You may be wondering, “Should I remove bark from the live edge?”
In our opinion, yes, you should. But that doesn’t mean you have to remove your bark to create a stunning live edge coffee table!
The live edge of a piece of wood in its natural, unfinished look. The bark is still attached to the wood and provides a rustic look. Some people choose to remove the bark for a cleaner look, while others leave it in place for added character.
So, should you remove the bark from the live edge? That’s up to you! Here are some pros and cons to help you make your decision.
Why Do People Remove Bark from Live Edge?
The main reason people remove the bark from live edges is to get a cleaner look. The natural look of the edges can be rustic and charming, but it also provides an uneven and unfinished-looking appearance.
Removing the bark from the live edge leaves you with a more polished appearance. It’s true that the wood will still have natural imperfections, but they will be more subtle. And with this cleaner look, you can decide to just apply a natural wood sealer without worrying about the rough texture of the bark.
Why Do People Leave Bark on the Live Edge?
There are several reasons why people leave the bark when living on the edge. Some love the natural look that it provides. They feel that removing the bark from the live edge takes something away from the piece of wood.
People also like to leave the bark on because it is a unique feature. Removing the bark gives you a standard, polished-looking piece of lumber. However, leaving the bark on your wood can set it apart from other pieces of lumber at your local home improvement store.
Sealing Bark with Epoxy
People who decide to leave the bark on their wood often seal it with epoxy. Apply a coat of epoxy over the top and sides of the bark to create a smooth finish that looks great and provides extra protection against moisture damage.
If you want to keep the bark, your best choice is epoxy resin. Polyurethane would be another alternative, but it wouldn’t be as robust. The oils and waxes seal the wood, but they won’t act as glue to keep the bark in a place like an epoxy will.
The Benefits of Removing Bark from Live Edge
If you decide to remove the bark from the live edge, the benefits are obvious. You’ll have a cleaner look that is more polished and consistent. A natural wood sealer will provide protection for your wood without clashing against the bark of the piece.
The bark will slowly come off sooner or later, so you might as well do it on your own terms. Removing bark from the live edge also makes the piece easier to work with, as well as prevents you from having to clean up fallen bark over time.
FAQ: Should I Remove the Bark from the Live Edge?
Can you put polyurethane over bark?
To prevent moisture damage, seal the wood with polyurethane. If you’ll be displaying your wood with bark outside, this is very important. Brush polyurethane over the surface of the wood and work it into the rough bark along the edges. Allow at least 24 hours for the polyurethane to dry.
How do you keep the bark from falling off?
To increase the likelihood of keeping the bark on your wood, make sure you remove it in the winter when there is no sap. Bacteria or mold will weaken the connection between the bark and the wood. Keep your harvested wood in a cold, dry location.
How long do live-edge slabs need to dry?
According to the research, if your wood is 2 inches thick, it will take around 140–180 days to dry. This is about half a year. But you can reduce this time by about 90-100 days by drying the wood quickly.
So, Should I Remove Bark from the Live Edge?
In the end, it is up to you whether or not you remove the bark from the live edge. But removing the bark will give your wood a cleaner, more polished appearance. This also makes it easier to work on your wood and protect it with a natural wood sealer.
Need a live edge table for your home or business? Tier 1 Furnishings’ expert craftsmen are eager to help!
Contact us now to discuss your next live edge project!