINALLY inspiring me to do something with it, yay!!

  21. Seriously, your stumps are gorge! :) Now the problem is that as you suggested, I would have to leave them sitting in the utility room for a few months. Patience it’s not my best trait. ;)

  22. Oh my word this is such an amazing idea! I’m going to need to search for stumps now. Love love LOVE!

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.