Today I’m going to share my latest project with you guys. (I told you I get all crafty this time of year!) This is a little bench seat I picked up at a thrift store for $15. It was a disgusting stained mess (as you can see), but it had fantastic bones. I knew that the metal frame was a nice solid design and that everything else could be changed. [I realize that the brightly patterned rug isn’t the best photo backdrop, but what can I say? I needed the space of the living room.]
My stained, ripped, tarnished bench. It sat in the garage for weeks, serving only as a tacky but luxurious kitty seat. 😉 I couldn’t wait to rip off that fringe!
The first thing I did was choose a fabric that exactly matched an available spray paint color. I knew I wanted to paint the wooden handles, and I also knew it would drive me crazy if they didn’t match. Since spray paint is much more limited than fabric, I started with that. Luckily I found this shade of green I love that happens to be very on-trend right now. The fabric ended up being an indoor/outdoor material.
The underside of my bench let me know that everything except the metal frame and wooden base must go, including the holey and water-stained cardboard backing.
So I unscrewed the seat.
This is what my frame looked like without the cushion. Helper cat approves.
Next I sanded down the wooden handles. If you’re going to paint, this is a necessary step so your spray will properly adhere. Be sure to wipe off any remaining sawdust.
Then I gave my metal frame a good scrubbing. I used Goo Gone, water, steel wool, and lots of elbow grease.
But then she shined almost as good as new!
Next I carefully covered everything but the wooden handles with plastic bags and painter’s tape (which leaves no residue). I did this after cleaning the metal frame because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold onto the freshly painted handles to scrub.
I sprayed both handles with a coat of primer to be sure my color wouldn’t flake off later.
A close-up shot of the primed handles.
While that was drying, I returned to my removed cushion. I had to strip off the old fabric, which I did using my staple monster and a flathead screwdriver.
As you can see, the staining went straight through to the foam, so the only piece I kept was the wooden board.
Next I cut some nice clean foam to size. I wanted the seat to be thicker than the foam I had on hand, so I cut two pieces.
I painted the handles green within an hour of the primer coat, returning every thirty to sixty minutes to apply light touch-up coats to any spots I missed.
As that was drying, I used spray adhesive to glue my foam to my board. I did this on the grass because that glue is super sticky and leaves a residue everywhere.
I also put a layer of adhesive between both pieces of foam, because a solid cushion unit is easier to work with when upholstering.
Once everything was lined up, I gently pressed down to make sure everything was snug.
At this point I cut a new cardboard backing, using my wooden seat as a template. I also punched holes where I would need to put my screws through to reattach the seat.
Helper cat #2 approves as well!
Next I used batting to gently curve and smooth out my two pieces of foam. This step isn’t entirely necessary, but I had some lying around. I wrapped it around my seat and used a staple gun to attach it to the board.
I trimmed off the excess to remove bulk.
Then I did the same thing with my green fabric. Be sure to cut yourself enough extra size to wrap all the way to the bottom of the board.
I stapled my fabric to the back, being sure to pull the material snug but not too tight. I folded the corners just like wrapping a present, then stapled them down.
Again, I trimmed off excess fabric to remove bulk.
Then I stapled on my new cardboard backing to make everything look neat and tidy.
Once my paint had settled but before it was entirely hardened, I carefully pulled off all of my tape and plastic bags.
A close-up of why taping is necessary before painting. See the clean lines?
Finally, I reattached my newly covered seat cushion.
And voila! It’s small enough to tuck into corners when not needed, and light enough to pull out whenever we want an extra seat in any room. It’s simple and modern and adds a nice pop of color. For a total of about $20 — since I already had most of the materials — this was a fun and useful little project. I love my new bench!
I had a blast doing this. Do any of you guys refurbish cheap finds like this? What’s your latest project?Share this: