August 14, 2013

refinishing the bench - part 2

So the bench.


When last we left our story (read part 1 here), it looked something like this.

After all the sanding was complete, and my tears were dried, I called over my mom and dad to take a look at what I was working with. After decades of refinishing furniture and selling it, they are like the experts on Antique Roadshow. I bring them things, they tell me the good/bad news and then I jump for joy or kick them out of the house, depending on their answer.

The verdict - it was determined I was looking at a piece made of at least two different types of wood. Damn you furniture!

But after a cool down period I realized/remembered that this is not a fancy piece. This is backwoods furniture y'all. The people sitting in these pews were most likely in their farmer overalls rather than suits so it was never meant to be a fine antique.

So I gave in and decided I couldn't fight an old church pew. (its probably sacrilegious or something) It will be whatever it is. After all, I have it (and love it) because of its history, not its beauty.


So all though some spots never came out, no matter how much I sanded, I decided it was time to move on and stain. Embrace the character. Embrace the character. (this is my staining the bench mantra)


And after three coats of stain and two coats of clear polyurethane here she is. Some of her red paint still shows thru (some wood 'released' the paint better than others) and I like that. It is a reminder of how it looked as I grew up and my little nod to all the years my parents had it.





Ignore that table behind the bench and those lamps, that's a whole other post.

This isn't a tutorial on refinishing (obviously) but rather just a tale to remember that not all furniture will cooperate with your plan. And sometimes that's for the best. Love what you have and it will work for you.

Have you ever had a bossy piece of furniture that wouldn't cooperate? 

30 comments:

  1. I am loving this room! The bench looks gorg!! xo Kristin

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  2. Oh my gosh...that is Awesome!! You did good girl!!

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  3. AAAH! LOVE it! i love the red paint hints- what a BEAUTY!

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  4. It looks SO good!
    www.fashiontruffles.com

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  5. It couldn't be more perfect! I'll bet somewhere, someone is trying hard to get red paint to show through randomly! :)

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  6. I like the old paint peaking through. It looks like it has a story to tell. Great job.

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  7. This bench is amazing! There should be no tears besides tears of joy for 1. finishing this projects and B. loving the way it looks! I think the spots of red left are just perfect and it adds to the life it has had! I agree with Pam... someone is trying to add that little bit of red paint for the weathered, lived look and you have it!

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  8. I'd call it a happy surprise :) You will treasure that bench now so much more just knowing the sweat and tears you poured into it!

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  9. A definite conversation piece for sure! I love it and also love that it's not perfect. Character is way better in my book; more personality!

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  10. I definitely think it's the not perfect character of it that piece that makes it so perfect. I adore how those little red areas look. It looks amazing with your red chandy. What a cool space you have in there :)

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  11. This is great! Not only do you have great "seating", you have a wonderful story to go with it!!!
    I love the way it looks "built-in" with the shelf behind it. Is that not staying?

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  12. Looks great Elizabeth, you finally turned it into a real 'treasure'!

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  13. I love it! You did a wonderful job. Definitely love the natural wood over the red :)

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  14. You deserve an award for your dedication, but your bench will definitely suffice. It is beautiful. Perfect? No, but it's not meant to be, like you said. It's imperfect, it's meant to be used and it has a history.

    It's beautiful and you did a fantastic job. Also, can we chat about that mirror? It's amazing!

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  15. Wow, your bench looks beautiful! What amazing work!! You should be so proud!

    XOXO,
    The Glam Pad

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  16. Oh geez Elizabeth it looks fantastic! Can't believe how amazing it turned out!

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  17. Love the hints of red - it adds a nice bit of character. And yes - the first furniture painting project I took on didn't go so well. It was before I knew about stain-blocking primer, and just used a latex paint-and-primer combo to paint an old sewing table. Didn't matter how many layers of paint I put on, the previous stained color still came through. Live and learn!

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  18. I love the bench- imperfections and all! It's gorgeous and looks so so good in your dining room. Which btw is looking amazing!

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  19. Yay! Embrace the imperfections - it really does look stunning and I love your acceptance of it in it's entirety - little bits of red paint and all. It works so well in your dining room!! I'm also digging those green lampshades with the other colours in there but let's pretend I didn't notice yes? xxx

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  20. I kinda like the bits of red paint left behind. It looks good in your dining room too.

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  21. I love your attitude! Sometimes it's not the easiest thing to remember when you're getting all frustrated in the heat of the moment, but yes, my mantra is that things work out the way they're supposed to! We shouldn't dwell on the imperfections, but love them. Your bench looks great!

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  22. I think the bench looks gorgeous and the red couldn't be more perfect for the room! Definitely worked out for the best :)

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  23. pretty much every piece of furniture i take on takes me on. :)

    it turned out great...and i have to say, your chandelier is soooo good!

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  24. The bench looks beautiful and I love the imperfections. They make things real! Wonderfully done! xo

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  25. I love it!! Its looks so good! And like you say its the history that makes it special. And I think you are right, it would be sacrilegious to part with it! I'm glad you embraced it!

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  26. I think it looks awesome! Loving your dining room!

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  27. I have most definitely been there myself and your mantra is perfect. I think it looks great in your dining room!!

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  28. I love it in there, especially all the perfectly imperfect spots. It shows its roots, and that's what matters most. Great job!

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  29. The bench looks really nice stained, it was worth the mishaps. :)

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