Tuesday, November 29, 2011

French Bench

I’ve been trying to organize my picture files, which I find almost as exciting as organizing my sock drawer. However, one good thing came out of it (and it wasn’t finding my matching blue-striped fuzzy socks, although I really would like to) – I came across one of my summer projects that never got to be posted!  Poor thing.

Anyway, based on my French chocolate coffee table (which spawned a few more similar projects  here, here, and here), I decided to transform this old bench…

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…into a ‘vintage French’ piece!

My original idea was just to sand the top down to bare wood, and paint the base of the bench.

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But do you see those wide panels that run along the front and the back? The bench told me (if you have read my blog, you’ll know that furniture often talks to me) that those spaces were perfect for more typography. So before I knew it (not really—it took forever) I had sanded the entire bench down!

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I only worried about removing the old finish. All the knicks, scrapes, and dings are welcome to stick around.  That’s character.

Next thing was to choose the perfect graphic (all of my French ads have been found at The Graphics Fairy), print it out, and then take it to an office store to be copied onto an overhead transparency.

Here I am at work…

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If you’ve seen my other projects, you’ll notice that I’ve gotten a little smarter. I put this piece up on a folding table so I didn’t have to contort myself on the floor so much!!

And in case you’re wondering…I am using a plain old bottle of acrylic paint. (Others have suggested using paint markers or a Sharpie, but I don’t think they distress as well. You can use whatever suits you best.)

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I really dressed up for this impromptu photo shoot, can’t you tell?

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This is what the bench looks like before any distressing or staining.

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I actually used lines from two other ads for the front and back panels of the bench.

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They may or may not make sense with what the top says!

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After the paint was completely dry, I distressed the lettering with sandpaper, and then wiped on a coat of Minwax Antique Walnut stain. I finished the bench with a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic.

This little bench went with me to an outdoor market in July. It was one of the last projects I finished before going, so it missed out on a ‘formal’ photo shoot in my home! But here’s what it looked like outside on a beautiful July day.

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You may not have noticed it, but those two side panels actually hide a lower cubby. I envision this as an entry bench with a place to hide shoes! (I painted the inside black.)

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So that’s my little French Bench. If this looks like a project you would like to try, be sure and check around for a used overhead projector. Lots of times you can find them at school surplus sales, or you might even be able to borrow one from your local school.

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Ahh, summer….


Linking up to these great parties:
Coastal Charm’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday Topsy Turvy Tuesdays
Domestically Speaking’s Power of Paint Someday Crafts’ Whatever Goes Wednesday
Hookin’ Up with House of Hepworths No Minimalist Here’s Open House Thursday
Friday Remodelaholic 2805
My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Primitive & Proper I Heart Naptime
Beyond the Picket Fence’s Under $100 Party My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Perfectly Imperfect {Primp}
Mod Vintage Life Sisters of the Wild West
Thrifty Décor Chick One Month to Win It
The Graphics Fairy My Repurposed Life


Cassie Bustamante said...

i love the look of this on a bench! and i happen to love that the title rhymes.

Eleonora Boiserie & C. said...

I love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing this eclectic work!

Beth said...

Very pretty for a simple styled bench! I just love Graphics Fairy too! You definitely do her finds justice!!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That turned out wonderfully, Korrie! I especially love the way the top one turned out.

Jacqueline said...

Your bench looks amazing!

Heavens2Betsy said...

This such a transformation! I love the way that you breathe new life into your projects. Everything, in your hands, seems filled with potential. penny

Kristal said...

Hiya Korrie!! I think that once I complete a few more simple pieces of furniture (are any of them really SIMPLE?) I am going to attempt to so this. I would love to create some signage!! As usual, you make it look so easy! Thanks so much for all your tips and tricks!!


hilary@oldhousetruelove said...

love it!

SImple and Serene Living said...

I love it, and you're right, it would be perfect for an entry hall.

Unknown said...

Oh course....you KNOW I love this bench!!! Yummy!

