Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Diary of a Dive, Part 6 - Rehabbing a multi purpose bench seat

~By Michelle Portesi

I found this bench seat some time ago at the local Home Goods/TJ Maxx. (Don't you just love that place?) As I mentioned in my previous post, 2 of the chairs to my thrift store dining table were falling apart and finally imploded entirely.  I needed some sort of replacement to make the table useable for more than 4 people, but even more importantly, I wanted something that would be primarily used as a coffee table/ottoman as well. The apartment is tiny, so anything I bring into it needs to have multiple purposes if at all possible, and this was just the ticket.

bench seat with lower shelf

That being said, I hated the fabric on it, (It looked like a bunch of baseballs!) the wood's stain didn't match anything I owned, and as you can see, it's pretty obvious where I put my feet up on the thing.  Fabric is notoriously hard to keep clean when one's personal outlook for interiors is casual and you believe its reason for existence is to be used. My furniture tends to get heavy abuse - and it shows.

Gee, who would want to sit on this dirty thing?

My intention was to paint and reupholster it and the original plan was to make the top section a slipcover with an elastic hem that could be easily taken off and thrown in the wash. Heck, I could even make a couple of them and change them out when they got too dirty or the spirit moved me. (I did mention that I've got way too much fabric I've been carting around for years that needs to be used didn't I ?...)

Bench Seat, Ottoman, Coffee Table- AND it has extra storage!

Anyway, I cleaned the dirt off the fabric as best I could and since I didn't want the old fabric pattern (and remaining dirt discoloration) to show through the new fabric, I just painted it along with the frame to match my other furniture. I was going to cover the top with a red fabric to coordinate with the striped fabric, but I already have a lot of red in here, (as you'll see in a future post) and as a little red goes a long way, I decided it was just too much.

Yes, I know. Now I have to go through all of those magazines and pitch some.

I really liked the lightness of the top, but let's face it, any shade of white in this application was going to be filthy in no time. And I certainly DID think that a painted fabric would be a cracked hot mess if I used it as is. So I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the new painted top was not only 'leather like', but was very easily scrubbable...and what dirt that eventually would not scrub off could just be repainted. Since it's a latex based paint, the fabric has some elasticity and  bounces back from any dents left by feet propped up on it - AND, without cracking.

Who'd of thunk it?

I'll probably eventually make the elastic top slipcover as I originally planned, but as I haven't decided what to cover it with yet, this will do just fine for the time being.

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