Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse

Weathered Wood Bird Feeder and Stand

weathered wood bird feeder and stand

Driftwood Weathered Wood Bird Feeder and Stand

I recently added this sweet weathered wood bird feeder and stand to our backyard and aged it using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  I wanted it to match and blend in more with our aged and weathered wood fencing.  Once I had all the materials, it took about 30 minutes to assemble, stain and paint this bird feeder and stand.  Pretty easy actually and now we are thoroughly enjoying watching the many birds frequent the feeder all day long.   Especially Bella, our cat whose morning routine is sitting in front of the back door.  She is completely mesmerized by the visiting wildlife just beyond the glass door.  

Items Needed

  • Bird feeder.  I purchased the Woodlink Cedar Bird Feeder from Amazon – $34.84
  • 18″ Woodlink Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle also purchased from Amazon – $18.49
  • Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish
  • 1 Vinyl Wrapped Wood Closet Round Pole by Woodgrain Millwork from Home Depot – 1  5/16″ x 72″
  • 1 Galvanized steel nipple from Home Depot – 1  1/2″ x 2″
  • 1  Iron floor flange from Home Depot – 1  1/2″
  • Used Sunbrella stand

I wanted a bird feeder that I could easily move around the yard and into the garage should a hurricane approach.  But I also needed one that would be easy for me to fill and one that fit in with the surroundings.  The more I looked at the two unused sun umbrella stands in the yard, the simplier the answer seemed to be – attach the bird feeder to a pole and insert it into the sunbrella stand.  Seemed easy enough and certainly cheaper than buying a bird feeder pole kit.  If you don’t have an extra sunbrella stand on hand, you can find them at yard sales, thrift stores, Craig’s List, etc. or even cheap ones online.

weathered wood bird feeder and stand
The two sunbrella stands I had on hand.

I found the style birdhouse I wanted on Amazon along with a recommended squirrel baffle.

weathered wood bird feeder and stand

One thing I ended up doing is removing the two wire cages on the ends of the bird feeder used for holding suet cakes.  I did not find that the birds liked them although it was probably the type of suet I was using.  Once I removed the wiring, I applied the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to give it age and create my weathered wood bird feeder and stand. 

weathered wood bird feeder and stand
Staining the bird feeder with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to match my fencing. Notice I’ve already got the flange and nipple attached to the bottom of the bird feeder and I removed the wire cages for the suet cakes.
weathered wood bird feeder and stand
I now have the weathered look I want to match the fencing.

Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and many other stores all carry poles and the plumbing hardware I needed to attach the bird feeder and to also set it into the stand.  I purchased the vinyl-wrapped wood pole from the closet department and the flange and steel nipple from the plumbing department.  I thought the vinyl would help the wood last longer in the outdoor elements.  Be sure that whatever width size pole that you purchase will fit into your sunbrella stand.  Most stands are adjustable to accommodate various sizes – just make sure you don’t get one too big. 

Putting the Weathered Wood Bird Feeder and Stand and Together

The iron floor flange needed to be small enough to fit on the bottom of the bird feeder and  the galvanized steel nipple needs to fit inside the flange.  The steel nipple needs to fit over the top of the pole so that it can be easily lifted on and off.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
1 1/2″ iron floor flange; 1 5/16″ x 72″ vinyl covered pole; 1 1/2″ x 2″ galvanized steel nipple

The beauty of this bird feeder is that I can lift it up and off the pole easily when I need to refill the seed.  And it sits secure enough on the pole so that I’m not worried about it coming off in any wind.  I’m 5’2″ so the 2″ nipple worked perfectly for me but if you are taller, you can go with a 4 or 6″ nipple and it will really sit solidly on the pole. 

I inserted the pole into the sunbrella stand, adjusted the tightening mechanism and attached the squirrel baffle about 4 feet off the ground.  Then spray painted the pole black to match the baffle.

I then attached the flange to the bottom with screws and screwed the galvanized nipple into the flange.  The bird feeder is now ready to slide over the top of the pole.  That’s it – just slide it over the top.  There is no need to screw or secure it in place.  It will stay on the pole just fine and you will still be able to easily lift it on and off the pole to refill it.  It’s amazingly sturdy even in the wind.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
Attached the flange to the bottom of the bird feeder with screws and then screw the steel nipple into the flange. Slip over the top of the pole. It should fit snuggly but still easy enough to lift on and off.

