Sunday, April 20, 2014

Before and After: Painted Bench

Finally! After months...and months...and months of what seemed like an endless winter, we are finally having a warm weekend.  While I'm not getting my hopes up just yet (I just don't trust that we are REALLY done with snow), I wasn't complaining about having a couple of nice days to get outside and work on a few projects.  As usual, Lance has been perusing craigslist (in fact, he's doing that right now) and on Friday he arrived home with a carload of furniture he had just picked up from someone in Watertown: 2 larger primitive tables, a smaller side table, 2 small benches, a hall tree, and a plant stand.  So bright and early on Saturday morning, we headed to the store to pick up supplies (deal alert! there's a rebate on spray paint at Menard's this week) and then we spent the afternoon tearing apart old furniture.

Here is the first project:

We started with this one because we had a clear vision of what we wanted to do with it and it was a fairly simple re-do.  We started with taking off the seat and pulling off the vinyl (? I don't even know what it was except that it was hideous) covering and the old foam padding underneath.

 Now here I'd like to take a moment to talk about our latest obsession: spray paint.  It all started a couple of weeks ago when we spray painted a wrought iron bistro set we bought for $7 at a garage sale last summer.  In just a few minutes of spraying, it went from dirty white to a bright cheerful teal blue.  In hindsight, I wish I'd taken pictures of it before we took it to the antique mall, but we were so eager to get it done and out of our garage, I didn't think about it at the time.  But the ease of that project got us thinking about spray paint. I hate painting. HATE it.  It takes FOREVER- especially if it is a piece of furniture with a lot of decorative grooves, scrolls spindles, etc.  Now, for larger, nicer pieces, I still think it is better to use regular paint.  But for smaller things, especially if they are a more primitive style, it turns out spraying is a MUCH easier alternative!

 We started by giving this bench a light sanding to make it a more paintable surface, and then we used a 2 in 1 Rustoleum paint and primer. Again, for nicer furniture, I still think it's better to use a separate paint and primer, but in this case the 2 in 1 worked just fine.

For the bench, we dug into a box of old flour sacks that Lance got last weekend on (you guessed it!) Craigslist.  We chose one that was the same size as the bench seat and then stuffed the board right into it. That made the upholstering REALLY easy, since then we only had to staple one end closed instead of trying to pull it tight, make sure it was even, and staple all the way around.  We took out the old padding (it had seen better days!) and cut a new piece from the foam inside an old Ikea chair pad (you know, the trusty Poang chair that pretty much everyone has in their first post-college apartment).  Then we just stuffed the new padding into the seat, stapled the end closed...


Brand New Bench! 

It's so exciting (and to be honest, surprising) when something actually turns out how we planned it, with no major setbacks.  We were both kind of in disbelief about how easy it was.  But we got over our shock pretty quickly and made a second trip to Menard's this morning to buy even MORE spray paint.  At first I thought maybe the people who work there were going to get suspicious and think we are going around painting graffiti all over the place, but..... then I looked in the mirror. There is NO WAY anyone is EVER going to mistake us for graffiti artists, no matter HOW much spray paint we buy. *sigh* We are just not that cool. 

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