Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

July 12, 2016

DIY Painted Birch Slice Coasters

I have a spray painting confession that you might not expect from an avid DIYer: I have the tendency to rush my spray painting jobs.  Too often, I'm so antsy to be done and see the finished project (yay!), that I don't wait long enough between coats or I apply some coats too thickly. 

It's a problem!  A rookie problem (I'm so ashamed). 

BUT - I have solution that's worked well for me the last couple of years:  having smaller spray painting projects on the go at the same time!  See, I just need to keep my hands busy.  So while I was recently spray painting a fire pit Hubby welded (it's so gorgeous), I distracted myself by applying the topcoat to an Ikea hack we stained grey (details soon!) and whipping up these "dipped" birch slice coasters as well.  With three projects on the go at once, I was occupied enough to allow my projects time to dry in between coats.   

DIY Half Painted Birch Slice Coasters |

And, as an added bonus, we now have this adorable set of DIY birch slice coasters!  Aren't they the sweetest?

In our allotment of firewood this year, most of our logs were split but we did have a few whole birch logs that I squirreled away for crafts.  You could easily buy all of the supplies for these birch coasters online, though.

Supplies for Making DIY Birch Slice Coasters:

How to Make Painted Birch Slice Coasters:

Using the chop saw, Hubs and I quickly chopped one of the birch logs into even slices.  I peeled off the loosest layers of birch bark and then gave each slice a light sand with 220 grit sandpaper, just to smooth out any roughness:

DIY Birch Wood Slices

Easy, peasy.

When my friend Ashley and I made her wood burned birch slice ornaments, we left all of the birch bark on, which you can do, but for coasters I just didn't want too many loose bits. 

Then I taped off half of each birch slice coaster with a good painter's tape.  I really had to press down on the tape with my fingernail to get it to adhere to the uneven wood surface.  I propped each coaster up with a rock and gave each a blast of a different spray paint, including Rust-Oleum Ocean Mist (left over from the candle holders I painted for my bottle brush tree mantlescape), Rust-Oleum Harbor Blue (which ended up not working for my painted terracotta planters), and dribs and drabs of different silvers, gold, and copper (the latter is actually Rust-Oleum High Heat Enamel Paint in Copper...hint, hint).

To seal them - probably the only step that really needs explaining - I lightly coated each handmade birch coaster with three thin coats of my newest favorite product, Watco Spray Lacquer, which is such a great alternative to laboriously brushing on a clear coat.  I'm loving how easy it is to use!

DIY Half Painted Birch Slice Coasters |

Since trying those wood burned wood slice ornaments, I'm really on the birch slice craft bandwagon.  The materials are cheap and I'm two for two finding super easy projects to make with birch wood.

Best of all, while I was fiddling with these DIY wood coasters, I was occupied enough to properly let our fire pit project dry.  I just need to do a little finessing (i.e. rake the goose poop) and I can share that project soon!

DIY "Dipped" Painted Birch Slice Coasters |

I love that guests can choose their own unique coaster colour!

DIY Painted Birch Slice Coasters |

I call dibs on the mint.

DIY Birch Slice Coasters |

Although...I do love the contrast of the glittering metallic spray paints and the rustic birch slice:

DIY Spray Painted Birch Slice Coasters |

I just have to chat about the napkin for a second.  It's such a gorgeous colour, isn't it?  I scooped a set of four from Value Village.  There was a bright orange set with a looser weave (bought that too) and a pretty speckled yellow set with the original 1960s tags (Mom scooped that).  They were all crisp, brand new, with such a strong mid-century modern vibe.  This colour pairs so beautifully with turquoise and the gorgeous texture of the linen totally makes me happy - I love a good linen!  I don't even mind ironing them, it's soothing to set the ironing board up facing the lake on a rainy day and iron linens.

Anyway, these days I find so few gems at the thrifts, I just wanted to share!

DIY Painted Birch Slice Coasters |
Easy Rustic Modern Birch Slice Coasters
Mint + Metallic DIY Birch Slice Coasters |


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I need to visit my friend in Ottawa to borrow her wood burner, lol, because I have some more ideas...

  2. I dig these, so rustic yet modern and fun:) Cheers!

    Amy in MN

  3. Love these Tanya. I'm thinking Christmas gifts to make. Your explanations are clear and to the point, no fiddly stuff in between to confuse a novice.

    1. Thank you! I'm so happy you like my tutorials :)
      It's funny, while I was painting these I realized I had a rogue red can of spray paint in my cabinet and I thought these would have been cute for Christmas - or even Canada Day, if I'd done red + white!


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