What is your trick to linking up to all those parties?!! That list is a mile long. I must be doing something wrong, because it would take me forever. Am I missing something???

bj said...

The most awesome bench, EVER! Love it.
Bet it sold QUICK, too.

I, too, wondered if you know a way to link up to parties faster than I do?
xo bj

imsteelefullofscrap said...

Beautiful bench now i will be on the look out for an over head projector would love to do a few pieces of furniture for my daughter

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

Korrie--your french bench is beautiful! Your patience STILL amazes me! :)

Anonymous said...

yet another fantastic piece!
Used the ink jet transfer method this weekend, came out great! Thanks again for telling us about it!

jennifer768 said...

Love,love it ! You are so talented,I am in awe of the things you manage to do .Hugs,Jen

Gypsy Heart said...

One more of your creations that I love! You really must have a steady hand to do this painting...it is so beautiful.


Heaven's Walk said...

LUV LUV LUV this, Korrie! You are so talented and really continue to inspire me! Because of you, I did buy an overhead projector....on Craigslist for $40! Now I just need something to use it on.... lol!

xoxo laurie

Aeron Chair said...

I love it, and you're right, it would be perfect for an entry hall.
Aeron Chair

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Wow Korrie, I love your bench!

Charlotte said...

You are my inspiration! Honestly I melt inside when I see your work. I haven't seen anyone else transforma a piece with the beautiful French graphics/writing the way you do. I can't even imagine being able to freehand paint it the way you do. LOVE your style!

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

It looks fantastic! I can only imagine how long that takes. You are the queen of painting typography!

Katie said...

This is really amazing! You are so talented... I could never imagine hand painting letters like that!

Junky Vagabond said...

Another beautiful piece! Love your projects and wish I had your patience!! -Jill

Rachel said...

I'm smiling at the photos of you painting. You're sitting there all cute, with your legs crossed, like what you are doing is no big deal which is how you make all of your projects look! You make it seem so simple and yet I know better!!!!!

KimMalk said...

It's just beautiful--how you "forget" something like this is a mystery to me!

Karina said...

I love this and you did a BEAUTIFUL job refinishing it. The lettering is the perfect accent to a simple bench.

Kimberly T. said...

That is so cool! I would LOVE a bench like that.

Honey at 2805 said...

I adore your French Bench! I am in awe of your creativity!

eleven-o-one said...

Beautiful as usual. Yes, the phrases make sense together. The big one on top is a sign for a fabricator of ironworks (or wrought iron) for buildings. The others are "Product without rival" and "many styles and types" (or something like that. I hope that one sold for a pretty penny! It looks like alot of work.


Vicki V @ blestnest.blogspot.com said...

This looks great! You must have an incredibly steady hand.

Anneke at This, That and Life said...

What a cool bench! I keep telling myself I'll try this one day!!! I love it! :-)

Kim said...

Girl you totally rocked out that bench and might I add that you have the patience of a Saint! The detail on that must have taken you forever. Love it!

Kim @ Too Much Time said...

You are a queen! This bench is super!I am hosting my first ever blog hop this weekend and I would LOVE if you stopped by to link some stuff up!

Kim @ Too Much Time


SheilaG @ Plum Doodles said...

I love it! Graphics Fairy has some great stuff and you did a wonderful job adding them to your bench. Love me some French typography! :)

Katalina Jewelry said...

Your bench looks awesome!

Kim @ French Country Antiques said...

Luv the bench. Just awesome! I'm such a French fanatic.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Girl, you ARE amazing!!!

Carol Salisbury said...

I just stopped by from Graphics Fairy. I love this bench. You did a wonderful job on it!

Jami @An Oregon Cottage said...

This is great- I have an old bench I'd love to do something similar with. So glad I found you- now I'm subscribing so I don't miss anything. :-)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous work!

Karen The Graphics Fairy said...

Another gorgeous piece!!! It looks awesome Korrie!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Korrie, Another beautiful project! I love the bench and the idea for hiding shoes. Thank you for linking to the Open House Party.

Brandi said...

You are so awesome at what you do! Beautiful job Korrie!