Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Everybody Loves a Little Pooch

In this case I'm not lovingly talking about my gargantuan 5 kids mom gut, that I like to pretend could even politely still be classified under the term "muffin top".  I'm talking about an actual pooch, a dog, or more accurately a puppy...named Biscuit.

This is what Biscuit looked like.  He was hit by a car, and killed recently.  We are all still so sad.  He was a very good chewing aside.

  More to the point how this adorably cute K-9 was able to ruin (almost) a perfectly good bench.  That I had grand plans for, or better yet I was itching to repurpose into something new and pretty.

Its okay.  You can say holy distressed batman!

Usually I have some quirky story of how I acquired my current piece of junk turned into a bit of awesometastically awesomeness (actual words I'm sure).  This bench, however, we junked up all on our own.  I would LIKE to say this doesn't make us trashy, but I'm pretty sure that is exactly what that implies.  After a few months as our front porch bench, of which it was the perfect size, it didn't fair well.  The dog and chickens  might have had something to do with that.

I found this bench six years ago at a furniture store in Dallas called The Dump.  It sounds awful, but its actually a store full of brand new furniture that is usually "discounted".  In this instance "discount" means it was all still very expensive.  This was before I started finding my own junk, and refinishing it to fit my personal style.  So we bought this brand new (which just makes me shudder to think about now).  I had wanted a bench for our dining table that had a back on it.  That way I could squeeze 3 kids on without worry of one of them spazing out and falling off the back.  I don't really have a great before picture of it.

This is what it looked like post junked out.  I'll let you guess which damage came from the dog, and which came from the chickens.

Man I wish this was the only spot, but it is the worst.

Oh, the puppy teeth.

So clearly the puppy chewing went on for a while before I noticed it.

I was a little perturbed to discover that the adorable pooch had gnawed off part of the seat.  I lamented a few days.  Thinking it was absolutely ruined.  Then I realized that it was an opportunity to give this new life, and I was on a quest to find a way to work around the chewed area.  So then I looked around Pinterest for other bench pictures that might serve as inspiration.  I found lots of hand made benches, benches made out of bed frames, or benches made out of repurposed coffee tables.  None were really what I was looking for.  So I switched my search to google.  That came up with a few other options, but honestly none of those were what I was looking for either.  Unless I was looking for a way to make this into an ice cream sundae bench.  Which I was not.

So I turned my attention to the seat of the bench. You know the part that was sporting the worst of the damage of my teething puppy.  At first I thought I'll just take some durham rock hard putty, and try to rebuild the missing area.  Then I thought I'll just paint it, and hope no body notices (a tactic I use often).  In the end I thought I would just sand it all down, and stain all of it.  However, just a regular stain job would never do.  If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I have a bit of a thing with chevrons (See herehere, and here), and you'll also know how tired SeƱor Hotness was getting of that little quirk.  I, however, am still very much in love with the chevron fad.  So instead of doing a paint/stain pattern.  I decided to mix it up, and put the chevron pattern on the seat with just contrasting stains.   First things first though I had the get it sanded down.

This top was already in bad shape due to its brief stint on the front porch.  So sanding the top wasn't that bad.  I used 120 grit sand paper in my orbital sander to remove the old finish, and then hit it with a 150 grit to smooth out the sand paper marks.  Finially I finished up with 220 grit leaving it nice and smooth, and free of any scratches to the wood.

It looked so nice that the two year old couldn't resist climbing on it, and giving it a test drive.

Sorry for the sideways picture, but here it is all taped out and ready for stain.

I used Rustoleum Driftwood to give me the awesome chevron pattern.  It looks super cool from a distance, but...

Up close was a completely different story.

Ok so it had been my initial plan to allow all the gray stain to dry overnight.  That was before I removed the tape, and saw how badly it had bled.  So then I had a change of plans.  I decided to immediately stain over the top with my super dark stain.  My hopes were to reduce the appearance of the bleeding.  So I used Minwax Dark Walnut (what else), and instead of allowing it to set in I immediately wiped off the excess.   This method highlighted the blemishes, but unexpectedly it looked really cool. (I want to kick myself for not snapping a picture.)  It looked like a deconstructed chevron.  That wasn't what I wanted though.  So I put another layer of dark walnut on, and this time I took a stroll and let it really soak in for several minutes.  It looked really great.

