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DIY: How to create your own Cable Drum Coffee Table

Ever wondered where coffee shops get their rustic looking coffee tables? Wonder no more. Get the coffee table you've always wanted with the satisfaction that you've done it yourself. It's 5 easy steps:

  1. Source the drum
  2. Scrub and sand
  3. Patch (optional)
  4. Paint
  5. Wax

Sourcing the Drum

Sourcing the Drum is the hardest part. In order to do this you need to know "what" your are looking for. When I say cable drums I mean that literally. Yes they are gigantic drums used to store cables.  These of course are industrial cables used by the likes of the telecommunication industry. Electricians working on major builds will have access to them. In Australia you can sometimes find them on GumTree.  Beware though it is sometimes a long drive from the city as often that is where major builds are.  We did notice a www.reelmen.com.au label on the drums. That may be your best bet.  I'm sure there are junk yards so if you know of one please comment below. Please note drums comes in various sizes. The one we've sourced is 80cmD X 45cmH.

DIY: How to create your own cable drum coffee table | Wodnut

Scrum and Sand

Now that hard work is done here is where the fun begins. Drums are often filthy with mud, dirt and sometimes even concrete.  Like any standard paint job it's all in the preparation. Hose, scrub and let the drum to dry. Then sand the drum down to only get rid of rough surfaces that can leave splitters in the hand. Remember it's industrial so it'll never be 100% smooth. That's part of the character.  Once you've finished, lightly wipe the drum down with some sugar soap.

Patch (option)

The reason why I say this step is optional is that many coffee shops don't bother patching up holes. This is really personal preference. I prefer not to have a hole right in the center my table. You can easily patch this up with a metal mesh. Ones that are used to patch walls. See pic below. These can be found at Bunnings or any hardware store. Once again lightly sand when the putty is dry. Warning: It does take a while for such a large surface area of putty to dry. You may also need to do it several times.

DIY: How to create your own cable drum coffee table | Wodnut


DIY: How to create your own cable drum coffee table | Wodnut


We opted to paint ours however once again this is optional.  To keep the rustic look we used Chalk Emulsion paint from Porter's Paint. The paint gives a very matt chalky look/feel. Our selection was:

  1. Nordic Blue
  2. Attic

DIY: How to create your own cable drum coffee table | Wodnut

DIY: How to create your own cable drum coffee table | Wodnut

Base colour - Nordic Blue

The base colour was Nordic Blue. Don't get too fussed about being neat and coating every surface. As you can see above there are missing parts. Deliberately so. To create the rustic layered dimension we loaded very little paint onto a brush (Attic Colour) and randomly (in the messiest possible fashion) slapped it on in all directions. The original plan was to paint a full 2nd layer and then sand back. However we found this way worked just fine and was more efficient. No sanding required.

DIY: How to create your own cable drum coffee table | Wodnut


The final step is to protect the paint from spills etc. To keep the rustic look we opted to use Bees Wax, once again from Porters Paint. Don't let the salesperson talk you into buying the Stucco Wax. It's doesn't give that rustic look. Besides, Bees Wax has a much nicer smell. Use any old rag or stuff stocking. Allow the wax to dry 24hours before buffing and wiping off excess. Note: Applying wax will slightly darkens your paint colour so keep this in mind when you are selecting the colour.

DIY: How to create your own cable drum coffee table | Wodnut

So there you have it. Sounds long however super easy. Hope this inspires you in creating your own weekend project. #StayCreative #Beinspired


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