Sittin’ Pretty

sweetnest white bench

As I mentioned in my post below, I’ve been at a loss for years on what to do with this ugly-not-needed TV stand. Although, me and JD’s morning bickering (over who gets the one seat in our bedroom) had me thinking about adding a bench, the idea to transform it first came to me while I was working out in our home “gym”/non-air conditioned room that I continue to pile junk in (including said TV Stand). Perhaps it was the Britney or the Black Eyed Peas I was listening to while working out, but I immediately felt inspired to revamp it. So I jumped off the elliptical, threw all of the junk off the stand and quickly pushed it down the hall, stopping at the end of my bed. I geeked out at its potential for about 5 minutes and then realized I had a lot to learn to turn this beast into a beauty. I quickly did a little research and then headed to Home Depot and Joann Fabric with my to do list in hand: Sand, Prime, Paint, Sew Cushion (and include piping… yikes!).

I could have easily paid $200+ for a new bedroom bench, but this DIYer only paid $50 buckaroos! Here’s how I did it…

The Bench
Step 1: I started this project by sanding the entire bench to take off the clear top coat (I know that’s nail polish lingo, but go with me) and sand down the wood where the cabinet hinges were. I then used a damp rag to remove all of the dust and clean for priming.

Step 2: Using Rust-Oleum’s White 2X Painter-Touch Primer I primed the entire bench twice. This wood really soaked up the primer, so I used 3 cans total. I let the primer completely dry before painting. Patience (which I have very little of) is really key here.

Step 3: Paint, baby, paint! I opted for an off white paint and found Rust-Oleum’s Heirloom White Spray Paint to be the perfect color. Due to my stellar primer, I only had to use 2 cans to get an ideal coverage. Tip: Invest in a spray can handle! Your pointer finger will thank you.
Rust-oleum products from The Home Depot

Step 4: After the paint was fully dry, I applied a clear protective finish. I’ve used spray versions before but was really happy with Rust-Oleum’s Clear Gloss paint. I also bought a really nice 2″ Purdy brush that allowed me to easily apply a thin layer to the entire bench.

The Seat Cushion
While learning how to paint is fairly simple, sewing and operating a sewing machine is absolutely not. You need to either heavily research or find a really good teacher. Luckily, I have the latter – my wonderful and very talented mom!

Mom and I found everything we needed for this project at Joann Fabric – foam, fabric, piping and thread. We calculated that we needed about 5 yards of fabric, but actually had a good amount left over to make pillows with! I’m not really a matchy-matchy person but I love this teal fabric.

Step 1: I cut the foam to the specific dimensions of my bench first using an X-Acto knife but then resorting to scissors. Joann’s can cut the length but not the width for you.
Foam from Joann's Fabric

Step 2: I then measured and cut the bottom and top piece of the cushion fabric, leaving enough room for the seam. (In the picture below I’m measuring the fabric for the piping, but you can see the fabric for my cushion below it)

Step 3: Add piping. For those not familiar with it, piping is simply a type of trim that helps add a border. For a new sewer, I have to admit that the thought of adding piping was super scary, but in looking at professionally made cushions, I quickly decided it was must-have.

I started by cutting fabric for the piping and then placed the cord in the middle of the fabric.

To sew the piping in the fabric, I carefully sewed directly to the right of the piping. It’s important to sew as close to the piping as possible, so it’s tight and well… just looks like sturdy trim. Note: This is my very first sewing project, so bare with me as I learn the lingo.

Piping on handmade seat cushion

Step 4: Before sewing the piping to the top fabric, I carefully pinned the piping as a guide. Once pinned, I pushed the pedal to the metal (hah! get it?) and sewed the piping to the top. Then, much like a pillow, I sewed the facing top and bottom pieces together making sure to leave enough room to insert the foam (Forgot to take a picture of this, sorry!). After inserting the foam, I loosely hand stitched the last seem and then ran it under the sewing machine to ensure it was tightly closed.

So TADA!! Here’s the fully completed bench in our bedroom. I woke up on Monday to JD sitting on the bench putting his shoes on. I smiled from ear to ear (and then yawned) and said “I did that!”

Since I’m still a newbie please leave tips or any words of wisdom you have :)

White bench in bedroom

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  1. Beautifully done and I love your blog – hope others are fortunate enough to read it. I had a great time bonding with you over the project. XOXOXOX Mom

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