Monday, March 11, 2013

Upholstered Bench

Hey all! I know I've sort of fell of the face of the blogosphere for a while, but that doesn't mean I've stopped DIYing. I have a bunch of projects to share with you, it's just taken me a while to get my act together. Here's one of the projects I recently completed for my sister.

My brother's next-door neighbor was giving away this bench from her grandmother for free and my sister quickly snatched it up. She wanted something to put at the foot of her bed in her new house and this was perfect because she knew she had someone me to fix it up.

As you can tell, it had definitely seen better days, but it has great lines and I love the little key hole detail. 

I did a little research when I saw the manufacturer's label on the inside of the lid. It turns out that the company was started in 1907 and was the first company in the US to manufacture cedar chests. How cool!

My sister and I went to JoAnn and picked out this gorgeous fabric. (Unfortunately, I gave her the rest of what I didn't use so I don't know the name offhand.)

I took the lid off the chest and with some 2" foam and batting, I turned it into a comfortable spot to sit down and put your shoes on every morning.

There are a bazillion upholstery tutorials around so here's just a quick rundown: Lay the fabric upside down, then batting, then foam, then bench seat upside down. First staple the batting, pulling tight and then staple the fabric, making sure there are no wrinkles or too-tight areas.

Also, make sure to cut around where you need to screw the bench seat back into the base.

This is what it should look like when you're finished:

And flipped over:

The next step was to work on the base. I used my new orbital sander (thanks Dad!) and it was ah-ma-zing. Never will I go back to sanding by hand!

Then I used some tinted primer (left over from this project) and gave it two thin coats. I didn't want any of the wood to bleed through.

I brought the fabric to Home Depot and had them color match the gray in the fabric and they really did an amazing job. Two coats of paint later and it was done!

My sister really wanted their family initial on the front so I asked a friend of mine who does vinyl decals to whip something up for her. I measured the center of the bench and marked it off with Frog tape to make sure that I knew exactly where to place the letter.

It took a couple minutes for me to figure out the best way to apply it since I had never worked with vinyl before, but once I figured it out it went on very easily. (Hint: do not remove the entire thing from the backing at once - do it in sections!)

Here it is all finished:

I think it's a tie of who loves it more - I or my sister :-)

Tell me what you think! Have you ever had paint color matched to fabric before? This was my first time and I'm definitely going to do it again.

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  1. Beautiful job!!!
    Love the fabric you chose!
    Thanks for sharing -
    visiting from Twelve O Eight
    Have a great week,

  2. Very pretty and well done! And looks fairly easy to change the fabric once in a while to freshen up the look :)

  3. Don't you just love free stuff? You did an awesome job on the bench - it's gorgeous!

  4. What a great makeover! I love the cushioned top. An heirloom for sure. :)

  5. I'm in love with this bench! The fabric is so, so pretty. And I love the monogramed letter on front. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. What a beautiful makeover! Love the fabric choice.

  7. Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop. You have a super cute blog, I can't wait to read more. You can find me at


  8. This is soo beautiful! I love the color choices and what a great find!

    Emily @

  9. What a great save, Lori! It looks amazing! Love the color, monogram and fabric! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  10. This is such a cute bench! Great fabric choice for the seat! Little Bit from

  11. Heavens yes I've had a paint store color match a piece of fabric (curtains in fact). I love it and am never disappointed with the results.

    Your bench turned out lovely, and you have every right to be proud (just like your sis)


    Stopping by via: Miss Mustard Seed's linky party
    Happy Easter!
    Smiles, Suz @ MaytagNMom
    My Project For This Week's Linky Parties

  12. This looks beautiful! I've got one of these that needs some work too. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. The bench was incredible before, I like that used look very much! Still: Fantastic makeover, now it´s even better ;)

  14. Just started following your blog, you have some amazing ideas! Great Idea for a Vinyl Decal too, I make them myself and never thought of putting them on furniture. Brilliant work!