Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ugly Bench Transformation

I have absolutely no idea where this bench came from. It came into our possession about eight years ago and was hideous then. What you see here in the before pictures is an improvement from when I first laid eyes on it. I painted the chew/scratch marks with brown water color paint, and cut up an old sweater for the seat...

Still ugly, but improved. I know, hard to believe! Upon moving into our current house, I placed the bench in the bathroom only to find it actually made our bathroom even more sad. It's a mix of white and beige and bland. This bench did nothing to help the aesthetics. We had a small container of stain left over from a table my husband created from a crate and a sheet of shelf liner from the kitchen that was the perfect size. 

Here is how I transformed this ugly, nondescript piece of furniture into a mid century modern inspired bench:
  1. After removing the seat - it was not fastened to the base - I sanded all of the wood with a sanding block: a very fine sanding block, but it did the trick. My goal wasn't to completely sand out all of the dings and scrapes. I wanted to create a surface that would permit the stain to soak into the wood. We like rustic, lived in furniture and elements in our home. 
  2. Then, I used damp rag to remove all of the saw dust and to open the wood grain to allow maximum absorption of stain.
  3. Next, using a different rag I stained the entire piece. If you care about how your hands will look after the fact, I recommend wearing gloves. They will be stained. Even if you are able to remove all of the stain from your hands it will live in the creases of your fingernails for a few showers. 
  4. Once the stain dried I applied polyurethane as a protective coating. 
  5. In between steps 3 and 4, I removed the various layers of fabric from the seat saving the upholstery nails. I was unable to remove the original layer of fabric, but it doesn't matter that it's there. 
  6. Centering the seat on the backside of the shelf liner, I pulled the edges flush using masking tape to hold  the liner in place to allow for easy corner duty.
  7. Using the preexisting upholstery nails, I pulled the liner over the corners in a 'V' fashion and tacked them in place.
  8. Because I am sometimes over cautious, I placed masking tape around the seams where the liner met the seat for added support. I know there are other products that would be better (spray adhesive or staples) but I am working with what I have in an effort to spend as little money as possible. 

Now, we have a beautiful bench that brightens up our entire bathroom! 

The piece looks brand new and it cost me nothing. This particular revamp used materials left over from previous projects. The stain and polyurethane were left over from my husbands prior rehabbing, costing $4 each. My sister had an overabundance of shelf liner and passed the extra to me. With a little bit of imagination, a lot of elbow grease, and some time an amazing transformation is tangible! This bench looks brand new and vintage inspired :)

1 comment:

  1. That turned out do pretty! I think the dArker wood looks much richer. Very nice. Pat