Friday, March 19, 2010

Son of a bench

"Bench of a relative" would be a better title, but it's just not quite as catchy.
This sturdy bench has been in my dad's family for a long time. I think. I don't know that anyone actually remembers where this thing came from, but I know it's very important. And, should any family members scroll down and be horrified by what I did to it, just keep in mind that it's been given new life, and is no longer serving as a storage shelf in a garage somewhere.
This bench sat on my parents' front porch for about 13 years. A homeless woman made herself comfortable there one summer afternoon, and I watched my mom welcome her and offer her lunch. I remember deliberately doing my homework on it several evenings in a row, for one of those teenage girl reasons. It was always decorated with a life-sized scarecrow for Halloween, and it may have been the only place we ever strung outdoor Christmas lights. Then, we moved into a different house and the bench never made it out of the garage.

My parents recently moved out of that house, and I decided to give it a new home. And a new look. I originally intended to give it a distressed, peeling paint look, and therefore chose this pretty turquoise. That's not how it turned out, but that's okay.
I sanded it down, which didn't take too long. The last time it was varnished was probably when I was in grade school, and the varnish had mostly worn off. Then I used a white primer spray paint that quickly ran out. The old wood soaked it up so fast! I had to go to Lowe's and buy three more cans.
Here's where I messed up. I should have painted the turquoise outdoor latex paint directly on top of the wood. That way the sand paper could have quickly distressed it. Instead, my primer was too thick and didn't easily come off with the sand paper.

Oh well! Trial and error. After I realized my technique wasn't going to work, I went back and painted a second coat. The whole thing took maybe 2/3 of the quart, so I have plenty for touch-ups.
Isn't it cute?!
My brother's first impression when he saw the color was girly, but thought it was awesome that something old had been refurbished and given new life. Awesome feedback! That's exactly what I hoped to hear.

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