Fill it and Enjoy the Wildlife

I fill my bird feeder with white millet and it is constantly visited by morning doves, cardinals, woodpeckers and bluejays.  Thankfully, the crows and grackles don’t like millet so they stay away.  The baffle works perfectly to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder as long it is placed at least 15 feet from anywhere they can jump.  And every morning I have a rabbit or two mingling about the bottom of the bird feeder with the squirrels.  I don’t know if they like eating the millet seed but I now put carrots out for the rabbits.  We have a deal – I give them carrots and they don’t eat my hostas.  So far so good…

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
I painted the pole black.
Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
We changed from a oiled sunflower birdseed mix to a white millet and no more crows or grackles. Just cardinals, morning doves, woodpeckers and bluejays. Plus squirrels and rabbits feeding at the bottom.
Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Birdhouse
Notice my rabbits. They do enjoy my yard and we enjoy watching them.

If you prefer a more whimsical birdhouse made from actual driftwood pieces in additional to our weathered wood bird feeder and stand, check out this tutorial.

 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

How to Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Simple tutorial will show you how to make a whimsical driftwood birdhouse for indoor or outdoor use.  Add charm and character to your garden with a whimsical driftwood birdhouse you make yourself.

Supplies

  • Driftwood pieces – 5-12″ round and flat plus assortment of other pieces
  • 18 oz. oatmeal carton or similar cardboard carton
  • Titebond WW30 or WW60 (for use with HiPur Adhesive Applicator) or Ad-Tech Wood Glue Sticks or All Temperature Wood Stik (look for glue sticks that will hold up in all temperatures)
  • Heat Gun such as HiPur Adhesive Applicator by Stienel or Professional Glue Gun
  • wooden stand (optional)
  • wooden round 5″ – 8″ (optional)

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

I used an 18 oz. oatmeal box but pretty much any similar cardboard box, round or square, will work.  Remove the advertising so you just have the brown cardboard.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Cut out a hole for the door and any additional “windows” you might want.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Then just fit and glue your pieces around your form.  You can use flat or round, long or short – just cover your form.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Once the form is covered on the sides, you can start on the top.  I wanted mine to be off-centered and longer on one side which would give it a more whimsical look so you can see I started with a long piece on one side propped up by a shorter piece on the other.  From there I just started filling in areas.  It’s like a puzzle where you find the best pieces to fit and pieces that will add some character here and there.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

Here is a view from the back.  Once again, I just started layering smaller, flatter pieces on the roof until I had it completely covered.

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

In the front top I added a post that protruded out so the birds would have a perch and other little unique pieces that just fit well on the top.  I then added a “front porch” so to speak and a piece on the right that ended up looking almost like a handle.  I found a unique driftwood piece that was like a curly little pig’s tail and added that coming down from the top and one more piece to balance the left side and I was finished with my whimsical little birdhouse.  It was hard not to keep going by adding more little pieces here and there. 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

The final thing I did was use the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish on the base so it would look more weathered.  You can see the difference in the very top picture where it blends in very well with the regular driftwood.

And there you have it.  So cute in a garden or just on display.  Since I used Titebond WW30 HiPur Hot Melt Adhesive, I can use my birdhouse outside. 

Make a Whimsical Driftwood Birdhouse

 

Driftwood Bergere Chair Project

Driftwood Bergere Chair Refinishing Projectcat on Bergere chair

This is one of those projects I started over a year ago – yes over a year ago.  It took me that long to remove all the staples (if you’ve ever done a re-upholstery job then you know what I’m talking about); decide on a fabric; make my own piping and then summon up the courage to actually attempt the re-upholstering and applying piping.  And, in between there was a move to a new house so yes, this was a long time in the making.  Amazingly enough, this is one of those projects that came out so beautiful when it was finally finished that it was well worth the time it took and I now have a beautiful driftwood Bergere chair.

