Craigslist and local for sale by owner Facebook groups are quickly becoming my new favorite online shopping venues. You just never know what will pop up. I was scrolling through one day and saw this vintage beauty:
I was immediately drawn to the swirls and whimsical curves on the back. This is a very Tim Burtonesque piece to me, I can totally envision it in the Corpse Bride, or The Nightmare Before Christmas. I wanted it, I HAD TO HAVE IT!!
I showed it to Jack and told him of my plans to refinish it for him to sit on. I’m pretty sure I heard an “Exxxxcellent!” in Mr. Burns style.
I’ve revamped LOTS of furniture – chairs, couches, dressers, you name it. Only problem is all THAT work was done in my head. I’ve never successfully redone any ACTUAL furniture in real life. I tried to reupholster a love seat once, but it sat in pieces in my basement until I moved…then it finally got tossed. So although I had some reservations about my ability, I was determined to finish this bench.
I posted some questions on Facebook about how to go about this project…would I absolutely need to sand it? With what? Can I use spray paint? What kind? Does that require primer, or not?
I settled on an angle grinder, Rust-oleum Rusty Metal Primer and Rust-oleum Hammered Metal Spray Paint in black. I grabbed some protective eye wear, ear plugs, my face mask, and I was ready to get to work.
But first, let me take a selfie…
I figured I should take a photo of me in all my glory of doing actual, (semi) hard laborious work.
It was hot that day working in the garage, and it actually was, HARD WORK. But much to my surprise I loved it. I grinded for an hour and was amazed with this process. It wasn’t exactly easy, but it was essentially simple. Use this tool and grind away the chipped paint and rusty metal to reveal this beautiful skeleton of a bench underneath.
My hands felt funny from all the vibration of the grinder, but it was really relaxing to just work and shut out the rest of the world and CREATE again. I was in my element for sure. It had been soooo long since I felt that way, so this was an awesome experience for me.
But after a couple hours my laziness took over. (Did you pick up on my foreshadowing of that earlier?!)
My body was hurting from the (gasp) actual physical labor of it all. And I was getting a little nervous using such a powerful tool, especially after I had to pull out a metal splinter that the grinder shot into my leg. (Perhaps I should’ve been wearning jeans, not shorts?) I love power tools, but they honestly scare me because I’m such a klutz. In junior high shop class I ran the side of my finger through the jigsaw and although it just took off a few layers of skin, from that moment on I envision myself slicing off my finger or worse. It could totally happen, and it would be just my luck.
So once I got most of the bench cleaned up I decided that would be good enough. After all, this bench is just a prop. The nooks and crannies would just have to stay how they were. I gave it a quick bath, hosed it down, let it dry, then sprayed it with the primer.
I should’ve bought two cans of primer because I didn’t get it all covered as well as I would’ve liked. But, again, this is a prop. Not a huge deal. I let it dry then spray painted it black. Again, I only bought one can at first and didn’t get 100% coverage. But, I’m lazy remember. Even though I ran out and bought another can, it got windy by the time I got home so I decided to finish painting it another day, but have since decided it looks fine as it is. (Plus my hands were actually semi-crippled for a day or two from holding the grinder that I couldn’t spray the can of paint very well if I wanted!) Since I want it mostly as a Halloween prop I figured it shouldn’t be all pristine looking (thank goodness!)
I just absolutely love it! Check out a photo of the finished bench in this post.