Thursday, November 15, 2012

All You Need Is Love

In addition to being one of my favorite Beatles songs, "All you need is love" is also a very good mantra to live by, especially when looking for furniture/objects to fix up.

Although something might look a little rough, a little dirty, a little Gary Busey circa 1995, with a little love and celebrity rehab attention something really can be given new life.

For example, take this bench I found outside a garage sale.
Notice how I say "found OUTSIDE a garage sale".

"Technically" it was not for sale.  "Technically" it was just being used as a door stop for these people's back fence to direct garage salers back to their garage.

However, I thought it had good bones and I loved the crisscross cast iron backing so I thought I would ask, just for the hell of it. 

First, the lady said it wasn't for sale... then on second thought, she asked her husband who said it was up to her (smart man) and next thing I knew, I was the proud new owner of a cute little bench for $10.

Thinking this would be an "easy" sand-down-and-stain project, I took it home and started to work on its therapy rehab.
 First step was taking off the super heavy cast iron backing.

And then this happened.
 The elements had not been kind to this little bench, and the joints inbetween the backings had become completely dependant on the cast iron to hold it in place.

Taking one problem at a time, I decided to carry on with my original plan and spray paint the backings to make them look all shiny and new.
Thinking this piece would look really cute and lively with a new stain, I got to work sanding it down, using a super low grit paper.
 When I got to the joints, I used a mix of Elmer's Super Duty Wood Glue and Elmer's Wood Putty to set the sucker back in place.
 Not perfect, but not broken either!

After about 1.5 HOURS of sanding I was pretty deep into the wood, but still not to wood-staining quality.
 That, mixed with my junky joints, made me reevaluate my staining choice and I instead opted for something a bit easier... Spray paint... Oregano by Rustoleum, to be exact.
 Not to shabby!
 After I put the backings back on, I was liking what I saw...
 Looking like Britney Spears with a new hair weave, it was time for this lady to make her showcase into the world... aka on our deck.

It actually turned out to be perfect timing since our rocking chairs that I remade (as remembered here) helped me remember one VERY important lesson... Polyurethan.

Yes, we did get to enjoy our rocking chairs on our deck for a few months...
Those cups had water in them and Im pretty sure we were discussing politics... ... ...
But sadly, with rain and our super hot summer, it warped the wood and much of the back falling apart.

Technically, it was a $70+ lesson on what I should have used in the first place...
Outdoor Polyurethane!!!... it even says it right on the can! "Protection from: Sunlight, rain & moisture, and temperature changes"

So you can bet I covered my new lovely lady in it before setting her in back into place...
Here's how she looks now with the Pottery Barn table set we got as a wedding gift.
And a cute little white fluffy pup just for kicks...
Its eclectic and a bit different, but still goes!  I also love the extra seating (especially now that its cooling down in Texas and we can actually use our deck again!)

Here's the before and after for ya.
Yea, not bad for $10, huh? (plus some sanding, wood glue, and spray paint)

Have you guys had any garage sale scores that just needed a little love? Have you ever made an expensive little mistake that cost you the project (our rocking chairs were recently donated to our front curb for Dallas Bulk Trash Pickup... ... they were beyond saving... so sad... I sang Ave Maria as they were taken away).  I would love to hear from you!


  1. I think you did a wonderful job and it does go so well with you PB set! I love before and afters so I pinned it on my Before and After board! Love visiting your blog too!

  2. I love the bench. Where I live, that little thing would be over $50 and then it'd probably completelyf all apart when I brought it home. Every time I try to find furniture for our patio (it desperately needs more than a 3 person couch and two chairs), I can't find anything under $75-100 for something that needs work. I'm so jealous of your $10 find!

  3. You are hilarious! And that bench looks awesome! The politics and water comment really cracked me up too. :) Happy Friday!

  4. The bench looks great :) Had to look at a map to see where you live (I live in Norway, and wouldn't dream of using the deck this time of the year... Not that I have one) and I am jealous!

    Love your blog!

  5. Hello every one, here every person is sharing these
    knowledge, therefore it's fastidious to read this webpage,
    and I used to pay a visit this web site all the time.

    my web blog ... home design ideas

  6. I want to to thank you for this great read!!

    I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I've got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…

    My web site; spÄla spilleautomater


Comments make my heart happy... and I read every ONE of them... thank you so much for taking time to make my day!