Driftwood Berege Chair

This is the chair I started with – picked up at a thrift store for a mere $25.  Pretty ugly but the style is exactly what I was looking for.  I knew I wanted a Bergere style chair to use the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to create a driftwood finish on the wood and recover it with some fresh new updated fabric most likely in gray tones.  When the time came to choose a fabric, it took forever to decide and I actually purchased three different fabrics.  I ultimately decided it was time to just pick one and move forward – anything was better than this hideous blue and pink fabric.

Driftwood Berege Chair

The first step is removing all the trillions of staples.  I used a pair of needle nose pliers.  You want to save all your pieces of fabric, including the lining pieces as you will use them as templates for cutting your own fabric so don’t get impatient and start tearing and ripping.  You’ll also want to take good closeup pictures of every angle of the chair to show how the fabric folds and the piping flows.  This really becomes helpful as does using the old fabric as a template to cut your new pieces.  Pay attention to the layers and sequence of batting, webbing, canvas and any other pieces that make up the underlying structure of your chair as you will want to duplicate it as much as possible and use the same pieces when possible.  Take pictures and make notes – you’ll be very glad you did.

 Driftwood Berege Chair

 Since I was going to use a paint stripping solution, I needed to tape off the areas I wanted to protect.

Driftwood Berege Chair

Then I started the very messy project of stripping this bad boy before applying the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish that would give me the driftwood finish I was looking for.  Once the old paint was removed, I mixed a packet of the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish powder with a cup of water and started applying with a brush.  Driftwood Weathered Wood FinishAnd of course, because I’m so impatient, I don’t test it first and I get a very dark color – darker than I really want. But I keep going anyway because it still looks good even though it’s darker than I want.  What I should have done was test it first and I would have known to dilute the solution.  This would have resulted in the lighter finish I really wanted.

 

 

 

Driftwood Berege Chair

Now starts the hard part of re-upholstering.  But this poor little chair sat like this for over a year before I picked up this project again.  Now, a smart person would have applied the Driftwood Liming Wax at this point certainly before recovering the chair with fabric but not me.  I was still okay with how dark the wood was so I began the re-upholstery.  Here’s where researching the internet came in very handy.  I researched many videos and websites on re-upholstering chairs and gleaned a lot of good information.  I am a fairly good seamstress so sewing the cushion didn’t scare me.  Cutting and making my own piping was just time consuming but ended up not being that bad at all.  Even applying the piping was pretty easy using Magna Tac glue. 

Driftwood Berege Chair
Following the advice of one website – I actually used a spray glue to fuse and apply the webbing and batting to the chair.  This eliminated the need for using too many staples in the areas where the wood was already worn out. Using the old fabric pieces as my templates, I cut all my new pieces in my nice new fabric.

Driftwood-Berege-Chair

Once I applied the batting to the front, back, arms and seat with the spray glue, I started stapling the fabric in place using an electric staple gun.  This is where I learned a very important lesson that helped me a lot and made a world of difference so I want to pass it on.  I initially started by pulling the fabric taught on all sides and stapling as shown on the left below – then I saw a video of someone who suggested folding the fabric under before stapling and I literally pulled out all my staples and started over with rolling under the hem before stapling.  You can see how much neater and cleaner it looks and I can tell you it will save you time as you will not have to go back and cut away the excess and you will not have hanging threads.  And it’s so much neater and easier to cover with either a single or double row of piping. 

 

Driftwood Berege Chair

Using Magna-tac glue I applied my single row piping.  Here is another big tip I’d like to share.  Measure and sew your pieces of piping together to create more than enough length to cover the area you are working on.  Trying to piece together two pieces of piping because you come up short just makes it very difficult and usually ends up looking sloppy.  Plus it usually ends up with trying to piece it together in an awkward place like smack in the front where it will be quite noticeable.  It’s so much easier if you have the right length to fully cover the area right from the start. Here you can see I’ve glued on the piping on the arm and tucked and glued the ends.  Start and end in the most inconspicuous area possible. Start with small sections first until you get comfortable with it though it’s not that hard. Just make sure to cover your staples.

