Faux Weathered Driftwood Tabletop

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This faux weathered driftwood look is SO simple to create!! Perfect for that coastal, beachy vibe. 

This faux weathered driftwood look is SO simple to create!! Perfect for that coastal, beachy vibe. artsychicksrule.com

Hello beautiful friends!

I hope you had an amazing weekend. We had a nice long one at the beach condo and got lots of work done.
And we managed to squeeze in a beautiful sunset and a pool day! Yippee! If you follow along on Instagram, you might have seen the sunset. I shared it over there in my stories. It was a beautiful one and we watched it on the soundside instead of oceanside this time. It’s just as beautiful!

(if you missed it, I just now added a few of them to my regular feed over on Instagram, go check them out!)

Okay, so today I had planned to share out screened porch our back but instead, I’m going to share what I did this past weekend. Eeek!! haha

Well, you know how you all thought I should do the Driftwood stain on this table? Now, if you did see my Instagram stories then you already know what I’m going to say. lol
I sanded it and put the Driftwood stain on.


Well, I didn’t sand well enough, which I actually was concerned I was going to do. haha So much so that I went over the whole table again with a bit rougher sandpaper and darn, I still didn’t get it all off. So I’m not sure whether to call this project a “happy accident” or a “fail”. haha!

Faux Weathered Driftwood Tabletop

But here is what I ended up with…

weathered top not styled

As you can see, the stain sunk in oh so nicely where I sanded well enough and well, not so nicely where I didn’t. Boo.
I was so bummed but then stood back and thought…”hmm, that wasn’t what I was going for but it looks like what some people do on purpose…especially on pieces down here in the Outer Banks”

weathered top side view
You see this sort of faux weathered driftwood style a lot down here. Very beachy.
Not at all what I was going for but I didn’t hate it. (well right at first I did because ack! no…but then hmmm, maybe)

It’s smooth like buttah too. hee hee
I considered just going right back at it and sanding to restain but I decided I didn’t really hate it.

So I created a poll over on Instagram to see what say all of you. (77% leave it, 23% sand it)
And I asked on Facebook too. (go check it out, most said leave it)

It was overwhelmingly “leave it” on both IG and FB!

So I did. But I had pretty much decided to leave it anyway because it was definitely growing on me.
It may not go in every decor but it goes perfectly for the coastal beach vibe (and location) of our place.

You know me, I may change it in the future. But for right now, this is how it’s staying.

weathered driftwood table with blue metal chairs

And as a reminder of what was…

bleached wood tabletop

top view of weathered driftwood table

I do like it so much better than the lighter, bleached color.

And I feel like this actually has a ton of character now.

full tabletop view

I guess I should give a tutorial of sorts for this weathered driftwood look…it’s more of an “oops, happy accident” though.

Here it is…and it’s SO simple!

  • Start with a lighter-colored base wood. (sand to remove stain, paint etc, as needed)
  • Apply poly topcoat, 2 would be best.
  • Once dry, lightly sand over the entire thing to remove some of the stain.
    -How do you know if you’ve sanded enough? Yes, that can be tricky. Here’s something you can try, take a wet washcloth to wipe it down after sanding. Where the water “soaks in” and the wood gets darker the poly has been removed. You should be able to see about where the stain is going to soak in. Need more areas sanded? Run the sander a few more times, then repeat.
  • Apply Driftwood Stain and Finishing Oil over the whole thing. Wipe away excess.
  • You can stop here as I did, as it is a “finishing oil” and is very durable OR you can let it cure for a few days and apply another topcoat of an oil-based poly. (or wait at least a week or longer to apply a water-based topcoat since the Stain and Finishing Oil is oil-based)

NOTE: Just to reemphasize, if you use a water-based poly, be sure to let it cure for at least 7 days first. You don’t have to wait as long if you use oil-based poly. (Oil-based poly will more likely age and yellow over time so your lighter wood shade would reflect that. Just keep that in mind)

I am not adding any more coats. It feels nice and smooth and has a beautiful finish that is durable. No top coat needed!

closeup of weathered driftwood tabletop with basket

I think it’s kind of fun.

dining area with table and blue chairs

Oh! I also want to give you an update on a few things.

The aqua console got a little better styling. Not sure this is how it will stay but it’s how I have it for now.

aqua console with gold round mirror

And I say that I’m not sure this is how it will stay and already know that these lamps are going elsewhere.
I have 2 lamps that I bought last fall for here and we finally unboxed them this weekend. They are awesome!
And they look amazing up on this console so that is getting changed I do know.

And I found this awesome little cabinet at Home Goods last week. 

aqua mosaic tile cabinet with blue jars and wood bowl

I had originally considered putting a longer console type of piece here under the tv on this shiplap wall but fell in love with this little cabinet.
They did have two but crazily enough although exactly the same, the other one was much darker so not something I could put side by side.

I think it might be best to just have one here though as I’m trying to keep the “open” feel and it might be a bit too cluttery with anything larger. Undecided on that though, because if I do come across one that matches this, I might try it. (by the way, it’s tiled like this on the top and sides too…it’s beautiful!)

And we finally laid our rug down in the main living area. Yippee!! (we are done with the crown, trim, caulking, and painting in here…only the small “bunk” room is left to do)
Here’s a photo I took for Instagram of Ryder checking out our new rug. :)
(here’s a link to >>> the rug)

english cream golden on colorful rug

Things are coming together!! I’m so excited.
Once I finish touching up the paint on the “bunk” room crown molding, we will move on to the kitchen remodel.
I can not wait to get that done! Then we will finally be able to just come down and relax. Woohoo!

