Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Updating a bench seat

Last week I was contacted by Judy who has been following my blog since she read about me and my painted furniutre in the Manly Daily. She had a bench seat that her mother had handed-down to her and she wanted it freshened up. 



These bench seats are made from the bottom of old wardrobes (the hanging part of the wardrobe rests on top of this part). They are great for hallways or end of the bed for storage and for sitting on to put your shoes on. Judy's bench was looking a little worse for wear, the pine had gone very orange, the fabric was dated, one of the handles had broken and the drawer didn't slide smoothly, it was a big struggle to open and close. Judy and I discussed different options for updating this. She had some lovely cream fabric and had thought initially of the bench painted white for a shabby chic look but I thought that it might look a bit bland and insignificant. Other possibilities I thought of were white un-distressed paint with blue and white stripes or blue and white floral for a Hamptons look, Black paint with black and cream damask fabric for a Vintage Glam look but we settled on a French Country look using the cream fabric Judy had already bought. I used Annie Sloan French Linen with Pure White Trim and to tone down the Pure White so it didn't clash with the cream fabric I gave the edges and trim some antiquing with dark wax. Old White probably would have worked better but I don't have any tins of Old White so I was working with what I had.


My process for the makeover was I first cleaned the whole bench seat and removed the original handles and filled in the holes with wood putty and when the putty was dry, I sanded the drawer smooth. I pulled off the old fabric and trim but I didn't need to touch the foam as it was still in great condition.  I then painted the bench and drawer in ASCP French Linen giving it two coats. When it was dry I highlighted the edges with Pure White using a small (1cm square tipped) artist's brush. It is not necessary to tape the edges. What I do is have a damp cloth by my side and if I go over the bevelled edge with white paint I just very gently wipe it off with the cloth. If you are gentle enough you will not remove the colour underneath and your lines will end up very straight. I did the two coats of Pure White for the trim in front of the TV on Friday night after dinner so it was very relaxing.


Once all the paint was dry I applied the clear wax all over and then the dark wax only to the edges, wiping most of it off. I then distressed the edges ever so slightly and buffed it all.


I drilled new holes for the hardware and put the new handles on. Changing the handles cost only $13 and it really updated the piece and changed the look. I love these fluted cup handles and use them a lot when I am updating a piece of furniture. When I was painting I decided to paint over the original brass key hole plate as I thought it would clash with with nickel handles and I think I made the right decision.

For the upholstery, I then set to with my Bosch Cordless Tacker that I reviewed here and I am still absolutely in love with. If you are into DIY do yourself a favour and get one. So worth it. Even if I wasn't sent this Tacker by Bosch I would be recommending it. When you are upholstering it is very important to get a good tension on your fabric, You do not want it too loose so it crinkles when you sit down or is loose at the edges; and you don't want it too tight or it will pucker. With this piece I had to pull out my staples on one end as I initially didn't have it tight enough. It's worth re-doing and getting right. For the front I ironed and folded the edge under so it was very neat. The other edges I left raw and cut and just hid the edges with the glue and gimp braid. You can see what I mean in the photo below.


I then used my hot melt glue gun and glued on the gimp braid to cover the edges and staples. 




To make the drawer slide more easily I sanded down both sides of the drawer with my orbital sander. I didn't sand right to the dovetailed edge and I wanted the front of the drawer to still sit flushed against the edges. You can see that I haven't sanded my painting. The colour if off in the photo below but you can see the lovely smooth wood.  I then waxed the sides of the drawers and now it slides so easily. I love a simple fix that makes a big difference to how you can use a piece.



I think it is looking much better now. I love the French Country two toned look and more importantly Judy was delighted with it's transformation.



I also gave Judy one of my hand made cushions as I thought it went so well with the French Linen bench seat.  I have been having fun doing some sewing and selling bits and pieces on Instagram and Facebook. I will share them here soon.  The cushion below is the one I gave Judy. 


and Judy surprised me with these beautiful sweet peas.  I love them in my hallway.


I have lots of beautiful things coming up so please keep an eye on my blog and if you live in Sydney I'd love it if you could let your friends know about my furniture. Lilyfield Life continues to grow!

Thanks everyone for your support and a special thanks Judy for trusting me with your furniture. I'm thrilled that you are happy.

Fiona xx





18 comments:

  1. that looks beautiful Fiona, no wonder Judy was thrilled :)

    xx Karen

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    1. thanks Karen, we love happy customers don't we!!

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  2. so gorgeous- what a difference!!! it was pretty outdated before!

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    1. It sure was Cassie, don’t you just love paint and DIY!

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  3. so lovely - and the colours are perfect.

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    1. thanks so much Sandra, Annie Sloan is great with ehr colour selection isn't she. such an eye

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  4. That looks so great! Lovely transformation, Fiona!

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    1. thanks Reeves, much appreciated. have a great weekend
      Fiona x

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  5. It is just beautiful Fiona - inspirational!

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    1. Thanks so much Shirley, it’s a big difference isn’t it!

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  6. I love that a piece of furniture handed along by a family member gets a new look and renewed interest. Lovely work!

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    1. thanks Veronica, I love hand me downs also. such treasures!

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  7. Hi Fiona - thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. I am loving this bench seat transformation - the colours are just perfect and a change from white (even though I adore all things white!). Cushion is cute too! And sweet peas? Ahhh.....

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    1. hi Petra - you know that I am a lover of all things white also but lately I am really drawn to these lovely muted colours also. have a lovely weekend
      fiona

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  8. Hi Fiona

    Love the transformation, you have excelled yourself once again.

    Cheers

    Karen
    At Home Vintage

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    1. thanks so much Karen, for once (lately) this was a fairly straight forward make over. than goodness! have a lovely weekend
      Fiona

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