I am posting this wine barrel project to help anyone out there who might one day decide to make something like a wine barrel side table. I am here to offer advice, tips and tricks for how to make this project go smoothly.
It was a 4 month long love-hate relationship with this wine barrel. I learned so many things about how to properly clean it and how to roll it around my driveway without scraping the wood (thank goodness for my husband’s muscles… I borrowed them muscles a lot!).
acquiring the wine barrel:
Check your local wineries for used wine barrels. After a few years, some of them will sell the barrels to the public. The wineries in Woodinville are great for picking up used barrels. We picked up our wine barrel for $50 at Chatter Creek Winery.
When going to pick up your barrel, bring a truck, some thick towels/blankets and rope. You can use the thick towels/blankets as padding between the barrel and the car. The barrel will slightly roll/bump around in the truck/trunk of your car as you drive. Without the towels/padding, you can dent the wood on the barrel. We were lucky to be able to fit the barrel in the trunk of our SUV.
cleaning the barrel:
Ideally, you want to clean the barrel during a series of hot/sunny days. (To let the barrel dry out in between cleaning/rinsing.) If you let the barrel sit out in the rain, the wood can mold/begin to rot.
Begin by deciding which side you want the table top to be. Turn the barrel on its side. On the bottom part of the barrel, using a hole saw, drill a large hole. Large enough for you to fit your arm in the barrel. Too large of a hole will make the barrel unstable.
Stick a garden hose inside this large hole and rinse out the inside of the barrel. If your barrel was used for red wine, continue to rinse until the water drains clear.
Use a medium bristled brush to scrub the outside of the barrel. Get the dirt and gunk off!
Gently roll your barrel to a safe spot where it can stand evenly. Stand the barrel so that the bottom of the barrel is up (the barrel should be upside down).
Pour in all 3 pounds of powdered Oxiclean into the barrel. You can buy the powdered Oxiclean at any large, major grocery store in the laundry aisle.
Seal the front hole of your barrel to keep water from leaking out. We used a paint bottle.
Using the garden hose, fill the barrel to the brim with water. You will see bubbles forming. This is okay!
Leave the barrel soaking like this for about 3-4 days. On the 4th day, pull out the plug on the front hole to drain the barrel. Gently roll the barrel around until it is fully drained. Thoroughly rinse the barrel. Rinse and drain, rinse and drain. Leave the barrel empty and dry.
Once the inside of the barrel is dry, begin your Oxiclean soak again. You will soak, rinse, drain and dry three times. Your Oxiclean soaking will end once the water starts to run clear after. If the water continues to be dark in color after an Oxiclean soak, you must keep going until this water runs clear.
Failing to do this will attract fruit flies in the barrel once you get the barrel in your house!
staining the barrel:
We decided to stain our barrel using Minwax: dark walnut oil stain.
After staining, leave the barrel out to dry. Gently find a way to carry/lift the barrel into the house/wherever you want it.
adding the glass top:
Walmart sells these 20-inch round glass table toppers. Bed Bath and Beyond sells them too! They cost about $10.00 for one glass top. You can buy it online from Bed Bath and Beyond here.
I had pieces of craft cork leftover. I cut out small squares of cork and using adhesive, placed them between the glass top and the barrel (place the cork pieces evenly around the glass top). The cork squares help keep the glass in place and from being scratched.
We filled the space between the glass top and the barrel with corks from all the wine we’ve had!