Fast Furniture Flip
It’s a slow news day, or translated: I’ve not been very enterprising. Life and a lawn full of leaves have intercepted my creativity. However, in my recent effort to clean and rid the cellar of all extraneous things, I did stumble upon an old project. Rather, I found an old bench my husband and I had brought home from a flea market at least two years ago. It was pretty gross when we found it; laying in my cellar for the last two years has made it no less gross. Isn’t she a beaut? We decided to work together: I needed a blog post and she a makeover. This is her story: fast furniture flip.
After removing the lacy trim that had just been tacked on, I discovered a thousand staples that had adhered the fake leather fabric in place. With a screwdriver, a staple remover, and a pliers I removed every last one. Then I washed off about five years of dirt and webs with some soapy water and a scrub brush. The water ran black. Below is the bench after a thorough cleaning and with the top removed.
I used a little bit of wood filler for some of the gouges I created in removing the staples. Quick sanding. Then outside for spray paint. Here’s the secret and what I like most about this project: I started the entire thing at 5pm last night. What I lack in foresight, I make up for in desperation. I needed a blog post and my cellar answered the call. It supplied me with both the bench and spray paint. After surveying some golds, coppers and random others, I settled on satin black.
Clean and painted makes anything look a world better. I like the shiny black and knew it would pair well with a seasonal fabric I had in mind. However, I will admit to being tempted by bright, flashy colors. This bench may have a more vibrant third life still ahead, maybe in an emerald green or a warm mauve. I found this fabric at the store, fell in love, and then passed on it, as I have nothing remotely in that color palette – but oh, that I did.
In case you’re checking your watch against the project, it’s now 7pm. It took me two hours to remove materials, clean, and paint – and feed my kids and sedate them. Not real sedation. Once I negotiated a settlement with my oldest to watch his brother, I ran out to the nearest fabric store in the next town. Jo-Ann’s. Of course there are a lots of fabric shops with more options, but since I wasn’t looking for my forever fabric, just my now fabric, this fit the bill. In fact, I had a hard time choosing just a few. I’ve long admired this fabric, so…
Okay- I can hear your whisper. You’re right – the fabric isn’t pulled taut. The reason behind the wonky fit is that it’s not stapled down, but merely folded over. This is an exercise in speed and versatility. I wanted to demonstrate what a difference $8 in fabric can make (granted it’s not upholstery or sunbrella fabric). I did decide on one fabric and fasten it with the staple gun to the underside. This is not that fabric though, so bear with me. Still- not bad for $8 and two and a half hours. Here is the second selection. Same price.
Another favorite fabric. Now, when I wear my buffalo plaid pajamas, I can fade into the background and my kids will race right by me. I expect this fabric will make a showing on the front porch this winter season. I’ll apologize for the lack of pillowing and accessorizing, but as a reminder – it’s 8pm when these photos are being taken. Thoughtful art curation is not on the docket for the evening.
Here’s the seasonal fabric I referenced earlier. No curating – that spider is real. When the bench blog concept came to me yesterday afternoon, I was excited by the prospect of having a Halloween decor piece that didn’t have fur or yield squeals. With young kids, a lot of our accessorizing for the holiday involves rodents. Yay. I welcome my slightly more mature, biker-worthy Halloween furniture piece. All jest aside though, I loved the bench when we found it, ugly vinyl excluded. I love it more now. Fabric and paint are my favorite makeover materials. There are thousands of varieties in each and they’re easy (enough) to work with. I pause here because I cannot actually sew a lick. My mother sewed curtains, costumes, and slipcovers with ease and somehow, I never made it a priority to learn from her. Still, with you as my witness, I profess to learn. There are too many beautiful, luxurious fabrics to pass up the opportunity.
For those like me who don’t sew (now), upholstered chairs and benches requiring only a staple gun are your go-to. They can change the entire feel and style of a room. Paint, fabric… new bench. Who says procrastinators don’t win?
Wonder where the skull bench will find a home? Me too. Check back next week to see our haunted halls.
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