  Driftwood Berege Chair

Weeks after the chair was completed, I decided to attempt applying the Driftwood Liming Wax to lighten the finish.  Not an easy task and not one I recommend.  Trying to avoid getting the wax on the fabric was difficult at best but with a lot of effort, I managed.  I do like the finish so much better.  You can see the difference below.  This is the driftwood shade I was looking for and if I had just taken the time to test the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish I would have known to dilute it and would have gotten this color without having to add the Driftwood Liming Wax.  But I will say it again – this is one of my favorite projects and it came out so well.  I finally have my driftwood Bergere chair.  This chair would sell for an easy $600-$700 in the stores and it’s going to look amazing in my sunroom as soon as I can get that room finished.

Driftwood Berege Chair

Driftwood-Berege-Chair

Driftwood-Berege-Chair

Here is a link to a site littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com that was very helpful to me while attempting this first re-upholstering project. 

 

Driftwood Highboy Refinishing Project

Over the past 2 months, I’ve been slowly working on my driftwood highboy refinishing project which meant stripping and refinishing an antique highboy piece and then refinishing it with the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  Well, I’m happy to say it’s finally done and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

driftwood highway
Finished Highboy using Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish

I purchased this highboy piece over 30 years ago at an antique store.  At the time I purchased the highboy, it was a hideous orange toned stained wood but it was a bargain at $375.00.  I distinctly remember that once I had stripped the orange stain, I had made a mental note that the bare wood had a beautiful distressed look to it and even back then I was tempted to leave it that way.  I also remember that I had done a major faux pas at the time I stripped it by using a steel wool pad to remove the finish and it had left little black specks everywhere.  But this had actually contributed to the weathered look in a good way.  I ended up staining the highboy in a dark mahogany color to match the other furniture in my room at the time.  I also remember that the stain did not take very well and I literally had to apply the stain and leave it on the piece without wiping off the excess.  This was the only way I could get the stain dark enough over the maple wood.

Original antique highboy
Original piece

Above is the piece before stripping and sanding.  It has always been a beautiful piece.  Below, I have started to strip and sand and needed to remove some of the more intricate pieces in order to get the finished removed.  I did this work outside in the Florida summer heat – not exactly the best conditions to be doing this type of work and that is why it took me 6 weeks to fully complete this project.  Some days it was just too hot!
Driftwood Highboy

antique driftwood highboy
Stripping and sanding the difficult areas.
Stripped highboy piece
Almost all stripped.
Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish applied to top drawer but still drying
Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish applied to top drawer but still drying
Antique driftwood highboy
Stripped and sanded; application of Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish.

The original hardware was brass and my original intention was to create a “rusted” finish.  I thought driftwood finish would be a nice backdrop to rusted hardware.  I attempted many solutions to create a rusted finish including soaking the hardware overnight in baths of vinegar and baking soda; vinegar and salt; and ammonia.  While I didn’t get a rust finish, I did get a somewhat verdigris finish.  After soaking the hardware pieces overnight and letting them air dry, I then applied a product by Modern Options called Verdigris with a paintbrush and dried it using my heat gun.  This seemed to increase the verdigris finish somewhat although I did not use the product according to their directions.  I did not apply their base product.  I have since found that the hardware’s verdigris finish has continued to turn quite a bit.

distressed hardward
Distressing the hardware
finished driftwood highboy
Finished driftwood highboy

 Driftwood highboy

So there you have the final driftwood highboy refinishing project.  It came out even better than I had expected and I’m in love with this piece but now my bed no longer matches.  Just when I thought I was done with refinishing projects for awhile…

Creating a Driftwood Finish With Paint

Creating a Driftwood Finish With Paint

Driftwood Finish with Paint

I used this technique for creating a driftwood finish with paint, which I confess I garnered from another website some time ago and unfortunately, I do not remember where.  But, I do remember the process and it worked quite well for me in getting that driftwood look.

I started with just two different driftwood-like colors of flat, water-based latex paint, plus a small amount of  basic black and white artist’s acrylic.  The black and white were just from small tubes of acrylic paint I had on hand for painting on canvas.  You will only need a small amount of the white and black so just buy small tubes if you don’t already have some water based latex or acrylics on hand.

