Cerused Oak Side Table with Storage

Ever lose your remote control for the TV? If, the answer is no, please tell me your secret... My solution to this problem is this side table that can be used over the arm of a sofa for drinks, books or a laptop and it has a little shelf for small storage, like remote controls! 

This table is made from one 1x10 board. That's right. And you only need under 6' of that board. I used Red Oak because I wanted to try out a cerused finish. But you can use any material you like. I believe an 8' 1x10 pine board costs about $15... yup. 

This build is super simple. Just make 5 cuts and assemble said parts using glue and screws. 

The "difficult" part of this build was the finish I decided to do. 

Check out the video below for all the details. 

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Click here to download the plans for this project - Over Arm Side Table with Storage

The only tools you need for this project are a Circular Saw, Drill and Sander. RYOBI tools are excellent for all beginner projects. When I first started out I bought RYOBI tools because of the price and I keep buying them because of their one+ system. That means all of their tools run on the same kind of battery! So no buying multiple types of batteries! (RYOBI sent me the random orbit sander, even so, all opinions are my own.)

Check out RYOBI Nation for some other great DIY projects.

For the Cerused finish you will need:

Analine Dye

This colors the wood without filling in the pores, making it perfect for cerusing.  

Dewaxed Shellac

This seals in the Dye to prepare for wax. 

Briwax Liming Wax

The wax fills into the open grain of the wood creating the cerused look.

Micro-crystalline Wax

This wax is the final step to seal and polish. 

Let's begin!!

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First break down the board into 5 pieces. The cut list is in plans linked here ---> PLANS

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I like to sand  and do some finishing work before assembly. It just makes it easier this way.

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This step is only necessary If doing the cerused finish. Cerusing is a process where you fill an open grain wood with a color for an interesting contrast. In this case I dyed the wood a dark blue and filled in the grain with a contrasting white. This process only works with open grain woods, like oak. 

Use a brass bristle brush to help open up the grain of the wood. 

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Do you see all those holes? Thats where the white color will sit to create the cerused look. 

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In order for the cerusing to work you need to use Analine Dye. Not Stain. Stain will fill in the holes and the white wax won't have anywhere to go. The Dye actually colors the wood as opposed to stain which sits on top of the wood. This Analine Dye is water based. It comes in powder form and you need to mix it with warm water and leave it for a few hours or overnight before using it. 

Also, since it is water based, you need to raise the grain before applying the dye. That means, after you are finished sanding, you just put water all over the wood and wait for it to dry up. After it's dry the wood will feel fuzzy. Just lightly hand sand with 220 grit paper to knock off the little fuzzies. Then you can apply the dye. If you Don't raise the grain, the fuzzies will appear after you apply the water based dye... 

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Now time to assemble - Mark out where you will be drilling and pre-drill all holes. 

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Attach all pieces using screws. The order for assembly is in the plans

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After it was all assembled, holes plugged and sanded down, I applied another coat of the Dye. Wait 24 Hours to apply the sealer. Which is Dewaxed Shellac.

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Before using the white wax you need to seal in the dye. It is important that you use DEWAXED Shellac here. Not regular shellac. There is some chemical reason that I don't fully understand, but it's important. The shellac dries fairly quickly. I did 2 light coats and moved on to the cerusing...

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I used Briwax liming wax and just went to town with it. Put it on really liberally. 

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After about 5 minutes the wax is ready to be removed. I used a rag soaked with mineral spirits to remove the excess wax. You can see that the white color has remained inside the open grain of the wood, but the mineral spirits removed the excess, revealing the dark blue dye. This is why it was important to seal in the dye with dewaxed shellac. The shellac sealed in the color and only allowed for the white liming wax to go in the open grain. 

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The last step is to apply a protective coat of wax to the whole table. The liming wax is not a sealer. I used a micro-crystalline wax. This is similar to regular paste wax, only its finer and creates harder finish. Museums all over the world use this wax to maintain their exhibits. And the application process couldn't be simpler. Just put some on a rag, wipe on, wipe off, done. It leaves a finish that just begs to be touched, yet one of its properties is that it doesn't leave fingerprints!

Now it's done! This table could be built in a few hours, if you choose and easier method to finish it. Not so say this method it hard. There is just a lot of waiting time to apply between coats.  

I'm really how happy with how this table turned out and I will definitely be cerusing more wood in the future!

3x3 Custom Side Table with Storage Shelf
Over Arm Side Table with Storage Shelf - 3x3 Custom