Warmer, No, Hot Bench

I teased you all with the bench refinishing process yesterday.  You’ve waited long enough.  Feast your eyes on a sanded, stained, sealed, upholstered bench that nearly required more labor than my kids.

The fabrics are from Joann, so nothing crazy or expensive.  This way, when I change my mind, I won’t feel bad.  Though, I did choose a neutral fabric for the seat so I could change the pillows out to go with a different color scheme.

I found the ceramic stool at Ross a few weeks ago for $30.99, marked down from $45, but originally $95.  Score for a 68% discount.

The seat is a few inches taller than the cushions, because I used a 3/4 inch thick plywood and added another inch of foam.  One long cushion makes the piece look more like an outdoor bench than a couch, in my opinion.   And, the plywood base is much more sturdy than the sagging canvas.

Surprisingly, the trellis pattern wasn’t difficult to keep straight.  Perhaps because it is a small-scale?  Speaking of small-scale, I want to add another set of larger pillows to beef things up and add comfort.  Maybe 18 inch square ones?

Overall, I think this was a great transformation.  A little time-consuming, not too expensive, but I worth it.  Last night, Ben finally admitted he said he thought the bench was ugly so he wouldn’t have to help with it.  He thinks it looks cute now and said he saw the potential from the beginning.

Just after I finished upholstering the seat and setting it in place, I plopped down to enjoy it.  Then, Vincent sat down with a bag of tortilla chips.


For a more dramatic before and after, how about a side by side?

Now, for a cost breakdown:

Bench: Free

Sander and paper: Already owned

Stain: Left over from another project

Clear Protective Finish: $19.99 for a quart, with tons left over for another project

Cushions: Reused from original bench

Mattress Topper: $12.49

Fabric: $25.79, including two yards for the seat, two yards of vinyl, and one yard for pillows

Pillow forms: Living room forms displaced by new World Market pillows

Grand Total: $58.27  

Not bad, especially when I checked prices of similar benches I liked.  Like this one for $289.00 or this teak Smith and Hawken bench for $649.00.  That is a savings between $230.73 to $590.73.

The process was fairly simple, but time-consuming.  Nothing a patient DIYer couldn’t handle, though.  What do you think of the change?  Was it worth the time, effort and money?

34 thoughts on “Warmer, No, Hot Bench

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement, ladies! I’m thrilled with the change and I’m so happy you are, too. 🙂

  1. I love it! What great lines the original bench had, it’s so great you had the eye to see beyond the ugly. I can see some cushier pillows to make it a cozy outdoor hangout, but it’s an awesome transformation as-is.

    1. Thanks!! Julie, I agree about the cushier pillows. I found one down insert for $3 at the thrift store this week, now I need one more and fabric to make covers. Then, it will be even better. 🙂

  2. Looks great, well done. I agree that the extra pillows will really make it wonderful. The ceramic stool is fabulous. I am so jealous! I am seeing them everywhere…on all the design blogs and magazines. And remember…it isn’t just a cost savings (terrific as that is) it also is a savings from the landfill! Way to go.

    1. Aww, you guys! You’re so amazing and encouraging! Thank you so much for your kind comments!

      Tempest, I don’t know the brand, but it’s in stock at our Joann with the home decor fabrics. They also have green, blue, black, pink and I think a few more colors.

      Suzanne, I’ve been coveting a ceramic stool forever now. I finally broke down and bought one. And, I love that it was re-purposed.

      Kristen, I think the same thing! I actually picked up a blue patterned shower curtain on clearance from Target that I considered using, but these colors go better with the rest of the space. I might use the curtain to sew some water resistant pillow covers.

      Thanks again for being so sweet! You guys rock my socks.

  3. Okay – not to sound cuh-razy, but THAT BRICK!!!! It’s uniform color and lack of paint has me absolutely green with envy. Apparently I’ve got brick stripping on the brain.

  4. It looks ADORABLE!!! You did a great job! And OMG I NEED THAT STOOL! I’m totally going to Ross tomorrow on the off chance that there will be one in my store.

  5. So cute!!! Love it!

    I am about to start on my own bench re do, but its very different and will be for my bathroom. I’d love to do something similar for our front porch.

  6. Um, wow! This would be perfect on our front porch. I can’t believe it’s the same bench as the “before”. I’m going to start following you….love your blog!

Now it's your turn! Share your thoughts and opinions, stories and links. We love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s