Sherman-Williams Grays Harbor

Sherman-Williams Pavestone

Pick the two colors you want from any assorted flat, water-based acrylic grays, beiges, sand or dark creams at the paint store that you feel will give you the colors and shades to mimic a driftwood finish.   I chose a quart each of 6236 Grays Harbor and 7642 Pavestone latex flat paint & primer both from Sherwin-Williams’ SuperPaint collection.  So now you have Grays Harbor and Pavestone.

But you want to have more colors to work with and in order to achieved additional tints and shades I merely added a little of the white or black to Grays Harbor and Pavestone.  Pour a small amount of Grays Harbor into a plastic cup or container and mix in a small amount of white paint to achieve a lighter tint – we now have Grays Harbor Light.  Do this again using Pavestone as your base and you will create Pavestone Light.

Now pour some of Grays Harbor and Pavestone in yet two more separate containers and add a small amount of black to each to get a darker shade of Grays Harbor and Pavestone.  You now have Grays Harbor Dark and Pavestone Dark and a total of 6 different driftwood colors for creating a driftwood finish.  Truthfully, I believe I only used 4 of the colors on my project but you now have lots of different shades and tints to work with and you can create as many as you want using this method of adding varying amounts of white or black to your base driftwood colors.

cat in bookcaseThis dresser was originally black with a beautiful antique gold stencil pattern but, while it was once one of my favorite pieces, it no longer suited my new driftwood color scheme and beachy style.  I went from British West Indies with its dark woods, burnt orange painted walls and vibrant tropical colors  to subdued sand-toned walls and creamy beach theme with driftwood furniture and accessories.  In the interim, before I decided on trying a driftwood finish using paint, I had given the dresser a distressed white finish.  It was nice but  I knew I could do better.  I wanted that highly sought after driftwood finish and I also really liked a lot of the mirrored furniture I was seeing.  Why not combine a driftwood finish with mirrored drawer fronts?

After mixing my paint colors, the procedure went as follows:

1.            First, I used the Grays Harbor and painted the whole piece.  Since I had never put any type of finishing product on the piece after I had painted it white,  all I needed to do was scruff it up a bit with sandpaper to get some good paint adhesion and paint over the white with the gray.

2.            Next, I took the darkest gray shade Grays Harbor Dark and made it a glaze by adding equal part water.  I used a soft cloth and went over the areas of the legs where you can see the carving so that the darker shade got into the grooves.  Don’t let the paint sit – you have to move quickly and wipe off most of the paint that has not settled into the grooves.

3.            I then made a glaze from the Pavestone base color.  Again, ½ water and ½ paint to make the glaze.  I applied this layer in small areas of the piece with a brush and worked quickly to blend and soften the paint using a soft cloth – taking off quite a bit of the glaze as I went along.  I slowly did this to the whole piece.

4.            The next layer was the Pavestone Light.  Again, I made a glaze of ½ paint and ½ water.  I applied this layer using a very dry brush technique and very long brush strokes with a very light hand.  I didn’t apply a lot – just a little here and there until I was happy with it.

5.            For the final touch, I diluted black paint and a little water and, with a toothbrush and my fingers, I flecked the surfaces of the dresser with just little black specks here and there.

6.            When I was done, I used Driftwood Natural Beeswax Wood Butter to give it a nice soft protective finish.

After several attempts at finding just the right knobs, I finally chose mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie.

I couldn’t be happier with how the finish came out and how the final piece looks.  But I will note two things.  First, as nice as this painted driftwood finish looks – I could have used the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish and got just as nice if not nicer driftwood finish in a lot less time and without all the paint and cleanup, but, I hadn’t developed the product yet and, in fact, this project inspired me to find an easier alternative; and  second,  having the mirror put on the dresser fronts may not have been the best idea.  While it looks great (I had them done by a local glass and mirror shop), the mirror is very heavy and prone to crack if you put the handles on too tight or if you move the piece a lot like I have.  The mirror on two corners has already chipped and cracked.  I had really, really wanted antiqued mirror, i.e. smoky, aged and distressed but I could not find any locally so that was disappointing.  This piece would have been over the top if I had been able to use antique mirrors as I originally wanted… sigh.

