I was so excited about this month’s Thrift Store Challenge because I was able to find something I’ve been wanting for ages- the perfect outside, multi-purpose bench. The only problem? The one I found was super ugly.
When I spotted it at one of my favorite local thrift stores, I wasn’t even sure it was for sale. It was sitting rather sadly outside the shop, two dying plants taking their last few precious breaths as I moved them aside to look for a price tag. There it was. $8. Respectfully, I gently moved the elderly plants to another table and picked up my dirty, splintery gem.
I awkwardly hobbled to the register, trying to look as normal as possible holding the oddly shaped bench in both arms, covering my clothes in dirt. The man behind the counter chuckled and said, “$8 for that piece of crap? I’ll give it to you for $4!” Happy with my deal, I handed the gentleman the cash, complimented his bolo tie, and walked out, pleased as punch.
When I got it home, I gave it a good cleaning, scrubbing away the remnants of the doomed plants I’d left behind. I thought about sanding it, but decided, because it would be an outside table, that it could be a bit more rustic and left it rough.
I then perused my paint shelves and settled on a very pale yellow I’d had leftover from a project for my daughter. I grabbed an old brush, and got to work.
Once again, keeping with the rustic feel, I didn’t want to completely coat the bench in paint. I wanted the feel to be worn and distressed. Because the wood was so porous, it took a about two and a half coats to accomplish even this distressed look. I say “and a half” because some parts needed a bit more paint than others.
When I was happy with the look, I put down the paintbrush, and waited for the paint to dry.
Note: If attempting at home, do not leave your unsupervised puppy around the open paint can.
When the paint had dried (and Taco had gotten a bath), I sprayed the entire bench with two coats of Rust-Oleum Sealer, waited for that to dry, and presto! The perfect sized bench for just about anything- extra seating, drink holding, or foot resting while blogging!
Click the photos below to find out what my talented friends did with their Thrift Store Challenge!: