Since moving in, I wanted a bench for the foyer. However, with the double doors open, there is minimal wall space. Knowing I was eventually going to switch to a single door with sidelights that would center the door and give more wall room with the door open, I put finding the perfect bench on hold until the door was installed so I would know how long the bench could be. Well, as I told you about here, a single door with sidelights was not going to be in our future. So a small bench I had to find. You don’t realize how hard this task is until you start looking. The maximum length I could use was 36” and after looking for what seemed like forever, the smallest I could find (that I liked that is) was 42”.
So I decided that The Husband and I would have to build a bench the exact size we needed. I found the Small Rustic X Bench on Ana White’s website and realized it would be perfect. However, the thing about The Husband is that I have to plan my request just perfectly, and I have to be ready to go as soon as he says yes. I was in the process of helping my parents get their house ready to put on the market so I knew it was not a good time for me, so I waited to ask him.
And then, while at my parents moving an old coffee table to the basement, I discovered what seemed to be the most perfect bench hiding under an old work table. I pulled it out, took it upstairs and asked my parents about it. My dad (a retired minister) informed me that it was the center part of a child’s drop leaf table that had been used in a Sunday school room at his last church, but it was broken so they were getting rid of it. He saw something in it, and rescued it from the trash. But he told me he was never sure of what it was that he saw in it, and that it had been sitting in his basement for the past 10 years. And to make it even more special, the Church that it came from was the church where The Husband and I were married. So I knew it had to come home with me, and get re-purposed into the perfect bench!
The Details: I was very bad with the before and definitely with the progress pictures (as in I have none). I did not prime this piece as I wanted to go for a real rustic look, and I am OK if some paint chips off. I started with painting the bench in my favorite red color (Martha Stewart’s Ladybug). I then mixed three sample paints that I had gotten from Lowe’s (Gypsy Teal, Elegant Silk and Secluded Garden) to make the perfect teal. I normally use Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex paint when painting furniture for its durable finish. But when I don’t want a full quart of a color, and for small projects such as picture frames, I will use sample paints. I prefer samples from Lowes as they are in a satin finish. When I last checked at Home Depot, all of their samples were a flat finish.
Finally, I distressed the piece by sanding it and then applying stain. This is the part I am a little sad about. I had wanted to use a darker stain than I had been using (Minwax’s Special Walnut), and I found Jacobean on the Minwax color chart. However, I looked everywhere for Jacobean and no one had it, so I decided to give Ebony a try. Ebony is Black (yes, the name should have told me that, but I didn’t think it would really be BLACK –well I am here to tell you, it is really black).
So I did not apply the Polycrylic to this piece in that A.) I am OK with it to get more weathered and distressed, and B.) there may be a day when I sand down the Ebony stain and re-stain it Jacobean (I have since found it – my Sherwin Williams carries it, they just don’t put it on the floor, you have to ask for it. Who knew?)