Creating a Driftwood Finish with Paint

Creating a Driftwood Finish with Paint

Driftwood Mid-Century Modern Nightstand Project

Project – Using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish on Mid-Century Modern Nightstand

Driftwood Mid-century modern dresser

I found this beautiful nightstand at Goodwill for $25.00. I knew right away that it was a good, quality piece of furniture and sure enough, a little online research and “Dixie” furniture company was well known for mid-century furniture pieces. So, my problem is I want a mid-centuryDriftwood projects modern piece with the look of driftwood.  I’ve recently become infatuated with mid-century accessories and furniture – especially atomic art represented by the starburst.

This is my experiment to see if I can successfully combine the two with an updated, driftwood mid-century modern piece.

One of the things I found so special about this little nightstand was the handles – they had little “starburst” like symbols engraved in the metal. I had never seen that before but I thought that was pretty cool.

So my thought in this project is to use a starburst pattern and apply it using a mixture of wood glue and water like you would a stencil. Here is how the project went:

Driftwood Mid-Century dresser

Original piece being investigated by my little helper.

handles

These are the handles with the little “starbursts”

stripping the stain

Stripping the stain

Sanding the finish

Sanding the finish and then removing all the dust with tack cloth.

Sanded

All stripped and sanded and ready for the next step – adding the graphic.

 

Adding the stencil

Adding the graphics.  I used carbon paper and traced the image onto the nightstand.  Then carved around the image with an exacto blade.  The idea behind this was that the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish would get in the cuts and create a darker outline of the image.

applying the graphic

Once I had the image on the nightstand with the carbon paper – I then used a mixture of Elmer’s glue and water (half n’ half) and went over the graphic using an artist’s brush.  The glue mixture should prevent the stain from adhering and it will give me the graphic on the nightstand.  There are wood glues out there that are specifically made to stain and others that should not take stain.  Another idea might be to use an artist masking fluid.  I suspect that would work just fine and it would give you a lighter graphic.  You should be able to remove the masking fluid and reveal the unfinished wood coming through your pattern.  I wish I had tried masking fluid first but patience is not one of my virtues and I wanted to get started with what I had.  I’ll try it with the next project.

Applying the Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish

I’ve applied the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  One thing I noticed once I stripped the piece was that there were different types of wood used to make this piece.  The legs were a blond oak and the sides I believe were a maple but I’m not 100% positive about that.  The top piece is veneered – so I knew once I applied the Driftwood Finish, the different types of wood would each take the color differently.

Driftwood Weathered Wood Finish on Mid-Century Modern dresser

As you can see, the final piece has a lot of different tones – the legs are much lighter.  But I love how the graphic came out.  Now I have the problem of putting a protective finish on it.  My first thought was to put a coat or two of the Driftwood Beeswax Wood Butter but I quickly nixed that idea.  I realized that putting the wax over the cuts in the pattern would leave bits of wax in the cuts – like you get when someone does a poor job of waxing your car.  Thankfully, I realized this before I went ahead with putting on the beeswax.  But it does need some type of protective finish.

I’ve decided to put a matte polyurethane coating on the top at least.  I’ve applied the polyurethane to the top and sides and it really darkens the finish quite a bit – more than I think I want.  So I’m hesitating about putting the polyurethane on the front over the graphic – I’m afraid I’ll lose the graphic.  I may decide to use the Driftwood Liming Wax on the whole piece.  I suspect that I will lose the graphic if I do but I may be brave and do it anyway.  I will post pics if I do.

I think I have at least achieved my driftwood mid-century modern look that I was going after.

Follow-up – I decided to sand the polyurethane off and apply the beeswax wood butter instead to the sides and top.  The beeswax wood butter actually made the sides and top just as dark as the polyurethane so my only alternative is to leave it as is with a darker top and sides than I want or move on to trying the liming wax.  I decided to go with the liming wax and I’m happy with that.  It lightened up the top and sides a bit.  In the picture below, I have not applied to the Driftwood Liming Wax to the top yet – just to the side.

Liming wax applied to side