Hello friends and happy Wednesday!
Today I’m sharing a really cool project that I finished earlier this month for a contest that Kelly held up at the Not 2 Shabby Red Barn in Flint. I wasn’t able to do the September Shabby Sunday show because I was in Richmond that whole weekend, so when I saw on Facebook last month that Kelly was having a $5 and $10 sale and running a furniture flipping contest in conjunction with the sale, I knew I had to do it. Not only would it be a fun project to share on the blog, but it would be an interesting challenge and a good way to stock up on some project pieces for the fall.
I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy anything that was too similar to something I’d done lately—no headboards, for example—but I also didn’t want to go for something that I really hated, like a country crafts piece that had heart cutouts all over it. I was hoping to get a few really good pieces that I could spend some time on in September and have ready for Hocus Pocus (which is now only two weekends away!!).
Since the sale started on a Thursday morning, Charlotte had to come along, and my mom was off, so we made (most) of a day of it. We got there pretty much right at 10, and there were already pieces that were in piles all over the porch—the photos online had been pretty interesting, and there were about 5 or 6 people there ahead of us. We’d passed several garage sales on the way there as well, so I wasn’t too disappointed that there were only two pieces left that I was really interested in:
I picked the chair because it was really solid and had arms, and I love doing side chairs with arms. The veneer on the back of the chair was a little warped (I forgot to take a photo before I peeled it all off), but other than that it was perfect. All it needed was a fresh coat of paint and to have the seat recovered in coordinating fabric:
That was too easy to be my piece for the flipping contest, though, so I also grabbed the bench. It was falling apart and missing the seat, but I knew that I could do something cool with it. My first thought was to spray paint it black and use it as a fall planter for some mums for the deck. Since it was missing a seat anyway, I thought why not leave it mostly as it is and make it an outdoor piece?
Then I started randomly browsing Pinterest, just in case my first inspiration could be topped somehow, and I started seeing all of these benches with fluffy faux fur over the top, and my mind grabbed onto that idea for a minute. It would be super simple to cut a piece of board, screw it into the top, cover that with a thick piece of foam, and bring the faux fur down over the edges of the unfinished top of the bench—plus, it was super chic, really different than anything I’ve done before, and something that would totally fit in Charlotte’s bedroom (or mine, for that matter).
Before I made any decisions, I had to address the fact that this bench was totally falling apart.
I got out my wood glue and applied a little to all of the insides of the joints wherever it was coming apart, and the next day it was as good as new. Well, not really, but it wasn’t falling apart anymore. To make it even sturdier, and to make the bench part possible, I cut a piece of board and screwed it into the top of the bench. I guess that gives away the project I decided to go with, huh? SHHH!! I still want it to be (kind of) a surprise. Just don’t think about it.
I didn’t worry about the screws in the top because this bench had enough room around the edge that I decided to just carry the faux fur around the sides and ends of the bench to make it extra cozy. But first, I had to paint the legs, which was a bit of a dilemma…I just couldn’t decide what color to use on the bottom. I knew I wanted white faux fur for the top, but then white legs seemed too bland. But gray or pink didn’t seem right, either, and I was afraid black would be too much of a stark difference against the white top, for some reason (I feel like, in reality, any of these options would have been fine, but I was genuinely paralyzed about this choice for a few days. Once again Jessie, this isn’t brain surgery. It’s just a paint color).
Naturally, I just avoided the problem for a while, and worked on other things. Here’s a whole chair I finished during this dilemma:
I picked this one up for $5 and painted it in Annie Sloan’s Coco. The fabric is from a piece that I picked up at the Shed 5 show from 1011 Fabric’s booth—if you have time for a little road trip, you absolutely need to check out their store in Fenton—they carry so many amazing fabrics and antiques, and it’s super fun to shop around in there, even if you’re just looking for inspiration!
Ok, back to my flip piece. Seriously, it took me over a week to decide on a color. I pushed this bench around the garage while I worked on chairs, a custom sign for an Etsy customer, and prep for the Finder’s Keepers show.
Does this happen to anyone else? I have no idea why I got so hung up on this color issue. I finally decided on French Linen, because I was driving myself a little bit crazy. I started off by washing the legs, and that became a bigger process than I’d originally thought, too—there was so much gunk on the wood that I didn’t think I could ever get it fully clean.
I ended up washing it twice and then spraying it with Shellac just to be safe. I didn’t want any dirt or old stain to come through the paint once it was done. I also didn’t wax it right away, just in case I have to go over any spots later.
I did two coats of the French Linen as well—I really can’t explain the color decision other than it also happened to work out that I was painting this bookshelf at the same time and I was certain that I wanted that piece in French Linen, so the bench just followed suit.
When does gray not look good with white? At this point in the process, it seemed like a no-brainer.
I don’t know if I’ll keep this bench in my room or not. I have another little chair that I painted a few years ago, and it’s been working out fine. The bench looks nice here, but I use this sewing machine in the winter when I’m working on tea wallets and burp cloths, and sitting for long periods on a bench with no back wouldn’t really work out. I might move it over under the other window once it’s cool enough for Dan to put the air conditioner away.
Did you participate in the furniture flip contest? How did your piece turn out? I had a great time with this little bench, despite the fact that I had the hardest time making a choice about the color. Head over to the Not 2 Shabby Red Barn’s Facebook page to check out the other flip projects and get some ideas of your own! Have a great week, everyone!