Saturday, July 31, 2010

Step by Step: Transforming a Gossip Bench

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!  I just finished up the gossip bench (or "telephone bench") that I bought on a whim at a flea market in Forrest City, AR.  Little did I know, my aunt was stalking the same bench to put at the end of the hallway in her house.  Great minds think alike.  Sorry Aunt Janet... You snooze, you lose.

Here is the BEFORE.  It was in good shape structurally, but had really dirty, old fabric and lots of dings and scratches on the wood.  It is a true antique.

And here's the AFTER.

As usual, I took the seat cover off and started sanding every surface to get the shine off. 

After I posted about revamping the magazine rack, one of my readers commented on the benefit of using a tack cloth.  After I had vacuumed the dust from sanding AND wiped the bench down with a wet rag, this is still what the tack cloth picked up.  For one dollar, it will be your best friend while painting.  For real.

First, I filled the gaps with all-purpose caulk and let dry.  The paint, however, was an experiment.  I am an true believer in using oil based paint for furniture because of its lasting durability.  I have been hearing though about Behr's new latex Premium Plus paint with primer.  Supposedly, it has the same lasting, no chipping quality that oil based has.  So, I bought a quart in "Powdered Snow."  It shows brush strokes way worse than oil based but that was OK this time because I wanted an antiqued look anyways.  But only time will tell if  it is really as durable as people claim.  Anyone out there have opinions on this paint?

It took me three coats, but the color change was drastic. 

Meanwhile, little Pepper got herself into the wet paint.  ;)

Staying true to the age of the piece, I knew I wanted to antique it.  I sanded all the corners by hand with 60-grit paper, then smoothed the sanding off with 220-grit.

I used the same Sherwin Williams glaze (tinted with "Hopsack") that I used on the magazine rack.  It is oil based and will give the latex a tougher finish.  Sherwin Williams is changing their glazing products to a new line, and so right now, all of their old glazes are on sale - latex, oil based, metallics, everything!  This quart cost me $3 instead of $18 as before.  If you plan to glaze anything in the near future... run to SW before they sell out!

As far as application, I used a $1 Dollar Tree brush to slop it on, and an old rag to wipe it off.  Easy.

In keeping with the "aged" look, I found this older looking fabric at Walmart for 75 cents.



Too bad we don't have a land line...


  1. I love love love your gossip/telephone bench!!! Great job!!

  2. i love all of your thrift store restorations. i like to do the same thing occasionally. i recently bought a microwave stand at a thrift store, sanded it, painted it black and am now using it as a side table in the living room. however, apparently i need to branch out on the color i paint things. most things end up black. corey recently called my projects my 'goth furniture' :)

  3. My Mom just picked up a bench like that and has it in the garage at her house. I'm showing your post to her...we couldn't figure out what to do with it. I love yours!!!

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog! I love the refinsih!! I'm excited to follow you, too! :0)

  5. That looks so cute. I like the fabric you found!

  6. P.S. I just posted an award for you on my blog! :0)

  7. Hi Janice! I think that is a beautiful piece of furniture! Thank you for stopping by my blog. If you have any questions about homeschooling, I will be more than happy to answer them. Have a blessed day!

  8. I love this, I have always wanted a gossip bench. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

  9. Wow! You did a great job! I love those old telephone benches!

    Thanks so much for leaving me a comment on my photography blog~

    Hope you come back to visit me soon!

  10. Love this little bench! Looks sooooo much better....and I might add, as I was scrolling through (okay, I admit it...I wasn't reading EVERY word. Sorry. I'm low on time but want to browse your blog - Ha!) little eye spotted "Hopsack". Great color. I have it in my kitchen, hall bath, living room and studio. :)



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