How To Make A Log Side Table Use a hammer and chissel to remove the bark. Use a wire brush your your drill to remove excess bark. Sweep off excess dirt or bark crud. Rough sand the log with a 40 grit sandpaper. Medium sand the log with an 80 grit sandpaper. Smooth sand with a 120 grit sandpaper. Straighten the ends with a chain saw or hand saw. Tape of the top of the section you want to stain. Make sure you mix it like crazy... but don't add bubbles. Gently sand between coats. Dust it off with a damp sponge. Score along your tape and remove for a clean line. Retape where you want your clear varnish to end. Coat with a matt clear varnish. 2 - 3 coats is best.