So tell me, what do YOU think about the table?? Sand it or leave it??

PIN it to save it!

This faux weathered driftwood look is SO simple to create!! Perfect for that coastal, beachy vibe. artsychicksrule.com

Don’t you love when those “happy accidents” and big ole “oops” turn out okay? Or turn out to be a win?
Even better. 

I’m still trying to decide if this is that…but I’m thinking it might just be! ;)

This one got a brand new look…for the living room!

black trunk

UPDATE!! See it now, here!

Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you right back here on Thursday with our finally finished screened porch reveal!



  1. I just love the new driftwood look! I have a table I want to do now after seeing it. My table has stain and many coats of shellac on top. Do I sand it down as best as I can then just put the driftwood stain on top or do I sand and put a conditioner on then the stain? Seems pretty easy!

    1. Yay!
      Is your stained wood pretty light colored? I’m thinking it will need to be lighter to get a similar look. And yes, just sand it down a bit. If you have lots of layers of shellac, you may need to sand quite a bit. The good thing is, you will know if you’ve not sanded enough when you start adding the stain. (it won’t soak in) So..you can just wipe away and sand a bit more until you do! :) xo

  2. OMG!! I love what “happened “ with the condo table!! I have a few table tops in mind to do and I’m seriously thinking what you did, might be the way for me to go! It’ll match really well in my Adirondack room!! Thanks for the inspiration….again!!

  3. Hi Nancy! I love how the table looks. I also love that cabinet you bought at Home Goods. Very coastal Boho. Could be a new statement. Coastal Boho. Haha

  4. I was one of the “keep it” voters. Haha! I like it as it is now. Last year I put one coat of paint on a jelly cabinet in order to resell. When I went to apply the second coat, I decided to not do it, because it had a cute, time-worn look. I listed it on marketplace and 35 people messaged me to buy it. These happy accidents compensate for the other times when makeovers turn into beasts. And thank you for the IG soundside videos. Beautiful!

    1. Yay!! I’m so glad because I think I really like it! It has certainly grown on me! lol And yes, isn’t it crazy how that works sometimes. You’ve got that right…I mean, no truer words right there. Happy accidents compensate for those crazy beast makeovers…yes, 100%!! xoxo

  5. The table is perfect. If that’s not coastal I don’t know what is. Sometimes an “oops” happens for a reason. I’m sure you can’t wait to go to your condo and not have to work on anything. But your wheels are always turning so who knows what you will do next. Take time to just ENJOY.

    1. Thank you, Rita! You are so right about that, they really do. And oh my gosh, a huge YES to that! It just feels like work right now, not respite. Soon, soon! (haha, you know me too well though, it seems ;) ) xoxo

  6. Sometimes a plan does not come together and this one turned out for the best! The contrast of the top and white legs are great!

  7. Sorry but I do not like the look. Just too dark for me. And to me it does not have the grey look of driftwood here in Oregon. Ours is a silvery grey.

    1. Aww, I understand. Our driftwood is actually a lot of this brownish color of this table around here (and silvery too though). I know this look is not for everyone. I appreciate your honesty, Rose! Always welcome here. xoxo

  8. I like the table as it is now!
    I love that Ryder is in so many photos. Such a super cute pup!
    The condo is looking great! I can’t wait to see the full reveal!

    1. Yay, thank you, Tracey!! It has definitely grown on me! And thank you…he is the star of the show! On the blog and in our lives!! lol xoxo

  9. I have to go along with Rose…..I don’t like it! Too blotchy looking and too dark. I love so many other pieces that you have done.

    1. Aw, yes, I understand, Shirley! I know this look is not for everyone. I totally get that!! Thank you for being honest, I appreciate all viewpoints! xoxo

  10. I love, love it!!! I think it pulls in your other wood furniture. What a wonderful mistake!
    And that mosaic cabinet is such a fun piece. You could use the mosaic idea in a bowl or tray as a centerpiece on the “new”table too. Enjoying your process. Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. Yay, thank you, Jan! I am really loving it, it has definitely grown on me! And I love that idea. I am sharing something that would probably look great on the table in tomorrow’s post. (you’ll see…it’s like what you said! ;) ) xo

  11. I love the weathered look. Whether it was intentional or not, it really does look great in your condo. The small cabinet is quite interesting. I love the colors. Your rug is perfect and I am glad Ryder likes it. ( I really love seeing him in your photos!) Your styling on the console is very attractive! Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

    1. Thank you, Sue! I am really loving it more and more. Thank you, I fell in love with the cabinet the minute I saw it. xoxo (check out tomorrow’s post for a lot of Ryder :) )

  12. I think you did the right thing the table looks great. This is the kind of thing that happens to me, I strive to achieve a certain finish and it never happens! But sometimes it looks good anyway!

    1. Thank you, Celia! Yes, exactly! Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes oops..redo! ;) xo

  13. The table looks great, Nancy! Perfect for that beachy driftwood look! Don’t you just love those oops that turn out great?! xo

  14. Hi Nancy! I love your table just as is! You are not going to believe it, but I did the same thing with the top of my desk as you did. I kept sanding & then took a damp wash cloth on it to see the outcome and lo & behold; it has become a favorite! The body of my desk is white! I was going to do another color on the body, but after seeing your table – the desk will remain a white on the bottom & dark on top. Thanks also to you for your oops moment. You most definitely are an inspiration!!!

    1. Hi Linda! Oh my gosh, that is so funny! Love it!! I bet it looks great! :) Amd thank you!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!xoxo

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