Make a multi-use fire pit cover Created by Robin from All Things Heart & Home
• 3M Pro Sanding Sheets and Rolls
• 3M Ultra Flexible Sanding Sponges
• ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape
• Scotch® Tough Duct Tape
• Cyprus Wood - how much depends on the size of your fire pit
• Wood Screws
• Semi Transparent Stain
• For the Checkers: Mason Jar Lids or Unfinished Round Wood Circles and Paint
I love our fire pit but honestly, when we aren't using it, I think a fire pit cover is necessary…and I've been really wanting to make one! You know, something to cover that gaping hole when we aren't sitting around a fire… Something that is nice to look at and maybe even serves a dual purpose…BUT something that is easy to remove in case we needed to make S'Mores under the stars one night! After brainstorming a few ideas, The Husband and I partnered with 3M DIY to make this: It's a cover… It's a game-board… And, it's a table…
Measure your fire pit and cut your wood into pieces that will make a large square with plenty of room to cover the opening.
If you want to keep this simple, just use wood glue in-between each plank and clamp to hold them tight until the glue dries.
If you do a lot of DIY projects you may have a biscuit joiner or a domino joiner. If you have one, use it to join the wood! And then add wood glue and clamp the pieces together until they are dry.
When the wood glue is dry, unclamp and working on the back of your piece, find the center and mark it with a pencil.
Screw a wood screw into your center mark. Make sure to not go all the way through the wood.
Tying one end of a string to the screw, wrap the other end of the string around a pencil and pulling the string tight, slowly draw a circle. Make certain the circle is the right size to cover the opening in your fire pit.
Using a jigsaw, cut around your pencil mark.
If you decided to join your wood using only wood glue, you'll need to add two or three 1x2 pieces of wood to the back to help secure the wood. Check to make certain your 1 x 2 is positioned so that you can sit it on top of the fire pit and it remains stable and not wobbly!
Now it's time to sand!!!
I started with my hand sander and 120 grit to smooth over the top and sides… (you can use a router to soften the edges if you have one.)
Where some of the wood connected and on edges I needed to do more detailed sanding, so I used 3M Advanced Abrasives – 3M Ultra Flexible Sanding Sheets. They bend and contour so they're super easy on your hands and perfect for tight spaces.
The 3M Ultra Flexible Sanding Sponge also bends and makes sanding contoured places easy. It's comfortable to hold and sands smooth.
After the sanding it's time to stain! I mixed 2 semi transparent stains, one white and one dark gray. I wanted a beachy look and these two mixed together gave me a perfect soft blue/gray.
Brush on the stain, leave it on for a couple of minutes, and gently wipe most of it off.
You could leave the top just like this because really, it's beautiful with the wood grain showing through. But if you want to add a game board to your table, there are a few more steps!
To make the checkerboard pattern, first measure a square that is big enough to hold your Mason Jar lid checkers. Also, keep in mind there are 64 squares on a checkerboard: 8 rows with 8 squares each.
The measurements depend on the size of your fire pit cover and the size of your checkers. I decided to use black on half the squares and leave the other half natural. Measure a row of squares and use a yardstick and chalk to outline the checkerboard. Then use ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape to tape off one row at a time and paint.
Use 3M Pro Sanding Sheets and Rolls to lightly sand the bold black squares and give your checkerboard a weathered and aged look.
After the top is dry, put 2 coats of water based satin exterior urethane to protect the tabletop.
To be sure water doesn't get through where the wood planks were joined, use Scotch® Tough Duct Tape to cover the seams on the back of the cover.
Now your unattractive fire pit is covered with a table and a checkerboard in one!
3M Ultra Flexible Sanding Sheets are completely user friendly! They bend and contours so they’re super easy on your hands and perfect for tight spaces! (It’s like a cloth but it sands! This is my new favorite thing!)
The Husband thought we should use cypress wood since this cover will be out in the elements. Cypress is resilient to moisture and temperature so it’s a perfect choice for an outdoor project. (If you don’t have a lumber source, another good choice for this project would be marine plywood, which you can find at any home improvement store.)