Compass Painted on Big Tree StumpJuly 15, 2015

Recently my friend had a huge oak tree taken down in front of their lakehouse property. It left a huge stump that is about 4 feet in diameter. He asked what I thought would be a good creative idea to do with it. His wife suggested that he hollow it out and use it as a planter. However, that would have been a big time-consuming task and did not even know how to go about it so he asked me for alternative ideas.  The first thing I thought was that I could burn an image of a compass into the top of the stump. The more I thought about it – I realized that it would be very problematic to actually burn into a new stump and suggested that I could paint the compass on top of the stump.

He agreed that was a good idea and that is what I did – I first put a coat of ivory oil-based enamel on the surface and then painted the details with a black oil-based enamel. I originally was planning on using marine deck paint but the store that normally carrys that paint did not have any so I used the oil-based exterior enamel. I highlighted the eyes with a little blue just to give it some focus and color.

My friend asked me what to do to keep it looking good. I said that he could put some polyurethane over it but instead suggested that he just let it weather and see how it ages. He could always put the polyurethane on later.

I an curious to see how it weathers. It was challenging to paint the details on because the top surface was not flat – it had a lot of ridges and parts of the stump sticking up further than others.

I have posted a photo of it below. It was hard to get far enough above it to take this shot.