Thursday, April 29, 2010

Goodbye, sweet bench.

The project I've been focusing on lately has been this sweet bench. Remember her? The one my friend taunted me with- I mean, brought to me the other day to redo for her?

I couldn't wait to get started, so the first thing I did was rip out the broken cane seats (easier said than done) and fill the grooves they left behind with some wood filler (again, easier said than done). The idea was to build some little upholstered seats to fill the gaping holes, but I didn't want those big empty grooves to stay. I also replaced the missing screw covers and I reglued a couple of the joints that had come apart, hence the green straps below.

See how nice and smooth I finally got that wood filler to be? Sanded down to a satin finish.

And then this happened. Grrrr. The container even says that it resists cracking and shrinking!

A coat of primer doesn't make it look much better.

Luckily, I had an epiphany. It took me a while, but I finally remembered that the whole seat section wasn't attached to the rest of the bench, so when I took it out and flipped it over, I had a lovely, smooth, ungrooved seat to paint! Yes, I wasted a lot of time with the wood filler and waiting for it to dry and then sanding it down, but that's okay. Live and learn.

Anyway, the next step was to attach some cleats for the new seats to rest on. I just cut down a 1x2 and screwed two pieces to opposite sides of each opening.



Then on to the fun part- painting! Here's the seat section with a coat of primer. You can see the cleats underneath that will give the seats something to rest on.

Next I painted the entire bench and seat, then got to work on the seat boards. I just cut two pieces of pressboard slightly smaller than the dimensions of the openings to allow some room for the fabric that would be going on them.

Once my friend had chosen and delivered her choice of fabric to me, I lost no time in finishing the bench. The last steps were to distress the paint job a tad, then upholster the pressboard with some cotton batting, Dacron and her lovely fabric.

Now, without further ado...



That striped fabric is great. It's got a slight sheen to it, which makes it look very elegant.

If I had black furniture in my house I'd have a much harder time giving this bench back to its owner. I'm loving how it turned out. Here's hoping she does, too!

5 comments:

Jake & Lisa Danes said...

Gorgeous!!! I so wish that I could find a bench like that! Awesome work Sarah!

Rachel Fisher said...

Thanks so much Sarah...I love it! You did a wonderful job...Now if I can keep my kids off it!!! :):):)

Maryhelen said...

It's Fabulous! Love the process as much as the finished product.

Beautiful!

Sugarplum said...

You are so amazing! It looks so great!!!

Adrienne said...

Your bench looks great! I have the exact same bench but I wish I had known some of your "fixes" at the time. My bench was upholstered and left marks or glue marks or something on the edge that I couldn't get off with anything! Here is my before and after...
Ok so apprarently I can't leave a photo in this comment box from my iPhone. Any other i can share pics