I really love how it turned out, and the over all depth of it.  It is my very favorite part of this piece.

Then it was time to address the rest of the bench.  I was wanting to do this entire project for free, a.k.a., what I had on hand.  So I decided to use Krylon Cherry Red paint/primer mix spray paint that I used when I repainted my scentsy warmer.

I used this because I had plenty on hand.

And the dog food makes an appearance!  Because I'm super classy.

It looks so awesome, but...coincidentally it didn't match the room where I was wanting it to go.

This is where I expect many will hate me forever.  So I have been wanting to do an extreme distressed paint project, and I thought that the over all bones of this would support that look nicely.  I wanted to use this bench as an entryway bench in my formal living room( that had the ghetto flooring you see in the pictures because we haven't gotten to it yet), and a very funky eclectic vibe to it.  So then I went back to my paint supply to find something to dull the red.

I came back with my krylon classic gray that I had used to make my DIY chalk paint.  I was going to dry brush the entire area.  So I got out one of my crazy cheapo brushes.  They cost around a dollar, and are the best thing for this type of painting.  I usually grab a few every time I go grocery shopping.  So I always have some on hand.  So then I  got to dry brushing.  The bonus is chalk paint was made for distressing.  So as I applied I would use my rag to just randomly thin out certain areas to add to the overall distressed and aged look.

So here it is midway through the process.

I love the depth that this gives it, but have to laugh that I chose to distress an already distressed "junk" piece.

I let that dry for about an hour.  Honestly though one of the benefits of chalk paint is that it dries quickly, and then of course the added bonus of it being dry brushed.  At the end of an hour I came back with a dark brown glaze.  I think I have it tinted a color called barista, but honestly I'm not sure. I have used this same can of glaze for the last 4 years, and I've only used about a third of the over all quart.  A little goes a very long way.  I opted to dry brush this as well.  The piece had kind of a cold feel to it with the colors I used so I wanted to warm it back up with the brown.  Also that tends to give it a nice aged look that I personally love.

Then I waited an hour for it to dry before giving everything a coat of Minwax's Polycrylic in gloss.

The polycrylic always really highlights the depth of color.

Up close to the finished distressing.

Now you can hardly tell where the pooch nibbled.

Last but not least my very favorite feature of this project was the awesome 'new' bench seat.

So in the end I had a completely funky, super distressed bench paid for purely through time and effort.  I'm so glad that I started doing this as a hobby a few years ago.  Now I have a home full of inexpensive, but quality pieces that I have made over to really fit the style of my home.


  1. Looks the chevron pattern on the seat and the color you chose.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Funny how our mishaps end up making our project better, isn't it? I'd love it if you shared this on Worthwhile Wednesdays

  3. What a transformation! I love how the seat turned out with the chevron and the stain. Also, I've never been on your blog before but really enjoy the humour in your writing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I do have a super quirky sense of humor. Not everyone is a fan.

  4. Hi Sarah! Wow, what a fantastic makeover - the bench looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing at Best of the Weekend and pinned to our party board. Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and have a happy week!

  5. Wow! What a great makeover. I love the design you added to the seat.

  6. The chevron in the 2 stains is so beautiful. I love how warm it feels. Great job. So sorry to hear about your loss. We had to put our pit down almost 2 years ago and after almost 14 years with us. Still miss her so much.

  7. I love how your chevron bench turned out! That stained pattern is so wonderful! You did such a great job! We would love it if you would join us at our link party!

  8. Love the contrast of modern chevron with a vintage finish, superb creation!

  9. I'm so sorry about your sweet puppy! I love what you did with the bench, I think the result was worth all the effort. Thanks for sharing this at History & Home this week, take care: Dawn @ We Call It

  10. This turned out amazing! Great job. Pinned. We love having you be a part of our party. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm.
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  11. The bench turned out awesome. I love the layers of colors. Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!

    1. I really love how it turned out too, Deborah. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. I love it....that turned out great. I love the floor also. Nice job.